I know, the words smart and product junkie are mutually exclusive to most people since product junkies are known to waste money hopping from one product to the next but hear me out, I promise that what I am about to say will make sense.
I am a self confessed product junkie. I have been at it for about four years now. I have tried a lot of the products marketed towards natural hair and I probably will not stop until I have tried them all. Consequently it would be hypocritical for me to write something titled how not to be a product junkie. Instead, I will encourage you to continue in your product junkie ways but to be more prudent about it.
So how does one become a smart product junkie?
- Know the basics. You must know which products you absolutely need and how to use them. For me that would be; shampoo, deep conditioner, leave in conditioner, oil, a cream or butter, a spray bottle (which you can repurpose from finished product). I mentioned that you must know how to use the products because a lot of products will serve satisfactorily if used in the proper manner. Do not worry; most products have directions written on them.
- Write it down. For every product that you use, make sure to note down how it performed. Also note down its main ingredients and things like product consistency. This allows you to draw a pattern so you can start to see what ingredients work for you or whether lighter or heavier products work for you. This will lessen the chances of you picking a product that will end up not working for your hair and thereby save you money. I know that writing it down seems tedious but it really helps. Take advantage of phone applications that help in journaling your hair journey. There are a number in play store. I personally use one called Hair Journal. It even allows you to attach photographs.
- Try and use one product at a time. There is no reason why you should have five bottles of shampoo. A bottle of shampoo can last you a year or more. The other products do not last as long as shampoo but try to restrain yourself to one at a time. You will be able to judge a product better when you use it exclusively for a while. Also it would be imprudent to get five tubs or bottles of a product you haven’t used because you could end up hating it.
- Have a budget and stick to it. There is really no need to buy something that you cannot afford. Feel free to splurge once in a while but always be cautious of your budget. If you splurge on one product try and spend less on another, even DIY where you can.
- Be economical with your product use. Try and use the least amount needed for the results you want. You don’t want to use a whole tub of gel, for instance, in one use.
- Try and get products cheaper for example through sale offers, buying a semi-used product from another naturalista and if you are lucky you can even get a product for free from somebody who says the product didn’t work for them. I have gotten a lot of products from other naturalistas either for free or at a reduced cost which saved me money. You can also do exchanges where you exchange something that didn’t work so great for you for something you like or are yet to try it. My one caveat is to make sure you check expiration dates.
As you can see, it is quite possible to be a product junkie without becoming bankrupt. You can be a smart product junkie.
- Marry and settle down. If your purpose of being a product junkie was to look for a “holy grail product” soon as you feel you have found it, settle down and enjoy it. But only if you want to. Like I said, I am not here to tell you not to be a product junkie.