Fashion Money Saving Tips

10 Ways to Save Money on Shampoo? Yes, please!

10 Ways to Save Money on Shampoo? Yes, please!
Written by Oana Schneider

What does your monthly budget look like? Whether you’re single or a mom who creates a monthly budget for the entire household, one of the items in your to-buy list is shampoo and conditioner. Those who have long hair or household with numerous family members might find themselves spending more than average on shampoo and other hair care-related expenses.

You don’t want to scrimp on buying this personal care essential because you’d want to care for your locks, but there is no need for you to spend a fortune on it, either. Here, we will take a look at the ways by which you can save money on shampoo.

Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Shampoo

If shampoo is a personal care essential that should always be included with your monthly budget, is there a way for you to cut back on the costs? Find out here as we take a look at the top ten techniques on how you can save money on shampoo:

1. Know what your budget is for buying shampoo every month

To give you an idea about how much people are spending on average when it comes to buying shampoo, here are a few quick statistics:

  1. According to market research firm Mintel, consumers spent more than $2.3 billion last 2011 for buying shampoo and $1.7 billion on conditioner.
  2. According to The Beauty Company, consumers spend their money on cosmetic products with the following percentages:
    Hair Care = 20%
    Facial Skin Care = 27%
    Fragrance = 10%
    Make-up = 20%
    Personal Care = 23%

Since almost everyone uses shampoo, this product makes up the vast majority of the cosmetics market. Two of the biggest shampoo manufacturers are Procter & Gamble who manufactures Pantene products, and L’Oreal.

So if you feel like you are spending too much on shampoo, conditioner and other hair care products, you are not alone – other people are doing it, too. The good news is that there are ways for you to cut back on the expense, the techniques of which we will enumerate next.

10 Ways to Save Money on Shampoo? Yes, please!

Check Out the Best Prices

2. Apply shampoo wisely so you are not wasting product in the first place

The number one reason why you are spending too much on shampoo is overuse of the product. What kind or brand of shampoo are you using? For most generic brands, the formula is concentrated enough so you won’t need a palm full of shampoo to wash short hair. For women with long hair, a nickel-sized drop of shampoo should be enough. Apply the shampoo from the top of your head and work the lather downwards so you won’t use any more product than you have to.

For women with short hair, an amount lesser than that should be fine while men with short hair can use just a few drops of shampoo to wash their hair.

3. Use a pump dispenser so you can maximize the product in each bottle

Since your goal is to not use more shampoo than what you actually have to use to keep your hair clean, what can you do to stop the actual wastage of product?  The bottles that shampoos and conditioners come in usually make you pour more product than you have to on your hands. You cannot put the excess product back so your instinct would be to simply dump the entire amount on your head.

To prevent this wastage from occurring, why not use a pump dispenser? You can also recycle hand lotion containers so that when you squeeze the pump, the right amount of shampoo will come out. Using a pump dispenser will also give you the entire contents of the original shampoo bottle, which you can use up to the last drop.

4. Don’t apply shampoo every day

There are people who wash their hair every day but there’s actually no need to do so. According to WebMd.com, hair is a fiber which does not need daily washing, otherwise it’s not going to look its best. If you have long, thick, curly or processed hair, washing it every other day is plenty enough. For average hair lengths, four or five times of washing a week should do.

Those who have thick or long hair will require less frequent shampooing because the oils from the scalp do not travel don the hair shaft as quickly, so it will not appear dirty or oily even if you fail to wash it for a couple of days. For those with thin, short or straight hair, every other day shampooing would do. Aside from maintaining the length of your hair, doing this will reduce your budget for shampoo.

5. Don’t buy shampoo from the drugstore

The drugstore is the usual suspect of where people buy shampoo, conditioner and other hair care products. But did you know that you can actually save up to 25% when buying from superstores like Walmart or Target?

A $1.25 bottle of shampoo at a drugstore will only cost $1 or less at Walmart or Target, especially during sales or when you’re buying in bulk. Except for the high-end brands, you will save a lot of money if you know where to look for great deals on shampoos – and that’s not in supermarkets.

