By Christi­na of The Mane Objec­tive

Whether your hair is relaxed, nat­u­ral, tex-laxed, tran­si­tion­ing, heat styled, braid­ed, weaved or wigged, we as wom­en face an unde­ni­able fact — hair care and prod­ucts can be expen­sive. Some folks even have to write their hair into their bud­gets as its own line item, right behind rent, gas, car note and insur­ance. Even if you aren’t par­tic­u­lar­ly a pro­duct junkie, there are still those sta­ple prod­ucts that your hair has to have in order to func­tion. May­be it’s a par­tic­u­lar oil or a par­tic­u­lar sup­ple­ment.

Some­times, we get a lit­tle tun­nel-visioned in pur­chas­ing our sta­ple prod­ucts. I used to pur­chase some of my sup­ple­ments only from nutri­tion stores because well, that seemed to be the log­i­cal place to find them. Truth be told, many sta­ple prod­ucts, sup­ple­ments, and hair­care items can be found in some pret­ty uncon­ven­tion­al places, and save you some seri­ous cash. Check out some of my sta­ples that I’ve been able to find at a steal:

Coconut Oil

Who doesn’t love this stuff? Ok, I know there are some folks out there that aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly a fan of this edi­ble oil — but for the most part, this is a sta­ple in plen­ty of people’s mix-ins, pre-poos, leave-ins and styling reg­i­mens. I pur­chased my first jar of vir­gin unre­fined Coconut Oil from Whole Foods for $7.99 (their own 365 brand). I con­tin­ued to pur­chase them there, and even got excit­ed when it would go on sale for $6.99. I was nev­er par­tic­u­lar­ly excit­ed about going to Whole Foods — the crowds were pre­ten­tious, every­thing seemed over­priced, and I damn sure couldn’t pro­nounce or cat­e­go­rize on the Food Plate (for­mer­ly pyra­mid) half of the stuff they sold there. The hot food bar was the truth, but hot meals and Coconut Oil wasn’t enough to keep me com­ing back.

To my great joy, Trader Joe’s began car­ry­ing Coconut Oil in recent months. Even bet­ter, I real­ized it was the vir­gin, unre­fined kind. Bet­ter than that, their jar is 16oz, com­pared to Whole Food’s 14 oz. But the great­est news of all? Trader Joe’s car­ries the oil for $5.99 all day, every day. Side­bar: Nev­er, ever, ever, under any cir­cum­stances pur­chase your Coconut Oil from a vitamin/health sup­ple­ment store, or even from the health sec­tion of a gro­cery store. They charge near­ly twice (some­times three times!) as much for the same pro­duct that’s just a few aisles over (on the cook­ing aisle).

Aloe Vera Juice

By now you’ve prob­a­bly fig­ured out that I’m a Trader Joe’s gal at heart. I mean real­ly, who can deny the super friend­ly (I’ve NEVER had a bad cus­tomer ser­vice expe­ri­ence there…and I go at least twice a week) crew mem­bers, free food sam­ples and cof­fee? Oh, and if you want to know how some­thing tastes before you buy it… But I digress. In addi­tion to the mil­lion and a half oth­er won­der­ful rea­sons to go to Trader Joe’s, there is the absolute hands down best val­ue I’ve ever seen on Aloe Vera Juice. Get ready for this. They sell A GALLON (that’s 128oz, folks) sized bot­tle of Aloe Botan­i­cals Pure Aloe Vera Juice for $7.99. For­give me for say­ing this, but that ish cray! I became so salty when I stum­bled upon this, because I’m stuck work­ing through a 32oz Lily of the Desert bot­tle that I paid $9 for at Vit­a­m­in Shoppe.

MSM

Whether you’re try­ing to get some inter­nal inflam­ma­tion in check, show your joints some love, or test the the­o­ry that MSM extends the growth phase of the hair cycle, pay­ing for the pills can def­i­nite­ly start to add up. I first began pur­chas­ing my 1,000mg MSM cap­sules from Vit­a­m­in Shoppe (their own brand), to the tune of $10 for a 100 cap­sule bot­tle. Since I take two a day, a bot­tle from Vit­a­m­in Shoppe would last me rough­ly a mon­th and a half. On one of my ran­dom excur­sions to Trader Joe’s, I found myself brows­ing through their sup­ple­ments. Well whad­da ya know? They sell 120 cap­sules of 1,000mg MSM for $4.99. More pill for half the price? Yes, I’ll take that.

