Saving Money on Shampoo

Category Bath & Beauty
Staying within your budget means looking for ways to save money wherever possible. This is a page about saving money on shampoo.


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Years ago my mom told me a way to make shampoo last. This works just as well whether your hair is long or short, thick or thin. Instead of just pouring a glob of shampoo into your hand, pay attention to how much you pour. Only pour about the size of a quarter. Shampoo it in. It won't lather up hardly at all, but do it anyway. Then rinse it out thoroughly.

Now pour the same amount. No more than the size of a quarter, into your hand again and shampoo it in. You'll be amazed at the amount of lather you get this time! And in total you used less than the amount of shampoo than you used otherwise. Your hair is actually cleaner, because the first time got the "top" dirt out, then the second time got it "squeaky" clean!


By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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I am always looking for ways to reduce the clutter and "stuff" in my home. My latest campaign has been in the bathroom. I mean how many jars and bottles do we NEED to keep ourselves clean and beautiful? I recognise that there are some things that can't be jettisoned: moisturiser, toothpaste and soap being my mainstays.

But two years ago I made a radical step forward and I gave up shampoo altogether. I have thick, dry hair which doesn't tend to get greasy; but the more I washed it, the more like a haystack it seemed to become. So I decided to wean myself off detergent shampoo altogether - and the result has been stronger, healthier hair and a large reduction in costs for expensive hair treatments.

I would strongly recommend it. It is difficult at first (especially if you wash you hair often) and will look greasy and even feel itchy - but stick with it and after three weeks or so your hair will visibly improve in condition. Really, it's true!

I rub some bicarbonate of soda mixed with water through my hair every month or so and give it a cider vinegar rinse. Sometimes, I rub an egg in my hair for a treat. But most of the time I do nothing at all but rinse my hair in warm water and rub my scalp. I am also very disciplined about brushing my hair twice a day - like the Victorians did.

The result has been astounding. My hair used to be impossibly flyaway and untidy, now it has a wave and shape that is has not had since childhood. And there are fewer plastic bottles littering my bathroom. Honestly, my hair has not been touched by shampoo since September 2011 and people constantly remark on how good it is looking - try it!

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Over the past forty years, I have saved hundreds of dollars on shampoo. Because you need to shampoo twice to really get a good lather, I use a gentle brand of plain old bar soap for the first wash.

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June 17, 2008

We all have those pesky small shampoo bottles from hotels. I decided to use one of them as an experiment after it was empty.


I filled it with my favorite shampoo. As the wearer of short hair - this worked miracles!

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February 6, 2006

I'm not into brand name shampoo. I just want my hair clean. I go to my local discount beauty supply store, and buy the one gallon bottle of no-name shampoo...

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October 30, 2004

I watch for shampoo at garage sales. Last garage sale, I got an almost full bottle of Herbal Essence shampoo for damaged hair for 10 cents. I then mix the shampoo and water together in a spray bottle, about 1/3 water and 2/3 shampoo or whatever works for you.

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March 10, 2011

For the cleanest, softest, fluffiest hair imaginable for literally pennies, save your old shampoo bottle. When you buy more, pour half of it into the old bottle and fill each bottle the rest of the way with a half and half solution of vinegar and water. The lather will be the richest ever, and your hair will squeak. It lifts the oils off your scalp so your hair stays clean looking longer and it rinses clean.There is no need to use creme rinse or conditioner, either.


I use plain old Suave shampoo, about a dollar a bottle, and it makes my hair look and feel better than any expensive shampoo I have ever tried. The vinegar smell does not linger - try it!

By Gloria Hayes from Darien, GA


Saving Money on Shampoo

Wish I had read this before I washed my hair! Great hint and thanks for sharing.

By Joan

Saving Money on Shampoo

Look forward to trying this. Thank you. (12/06/2010)


Saving Money on Shampoo

What type of vinegar do you use? Just plain white vinegar? (12/07/2010)

By Julie

Saving Money on Shampoo

Just a thought here. If you color your hair, the vinegar may strip off the color, so be cautious. (12/07/2010)

By cettina

Saving Money on Shampoo

I do color my hair, and have never noticed any difference. Yes, plain white vinegar works fine! (12/07/2010)


By Gloria Hayes

Saving Money on Shampoo

What a great idea! Do you think this would work with fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar? We have lots of lemons. (01/13/2011)

By Leanne

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December 6, 2010

Saving Money on Shampoo

Here are some tips for saving money on shampoo.