6. Use coupons or loyalty cards when buying shampoo

Similar to how you would use coupons or loyalty cards to save money when buying items from a grocery store, you can also use the same perks when buying shampoo and other hair care products from stores. Coupons will give you several cents or a few dollars off when buying certain shampoo products, while loyalty cards allow you to earn points which you can use when buying other items from the store.

7. Buy shampoo in bulk

If you’re buying generic shampoo brands from the store, you can actually buy bottles in bulk to save money. Just make sure to compare the unit price of bulk packages versus the individual prices so that you would know which deal will really be lighter on your wallet.

8. Make your own shampoo

10 Ways to Save Money on Shampoo? Yes, please!

Prepare Your Own Shampoo

When you go online, there are lots of ‘recipes’ that you can follow on how to make your own shampoo. Those who are taking the natural or organic route would rather make their own shampoo rather than rely on chemical-based formulas. Here are a few examples:

Castile Shampoo

Ingredients:
¼ cup water
¼ cup liquid Castile soap
½ teaspoon oil (Jojoba, olive or grape seed)

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients in a plastic or glass bottle, and use as you would your regular shampoo.

Baking Soda Shampoo

Ingredients:
½ cup baking soda
3 cups water
½ cup apple cider or regular white vinegar for rinsing

Instructions:
Mix baking soda with water, and the formula will last for several washings. Shake and apply the mixture onto your scalp. After washing your hair, rinse using apple cider or white vinegar which can be substituted as natural shampoo.

9. Extend the use of your favorite shampoo

If you don’t like mixing your own shampoo formula using natural ingredients, you can simply extend the use of your favorite shampoo. How?Follow these instructions:

  • First, measure two ounces of your favorite hair shampoo brand on a container.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Add 5 ounces of water.
  • Mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into a foam pump dispenser.

The resulting mixture will be thinner than the original consistency of what’s in the shampoo bottle. But it will still work perfectly well on washing your hair. At the same time, you do not have to buy as much product and still get to use your favorite shampoo brand using this simple product extension technique.

10. Other ways to save money on shampoo

When you’re at a store deciding which shampoo brand to buy, remember that it does not pay to shell out top dollar on this hair care product. The brands which are under $5 will work just as well as the more expensive brands. The goal of shampoo is to rid your scalp and hair shafts of dirt and oil build-up, so they all pretty much work the same way. The more expensive brands simply rely on fragrance or other extra ingredients to put the price up.

When it comes to buying conditioner, however, you will get what you pay for. The more expensive brands have the right ingredients to maintain the health and softness of your hair, so it pays to invest in pricier conditioners. If you want, you can also consider buying products which combine the formulas of both shampoos and conditioners. There are plenty of two-in-one products in the market that you can buy.

All in all, keeping your hair clean does not have to cost a fortune. By going for supermarket brands, using coupons and knowing where to buy your shampoo products, you can save a lot of money while keeping your locks clean, soft and healthy.

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

16 Comments

  • I am a cosmetologist and I know the expense of shampoo and conditioner, its crazy expensive. I often purchase gallon size shampoo and conditioner of salon quality because I may spend $40 for it but I wont have to buy anymore for at least a year because you don’t have to use a large amount of the product. The saying is true a little goes a long way.

    • That’s very true. The pricier shampoos and conditioners are often better in the sense that they’re very potent. You won’t have to use nearly as much in order to take care of your hair, compared to cheaper options or even DIY options.

  • When the coupon books come out I am always clipping and clip any shampoo savings. I also do not shampoo everyday. I think i wash my hair 3-4 times a week now. That is helping because I use to all the time and there never was any need of it really.

    • I am the same way! I am always keeping my eyes open for shampoo coupons and hardly ever buy a bottle without a coupon. It is a small amount of money, but combined with other savings it can add up.

      I have not been brave enough to cut back on washing my hair every day, however. My hair is on the oily side, and it starts to bother me if I go even a day and a half without washing it.

