By Hadassah Agbaps - September 08, 2015

Hi people, what's been on?

Today I'll like to discuss something I keep hearing.....

"Hmmm, natural hair is expensive ooo"

"Hmmm, natural hair is not for poor people o".

Wait what?  Did I miss the memo or something?  The last time I checked,

"Natural hair is for when you are broke"

"Lemme give you money to make your hair. This one you've been carrying natural hair"

"Is it because you don't have money to retouch your hair, that's why you're carrying natural hair? "

"Why didn't you fix your hair?  No money abi? "

If I keep on writing everything concerning natural hair and being broke I've heard in my life, this post will be the longest post ever!

So how come all of a sudden, natural hair is expensive and now for the rich?

The first point of argument is the price of natural hair products.
Yes, I agree they don't cost N1 but that's not enough reason to say it's expensive.


Let's start with the person who asked me if I didn't have money to fix my hair.

1.  Fixing

These days, it's not fashionable anymore to fix any weave that isn't human hair so bye bye to N800 weaves.
The average cost of a weave that the market man will promise "You can use it ten times and it will still look new"  is N5000.
For reasonable volume, I will need two packs of hair. So my total bill on the weave alone is N10,000.
To fix that weave, I'll pay a stylist about N1200 and if I want a fancy place,  N3500. I'll  not include the 1hr I'll spend waiting for my turn and the 3hrs I'll spend having my hair braided and fixed. I'll not include the one day I'll spend with a facelift and pain or the next three weeks I'll spend knocking my head in a bid to scratch my itchy scalp.

Total cost : N11,200

Oh wait, it's worth it because the market man promised me I'll use my weaves 10 times so if I'm calculating cost per use, I'm actually spending only N1000 on the weave for 10 months.
Let's be real, who does that????

Painful thing is I'll still be called broke because I can only afford N5000 weave which I "gasp" used 10 times instead of the N50,000 weave that places me higher on the social status ladder.

My thoughts
I'd rather use that N11,200 to buy a good bottle of sulfate free shampoo, a conditioner and a gel and have my hair in a bun for the next 10 months. I might be energetic and do one or two fancy updos while I'm at it.

Let's assume I'm braiding my hair instead.

2. Braiding

To braid my hair, I will need to buy 2 packs of Expression N800 if I insist I don't want to be swallowed by my hair or 3 packs N1200 if I exercised my neck muscles well enough with yoga headstands.

To have twists installed, I'll pay my stylist N1000 if she's cheap and N3500 if she's not.

I'll be expected to carry my twists for one year (that's what she promised) or one month (that's what's practical for me unless I want to be bald).

I will not include 45mins to cut and feather the extensions or the 6 hrs plus it will take for my butt to take the shape of my seat.
 I will not include the slight pressure I feel when she included my eyebrows as she was trying to pick my baby hair or the nimbleness of my tiny body as I dodge the hot water when she wants to neaten or curl the ends or the painful sigh of resignation when she squeezes my head with a hot towel.Afterall, she's doing me a favor.I don't need to spend my money again in a year on hair!

Total cost per month: N1800 (if I'm stubborn) and N1800 per year if I listened to her.

Oh wait, it doesn't matter if my edges are receeding because the chick's got skills.  She can braid an egg if you let her.

If I remember I'm human not an egg, I'll probably stop braiding when the sea that is my dying edges receeds as far as just behind my ears.

Oh, there's this magic potion that grows edges,  N10,000 . Okay, no problem as long as it grows my edges.

My thoughts
Sorry, I'd rather be expensive and purchase a N1,800 bottle of leave in conditioner to moisturise my hair.

What if I decide I'll be cheaper. I won't fix and I won't braid.
Leaves me with two choices, either have natural hair or have well relaxed hair, abi.

Oya, let me relax my hair and be cheap about it.

3. Relax

I'll buy N100 relaxer and pay a stylist who's very cheap N200 for relaxing my hair. At least I'll only retouch once every month (that's what she adviced)  or once in 3 months because that's how long it will take me to forget my last relaxer burns.

