Summer comes with a price: It always seems to wreak havoc on my hair. I am constantly swimming in chlorinated pools, kayaking, gardening and doing other outdoor activities, so by the time fall arrives my hair becomes dull and dry.. A local hairdresser recommended all kinds of shampoos and conditioners that cost over $20 a bottle. That’s too rich for my KCL blood. With trial and error, I found several  frugal methods to keep my hair looking great without spending money on high-end salon products:

  • Make your own shampoo. No matter how it's advertised, shampoo is nothing more than detergent mixed with a foaming agent and fragrance. You can make homemade single-use shampoo by combining 1/8 cup of liquid Castille soap with 1/8 cup of water and ½ teaspoon  olive oil. A large 32-ounce bottle of liquid Castille soap is available on for around $7.00. Add a few drops of scented essential oil for a terrific fragrance.
  • Use olive oil to moisturize. Dab the ends of your hair with olive oil and wait about 30 minutes;  wash those ends with shampoo. This helps restore moisture to the ends of your hair and stop them from breaking and splitting. Alternately, you can dab your hair ends with olive oil after a shower or bath and use a comb to work the oil through your hair. This helps stop hair ends from becoming frizzy.
  • Deep-condition the frugal way. Combine one egg with ¼ cup plain yogurt. Apply this mixture to your hair for 15 minutes under a plastic cap or shopping bag. Wash your hair with homemade shampoo and let it dry naturally.
  • Feed your hair some beer! Combine one cup of flat, room temperature beer with one teaspoon of jojoba oil to make a conditioner that leaves your hair full of body and bounce. Alternately, just keep the beer in the bottle and apply it to your hair as you shower.
  • Shampoo less often. When you strip your hair of its natural oils by using shampoo daily, your hair tries to restore its natural moisture by overproducing oil. This is why some people swear that they cannot go a single day without shampooing. However, by doing this you also increase the chance that it will break or split. Try shampooing every other day and conditioning on your regular schedule. You'll instantly find that your hair is less prone to drying out and breaking. In time, you'll only need to shampoo your hair once every 3-4 days.

These are just a few of the ways you can use inexpensive household ingredients to keep your hair looking great. Recently, a friend of mine asked me what I do to keep my long hair so healthy. I smiled at her and answered, "I feed it beer!"

This has been a guest post by Halina from Madison, WI
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How to Get Great Hair for Less