Prepping for Student Life: How to Get Gorgeous Curls on a Budget!

Curly hair care should NOT be costly! Especially when heading to university….

By going natural you’ve technically left the expensive days behind…..we all know that upgrading the weave and those relaxer touch ups are not piggy bank friendly!

However, it seems like by snapping up the popular products used by YouTubers and bloggers, we may be burning holes through our wallets. I love Shea Moisture and Design Essentials, however at £15-£20 for a tub of styling product, it’s something that I definitely can’t afford to replace regularly! (I pay for full time nursery fees, I’m broke 365 days out of the year….)


Budget Curls!

budget curls

Here are some awesome products that will leave your curls gloriously nourished and healthy for less than £20 a month….maximum!


Shampoo and Conditioner

budget curls 1

Palmers Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (£2.99 each from Superdrug and Sainsburys)

You’ve probably heard me rave about this combo since day 1! Palmers Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner contains a very nourishing and strengthening blend of coconut oil, soyabean oil, Vitamin B5 and Keratin. The shampoo is also sulfate free, yet cleanses well enough to remove all dirt and product buildup. Plus the scent is heavenly! For only £2.99 per bottle, this is definitely budget friendly! I find that one bottle of shampoo lasts me 2-3 months, and the conditioner probably 3-4 weeks.

To turn the conditioner into an awesome deep treatment, apply an oil such as olive or coconut oil (which I will list below) over the top when you are in the conditioning process. Cover your hair with either cling film or a warm towel and leave for 20-30 minutes. When you rinse out, your hair will feel like silk!

I’ve been using this duo for a year now and it easily beats the more expensive brands in terms of maintaining the hairs health. It’s also available in an olive oil and cocoa butter version, both of which contain the same awesome mix of natural oils and strengthening proteins.


Leave In Conditioner/Moisturiser

budget curls 2

Tresemme Naturals Expert Selection Nourish & Replenish Conditioner (£3.99 from Boots/Superdrug/Supermarkets)

I was skeptical about this product at first. But now I’m in love! This conditioner is an amazing all purpose product and I personally recommend using it as a leave in.

When you first apply this conditioner, you literally feel it melting into the hair strands. I feel an instant smoothing and softening sensation, yet the solution is still fairly lightweight and contains tons of slip for any detangling that you may want to do.

The ingredients are so juicy, at the top of the list are avocado oil and aloe vera leaf juice. A little goes a long way, using this product solely as a leave in will leave your hair soft yet very bouncy and hydrated. The bottle is also a very generous size! The 750ml of conditioner used as a leave in should last between 1-2 months.

This isn’t just great as a leave in! Use as a pre-poo treatment for those times when your hair needs the extra TLC! Dampen the hair lightly and generously apply the Tresemme Naturals conditioner to your curls. I personally like to finger detangle at this point too! Then apply either jamaican black castor oil or olive oil over the top (both will be listed below) and either braid or bun the hair. Leave for however long you like before rinsing out! I personally think it’s perfect to leave in for a full day of lectures/classes before washing away and rocking a fabulous wash & go on a night out!



budget curls 4

Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil (£4.99 from amazon/any afro shop), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (£2.99 from Aldi/any supermarket)

These will be your cheap little life savers! Oils are such a multipurpose product! Use them as moisturisers for skin care purposes too if the budget is very tight!

Depending on the porosity of your hair, either of these two oils will work perfectly as a sealant. Castor oil works best for high porosity/damaged hair and olive oil works better for low porosity/virgin hair. They not only work great as a sealant for over your leave in, but they also work well to intensify the the conditioning process, as mentioned above.

However, that’s not their only use! You can use either of these oils (or both together if you want) to massage your scalp before you shampoo. Both of these oils have been proven to have antibacterial properties and therefore maintain the health of your scalp. Scalp massages also help to stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles and therefore aid in hair growth.

The great thing about the olive oil is that it can be used for many aspects of your day to day life, particularly cooking! Expect this multipurpose oil to last 2-3 months if used solely for hair purposes. If used for cooking too, expect this 1 litre bottle to last 3-4 weeks.



budget curls 3

EcoStyler Morrocan Argan Oil Styling Gel (£2.99 from Amazon/any afro shop)

Now as much as we love our Kinky Curly Curling Custard, it’s just a bit too pricey for a student (or graduate…or parent) budget.

EcoStyler Gel is a lovely cheap alternative to help you with all of your styling needs….whether it’s getting beautiful curl definition on a wash & go, nailing an awesome twist out and or even just laying down edges.

The gel is alcohol free, which is great for keeping your hair hydrated. The gel also contains hydrolized wheat protein, glycerin and argan oil. All of these ingredients combined will help to keep your hair soft, supple and strong.

What I love most about this gel is how resilient it is, perfect for controlling frizz and blocking humidity. It’s also non sticky and pleasantly fragrant too! It’s also available in a large variety, including an olive oil, coconut oil and cream gel version.

This big old tub is 946 ml, so expect it to last approximately 3-4 months….at £2.99 it’s an amazing price for a great all year product!


How Much Does that Cost?

Working it out roughly, it should come up to approximately £15 per month using solely these products. These products contain all the ingredients needed to maintain a healthy head of hair and also keep your curls looking at their best! The other great thing about them is that they are all easily available in supermarkets and on the high street, which definitely takes a huge chunk of stress out of the occasion!

Enjoy your time at university and always look for smart ways to budget! Spend that student loan the right way……on Tesco Value bottles of vodka for drinking games!

These tips are also handy for anyone adhering to a budget…..we’re all there at the moment! I’m currently waiting for my birthday and the money just so I can replace my Design Essentials Honey Custard 😦


Check out my latest video on curly hairstyles for back to school, university and work!

Leave a comment below if you have any great hair tips for students 🙂



4 thoughts on “Prepping for Student Life: How to Get Gorgeous Curls on a Budget!

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