Total cost.  N300 per month (if I listened to my brilliant stylist)  and N100 per month (if I listened to the pain).

I don't need to buy any maintenance products because they have them in the salon.

My hair begins to break and change color. It's not as black and as shiny as the first time I retouched.

Two choices: Either I start buying N1500 kit or I buy her Indian hemp mix for N150.

I take option A.
I buy the kit.

i. Relaxer with kit
I start using the products included in the kit because I'm too cheap to buy larger sizes for maintenance.

My hair improves. I continue with the Kit.
Total cost: N1700.

Later, I notice the thinning and add option B plus steaming.

ii. Relaxer with kit plus steaming and Indian hemp mix

Total cost: N1700 plus N150 plus N200 for steaming equals N2050.

The health of my hair seems to wave in the direction of health,  this month and look unhealthy, next month.

I conclude that long hair is just not in my family or I'm growing old or I've started buying fake kit.

My thoughts
Personally, I'd rather use that N2050 to buy a good deep conditioner and if I were relaxed, I'd invest more in protein and moisture products.

Oh yeah, I observed my friend who was relaxed and now she's natural and her hair looks thick and black.

I decide to cut my hair.

4.  Natural
I'm still cheap remember. I will not spend more than N2000 on my hair but I can't buy a decent sulphate free shampoo and conditioner for N2000. Neither will I spend money on knowledge.
So I buy a sulphate shampoo for N300.
 Shebi it's just to wash hair, abi I roll for gutter???

I will also buy shea butter N50. It's the best 'moisturiser'.  All these people selling leave in conditioners more than N50 are expensive o!
My hair gets dryer and dryer. Stronger and stronger.

I ask my friend. She lists all the things she used to get her hair soft. It's about 5000 different things most of which I can use to cook a pot of soup.
Palm Oil, Okro, Pepper, Spinach water, Banana, mayonnaise, yoghurt,honey.....Chai, this natural hair thing is expensive o!

I spy another friend with healthy texlaxed hair. It's long and thick.
Abeg, shrinkage is rubbish on top of the money. I can't even see if my hair is growing sef.

5. Texlaxing
I decide to texlax like her. I still refuse to invest in my hair. My stylist didn't know what texlaxing was but I explained some more..."Oh, blowout!' she cried.
I settle in the chair. She 'blows out' my hair and then apply plenty petroleum jelly and blow dries my hair. Ah, you see, my hair was even long sef....which kind of natural hair torture...Mtchewww.

It's soft at first and then gets harder and harder. I call my friend . She lists a bunch of products she's using. Everything ends in 'thousand, thousand, thousand' .
Texlaxing is hard and expensive oooooo!!!!


Let's be real, if you want to have happy healthy hair, relaxed or natural.... You need to invest in knowledge (that one be eating megabytes like PacMan)  and good quality products. (They are not N1).

Like everything in this world, there are people who take things to the extreme and buy things they can't afford. Some people can't afford N550,000 weaves but they'll do anything to buy it. Some people can't afford N20,000 for 1oz of shampoo but they'll still buy it just to belong. Some people buy expensive products they don't know how to use just so they use #productjunkie tag.

It's all about priorities, instead of spending N50k plus buying the best weaves to hide damaged hair, why not invest that money in products and knowledge to treat and prevent damaged hair.

Instead of spending N7500 trying to buy hair growing pills, why not invest that money in a good moisturiser to prevent dryness which is one cause of breakage and poor length retention.

Before purchasing products, place a budget on what you can afford and shop around for the best products at that price.

It's more expensive treating damage than preventing damage. It doesn't matter if you're relaxed or natural. Invest in the best you can afford and save money in the long run.

That's just my N1, anyway. I'm cheap and can't spend more than N1.

So guys, do you think natural hair is expensive?  Weigh in! 