Biotin

For so long, I would pur­chase my biot­in (1,000mcg, 90–100 count bot­tle) from Vit­a­m­in Shoppe and some­times Whole Foods. Boy, did my pock­ets pay for that. I typ­i­cal­ly pur­chased the Coun­try Life brand, which ran me $8 to $10 depend­ing upon where I went. But hey, did you know that Tar­get sells biot­in? No lie. Next time you’re scoop­ing up some Shea Mois­ture, mosey on over to the vit­a­m­in and sup­ple­ment aisle. They car­ry biot­in in their own Up & Up brand — 1,000mcg, 100 tablets for $2.49. And just in case you were won­der­ing, it works just as good as the stuff I paid triple the price for.

Flax Seeds

You can mix them in your oat­meal, or make a pret­ty nifty gel (a’la Nap­tural85). Either way you work the­se lit­tle brown won­ders, they don’t have to cost a for­tune. Most pre-pack­aged flax seeds cost upwards of $5 for less than a pound. Although a few seeds go a long way (and you can re-use them to make more gel), what’s the harm in sav­ing a few bucks? If you’re lucky enough to have a Sprouts Farmer’s Mar­ket near­by, check out their bulk bins.They car­ry flax seeds for $1.19/lb (a pound will last you forever), and for $0.89 or $0.99/lb when on sale. Alter­na­tive­ly, if you have a Win­Co Foods in your area, they car­ry flax seeds for around $0.80/lb. Either way, you can’t lose! Say good­bye to pre-pack­aged and health sup­ple­ment store containers…bulk is where it’s at!

Satin Pillowcase

I am going to pref­ace this by say­ing, I hate Wal­Mart. I absolute­ly detest the store. I’m sure in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try, Wal­Mart is what’s hot in the streets — but for me, in LA? A trip to Wal­Mart is a true test of my spir­i­tu­al growth. Even with all that being said, there is one thing I can­not deny: Wal­Mart is the truth when it comes to sat­in pil­low­cas­es. Before pur­chas­ing my beloved fuch­sia pil­low­case, I scoped out the prices at Sally’s — $11. Not bad, but I felt deep down inside that I could do bet­ter. Lo and behold, I found one of my best invest­ments in the hair sec­tion of the Wal­Mart on Cren­shaw and King (LA folks know which one I’m talk­ing about!). Not only was it the same brand, but it was in a super cute col­or and only cost me $7 and some change. Not say­ing I’d become a regular…but I can’t deny that Wal­Mart one-upped Tar­get and Sally’s on this one.

What are some sta­ples that you find at a steal of a price? Share!

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and liv­ing in Los Ange­les, Christi­na is BGLH’s res­i­dent tran­si­tion­ing expert and pro­duct junkie. In addi­tion to lov­ing all things hair, she is a fit­ness novice and advo­cate of wear­ing san­dals year-round. For more infor­ma­tion on tran­si­tion­ing, nat­u­ral hair, and her own hair jour­ney, vis­it maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pic­tures fol­low Christi­na on Insta­gram @maneobjective.

Leave a Reply

110 Comments on "The Cheapest Place to Buy Coconut Oil and 5 Other Natural Hair Essentials"

Notify of
avatar
Anthony Morrocco

The­se are some great tips! Good job spread­ing the word about healthy ingre­di­ents for nat­u­ral hair!

Mimi
I am actu­al­ly shocked none of you ladies has men­tioned the pow­er of the inter­net for bar­gain prices. For one, sat­in pil­low cas­es can be found in the boat load on ebay! I got 3 sat­in pil­low cas­es with a zip­per enclo­sure (I must be a wild sleep­er because my pil­low case always seems to slide off in the mid­dle of the night) for $7.99. They are all lime green, but hey I am not afraid of col­or for my pil­low. Essen­tial oils can be bought online through Ama­zon, the com­pa­ny I have most of my oils from is NOW… Read more »
Umwiza

I LOVE TJ’s Aloe Vera Juice. My mom has kept it in her fridge for at least 10 years, and I love rins­ing after co-wash­es (using TJ’s tea tree tin­gle or anoth­er TJ’s con­di­tion­er) with it. TJ’s is the best.