Dilute It

Since I usually wash my hair every day the cost of shampoo was more than I wanted to spend. I solved that problem by diluting the shampoo with water. I put it in a dishwashing liquid bottle and I use it when washing my hair when I shower. It lasts a long time for a bottle to be used up. I don't especially like the cheapest shampoos so I use my favorite shampoo one day and the cheap stuff the next.

By Myrna

Shampoo is so thick, so I saved an empty bottle, filled 1/3 of the bottle with warm water, and then added shampoo. Works well for our family, it's somewhat diluted when you shampoo. You actually get more "shampoo" coverage since it's easier to work into your hair.


By Liz

Short Hair

I used to use tons of middle price range shampoo and conditioner on my long hair. This January I decided to get it cut very short and I saved big time on shampoo and conditioner. I now buy the cheapest brands and dilute half and half with water in pretty dollar store spray bottles which fit neatly into the shower rack. It only takes half a dozen sprays to shampoo or condition my hair now and the small sprays last for ages. I calculate I've saved at least A$10 a month on these two items since I've been doing this - and that's only for one person!

By Jo

Save Shampoo

Don't wash your hair everyday. Try every other day or every 2 days, your natural oils will make your hair shinier. If you need to wet your hair down in the morning, you could use a small amount of conditioner on the ends. I alternate days of shampoo and conditioner and it really makes both go a long way.

By Shan

Pump Bottle for Shampoo

Keep your shampoo in a pump bottle and you'll use less (which is all you really need anyway!). It measures the amount for you. You can also dilute it before pouring it into the pump as shampoo is usually very concentrated.

By Debbie from Crawfordsville, Indiana

Pump Bottle Better for Kids

Use a large pump bottle. My kids, when they were young would open the shampoo bottle and dump shampoo into their hands. When I started to use the pump bottle I really notice how much longer the shampoo was lasting.

By Claudia

Avoid Using Soap for Shampoo

Don't use soap for shampoo. Most shampoo is slightly acidic. Soap is alkaline. In an acid solution, the cuticle cells shrink and harden; in an alkaline solution, the cuticle cells swell up and soften. Just like "soap scum" accumulates on your shower wall, it can also accumulate in your hair. Remember the old suggestions of rinsing with vinegar or lemon juice? (both are acidic) check the site:

Gallon Jugs of Shampoo

We buy the gallon jugs of shampoo at Sally's and then pour a small amount into another bottle that has a squirt top and add water to thin in down. My mom did this at her shop and it really saves build up on your hair and saves money too.

By Dgrams

Economy Size Bottles

When buying shampoo and conditioner, buy the larger economy size bottles. The product will last longer and you will save a lot of money by buying larger bottles.

By Michele

Wall-Mounted Dispenser

My son gave us one of those wall-mounted dispensers for soap, lotion, etc. Saves a fortune. Dispenses just the right amount each time. We were wasting so much. They make single, double and 4-section units. We have dog shampoo in one because pup gets a shower with us. We also use body wash in one, saves melty soap bars.

By Anne

Baby Shampoo

Go to Wal-Mart and buy a bottle of baby shampoo for your hair. You can get a good sized bottle for 98 cents and it'll last you a good while.

By BrookesMommy

Samples, Baby Shampoo and Ivory Dish Soap

I get a lot of free samples, and hotel shampoo, and use them in between shopping trips after the big bottles run out. Also, baby shampoo is THE BEST for your hair! Avoid Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (the sodium laureth is the best for softness and manageability, think of the names). Baby shampoo has the sodium, Suave doesn't. My husband shaves his head (going bald anyway) and uses Ivory dish soap. Cuts through the grime, yet gentle on your skin!

By Camo_angels

Other Uses for Shampoo

If you happen to buy a bottle of shampoo an end up not liking it, try using it to hand wash dishes or even in a pump type bottle to wash your hands in. A little goes a long ways.

By Jodi

Add Vinegar to Cheap Shampoo

if you buy cheap shampoo and aren't really happy with it. Add a little vinegar and water to it. if you still don't like it use it to clean the tub/shower.

By Carla

Shampoo Instead of Body Wash

I use shampoo instead of body wash. Much more cheaper to buy a generic shampoo than expensive body wash.

By Imaqt1962

Shampoo Bars

Use shampoo bars, they last longer. Also, use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. If you have curly hair, your hair looks better if you wash it once a week with conditioner.


Castile Soap

Use castile soap, it is a body wash, baby wash, shampoo, sanitizer. Very gentle and natural. I have a bottle in the bath and the kitchen.

