Wait, How Much Should I Use?


Did you know that there is a recommended amount of each hair product you use, and that most of us use waaaaay too much?!?


And if you're using salon-quality products (and I hope you are), that the amount decreases even more?



Here's a quick list of the amounts of each hair care item you should be using -- when we use what we should, suddenly those products have a much better ROI (return on investment) and are kinder to our pocketbooks!


  • Shampoo: All things being equal, we should be using no more than a dime-to-quarter sized amount. That's all! Salon brands have less aqua in them, which makes them more concentrated than their drugstore counterparts. Work the product into a bit of a lather before you apply it to your scalp and if you aren't lathering enough, pop your head under the water stream. I promise, the bubbles will come!


  • Conditioner: Again, depending on length and density, the recommended amount is about two quarter-sized dollops. You only need that much because it should be applied to your mid-lengths and ends only. The natural oils from your scalp will take care of your skin and the first 3 inches of your hair -- remember conditioner was designed for hair and not for skin, which is why an application at the scalp can make you greasy.


  • Deep Conditioner: Go with a silver-dollar pancake amount. Typically hair only needs one deep conditioning treatment weekly to restore lost lips and to regulate the pH, but if your hair is dry/coarse/damaged/color treated, move that up to 2-3 times/week. The same goes for my infrequent shampooers -- if you wash about once a week, please deep condition every time you wash. Use the same application method, but please leave on a minimum of five minutes.


  • Dry Shampoo: Use enough to lightly cover your scalp. But here's the trick: do not brush out if you're applying it to absorb oil before a sweaty activity (like working out or sleeping). Apply the product and loosely tie up your hair. Work out, then blow dry any of the roots that got sweaty, and finally give it a brush out. Your dry shampoo will work so much better!


  • Mousse: Here's one where you're likely not using enough! Divide your hair into four quadrants, apply an egg-sized amount to each one, and work it through.


  • Gel: On the flip-side, you're likely using too much; just go for a nickel-sized amount for fine hair, no more than a quarter-sized amount for thick hair.


  • Heat Protection: If you're using a serum, aim for a nickle-sized amount for fine hair, up to a quarter for thicker/longer/coarser hair. For an aerosol spray, be sure to lightly spray throughout the hair and brush through before your flat iron or curl. But please remember to reapply this product every time before any hot tool!


  • Oils or Other Serums: These guys tend to be pretty heavy, so err on the side of caution! Two-three grains of rice is all you need, be sure to warm up in between your hands before working it through. Pro Tip: apply the product to the front and back side of your hands (like you're rubbing in hand lotion) for an easier distribution.


  • Shine Sprays: Definitely not if-some-is-good-then-more-is-better scenario! 1-2 spritzes above your head is good, that way it naturally disperses in your hair and doesn't concentrate in one spot (and look greasy). Feel like you need a little more? Add one more pump to your palms and work through like you would an oil or a serum.


  • Spray Wax: These are not a continual-spray type of product, and meant to be used to keep/add texture to the hair -- they're too heavy if you're needing a smoothing/anti-flyaway product (see Olaplex No 6). Use these in short bursts about 6 inches away from the hair, and then either scrunch or "rough up" the hair.


  • Hair Spray: Usage totally depends on the hold you're wanting. Hold the can 8-12 inches away and disperse in a continual windshield-wiper motion -- concentrating on one spot will make it look crunch-shiny. The more coats you use, the stronger the hold.

Okay, but what about specialty products, like Olaplex? Because this is it's own innovative category, let me break Nos 3-7 down a little bit.


  • No 3 Hair Perfector (treatment): Depending on the length/density of your hair, aim for a quarter-to-half-dollar sized amount. Why so little? Because it needs to be applied to clean, damp, thoroughly towel-dried hair. The product will get to every little nook and cranny from roots to ends as it will glide best through damp hair.


  • No 4 & No 5 Bond Maintenance Shampoo & Conditioner: Be aware that Olaplex has made the most concentrated non-toning shampoo and conditioner I've ever worked with! Use less than the above recommended amounts, and if you don't feel like you're used enough, just add a touch more water to your hair. Trust me, you used enough. :)


  • No 6 Bond Smoother (styling cream): Hopefully y'all know how I feel about this one by now! Whether you're using this as a blow-out cream, scrunch-and-go product, smoother & flyaway tamer, or an overnight style extender, you only need a pea-sized amount. Regardless of your length and density, Regardless of how many applications you've done before your next shampoo.


  • No 7 Bonding Oil (heat protectant): Even though this is a lightweight oil, you don't need much. Create a small well in your palm and use no more than a dime-sized amount -- and apply like you would any hydrating oil before using any hot tool. Or treat yo'self and add 1-2 drops to your No 6 and combine together in your hand before applying to your hair...it's the best product cocktail I've ever used!



Were there any a-ha moments? Is there a product you use too much of...or not enough? Post a comment because I'd love to know.


And if I forgot any product category, please tell me and ask away on how much (or how) to use --as you can see, I looooove a good breakdown!

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