Jamie

If you can get on any mil­i­tary base and shop at the com­mis­sary … They have organ­ic coconut oil .. The same brand at whole foods.. For no more than 5$!

Kesha

Thank you for men­tion­ing the com­mis­sary. I am in the mil­i­tary and did not think to look in the com­mis­sary for nat­u­ral prod­ucts! The one of Ft Huachu­ca, AZ just start­ed a rewards pro­gram too! So anoth­er pluss Don’t know if it’s going on oth­er posts as well.

stacey

GREAT POST!!

I can admit, I have been a vic­tim of the aloe vera juice rip off! LOL paid 8.99 for 20oz, and then saw that humon­gous jug at TJ’s for 7.99…Learned my lesson

Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

Trader Joe’s has always car­ried coconut oil in my area….NY
As for the oth­er real­ly low prices I’m always leary about the poten­cy when the price is so low.

For exam­ple, if you read the ingre­di­ents on some of the labels where the prod­ucts are cheap­er you will be shocked to find a ton of fillers.

REPLY

Beth

Why or why aren’t there any Trader Joes in South Flori­da…

Afrinaturality

To my Lon­don-based nat­u­ral­is­tas, if you want shea but­ter, just go into any African food shop in Peck­ham, Brix­ton or Dal­ston and ask them. They usu­al­ly sell them £1 a bag. Good stuff straight from the Moth­er­land and mon­ey direct­ly into the hands of our own com­mu­ni­ty.

Jo Somebody

It’s organ­ic, inner fil­let Aloe I’m search­ing for!

Randi415

Wow, the­se are some great deals!! I wish I’d known about that AVJ before buy­ing two 32 ounce bot­tles of Lily of the Desert I won­der if they have the gel too. I buy flax seeds at my local dol­lar tree.

Natalie
It was inter­est­ing read­ing this arti­cle as things are way more expen­sive in the UK and you can’t get a gal­lon of ACV. I tend to buy my organ­ic coconut oil online in bulk as it works out to be cheap­er. I use coconut oil for all my cook­ing as well as in my skin prod­ucts and as a pre­poo 10kg is £110. I bought mine in Jan­u­ary and I’m not even half way through so I think it is good val­ue. I find that with most things in the UK if you want it cheap buy in bulk online.… Read more »
Rosie

Love this arti­cle! hilar­i­ous and infor­ma­tive.

stacey

Yes! That bit about Wal­mart cracked me up!

Cee Mac

This is so awe­some! Thank you!

Aliza Pezer@natural hair products

Well done for all your hard work in pro­vid­ing this high qual­i­ty blog.Thanks for the infor­ma­tion.

Bre

Do you melt/heat up coconut oil? mine is so solid which makes it real­ly hard to apply.

z

You can actu­al­ly just run the jar under some warm to hot water for a cou­ple of min­utes. It melts real­ly quick­ly, and just pour some into anoth­er con­tain­er so that you can mix with oth­er prod­ucts. I do this all the time hope this helps.

Penelope

I wish there was a Cana­di­an list! I can’t find organ­ic coconut oil for cheap­er than $25 :( I will check out the cook­ing aisles–thanks so much for that tip.
Every­thing in Canada is at least twice as expen­sive -__- less demand I guess

Whyohwhy

Have you tried Ama­zon?

Leslie

I usu­al­ly buy Trader Joe Spa organ­ic con­di­tion­er for 2.99. I like to co- wash with it.

Diandra

Im a seri­ous bar­gain shop­per and I found that ROSS Stores has 2 pack Sat­in pil­low­cas­es for $2.99. My eyes grew wide at the site. Lol

Keedy

REALLY?!?!?!?!?! I’m def­i­nite­ly going to have to pay ROSS a vis­it!

A+

It’s true. I’ve found so many sat­in pil­low­cas­es at local Ross stores in North­ern VA I’ve given them away as Christ­mas gifts. 1 or 2 packs for no more than $4 all day.

