A Visual Guide To Hair-Product Portion Control

How many times have you left the house with greasy-looking hair not because you haven't washed it, but because you overdid it with the styling products? You squirt just a little too much smoothing serum in your hand and think, Well, I don’t want it to go to waste, so you run it all through your strands. Or maybe you just have that, "More product, less frizz" mentality. But when it comes to your hair's little helpers, the clichéd saying, "Less is more" (or, "Mo products, mo problems" if you prefer), often rings true.

Overusing hair products is quite common, yet also quite unnecessary. Not only will it weigh down your mane (you don't want it to look like you have tons of stuff in it), but it's also a waste of cash. The more you cut down on the amount of pomade you sculpt your curls with or the hairspray that keeps your pony in place, the less often you’ll have to need to Sephora to replenish your arsenal (or, you'll just be going there for new lipstick). Win-win all around.

We reached out to Tippi Shorter, Aveda Global Artistic Director for Textured Hair, to help us come up with a visual guide to hair-product portion control. Remember, however, that this is a rough overview, since it varies slightly by hair type. “The amount of product not only depends on hair type, but on length and density,” explains Shorter. “These suggestions are based on medium density, shoulder-length, natural-wave hair. The longer, the denser, the thicker, and the coarser the hair, the more you will use, and [it's] the opposite for finer, shorter, thinner hair.”
Serum: two to three drops

Oil: two to three drops

Pomade:
the size of a dime (varies depending on what you're using it for)

Styling cream: the size of a nickel

Curl-styling cream: the size of a half-dollar coin

Mousse: the size of a golf ball

Gel: the size of a quarter

Hairspray: Distribute lightly and evenly for a one- to two-second spray on each side. Repeat if needed.

Dry shampoo: Distribute in short bursts, close to — but not onto — the scalp. "One burst per section is a great place to start, and either brush it or massage into hair," says Shorter. "If hair still has an oily feel, repeat. Too much is when the powder color doesn’t go away after brushing!"
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