  • I only shampoo 2-3 times a week. Luckily, my hair is not overly oily because it is very long so I need a larger amount than average. Another thing that I’ve found to be helpful not mentioned here is when your shampoo bottle is about 1/4 full, fill it to the half-way point with water and shake. Most shampoos are so concentrated that you can keep using it the way you normally would even once you’ve added extra water.

    • Lucky you, in a not-sarcastic manner. People that don’t have oily hair rarely realize that they don’t have to shampoo their hair every single time they shower. I’m the exact opposite, and I have oily hair for whatever reason, so I’m constantly using shampoo. I’ll trade you hair types in a heartbeat!

      • Yeah, I’m definitely lucky. My sister tells me the same thing. I can just tuck mine up in a bun to keep it dry for the other showers or if I think it has smells in it but it’s not due for a shampoo, I just rinse it well with plain water. Works fine for me as long as I don’t use products in it. My daughter is a teen and she used to be able to get away with only washing her hair about once a week; Now, in that teen phase, she really needs to do it every other day but she hopes she can go back to doing it less at some future point. She really hates washing her hair.

  • Thanks for all the great tips. I’m on a fixed income and any time I can save a few cents here and there, it really adds up. I actually switched to using a pump dispenser a few months ago and have seen a real difference. Like you said, when pouring it out, I would always get more than I needed, but there was no easy way to put it back, so I just used it. The pump dispenser allows me to get a more accurate amount and I’m not wasting nearly as much as before. I’ve also cut down on washing my hair, instead of every day or two, I’ve gone to just twice a week – and I really don’t see much difference in the way it looks.

    • Your hair could actually become more healthy by using shampoo every other day or less frequently than you currently do. It strips oils from your hair and scalp, but it sometimes does so far too much. The average consumer doesn’t realize this fact, and then they wonder why their hair is so unhealthy.

  • I try to get shampoo at discount stores like TJ Maxx. Doing so allows me to still get quality shampoo but at a cheaper price. Also, many places offer free samples, and those are worth several washes.

    I’ve never heard of extending shampoo use with baking soda. I wonder if it actually works. I might have to try it sometime in the near future!

    • I’m not a fan of the free samples you can get of shampoos and conditioners. My main issue is that the packaging they use is difficult to deal with unless it’s a small bottle. Plus, you sometimes won’t even get enough for a full wash of your hair, depending upon who sent the sample.

  • I just buy cheap shampoo myself. If it gets my hair clean then it has done it’s job. I do agree that it is worth paying for conditioner though – this stays on your hair long enough to have an effect whereas with shampoo, you are rinsing it off straight away.

  • Interesting tips! I prefer to wash my hair every other day. However, my skin tends to break out when I do that, so I feel like I need to wash it every day – not for my hair, but for my skin. I wonder if the clear water rinse that you mention, Feneth, would work for me… Something new to try before giving in to the daily shampoo I guess! Thanks for the great suggestions everyone. 🙂

  • I think that, as a whole, people use far too much shampoo. They will insist on washing their hair every day, sometimes twice a day, and it just isn’t something that is needed at all. In fact, it has been found that your hair can become more greasy a lot faster if you choose to do this, so avoiding washing too regularly is something that you should definitely do. I have switched to washing mine every two days instead of every day. It looks much, much better, and I have instantly halved my shampoo bill, so it’s definitely worth it, and has saved me a lot of money so far (and also money on hot water, because showering is much faster if I’m not washing my hair).

  • These tips are, as always, on point. People use shampoo every day, they seem to not realize this hurts their hair and their pockets, too. Wasting resources only because “I can” is a terrible idea. Over a year, the savings on shampoo could buy you so many other things. Think about it. It’s basic! Also it’s important to note: Coupons are one of the best ways to save on any shampoo. All brands give them out. They also give out free samples everywhere, samples you can use to shower for a week. It’s not shameful, it’s actually something I would and will do proudly every time.

  • I’ve started washing only every other day and it actually seems to be better for my hair. It’s less dried out and less frizzy and I haven’t needed to use as much product in it either, so even more savings!

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