NappyHeadChronicles

great post!

i vis­it­ed nyc (i live in canada) this sum­mer and almost lost my mind in trader joes!!! aside from the cheap oils, the snacks are pret­ty great too. unfor­tu­nate­ly, the clos­est amer­i­can cities to me don’t have trader joes, so i’ll have to nurse the super-cheap vir­gin coconut oil i bought there for a while. there is a whole foods, but i’m not sure that things are nec­es­sar­i­ly cheap there.

but thanks for the tips. next time i’m in the usa, i’ll know what stores to hit!

beth

This is 2 weeks late! I bought my coconut oil from whole foods for 12.99 and I already used it. I shouldn’t have read this cause now I’m mad. lol

LM

i need to move to a larg­er city cause our wal­mart doesn’t have any­thing but evoo and refined coconut oil. we don’t have a trader joe’s, whole foods, or a health food sec­tion in our kroger lol..sad sad case. how­ev­er, evoo, shea but­ter, and shea mois­ture work great on my hair so I can’t com­plain too much

Joan B. in S. C.

Check the bak­ing goods aisle in Kroger for the coconut oil.

Tyler

Wal­mart car­ries every­thing on this list for cheap except the flax seeds. I don’t think they have that.

Rhonda

Coconut oil (for eat­ing and hair), tropicaltraditions.com is a good place.

For oth­er oil and but­ters and herbs mountainroseherbs.com is a good place, too.

KurlyGirl85

Tar­get sells 100% poly­ester pil­low pro­tec­tors for $2.99. They only come in white, but they have a satiny smooth fin­ish and are cheap­er than any sat­in pil­low­cas­es I’ve seen.

MsAllen2U

I LUUUUUV Trader Joes!! I pur­chased my first jar of Coconut OIl there. There food is also on the cheap­er side com­pared to the amount of food you get from the reg­u­lar gro­cery store. For $60 bucks I get a BOAT load of food. 

Will check­ing out Wal­mart for the sat­in pil­low cas­es. So Biot­in is good for hair growth??

Pat

Thanks for tips on where to get Aloe juice, I’ll look at my local Wal-Mart.

Yvette

Not the Wal­Mart at the Cren­shaw Mall with the esca­la­tors?! That is tru­ly a test of faith lOl, but good stuff in there too.

JENNID
You can get coconut oil at kroger as well. Check the bak­ing aisle as well as the “organ­ic” health foods sec­tion where they sell all the pro­tein bars and vit­a­mins. Also coconut oil doesn’t real­ly have to organ­ic and extra virgin.Unless you are tak­ing in huge amounts inter­nal­ly it doesn’t real­ly mat­ter that much. The el cheapo one in the bak­ing aisle works just as good if you’re on a bud­get. Wal­greens sells sam­ll jars of coconut oil in the skin care aisle that is 100% pure. Its small size is per­fect for some­one just want­i­ng to exper­i­ment before com­mit­ing… Read more »
MzKane

$2.99 that’s the per­fect price!

Elle

I find that amazon.com has inex­pen­sive nat­u­ral hair prod­ucts. I recent­ly bought my jamaican black cas­tor oil from them. I also like going to Tar­get and check­ing out the dis­count­ed hair prod­ucts!

Lacquerholic

If only we could find a cheap place to get Essen­tial oils. I’m still hurt­ing from the first time I got EOs at Whole­foods.

kat

Vita­cost!

lacquerholic

Thanks!!!

Randi

I buy my flaxseeds from my DOLLAR TREE dol­lar store. 2lbs for $1!!!!

I love trader joes btw!

Princess

Thanks for the info, didn’t know that. I’m always in Dol­lar Tree. Going to look for it the next time I am there.

mangomadness

Ohh snap! I remem­ber see­ing flax seeds in a Dol­lar Tree in NJ. I should have bought them. Haha

kwl0711

Nice : -)…There’s one around the cor­ner from me. Im in Detroit.

Brandi Nicholes

Great infor­ma­tion! I’m not sure how wide spread Mei­jer is, but they have the same coconut oil I get from The Vit­a­m­in Shoppe here in Indi­ana for $5.99.

Lina

I buy aloe vera juice at my local Wal­greens. I think its about $10.

I buy coconut oil from my eth­nic gro­cer and at “Cub Foods” for between 3.50 and 4.50 per 16oz, depend­ing on the store. 

