Does Going Natural to Save Money Ultimately Damage Your Hair?

Joining the Natural Hair Movement to Save Money Leads to Damaged Hair?I recently came across an article on BGLH regarding a veteran natural stylist’s concerns with the natural hair movement’s effect on hair salons.  The article has since been removed, however, I found what appeared to be the original article on  Reading it again, I understood some of the stylist’s concerns, but disagreed with some of the other commentary surrounding her input.  

One statement the stylist made really stood out to me that left me with a couple of questions.  Are people joining the natural hair movement to save money? Will this effort to save money damage their hair in the long run?  

The stylist in the Atlanta Black Star’s article entitled, “Did Natural Hair Kill the Black Hair Salon?” is celebrity stylist and natural hair guru, Diane Da Costa.  According to Da Costa the recent natural hair movement has directly affected her salon’s sales. She states, in the article, “My sales are nowhere near what they should be based on who I am and the expertise I have.”

Da Costa believes money is the issue. “The bottom line is they want to save money.”  Her concern is that in attempting to save money, clients will pay the price for it in the long run.  “When you do low-price point, the products are inferior. You’re going to get what you pay for and over time, your hair is going to get damaged,” Da Costa says.  Unfortunately, this is where I have to respectfully disagree.  

The generalization that low price points directly correlate to inferior products or lead to damaged hair is unfortunate misinformation.  I believe the natural hair community can name off many natural bloggers and vloggers who use inexpensive or ‘cheap’ products and have gorgeous healthy hair.  Although there are some real cruddy, ‘I-have-no-idea-why-anyone-would-create-this’ products out there, many products like V05, Aussie, Herbal Essences, even Shea Moisture have proven quite helpful and beneficial for many naturals.  Truth be told, my hair didn’t benefit any greater from a $30 jar of conditioner vs. a $3 bottle of cheapie conditioner.  Oh no sis, you read correctly, I said $30. Don’t get it twisted. Natural hair care doesn’t have to be expensive.

Joining the Natural Hair Movement to Save Money Leads to Damaged Hair?

I also believe that a contributing factor is sky high salon prices for basic services.  My last professional relaxer (not the texturizer) back in 2007 cost me 80 smackers….for shoulder length hair.  That alone led me to proceed to the nearest Walgreens and grab the $5 ‘box perm’, much to the chagrin of some of my stylist friends.  And you know what?  I cared for my hair just fine and it grew to a happy, healthy mid-back length.  The fact that local salons charge upwards of $40 for a wash/condition/set certainly can set a strain on many pocketbooks.  Contrary to popular belief, not everybody wants to break the bank for hair care.  

Another reason shops tend to lose with naturals (and some relaxed ladies too) is the whole overbooking process.  Forgive me for coming across as anal, but I have quite a bit of other things I need to accomplish in a day.  Sitting in a salon for hours before you even get to my head simply is not an option for me anymore.  Sure I can bring a book, or a magazine, or browse the web from my phone, but I can also do that…at home.  If my appointment is at 8 am, I’m quite peeved if you don’t get to my head until noon.  Maybe that’s just me.

I thank God for YouTubers and bloggers who decided to say, “Hey, I’m doing it myself and my hair is healthy.  You can do it too!  Let me share with you everything I’ve learned about my hair so far.  It may help you as well.”  I’m thankful for that.  Because if my natural hair care was confined to the salons, we’d be eating Ramen Noodles every night….or I’d have to shave my head…NOT.  I believe we ladies (and gents) should know by now that there is a ton of misinformation on the web regarding hair care.  We know we need to do our due diligence in researching everything, right?  I certainly hope so…for your scalp’s sake! Lol.

Clearly taking pictures of patron’s tips and posting them on social media doesn’t quite help convince naturals to come back to salons either, eh? Meh, what do I know?  I’m just a natural hair blogger, saving money and growing happy, healthy hair! *HUGE Smile*

Are a majority of people going natural to save money?  Do you risk damaging your hair in the long run by avoiding salons for your natural hair care?


