College can either make or break your hair – literally. Early morning classes, late evening study sessions – all can wreak considerable havoc on teenage/young adult college hair. Black hair can be quite expensive too, especially if your hair is relaxed or cut into a style that requires regular upkeep. Frequent trips to the salon are often required for those who aren’t quite as enterprising when it comes to hair care and styling.
Then college rolls around and the reality is – well, most college people are . . . well broke! On top of this, add to the equation that many of us are often shipped off to college campuses that offer much in the way of pizza, Chinese, and coffee joints-but fail miserably in the competent salon arena. When college finances are tight, and there are no good salons in sight, hair sacrifices often have to be made. Or do they? This article offers some basic tips for those making the home to college hair transition or those preparing those off to college care packages.
The best thing to do is stock up before you head to school. Your basic hair care package will cost about $50.
Building a College Hair Care Package: The Basics
You’ll need 3 shampoos and conditioner products. 1 moisturizing shampoo, 1 moisturizing deep conditioner, and 1 protein reconstructing conditioner. If your budget permits, you can include a clarifying shampoo. Crème of Nature, Neutragena Triple Moisture, Pantene, Garnier, Dove and Mane N Tail are the best bargain basement brands in my experience, but there are plenty more out there and new ones being added to the shelves each day. Crème of Nature shampoo and conditioner work well for moisturizing and deep conditioning on a budget. Garnier and Mane N Tail’s conditioners work well for light protein reconstructing on a budget. If the $3-5 budget shampoos and conditioners listed above are still out of your own budget, suave shampoos and conditioners are your friend! These can be picked up for $1-2 in most places and can keep you going until you are able to get your regular brands.
Water-based moisturizers can be purchased for $5-8. Cantu, Profectiv, and Organic Root Stimulator make great water-based moisturizers that can be purchased from major retailers like Wal-Mart, WalGreens, CVS, or Target. One or two of these should go into any college hair care package.
Kicking your heat habit and getting rid of the flat iron will do wonders for your college hair regimen as well. It’s way too easy to pick up the hot tools each morning and go on about your way. There are safer ways to use heat so that it works for you, not against you.
Invest in a hooded dryer. A hooded dryer is a financial investment and a time investment as well. One thing college will teach you is the value of thinking long term. You can purchase a nice table top, or portable soft bonnet dryer for $20-30-and it is well worth the investment for your hair health and money. $20-30 is less than one trip to the salon. This thing will probably last you your entire stay in college-and amortizing the costs, you come out to roughly $5-6 per year! If you commit to deep conditioning at least once weekly-(Sunday nights were my night) then your hair will thank you for it and THRIVE! You’ll be swinging hair down your back by graduation if you stick to it. Sunday nights give you a good head start on each week. Try it for a semester- you’ll see!