By Fairy74

Buy It By The Case

There are 6 of us in our house. All females, so when it comes to soap and shampoo, I have to buy it by the case. To make it stretch, I add water to everything. I pour about 1/4 or more of shampoo/body soap into another container(previously saved) and add water to both. I use the least amount (I have very short hair)

I find with the girls that the shampoos work just as good and body soap on a buff pad lather up just as well. It makes the soaps last quite a bit longer.

By Especielle from New Braunfels, Texas

Free Samples

The best way that I have found to save money on shampoo is to get free samples. is great place to start. I have received tons of great free samples from the expensive name brands that I don't get to buy often. The sample forms are quick and easy to fill out at and the samples get sent out asap. Another way to get free shampoo samples is to check out the websites of whatever brand you like to buy. Chance are they will be giving out some kind of sample on there promotions page.

I Don't Use Shampoo Anymore

Don't use shampoo at all! Try washing hair with just water. I can't believe how shiny and controllable my hair has become since I stopped using shampoo. I had to stop using shampoo because I had severe dandruff for 5 years. My hair gets a twice a week scrub with a fresh lemon, which is left on for ten minutes, then thoroughly rinsed off. This also seems to get rid of the chemical which sticks to your hair after swimming.

By Ecoangel


Saving Money on Shampoo

Watch for buy one get one free sales on shampoo and conditioner. Buy one, get the other free. Stock up when you see good deals--I don't think that shampoo goes bad over time. (05/11/2005)


Saving Money on Shampoo

For years I used to shampoo and rinse my hair I've realized that just shampooing once is just as good, I'm obviously using half the amount! (05/25/2007)

By jojo

Saving Money on Shampoo

I get almost all of my shampoo at the 99 Cent Store! They have good brands and are 99 Cents...When I see a deal on - say - color shampoo or conditioner - I stock up. I am still working on a lot I purchased last year! (05/25/2007)

By pam munro

Saving Money on Shampoo

I usually find my favorite shampoo and conditioner at the $1 store. One time I was browsing at another store and saw a familiar brand for .33 cents. I stocked up! I've also started trying to wash my hair every other day instead of every day.I keep baby shampoo because my kids still hate getting their hair washed. I also keep the small bottles from hotels to use if I run out. (05/25/2007)

By Tina

Saving Money on Shampoo

Stock up with sales, especially buy one get one free, and coupons (even the ones where you have to buy two products because you usually need both shampoo and conditioner). (05/25/2007)

By Cassie

Saving Money on Shampoo

i dont think a person is really clean unless they wash their hair at least 1 time per week. (05/25/2007)

By sandy

Saving Money on Shampoo

If you have a shampoo that you don't like use it on the collars of those shirts that don't seem to come clean. Shampoo will get rid of the body grease which ordinary laundry soap leaves. Just remember, if you are using on white shirts, do not use coloured shampoo as it will leave the colour on your collar. I have done this for years and buy a cheap clear shampoo which I keep in the laundry area. (05/25/2007)

By Jane

Saving Money on Shampoo

I've heard alot about buying the cheapest shampoo from the dollar store, but did you know that in almost any brand even the expencive sallon brand there is a chemical Sodium Laureth Sulfate that has been linked to baldness in everyone men and women. If you read the ingredient list it's just a long list of chemicals. I use an organic shampoo and conditioner from Trader Joe's called Nourish Spa, and it works GREAT!!!! It's not that expencive $2.49 for a 16fl oz bottle. I have very long hair and I found when I used the "cheap" shampoo I would have to spend money on all kinds of hot oil treatments and deep conditioners because my hair was so dry, and then stripping shampoo because of all the heavy conditioners on my hair. Since I've used the organic shampoo I don't need that stuff anymore, and I never have a bad hair day anymore. By spending a little more on the shampoo and conditioner I use I save a LOT of money on other hair products. (05/26/2007)

By bambi2003

don't dilute the shampoo!

Diluting the shampoo with water is really dangerous. Germs grow in water, and by adding water to the shampoo, you are diluting the preservatives added by the manufacturer, so they may no longer be effective.

(b)Editor's Note:(/b) Use distilled water (05/26/2007)

By cosmetics manufacturing guy

Saving Money on Shampoo

I'm with those who say use little to no shampoo and you truly don't need to wash your hair daily. My routine is a dab of el cheapo White Rain Extra Body and don't lather twice. Sorry, baby shampoo and castile both tear the daylights out of my hair. I actually get more compliments on my hair now than when I was younger. I think the natural oils make it look better. I no longer use any heat appliances or other chemicals, either. I even cut my own hair and actually like the grey hairs coming in now, natural "highlights" (used to frost my hair for years). I just use a few plastic hair rollers right after I shampoo for a few hours to give it some body. Also, no more perms for me ever again. (05/27/2007)

By Cynthia Murphy

Saving Money on Shampoo

(b)(/b) I get free samples of shampoo from websites like this one: (05/27/2007)

By hagathna

Saving Money on Shampoo

Having had hairdresser's license since 1965, I've had first hand experience in most every product known to mankind and animal.

