Guest post by Crystal of Ishimma Hair Care
***********************************You may wonder, upon receiving a product sample size of 2oz, what exactly you'll be able to do with such a small amount when you've got a big ol' head of hair?!? Well fear not, because after poking around, talking with women, and studying hair videos, we've arrived at an interesting conclusion- Chances are you may be using too much hair product!
Often, we can fall into the habit of over saturating our hair with whatever product we're using because, perhaps, we are under the impression that we need a whole lot to work. Keep in mind, however, that there is only so much product that your hair can take! Now, if you do need a whole lot of a certain conditioner, product, etc in order to see good benefit to your hair...that product may not be right for you or it may not be a quality product.
Here are a couple hints and guidelines for using various types of hair product so you don't fall into the pattern of using more than is necessary. Enjoy!
The goal is not for conditioner to make every strand of hair gooey, creamy, and dripping. If your hair looks this way, you've put on too much! Yes, you'll need to saturate the full length of the strand so the conditioner can work in your hair. But keep in mind that, in most cases, the conditioner will typically sit on your hair for a minimum of five minutes. The time you allow it to sit is where it works its magic, and there's only so much of the conditioner that can get into your hair strand! To decrease using too much product, try using smaller dollops of conditioner and applying it to sections of hair. Don't just squirt out a large amount into your hand or directly onto the crown your hair. Not only will it apply unevenly, but you may not realize how much you've actually put on. You want your hair to be wet from the conditioner, but not overly wet, so also try combing conditioner through your hair (starting with the ends!) with a wide-tooth comb for even distribution.
Like we said in our Hair Guide, more lather does not mean more cleansing. At one point in time, most of us have probably put on way too much shampoo. With the wrong bottle, your end result could come out stringy, unappealing, rough, tangled hair after using too much shampoo. If you've got so much lather in one area of your head that you can move it over and completely lather another area...you're using too much shampoo! To decrease using too much product, again try washing your hair in sections if possible- some people find this helps them reduce tangling as well. Use smaller amounts of shampoo to cleanse the scalp and hair. Remember, the shampoo is cleaning your hair and the lather is the by-product. If you do two washes, when using these smaller amounts, you can assess how clean your hair/scalp feels after the first wash and adjust the amount of shampoo needed for the second go around.
Greases, oils, and butters
When it comes to this category of products, a little should go a long way. While we don't endorse grease, if you're using it, be mindful of not adding so much that your shiny, oiled hair is cooking under the heat of the sun! After you've oiled your hair for the day with whatever oil you use, a few hours later if you reach into your hair, your hand should not come out looking like it got dipped in Crisco or anything close. ;D Granted, there will be a bit excess oil that could get on your hands, but it should be kept to a minimum because excess oil isn't dong anything but sitting on your hair! To decrease using too much product, keep in mind that a little bit of oil or butter can go a long way in lubricating and nourishing the strand or scalp. If a pour cap or squirt cap is causing you to use too much, you can pour your oil into a small, clean spray bottle as well. Sectioning is also useful here- 4-6 sections of the head should be a good size for oil application. Start with a quarter sized amount for a section and adjust up or down to a good balance for soft, but not greasy hair.
This is another product that can be over used as well. Sometimes you'll read complaints on boards and forums about various products- perhaps the product left the hair feeling crunchy or flaky or even greasy...well, this is more likely when you've used too much! Now, some gels are just cheaply made, contain too much alcohol, and can leave the hair feeling too hard and flaky even with a small amount. We recommend looking for an alternative that works for you. But, for more natural or well-made products, often the issues mentioned above come from gel overuse. If you put your hair in a gel set, flexi rods, or other style that needs gel overnight and it's still wet when you wake up in the morning, you are using too much! With a good gel, to decrease using too much product, you simply need to coat the strand (a little goes a long way for gel) and again, try sectioning and combing through with a wide-tooth comb. If your gel is white, your hair should not also look white after applying it - that's a clue that too much was used! Play around with the amount you use to find out what works for your hair- a good starting place is a quarter-sized dollop of gel for a quarter section of shoulder length hair.
Whew! That was a lot and we hope you gained something from it! In conclusion, take a look at how you've been using product and figure out where you may be over using, if at all. If you have an 8 oz size of conditioner and you only used it 2-3 times before it finished, depending on your hair length, you may be using too much! Putting on more product than is necessary is throwing money down the drain (literally), so maximize your wallet!
Leave a comment, let us know what you think. How do you personally tell that you've used too much product?