Hair Regimen On A Budget (With Products and Cost)

What’s your hair budget? Will it preclude you from having the healthy hair that you want? I hope not. There are times in our lives when we have to cut back on our spending, whether for one thing or the other but we still need to look good. You should not let your hair suffer because you are on a budget. You can budget smart and achieve your hair goals.

Your hair can flourish and grow on just five or less products. The key to having really lovely hair whether it is short or long involves little to no spending at all. As I’ve said before, the hair grows unless you have some disease or deficiency that prevents growth.

The onus is on us to handle it right and encourage the growth. We have a responsibility to keep it clean, which means we should use cleaning agents which are not laden with chemicals, we also have a responsibility to condition it, thus keeping the layers on the hair shaft all locked down tight and we have a responsibility to keep it moisturized so that it does not break since it is prone to dryness. The education about our type of hair is also free courtesy of numerous black hair sites and forums. So, how much are you really spending on your hair and are you seeing the returns?


Might be your hair is extra dry or just needs a little oomph and you need to pre-poo, you can do this twice per month, using stuff in your kitchen like eggs, molasses, yogurt, milk, carrot, beet, banana, papaya, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil. If you have these things you can whip up a pre-shampoo treatment with little to no extra expense, just pick up a little extra of whatever ingredient you will be getting at the end of the week when you are grocery shopping. Check out some of the hair recipes on this site and other black hair sites that you can try at no extra cost to you.


After pre-pooing, you will need to wash your hair. Washing hair at least once per week is a good practice; a clean scalp leaves a healthy canvas for hair to grow. You can buy baking soda and wash your hair every week; an 8 oz. box is roughly $0.44 at Wal-Mart or you can buy a sulfate free, pH balanced and mostly chemical free shampoo.  Here are some options:

Note: If you can’t find any of these shampoos in your locale, you can purchase them online or check your local hair store for shampoos that do not contain harsh chemicals.

The average price for shampoo for the year is $40. However, Dr. Bonner’s Castile soap can significantly lower that cost.


After a chemical free shampoo, a deep conditioner is really all you will need to complete your washday. You can make your own deep conditioner with items like yogurt, coconut cream, banana, Shea butter and a host of other ingredients; believe it or not, doing it yourself is a really good option to the store bought conditioners. However, if you are not a do-it yourself-er, or you don’t have the time or the energy to concoct your own creations, you can try the following options. I have divided them into silicone free and conditioners containing silicone.

Silicone Free Conditioners

Light Silicone Conditioners

Good Silicone Conditioners

Note: It can cost you on average $120 for deep conditioner per year.


You can definitely make your own moisturizer, buy a bottle of vegetable glycerin and add an appropriate essential oil (a 10 ml bottle is just under $4), some aloe vera (you can plant it or buy it), carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, castor, olive or almond) and water and you are done. There are some moisturizer hair recipes here. The average cost for a Now Vegetable Glycerine (16 fl oz) is $10.00, it can last all year.

Note: Average cost for your moisturizer for the year should be around $20.


The cost of relaxers varies and the type of relaxers that you use may vary also. I would not recommend any other relaxer but Affirm. That’s what has worked for me through the years. I know that there are other relaxers that may be better, but I stick to what works for me.

If you really want to lower your hair care budget, you can try stretching the time between each relax to may be three or four times a year. I am now down to two times for the year because the longer I stretch the easier it is for me to do so. Besides, some of the products listed above are great for hair texture and makes stretching a breeze.

Note: Average cost for a relaxer $50. If you do your hair four times for the year- $200.

Essential Oils and Carrier Oils

You might not need more than three essential oils on hand, for the entire year, find three of your favorites and stock up for the year. Check out this list of essential oils here and choose the ones that you think would be best for your hair. On average a 4 ounce bottle of essential oil can cost $13.

The following are my eight oil staples, mostly because I make my own body wash, shampoos and skin lotions:

  1. Lavender Oil
  2. Rosemary Oil
  3. Jojoba Oil
  4. Vitamin E Oil
  5. Virgin Coconut Oil
  6. Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  7. Avocado Oil
  8. Peppermint Oil

Carrier Oils are very versatile, you can use them to do your pre-poo treatments, seal in the moisture in your hair or add them to shampoos and conditioners for an extra boost. It is something that you don’t want to be out of. An average bottle of organic, extra virgin carrier oil is $10 and you may only need to replenish your stock three times a year.

Night Time Hair

Its important how you treat your hair at night, you need to invest in a silk or satin hair cap to sleep in, it should not absorb the moisture from your hair. My friend who is going super cheap, uses a plastic bag on her pillow, she swears by it says its better than any material! However, if you are desirous of getting a good satin cap or sleep cap, the average cost is $6. They last long, buy two or three in case you need back up.

Satin Cap– $6

So let’s recap, a typical hair regimen consists of:

Pre-poo– cost to you might be negligible if you use your kitchen products. If using your carrier oils, can cost you up to $30 for the year.

Shampoo– cost varies; the cheapest option is using baking soda or Dr. Bonner’s Castile Soap added with your essential oils. My secret is to look at the ingredients on the high priced shampoo bottles and add the relevant essential oils to my Castile soap, works the same way for me. Average- $40 for the year.

Conditioner– cost and types vary but if you are very generous with your conditioner or your hair is pretty long, it can cost you an average of $120 for the year for conditioner.

Moisturizer– make your own, it’s too cheap and easy to do, for you to be running from it, even if you are not a do-it-yourself kind of person. The store bought products use the same basic ingredients with loads of fillers.  Average cost for the year, $20.

Relaxer– averaging at $200 for the year.

Other Stuff– Carrier oils, essential oils and satin caps can cost you on average $70 for the year.

Am I leaving anything out?

Can’t think of anything… assuming that you are not going to the stylist for any other treatment, your relaxed hair should cost you a grand total of….$480 for the year. That’s $40 per month. Can you go lower than this?

I hope this helps with your hair budget and gives you an idea of the products that are out there and the cost of the products.

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