The beauty of having many options in your hair maintenance and styling products is that keeping the hair clean, healthy, shiny and well-coiffed is absolutely achievable at home. However, the down side is the ongoing challenge of using enough product to work effectively, but not too much product to weigh the hair down. . . or to waste money. Let’s explore a practical guide to help you determine exactly how much of each product to use to achieve the results you crave.

Application Amounts By Product

1. Mousse: When applying mousse to your hair, the goal should be to assure that every single strand of hair is covered by product. To best achieve that goal, simply divide your hair into four sections, then apply an egg-sized amount of mousse to each section of hair. After working the mousse into your hair, massage or brush it through the hair thoroughly. Afterward, you can style as usual.

2. Hair Gels: Hair gel is great for defining curls, styling the bangs, taming course hair and for styling shorter strands. But applying gel can be tricky and the appropriate amount is largely based on your hair type. For fine hair, a nickel-sized amount is sufficient; however, for those with coarse or curly hair, increase to about a quarter-sized amount. By applying a mist of water to your hair before distributing gel helps the product spread much more easily.

3. Hair Wax or Pomades: While hair wax or pomades are perfectly suited to help you achieve bold styles (especially if your hair is short), the rule for using this type of hair product is — less is more. Start with a dime-sized amount, rubbing it between the fingertips until it emulsifies. For hair that’s short and straight, use quick motions to separate the hair, thereby enhancing the texture. If the hair is curly, though, you’ll want to emulsify the product, then coil your locks around your fingers to apply the product.

4. Dry Shampoo: Dry shampoo is often used to remove excess oil from your hair. If this is your objective, you’ll want to apply the dry shampoo near the roots, applying one burst of dry shampoo per four-inch section. Work across the hair in one-inch increments until the dry shampoo is applied all over the hair. Note: When your hair is dry, target the roots with dry shampoo if you’re working to increase volume.

5. Hairspray: Unless your goal is to look as dated as the talented women featured in the hit Broadway play of the same name, you’ll want to carefully apply your hairspray across all your strands (rather than focusing that spray can in the same area of the hair for too long). The best method for applying hairspray is to simply use the motions of a windshield wiper, spraying continuously until you’ve achieved the desired effect.

6. Shine Serums: Offering both frizz-fighting ability as well as a super sleek shine, hair shine serums are perfect for all hair types. However, those with fine hair should apply the equivalent of two peas to the hair, while those with thick, coarse hair can apply the size of a quarter to the hair to achieve optimal results.

7. Hair Mask: Because hair masks are specifically and specially designed to hydrate hair that’s either dry or overprocessed, the rule for this product is — the more, the better. Those with thick, coarse hair can comfortably work with hair masks that amount to the size of a Clementine orange. Those with fine hair, on the other hand, can scale back, using a bit less product from mid-strand through to the ends of the hair. Afterward, simply rinse out the hair mask and style as you normally would.

In conclusion, using the appropriate amount of hair products for your hair type and for your needs will help you achieve optimal styling results from home. It is always a good idea, if you are still uncertain about a styling product you have, to begin with the least possible amount, applying more if necessary.

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