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How to keep your hair healthy without going flat broke

Taking care of the luscious locks that God gave ya is almost sure to eat into your beauty bank account — when you factor in the cost of a good shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, gel, mousse, hairspray and more. And if you happen to have a more “high-maintenance” hair type, like springy curls or course hair that may require some extra TLC, those beauty product costs are going to add up.

While we’re not so quick to mess with a good thing, i.e., your basic hair care routine, we are big believers in the workaround. Using a few helpful tips to care for and strengthen your hair will make your products last much longer. And when you’re not gooping on the products anymore, your true, healthy hair texture is bound to shine through.

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The average woman spends an hour and 53 minutes washing, drying and styling her hair each week, so it’s about time we got to the bottom of this hair care conundrum. What are we doing wrong, and how can we get our hair healthy without blowing all our cash? We’ve asked our favorite beauty experts to weigh in.

1. Swap out your shampoo for the day

You’ve probably seen this on Pinterest before, and it’s something that natural living and hair care experts swear by. To remedy that gunky buildup left by your daily shampoo and conditioner, use a baking soda and water paste as your shampoo and apple cider vinegar as your conditioner a few times a week, Lindsay Robin Christianson, conscious living coach, says. After one morning rinse, you’ll notice a big difference in both clarity and shine.

Stephanie Brown, a New York City colorist at Nunzio Saviano Salon, also recommends spraying down hair after a shower with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This quickie spray treatment can be used on the days you don’t shampoo with baking soda and ACV to moisturize, strip buildup and leave hair extra-shiny.

2. Massage in baking soda

If you don’t feel comfortable skipping your ‘poo and conditioner completely, you can still incorporate baking soda into your morning routine. To remove chlorine from the hair and prevent further damage, Gina Layland, spa manager at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, recommends sprinkling baking soda as a natural neutralizer into the hair and massaging well before washing as normal.

3. Use baking soda as dry shampoo

When it comes to promoting healthy hair, what can’t baking soda do? Brown suggests skipping the expensive dry shampoos altogether and swapping out baking soda or baby powder instead. “This will absorb extra oils and add volume and is great because you aren’t shampooing as often,” she says.

4. Skip the daily blow-dry

And while you’re at it, try to mix up how you style your hair whenever possible, Vincent Sideli, hairstylist at the high-end Yves Durif Salon located in the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, says. “High heat damages your hair easily. By blow-drying less often, your hair will be healthier. Let your hair air dry from time to time. This is an easy no-cost solution.”

5. Stay away from hairspray, gel and mousse

“Well, not exactly stay away — but you are probably overusing these products,” Sideli says. Instead of automatically piling on the product in the morning, Sideli suggests using half the usual amount of what you would put in your hair. “This will prevent product buildup, and at the same time, you’ll be making those products last twice as long, cutting down on costs,” he explains.

Next Up: Don’t rub your hair after the shower

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