Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to Save on Hair Care Products

Just taking care of our hair can get pretty pricey, but there are ways around that and your hair won't suffer at all.

First, most of us shampoo the life right out of our hair. An every day shampoo strips natural oils and makes the hair shaft rough and hard to manage. A simple first step is to quit shampooing every day. Go to every other day and eventually every third day. Your scalp will adjust to the longer time eventually and you can move on to every third day. Hair does not get dirty in one or two days, unless we go out and play in a dust storm or rub mud into it.

Secondly, when you shampoo, add water to the product. Shampoo is made thick so that it takes a lot to distribute over your scalp and hair. When you thin it down, it's easier to distribute and it cleans just as well. If you don't believe me, put one teaspoon of shampoo in a jar or bowl and add one teaspoon of water. Mix them thoroughly, then put it on your wet hair and see if it doesn't go farther than two teaspoons of thick shampoo.

Thirdly, do not repeat. You don't have to shampoo and repeat, even if your shampoo is watered down and you're on your third day. One good lather and a super good rinse is all it takes after your hair and scalp have adjusted.

If you need a clarifying shampoo, don't buy it. Just use vinegar as your hair rinse and you will remove shampoo and conditioner buildup, which is what clarifying shampoo does.

As a matter of fact, if you want shiny, soft hair, a vinegar rinse will do it every time. Use a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar to 3/4 cup of warm water and pour it over your hair. You can rinse it off if you like, but you don't have to. The smell disappears in a few minutes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brand Name Mania

image courtesy
It doesn't do much good to keep the heat turned down, walk to work and scrounge coupons for groceries if we blow what we save on name brands. I hear you... some brands are worth it. I know that and there are a few that I will probably always use because they are quality products.

There are others that I have changed my mind about over time. I no longer buy brand name potato chips (and I do eat them sometimes and I don't always make them!). I don't buy brand name toilet tissue, having done the math. There's a store brand that works well for me and actually costs less per week. I have returned to a cheap brand of shampoo that I used to use long ago and my hair seems the same as when I used the more expensive kind.

Those are just a few things that I changed as I continue to pare down my spending.

Brand names don't necessarily equal quality, nor do they always mean value. Even if they seem to deliver a bit more, that little bit isn't always worth the extra money. Why should I pay for a gracefully shaped shampoo bottle with silver or gold lettering when a plain, square necked bottle holds shampoo just as well? The content is what I'm interested in, not the presentation, yet the price of a brand name shampoo includes the design and production of a fancy container. I just don't want to subsidize someone else's idea of beauty. If the plain jane bottle of generic shampoo bothers me that much, I can buy a pretty container and put the generic shampoo in it.

The fact is that when you buy a brand name product, you're not just buying the product. You're paying for the container design, the marketing and probably the CEO's yacht.

Something to think about.