HOW TO BUY NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS ON A STUDENT'S BUDGET
By Hadassah Agbaps - April 18, 2017
Hi people, what's been on????
Soooo.....that headline, right????
I know, I know.... I was a broke student with natural hair once! I'm still technically a student (post grad.) but I'm a mature student with a source of income.....
Still, I know exactly what it means to be a student with natural hair and a very tight budget especially in Nigeria!
I've written a post on why I didn't think natural hair was expensive but because of several emails I'm getting on the cost of natural hair care, I decided to share my secrets for having fabulous hair on a budget! Don't forget that I am an Igbo girl and according to stereotypes,
"Igbo girls don't joke with ego i.e. money"
I even got one distress email from a guy who thought his girlfriend spent more money natural than she did relaxed. According to him, she spends N20k per month on her hair!!! He was trying to find out if that was normal.
Can you guess what I said????
Other emails have been from students ...secondary students and university students with a limited amount of money whose parents did not understand why natural hair is costing so much! Some said their parents had even suggested they relaxed their hair!
To be honest, I'm blaming the whole "natural hair fad" on this craziness!! I'm not trying to get on a high horse here so please readers, don't take this the wrong way....
I have been natural for life (hehe, not going to tell you my age, yet) and in those years, I have not given my parents any reason to enforce the creamy crack. I come from a middle class family with very strict parents.
My dad was of the school of thought that 'one should live below your means'.
Now, this didn't really sit well with my sisters and I because we naturally liked fancy things and shiny bottles! While my dad thought normal BIG notebooks (you remember this notebook,right) was sufficient for writing needs, we felt that we needed the pink, fluffy notebooks with the scented pages and all the glitter! The painful part was, since we were dependent on our parents, we were only given money for the BIG notebooks. If the BIG notebooks cost N50 and the fancy notebooks cost N200, where on earth were we going to get the extra N150 from???
That was when we stumbled on a finance book that said "If you can't live below or within your means, find a way to expand your means"...in a Christian way. 🙌
My parents wouldn't let us get jobs so we expanded our means by selling stuff. I was never one for sweets and chocolates so when they bought them for us, I sold off mine.
My mum's side hustle was sewing. I would ask for scraps of materials to sew dolls outfits and I sold this in school. I didn't tell my parents what I did or they'd immediately conclude that these hustles distracted me from my studies if I ever placed second in class instead of first! 😅I'm pretty sure some can relate!
I also learnt the art of saving !!! Everyone knows about the broke student so it was nice when uncles and aunties would say 'take this small kola and buy chin chin'.....this meant more money to save! I can save for Africa!
Okay.....how does all this gist relate to my topic of "How to buy natural hair products on a students budget"??
Let me start.....
1. LEARN HOW TO SAVE
A typical Nigerian student is given some money at the beginning of the school year. For some students, that is all they are given. For other students, they are given this pocket money at the beginning of every term/semester.
The joy of a student still under a guardian is.... you don't pay your rent, buy your clothes, buy your provisions or any major thing. This is provided for by your guardian!
I'm not talking about the underaged adult ...children below the age of 18 who have to fend for themselves...who have to work and save to pay their way through school!
Lucky, lucky you!!!!
Any other expense that you will make as a student is probably to replace stuff like books, pens etc....oh and buy soda, meat pie or candy!
If this is you, then you have ample opportunities to save and saving requires determination!
'How badly do I want to have have healthy, happy, shiny. glossy natural hair!"
If your answer is 'soooo bad', then
- you can save N200 weekly by skimping on Coke, Fanta, Donut, Meatpie etc. That's N800 saved a month! In three months of a typical semester, that's N2400 saved!!!
- you can save money on not buying that extra shoe/dress/weave/bag you don't need. Take very good care of the ones you have and they'll be as good as new! You can save at least N1500!
- you can save money on books by patronising your library...etc
- salon visits? Learn how to care for your hair and nails at home.
- If you're in secondary school, meet up with a friend that can braid and let her teach you how to braid too. You can use this skill to make some small cash on the side during the holidays too!
Look for ways you can save and put that money towards your hair products! Mommy and daddy won't be bothered about how much you spend on your hair products...since you're not disturbing them for money.
2. LEARN WHAT TO BUY
So, you've saved a lot of money using the tips above...hurray !!!
It will be pointless if you waste your money on hair products you won't use or don't know how to use or don't even need!
I cringe everytime I ask someone, "what products are you using for your natural hair?"and I hear "shea butter, castor oil, coconut oil, argan oil, lavender essential oil, babassu oil".
Nne, where is your shampoo???
Where is your leave in conditioner???
Where is your deep conditioner???
You spent all that money on a thousand oils and none on your natural hair basics???
Then you say "my natural hair is always dry, my natural hair is breaking, my natural hair is dull, my natural hair is unmanageable'
You're simply going about it wrong, mami!
- Check out this post on affordable products you can get in Nigeria for your natural hair!
- Don't buy products because everyone is buying it. Buy products for your OWN hair's needs!!! Is it dry? Look for moisturising products. Do you have low porosity hair? Look for products that aid penetration. Is it fine? Avoid products that are heavy. You can get help here or read up this blog!!!😀
- Also, take advantage of SALES and GIVEAWAYS to get your natural hair products. They are a great way of getting your products for a fraction of the cost ..and for free!!! I have enabled a feature to announce any sale I stumble on. It is by the right if you are using a desktop. If you're using a phone or tablet, keep scrolling down.You can also follow on my Instagram page @nappilynigeriangirl . I usually put up products I think are worth spending on! I also run some giveaways called 'Review with Hadassah" where you can join me in trying out a new product! Follow by email to get the notice once it's up!
- I also have easy effective DIY recipes you can make yourself to care for your hair! Load up!!!
A lot of students will complain that they have no money to buy their natural hair products and yet they sport a different weave every month! They sport a different braid every month!
When I ask, "Is this a new weave? What happened to the old one?" ...
and I hear "I threw it away!".
"Oh my!!!", I would exclaim, clutching my imaginary pearls..."That's N5000 you just threw away!!!!" and I would imagine all the lovely, expensive natural hair products I would have splurged on with that money!
- Do you really need to waste your money on that weave that wouldn't even last you a year, when you can simply take better care of your own hair? You know, if you spend N5000 a month on a weave that lasts just one month, that's N50,000 in 10 months o! You can either use that money to buy a good quality weave that will last you three years at least or even buy your natural hair kit for less than N12k that will last you a year at least and your hair that will last you a lifetime!
- Do you really need to change your hair style every week?
- Do you really need to buy that extra fancy sounding oil when your natural basics kit is not complete? Do you even really need ten types of oil in your oil mix???
It's all about priorities.
....and this also goes for those students with relaxed hair! If you take good care of your own hair, you wouldn't even need extensions to look presentable!
These tips above worked for me as a broke Nigerian student! With it, I was able to still maintain my natural hair for more than 20 years and counting! People even told me then that 'natural hair is cheap'....which is why I'm still shocked that all of a sudden having natural hair is expensive!
I never went bankrupt because I'm taking care of my hair and even as a natural hair blogger I haven't and still don't depend on freebies to care for my hair.
Try and avoid the whole drama....caring for natural hair is as simple and affordable as you make it.
Hope this helped a budget naturalista and if you need more help or you have more tips to help, do share with us in the comment section below!