Ah, the three C’s of hair care that you have to take care of every so often: Cut, Color and Condition.
I’ve had variations on the same haircut since I was in high school – between chin and shoulder length with long layers. If it works, go with it, right? I occasionally go a little crazy and get a short A-line cut, but that’s mostly so I don’t have to cut it again for a while. Like, a year. I always ask for something that will grow out well. If you can reduce the number of times you go in for a haircut, you save money.
Ask around, you might know someone (or have a friend of a friend) who can cut hair and is willing to do it for a reduced rate. I know of a few people around that used to professionally cut hair, but the economy has forced them to get other jobs so they cut hair out of their home. Maybe you can even barter a cut for services or stuff – put your crafty side to use and make something to trade!
I like my natural hair color (minus the white hairs) so I’m not that interested in dramatically changing the color. (Unlike high school and college… oh boy did I go through a lot of hair colors. Including blue. No, that photo is not retouched. I really had blue hair for a few months.) I find that having a hair color close to your natural color is the best solution – it’s bound to look good with your skin tone, and there must be some reason you have that hair color, right?
Because I’m not trying to really change my hair color, I’ve been using henna based hair color. It doesn’t lighten hair, so by using a color a shade or two lighter than my brown it dyes just those pesky whites and makes them look like highlights. Which I suppose they technically are when white, but I don’t want them to be quite so highlight-y. The brand I use has lots of shades, and a lot of them don’t have the red undertones usually associated with henna. The best part? The gorgeous hair. The second best? The cost – less than $5 on Amazon.
And do you know what’s free? Letting it go natural. Be brave and let those whites show. Maybe you have gorgeous hair and didn’t know it!
Ah, conditioning. I use two methods for intensive conditioning, and unfortunately neither of them are quick and easy. But they are so, so worth it.
Method 1: Henna. Yes, I already mentioned henna, but that was as a color. Henna also does a great job of conditioning hair, and I like it because it kills two birds with one stone (color and condition). If you don’t want to color, there are “clear” henna options – check the label, you want an option that has the henna plant in it, just without the pigment.
Method 2: Oil. A few times a year, generally when the weather changes dramatically, I’ll put on an old shirt and slather my head in olive oil. I’ll leave it on for hours – combing it out and pulling it back under a bandana. If I can, I’ll leave it on overnight and wash it out in the morning (don’t forget to cover your pillow with an old towel). You can use other oils as well, I have used cheap vegetable oil with good results. Others have reported good success with jojoba, avocado, and coconut oils.
That wraps up my week of frugally luxurious, natural solutions from the neck up! Dear readers, do you have some more suggestions, or things you want covered further?