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  1. I think "expensive" is relative. I don't think my natural hair is setting me back a lot of money, but then again, I'm a lazy natural who does the minimum to get by. I'm not into DIYs, so I'm not spending a bunch of money on FOOD for hair that I'd rather eat :p

    Berry Dakara Blog

    1. Hahaha, I'm with you on that. My light bulb moment came when I thought of sharing my left over zobo drink with my hair and I had to pinch myself...Medusa much?

  2. Lmbo.

    Tasha here.

    First off,your sense of humour and sarcasm level are off the roof.

    I read this with tears running down my cheek.

    'She can braid eggs if he let her'

    You really hit the nail on how head here.

    I'm a student on a budget, but that doesn't mean I can't have natural hair.
    I resorted to DIY in some cases like using mayonnaise and evoo recently, to dc.
    This is also accompanied by the fact that I school in a state which is so underdeveloped I have to buy hair products online, plus shipping which is not so funny.

    Are you saying that the #50 shea butter is not advisable?

    I use it as the butter for my LOC.

    1. Hahahaha! Thanks for stopping by Tasha.
      I get you on the finding some natural hair products had to find.
      I shared some really good products you can get around without shipping in the Natural Hair Basics page "affordable Nigerian hair products ".

      You can use shea butter as your sealant. The mistake is thinking it's a moisturiser not a sealant.Water or water based products are better at providing moisture, then butters or oils help provide a barrier to reduce moisture loss.

    2. Oh,thanks.

      I'm not making a mistake then.

      Will check it out.


  3. Yes o, I always tell people that natural hair is not expensive, but some find it hard to believe. It is left for you to go the expensive route, or just find what your hair loves, and stick to it.

    Diary of an Honest Naturalista: Week 118

    1. I totally agree, AN. Some people already have what's working great for them but just want to try what another person loves. It's fun trying out new products but it should be within your budget or it's not fun anymore.

  4. I believe it is expensive if you go the junkie route.
    My only issue I have with natural hair is the time required for wash day.
    Beautiful write up.

    1. Thanks, Idy. The junkie route... Oh la la!!!
      Hmm, I believe wash day should be shorter... Not more than 45mins.....1hr tops if your hair is waistlength. If it's longer than that, something in the regimen is overdone....

  5. Lmao! I like my products and some times, I like to buy just to try something new out. Fact is, if I don't try I will never know if it's a better fit for me, especially if I am not a hundred percent happy with what I'm using. But i know my limits and I stick to them. I have sad edges from years of braiding and I'm sorry, but no matter how much I make I'm not wasting money on a weave. A wig maybe, a weave no. It's weird when people say they can't go natural because it's expensive, but the weirdest I've heard lately is, "I can't go natural because my hair is too soft."

  6. Hahahaha, Zainab! I'm with you on trying out new products. A girl's gotta splurge once in a while.
    However, it's hard to have a product that one is 100% happy with. There's always something new out there but it's good to have a safety net of staple products that do their job,which you can afford easily.

    About that weird statement, I think it's the latest since "My hair is hard" has been overruled! Just raise your left brow and keep it moving... :)

  7. Funniest post ever. Natural hair is not that expensive. Thing is: soup when sweet na better money kill am.

  8. Natural hair care shouldn't be expensive. Some very cheap products would still do the same job as most expensive brands out there. My Vitale hair mayonnaise 30 oz that would last me a whole year for N900 is a classic example of a great deep conditioner. That stuff is holy grail! It's all about planning ahead and budget. I didn't buy any popular brand until my 2nd year anniversary. I bought them not because my cheap products didn't work anymore but because I wanted to experiment with different kind of products. Hair would still grow with or without those big named brands in your stash. Thanks Hadassah for sharing this topic with us. It really needed to be broken now.

    1. Lol! Thanks Nafisat! That Vitale Deep Conditioner is the truth!!!

  9. i loove looe this right up,and i must say,you are hillarious. im just like berry. i am sorta a lazy natural and i invest in affordable products that can work for me.and my hair

  10. LOL! I agree that it doesn't have to be expensive. Try to get what you can afford. Products should not bankrupt you.

  11. DO you have a salon?


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