Firstly, every single person has the following variables of each hair on the head:

TEXTURE ( fine, med., thick)

POROSITY (holes made from chemicals)
medical history (truly differs and is important because all medicines come out in the hair in some form or another, as in metals, sulphurs, etc., which can conflict with anything else one wants to apply)

CONDITION (sun exposure, past colorants, over-processing, poor choices of treatments, perms/harsh bleaching/chlorinated water, waxes/bad sprays and cleansers or conditioners ....all or any of the above in combination)

So, my POINT is that unless a person is lucky enough to have natural med. textured "normal" hair, one cannot generalize WHAT IS BEST FOR THEIR HAIR for hair. This is why it takes some expertise and analysis to help keep or
restore the hair to what God intended. My advice is to really think it through and read all you can before doing anything drastic/CHEMICAL. In the meantime, just use a PH BALANCED SHAMPOO, AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN and as little hair spray as possible. Most all hair should respond well, UNLESS the scalp is in bad shape. That's another issue. Good luck and God bless. : ) (05/27/2007)

By Lynda

Saving Money on Shampoo

You can reduce the amount of shampoo you use and get a scalp massage and cleaning at the same time if you add about 1-2 Tablespoons of plain old baking soda.

I haven't had dandruff in nearly 30 years since my hairdresser shared this secret. You can use about a quarter's diameter of shampoo with the baking soda and my does it clean well. I also use the baking soda as a natural body scrub. It removes all your dead skin while you're in the shower!

BTW it also cleans your sink, toilet, shower door and shower, but make sure you rinse it off completely from whatever you're using it on, or it leaves a gritty film. (05/28/2007)

By Suzi

Saving Money on Shampoo

I know I have said it again and again: DOUBLE COUPONS!! Find a grocer that doubles $1.00 coupons, and buy name brand for cheap! I PAY $1.00 OR LESS FOR HERBAL ESSENCE, L'OREAL VIVE, PANTENE PRO-V AND MORE! I used double coupons to buy the whole family's beauty products: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and I always get shave gel free. Happy Shopping! And saving!! (05/28/2007)

By Heather

Saving Money on Shampoo

The best way to wash your hair is with hot water only. I then style and dry it and no one knows the difference.

In Australia the Sunrise show on Channel 7 ran this and they said that once you go beyond 6 weeks that your hair is just so wonderful. Well I have gone 4 weeks and my hair feels very thick and doesn't need hairspray (another saving).

The only problem is that I have to dye my hair (greys) so it strips the natural oils out again and I have to start over. All you do is make sure you get lots of brushing and your hair feels wonderful.

Mine used to feel really thin and now it is so much thicker.

You know when God made Adam and Eve there wasn't a shampoo manufacturer mentioned at all.

Have a go - I am glad I did.

Linda (05/29/2007)

By Linda Smyth

Saving Money on Shampoo

I am responding to the post about only using hot water. I read that Meryl Streep's secret is dirty hair. She says her hair looks better when she seldom washes it. I think this works for people with a dry scalp. If you have oily hair, especially oily fine hair like mine, it will look limp and greasy if shampooing is skipped for more than one day. (05/30/2007)

By SusannL

Saving Money on Shampoo

I use a concentrated shampoo from Dr. Bronner's, but I also keep it in a pump bottle. It's inexpensive, it works great, and it goes a long way. (05/30/2007)

By Carole

Saving Money on Shampoo

sounds like a nice idea but by introducing water to the product you are introducing a medium for bacteria to grow in.use a bit of vit e oil in each bottle.that should retard the growth of bacteria. (01/24/2008)

By soapmaven

Saving Money on Shampoo

Shampoo is a rip off. All prices are made from same chemicals and the lather rinse and repeat was invented for people to use twice the shampoo. All it did was strip hair so that you would use more conditioner! Shampoo bars are the way to go. They are easier on your hair, make it soft and you do not need a conditioner unless you have fine hair that tangles and then a leave in spray works well. The bar shampoo I use is made by Lush and lasts way longer as you only need to "swipe" it over your hair 3 or 4 times to get a lather. It may seem pricey but not for everything it does for your hair! This bar is $9.25 at (02/03/2010)

By Sherry

RE: Saving Money on Shampoo

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