Yeah I know some of ya’ll are giving me the “whatever girl” side-eye of disbelief, but really, I am not. There are a lot of naturals that get excited at the thought of a new product release; a gel that promises the results of KCCC at half the price or a new butter from some far off land that can only be harvested under a full moon and keeps your hair sealed for 2 weeks. While I do enjoy trying out new things from time to time I have a good list of staples that I am happy with and work well for me.
And I’m sure your thinking, “Girl, you do product reviews all the dang time so how are you not a product junky? Liar.” Well there is two parts to this answer. 1) I review a lot of products either because I am sought out by the manufacturer or because you the reader inquired about it. Truth be told I don’t like adding new products into my rotation so I am very careful about how and when I incorporate them. It actually takes me at least a month from the time I receive a product until I have tested it to my satisfaction and I write a review. 2) While I am not a product junky I am addicted to shopping. I love the “shopper’s high” I get from finding a good deal. Whether it is natural hair products, groceries, even dog food I am always on the search for a hook-up. And I am very calculated when looking for a good deal.
So how do I save money on hair products? First, look for retailers that sell multiple products. There are natural hair stores like Go Natural Hair & Body Boutique here in Louisville or Naturally in St Louis, but there are also online retailers like Nounou’s Boutique, Sage Naturalceuticals and Curl Mart. These retailers normally have some sort of sale every month of two ranging from 10-20% off and the online retailers will normally offer free shipping once you hit a certain total so add the items to your basket until you hit that magic number.
Second, contact the product manufacturer. If you are on the fence about purchasing a product do to bad reviews seen on blogs, shipping cost, etc send them an email and let them know. A lot of times the manufacturers will make an arrangement with you whether it is free shipping, free sample, or offer a discount code.
Third, check out swap sites like Lola’s Green Hair that sell gently used products at a discount (think of it like ebay for natural hair products). A lot of hair forums like Naturally Curly and BGLH also have swap boards where you can post what you are looking for or search what others are trying to get rid of.
Lastly, there are seasonal sales. Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all good sale days for natural hair products the biggest of which is Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) the day after Thanksgiving. I have been known to create wish lists and wait until this time to try a new product. Why? Because the deals are so great! Naturals go crazy for these sales like the Running of the Brides at Filene’s Basement. I
hoard stock-up on products during Black Friday and often purchase enough to last me through the next Thanksgiving. Last Thanksgiving I spent around $300 on products some of which I still have. Black Friday is a great time to try a product you may have liked but didn’t like the price, try a new product at a discount, or simply purchase larger sizes of products you love. To know what exactly will be on sale you can check this page for 2011 Black Friday Deals. You can also join the mailing list of your favorite manufacturers to find out immediately what deals they will offer. This year Pura Body Naturals has already released that they will have a BOGO on their butters and moisturizers. Butters-N-Bars will offer 20% off everything. Miss Jessie’s will continue their annual tradition of BOGO sale which lasts until the end of the year.
So what do you have your eye on? I am finally looking to purchase products from Curl Junkie, large size or Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner, large size of Oyin Handmade products, try Pura Body Naturals Chocolate Hair Smoothie and pick up some raw butters and oils.