Natural hair products are becoming increasingly unaffordable for the average South African naturalista, this needs to change.
By: Jemima Lewin
More women are embracing their natural hair across the world thus transitioning to natural hair has become a movement of self-acceptance rather than just another fashion trend. However, as a result of the growing movement, the prices of natural hair products have dramatically increased in South Africa. Even for those lucky few with low maintenance hair care routines, finding the perfect products at affordable prices can be impossible. For some, the products just seem too expensive at the stores but there are ways around this.
Transitioning to and maintaining natural hair is a process. An expensive, tiring but rewarding process. If you have thick and unruly hair like mine, you will know that a bottle of Aunt Jackie’s leave- in conditioner has about four applications in them. Now, for some, that is crazy, but for most naturals, that is unfortunately the case. Our hair requires a lot of one product in order to flourish. What we need is great products that will not leave us broke. Stores like Clicks and Dischem that cater for naturalistas try their best by often having great promotions on various products but buying three products to get the cheapest one free is still not an option for some.
I have often heard comments made about natural hair that seem to imply it is for poor people who cannot afford trips to the salon and weaves. This cannot be further from the truth! I have about 7 products in my bathroom right now, from curl custard to a gel specifically to tame my ‘edges’. The cheapest product cost me R159 and the most expensive R350. Now, for me, that is not cheap. I am a student, I do not have millions in my bank account and while, yes, there are people out there who can easily afford their natural hair maintenance, the majority cannot.
For those who have access to the internet, and I know many South Africans unfortunately do not, you would have come across the heavenly Amazon. Amazon, stocks every natural hair product you can think of, from Deva Curl diffusers to the latest curl co-wash. What’s better is that when they have sales, they have sales, honey! You can find a product you buy at clicks for half the price on there. I will admit, it takes a while to be delivered so you might be tempted to pop into Clicks in the meantime. If you are not able to buy from Amazon but do have access to the internet, I definitely recommend watching some tutorials on homemade hair care products, you will be surprised what you can make with a few products from your kitchen!
I have attended quite a few natural hair events, such as the ‘Go with the Fro Tour’, hosted by the beautiful Lauren Lewis and inspirational Nia the Light. Meeting them and hearing about how cheap the natural hair products in Europe and the USA are, I was ready to emigrate. As we explained to them how difficult it was here to maintain our hair as a result of the exorbitant prices they urged us to write to companies such as Clicks and urge them to find ways to make their prices lower. They also gave us loads of free products which I will admit, is a big part of why I attend these events. That is another tip.
Right now, it does not seem as if the prices of natural hair products will decrease any time soon. However, there are other avenues one can take to maintain your crown without breaking your bank! Your natural hair deserves the best and the best can come cheap if you know where to look.