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Curly Hair Product Swap
At some point on your wavy hair journey, it’s likely that you’ll end up with some products you purchased, that you don’t want to finish off. Figuring out your wavy hair means finding the products that work well for you. That can take some trial and error.
At different times, I’ve had wavy hair products that were too heavy for my hair, too light for my hair, or that just didn’t seem to give me the results I wanted. It’s a bummer to spend money on hair products that you don’t want to use up. If you like to try a lot of products, it can add up to a lot of money, too!
A great way to recoup some of the cost is to use a Curly Hair Product Swap.
Curly Girl Product Swaps
There are several places online where you can exchange curly hair products with others. Most of these use the percentage of product left in the container to help determine the price. For example, if a retail value of a product is $20 and about 80% is left, the remaining product has a value of about $16. Meaning you’d look to trade someone for about $16 worth of other products.
Reddit’s Hair Care Exchange forum. This is for any/all hair care products.
Curl Talk’s Swap Boards. This is for textured hair products.
Curly Girls – Product Swap (US) is a Facebook group for swapping curly girl approved products only.
Curly Girl method product swap Facebook group. Despite the name, this group allows any products for wavy/curly/coily hair to be swapped. They just ask that you identify any non-CGM approved products.
CURLS trade up program. The CURLS brand allows people to send in one styling product that didn’t work for them, and they’ll mail you a free CURLS blueberry bliss reparative product in return!
Ziliz app for apple devices is hoping to become a way to swap products for naturally textured hair.
Selling used curly hair products
If you aren’t able to find a curly hair product swap, or would just rather sell, there are a few places for that as well. The subreddit and Facebook groups above you to sell curly hair products if you don’t wish to exchange curly hair products. Alternatively, you could use reselling apps to try to sell your haircare destash items. Options include:
eBay. Popular brands like Devacurl are sometimes able to sell on eBay.
Poshmark. Poshmark is primarily known as a website for selling used name brand clothing. They also have a Beauty & Wellness category and a ‘hair’ subcategory. Use the code EMMYLU91 in the referral area when signing up for Poshmark and you’ll get $10 off your first order!
Mercari is another resale platform that allows haircare products to be sold. Sign up through my Mercari Link and you’ll save up to $30!
Facebook marketplace or Facebook buy/sell/trade groups for local areas usually will allow haircare products to be listed for sale.
At a yard sale. If you have a yard sale or garage sale, include your leftover haircare products. You probably won’t be able to charge as much as you would online, but they might sell. I love finding wavy hair products at yard sales.
Donating curly hair products
In addition to curly hair product swaps and selling curly hair products, another option is to pass your unused products onto someone else who could use them. Maybe you have a friend who has a slightly different hair type who may get better results from them. Or you could donate them to places like:
- Goodwill or other second-hand stores.
- A local women’s shelter or other charity or non-profit.
- Project Beauty Share accepts new or lightly used haircare products.
- List them on the subreddit or Facebook groups for just the price of shipping.
- Ask on your social media if anyone you know would like your leftover products.
Ways To Reduce Your Curly Hair Product Waste
Tired of buying products that you don’t end up using? Here are some ways to cut back on how often that happens to you.
Buy sample size products when trialing items when possible. That way, you don’t have a 90% full large container if you realize it doesn’t work for you. Some stores have trial or travel sections. Some brands, such as Jessicurl allow you to request free samples through the mail. Others may sell starter kits with travel sized products, so you don’t have to commit to buying full size.
Purchase individual products instead of entire lines. I often see people reselling an entire line. They may have heard that a brand make a great gel, so they buy the shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, gel and enhancer….and then are disappointed with the other products in the line. Just because one product from a brand works well for you, doesn’t necessarily mean the whole line will be great. Purchasing just the specific products you think will work best for you can cut back on waste.
Purchase products based on your hair properties, not curl pattern. When you’re new, it may take time to learn things like whether your waves like protein, or whether shea moisture is too heavy for your hair. However, as you learn more about your hair, double-check that you’re purchasing products designed for your hair type. If “everyone” in the curly hair world online is talking about how great a certain product is, it can be tempting to just purchase it. However, it’s important to ask if it’s for your hair type or not. Ask yourself, is it for high or low porosity? Is this product for hair that needs a lot of protein or not? Is it ‘heavy’ or ‘light’? Does it have the level of hold that you need? These are usually more important factors than your wave or curl type.
Sell or trade your unwanted curly hair products to avoid throwing them away, and to save money on other products you want to try.
Affordable ways to try curly hair products
If you’re looking to swap for the sake of trying new products without paying full price, it can be a nice way to achieve that goal. To try a lot of products cheaply, you’d want to look to swap products that are mostly used. If you can find people selling products with just 25% less, you’d save a lot over buying a full container.
Other ways to try curly hair products on a budget:
Watch forums for people who are shipping their old products for just the cost of shipping. This isn’t extremely common, but it does happen.
Wait for sales on the items you want to try. If you google the brand name you’d like to try + “sale”, you can find information about what sales run for the brand, and what retailers offer the deal. For example, if you search ‘not your mothers sale’ you’ll find that ulta occasionally does buy one, get one 50% off deals on Not Your Mother’s products. So does CVS and others. Shea Mositure products go on sale buy one, get one 50% off at my local Meijer store. It just takes some research to find out what sales happen for different brands and products…and then you have to wait for the deal to come around again.
For online-only brands, sales may be less frequent, but you can try to find coupon codes instead.
Watch wavy or curly hair blogs, Instagram accounts or YouTube channels for curly hair brand giveaways.
In November, the Curly Hair subreddit usually does a thread sharing black Friday or Cyber Monday deals for curly hair products.
Try drugstore brands! If you’re used to watching YouTube or Instagram accounts for the curly girl method, it can seem like all the CGM approved products are really expensive. There are a lot of high-end curly hair brands. It can seem like “everyone” is using DevaCurl or Innersense or other products that sell for $20+ per bottle. However, there are also plenty of drugstore options. You will likely have to do some trial and error to find what works for you, but that would be true of the higher end brands as well. Check out my wavy hair product recommendations page. I primarily use drugstore brands myself so that’s most of what I recommend.
Sign up for Rakuten. It’s an app and a browser extension that you can use to find promo/coupon codes for online retailers. Many retailers work with Rakuten and will let you earn a percentage back. For example. Ulta and SallyBeauty usually offer 6% cashback if you use Rakuten when shopping on their websites. It may not be much, but you might as well get a little of your money back, right? Plus, if you’re new to the app, you can sign up with my link and if you make a $20 purchase in your first 90 days, they’ll give you $20 back, basically making your first $20 purchase free in the longrun! I will get $20 as well, just to be transparent. I have used this app for years though, which is why I am comfortable recommending it to you guys.