4 thoughts on “Does Going Natural to Save Money Ultimately Damage Your Hair?

  1. LaCharmine (L.A.) Jefferson

    I didn’t go natural to save my money, however I did start doing my hair before embracing my textured hair because I got tired of my stylist’s hit or miss services for the consistent price I paid. Meaning, sometimes my hair turned out great, sometimes not. I figured I could keep my money and do my own hair. I could do hit or miss myself. So I was already caring for my own hair when I embraced my kinky. I understand that our choice to care for our own hair hurts this industry. Such things happen in business. Like other industries effected by changes they don’t have control over, salon owners need to figure it out, not try to make naturals feels guilty.

  2. Melanie

    I don’t mind going to the salon but I didn’t go natural to save money either. Even though my hair was never damaged by a relaxer, I knew that I would eventually end up coloring my hair and I didn’t want to have relaxer and color in my hair so I chose color over the relaxer. For these past 10 months I’ve been wearing my hair mostly in wash and go’s and I don’t need to go to a salon for that so I ended up saving money by default. Now that I’ve chosen to keep my hair straight and possibly color it again, I will go to a stylist that I trust. I just got my hair straightened for the first time since I BC’d. I was so excited prior to going but I came out looking like Justin Beiber in his ‘baby, baby, baby, ohhh” days lol I was heated! Women like me do not play about our hair. For me, a stylist has one time to mess up my hair and it’s a wrap. I paid $90 (deep condition, silk press, trim, plus a $5 tip) and I feel like I wasted my time and my money. I just hope that I can find a reputable and experienced stylist who will know how to care for my hair without charging me an arm and a leg. I would love to do my own hair but it’s nice to get pampered from time to time.

  3. Noura

    Interesting article! I also did not go natural to save money. I did it because when it comes to my hair, im LAZY!! ;P I dont take the time to maintain permed hair. Im like a 9 yearold boy. But as I am in my moneyless student years. It did turn up to be quite a money saver. Using henna (2$ each use), a banana (0.40$), olive oil, honey, vinegar, baking soda (0.99$ a box) and eggs (0.40$ each) have kept me within budget. I still buy shampoo and conditionner but they never cost me more than 16$ a bottle, which is ok in my book. I still go to the hair dresser to trimm my ends but where I live in Quebec, no black salon know how to do it properly (and I work in one!). A good friend of mine is a hair dresser from Mexico and she does it for me perfectly. These salons are only loosing us because they dont learn to work our type of hair and they dont encourage it. I cant ask them about coloring, or cuts, or hair styles, or anything. Im learning everything on blogs and use it for my job, but none of my coworker would encourage natural hair on anyone. My friend is always complimenting my healthy hair and gives me suggestions on hair styles instead of asking me to straighten my hair for one hour. She wont loose me as a client 😉

  4. Cheryl

    Salons lost my business because I always seem to get a stylist that did what they wanted rather than what I asked for and then to add insult to injury I get hit with too high bill for services. I wanted my hair to grow long, and that seemed to message the stylist to cut off 6″ when I said 1″. So when I met my then new boyfriend and went on a rant about how I needed a haircut but that I hated going to the salon. Well he offered to cut my hair for me and I said go for it. I figured he couldn’t do any worse than the salon and I wouldn’t have to pay for it. So this brave lady took a seat on a stool in his kitchen and he cut my hair, just an inch trim, just as I requested. He did a great job, and I told him he was hired, he was my new stylist. I use good quality products I buy at Sally’s except henna, they don’t sell. So I order light mountain henna online and have my guy apply it for me. And yes it saves me a lot of money having my guy cut and color my hair for me. Always a great job and never a bad haircut. He trims it for me every other month to remove the splits and keep my ends neatly groomed. So if the salons are not making the money they think they should, they aren’t getting any sympathy from me.


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