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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Mane ingredients
The natural look varies in cost, time
Published Tuesday, May 28, 2013 1:56 pm
by Amanda Raymond

Going natural may end up being more expensive than you think.

Natural hairstyles can vary in maintenance and expense depending on the wearer's preference.

Though many natural sisters make fewer trips to the salon, natural do’s can require a lot more time, maintenance and product, not to mention broken combs, sore arms and the frustration that comes with realizing your hair cannot do the things it did while relaxed.

Hair stylist Lauren Brown at Phallan’s Salon in Concord said maintaining her natural does not cost much at all. For those who want to spend as little as possible but still look decent, costs may land in the $20 range.

“My product that I used literally cost $9.99,” she said. “And I only bought three things, and I used those three things the whole entire time that I decided to wear my hair out.”

Those who may not have the time or the patience to deal with their real hair may choose to go with sew-ins, braids, twists or dreadlocks that costs more up-front but saves time when it comes to styling and money to buy products.

On the opposite side, going natural may mean putting aside $45 and over on a biweekly basis for shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and gels. Natural newbies may end up spending more over the first few months because of experimenting with brand-name products.

“Some people get the expensive stuff first just to be on the safe side,” Brown said, advising that women can probably find cheaper versions that work just as well, if not better.

Texture, length and certain styles can bring your bank account to its roots along with your hair. While doing a simple two-strand twist out may not cost much, flat-ironing at a salon may also flatten out your wallet. And the full ‘fro that many natural women love to flaunt requires adding hair that can cost around $175.

Don’t forget about the time it takes to be natural. Learning to take care of and style takes research, time and patience. Unless you choose to sport the teenie-weenie-afro where you can just wash and go, just the preparation to get the style you want can end up taking hours.

Brown said she spends more time on her natural-hair clients because of the extra steps involved.

“It is a little bit time-consuming because now you have to go through all the combing and the sectioning and making sure it’s moisturized,” she said. “And that’s where the price comes into play.”

Brown said training natural hair is an important skill to master if you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying new and/or expensive products.

Brown’s advice for natural-hair women is to use the same products and do the same pre-styles the night before so that the hair is used to being in certain styles. That will cut down on the costs of experimenting with new products and the time spent styling.

In the end, when it comes to the expense of going natural, Brown has come to realize that how you take care of your mane matters.

“It all depends on the person – whether that person wants to not be lazy and do their hair, or whether that person wants to solely depend on a beautician to come get their hair done,” Brown said.


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