I buy my vit­a­mins from the vit­a­m­in shoppe on their clearance/3 mon­th expi­ra­tion win­dow stash, since I know I will use them up with­in 90 days. I usu­al­ly refrig­er­ate my vit­a­mins that I pur­chase here. 

I buy my black soap and shea but­ter from fam­i­ly friends when they go over­seas, or I buy it in bulk online. 

I get my favorite Gio­van­ni and EO con­di­tion­er from Mar­shalls

Kenzy

thanks for this arti­cle, i just spent more than i want­ed on re-upping on jojoba, rose­mary and shea. my coconut oil got very moldy which was shock­ing as the last brand i bought did­nt at all so i was very shocked and pissed b/c it was a HUGE thing of coconut oil i end­ed up trash­ing because of all the mold. my bot­tom line is price for EVERYTHING so i will cer­tain­ly check the­se places out

Randi415

I heard this can hap­pen if water or some oth­er prod­ucts get in the jar usu­al­ly from your hands or just being open while your doing your hair. This hap­pened to one of my prod­ucts I’ve start­ed using a plas­tic spoon to scoop out my prod­ucts.

nylse

indi­an mar­ket for coconut oil, rose­wa­ter, glyc­er­in and many oth­er hair sta­ples.

mangomadness

I like Para­chute Coconut Oil ($5, 16 oz, Indi­an gro­cery store) for pre-poos.

It has a thick, lush, vel­vety tex­ture when solid — It’s much bet­ter for fin­ger-detan­gling than the brands of organ­ic coconut oil I’ve tried (Nuti­va, Vit­a­m­in Shoppe, Emer­ald Lab­o­ra­to­ries, Trader Joe’s). It has a slight­ly smoky smell but that’s fine ’cause I top off the coconut oil with con­di­tion­er.

I think I’ll use Para­chute Coconut Oil for Hair and organ­ic coconut oil for my DIY Body But­ter.…

annette_b

+ 1…

jenna marie christian

thanks so much!! great finds!!

Olie

Wal­mart has 2 gal­lon aloe vera juice near the phar­ma­cy area for just $7.99! And to think, I was spend­ing $20 for one gal­lon.

Shamieka

Thanks for the­se tips! I wish I had some to offer, but this was a great arti­cle!

dani
Am too lazy to go hunt­ing for a trader joes near me since i dont own a car but i have been able to find some bar­gains in the philadel­phia area where i live. Coconut oil: i saw this being sold in the cook­ing oil sec­tion of Wal­mart for $6.99 way cheap­er than the health food store that sells it for $7+ Hand­mix­er: if theres any­one who wants to take a go at nap­turals shea but­ter mix you can get this handy tool for $6+ tax at Wal­mart. Shea but­ter: of course you need shea but­ter for your hand­mix­er i’ve seen… Read more »
Nelle

(See above for ques­tion on where you are locat­ed…)

You can go to South St, to some of the african stores for shea but­ter. They have it for cheap and it lasts a long time.

mangomadness

Wow!

I use Trader Joe’s Organ­ic Vir­gin Coconut Oil, I’ve tak­en Target’s Up and Up Biot­in before (for my nails), I buy flax seeds for my DIY Flax Seed Gel in the bulk sec­tion of Whole Foods and my sat­in pil­low­case is the fuch­sia one pic­tured from Wal-Mart. 

P.S. Trader Joe’s Grape­seed Oil is only $3-$3.50 for 16 oz. I’m about to pick up some this week­end.

dani

Man i wish Trader Joes was closer to me i have to go all the way to cen­ter city and i hate nav­i­gat­ing myself down there lol. And i just bought some grape­seed oil too for $7 -_- le sigh..

Nelle

If you are in Philly, what part of the city are you in? There may be one in the sub­urbs that’s much closer.

melynn

You must live in Philly, go on Sun­days less traf­fic

Mindy

I love the fact that in Cen­ter City (at Trader Joe’s ) they don’t charge for park­ing . makes it worth the trip !

Keedy

I REALLY wish there was a Trader Joe’s near me. I keep hear­ing won­der­ful things about the store but there isn’t a loca­tion near where my hus­band and I are sta­tioned in SC, or back home in New Orleans :(. Does any­one know if any good alter­na­tives in my area?

zeesmama

I don’t know where you are, but there is a TJ’s in the Greenville/Spartanburg area right off of 85.

wpDiscuz