Yesterday Essence published an article that suggested that “going natural” may liberate hair from a chemical-based process, but certainly did not ease up on $pending. As gal whose list of reasons for ditching relaxers includes economic ones, I joined the natural wagon under the absolute assumption that there would be some cost saving going on here. But then I looked over at my cabinet of stylers, my bathroom filled with conditioners, my $27 comb, my drawers brimming with chicks with afros on t-shirts in every style….and I wondered if there was something to this Essence article.
In one of my earliest posts I did a calculation that I had spent over $15,000 in my life on relaxers (and YES mom, a lot of that was YOU before I was forkin’ it over for my own bills so thank you!). Seems like there’s no time like the present to put a price tag on this natural ish! Here we go: My Natural In Numbers.
(I’m going to high-ball most estimates just to set an upper limit of how natural costs)
Months I’ve been natural: 24
Average natural hair product prices: $15/bottle
Average monthly product usage- 1 bottle each of: conditioner, leave-in, styler, moisturizer
Average total monthly expenditure on products: $60
Total monthly expenditure on products: $1440
My Big Chop: $150
Average price of a trim: $70
Number of Trims I’ve had: 3 (please note, I should have had 5)
Total spent on Trims: $210
Total I SHOULD have spent on trims: $350
Blow Dryer + Diffuser: $25
Hooded Dryer: $40
Clips/scrunchies/hair tools: $15
TOTAL NATURAL HAIR COST OVER 21 MONTHS: $2040
Now just for fun, lets see how much I would have paid getting relaxers over the past two years. Let’s see, that’s about 7 relaxers a year at about $150 bucks a pop. Thats $1050 a year or $2100 for two years!
THERE YOU HAVE IT! Going natural has saved me $60 smackaroos! Look at that! The proof is in the pudding! Natural hair is cheaper!!! GTFOH, ESSENCE!!! HAHAHAHHA.
Naw, I’m just playing, but seriously, the moral of the story is that going natural CAN be expensive, but it certainly does not have to be. If you look at that tally my biggest expenditure is products. Essence article also points the finger directly at a $38 jar of curl cream (been there done that and that stuff is NOT worth it.) Some people spend next to nothing on products and some people spend their small fortune running around trying everything (——–> me.) By being a smart consumer, you can really keep the product spending in check. But you can also try everything under the sun, which is also a fun thing to do! It’s just whatever your style is. (For a list of great $$$ saving product, check out NC.com’s stance on the cost of being curly).
But, it’s not just about money. As I said before, the economics were just a part of my decision to go natural. The other big factors were my overall health and lifestyle. In my two years this has meant no chemical burns, no running like a banshee from precipitation, swimming-as-much-as-possible, and the freedom to wake up and just be.
The bottom line. Going natural: 100% worth it.