Exactly how much hair product should you be using?

Image: iStock.

I used to think there should be a special award for people who managed to finish a bottle of shampoo at the same time as their conditioner. But it turns out, there is actually a very good reason why your conditioner has so much longevity – you’re probably using the wrong amount of shampoo on your hair when you wash it.

It’s because you’re only meant to be using half the amount of conditioner as you do your shampoo. In fact, a lot of products that you use could be putting an unnecessary dent in your wallet, simply because you’re using too much.

Related: 6 ways you’re ruining your hair colour (without even realising).


For short hair you should only be using a dollop of shampoo about the size of a five cent coin. Yep, really. For average length hair (hair that falls somewhere between the chin and the shoulders lob lovers) use an amount about the size of a ten cent piece. If you have Rapunzel-like long hair, dish up some shampoo about the size of a 20 cent coin.

A five cent dollop is enough for short hair. (Image via iStock)


Turns out that drenching the hair in conditioner can actually lead to flat, lifeless hair that's weighed down. Here's our new hair mantra: My hand is not a conditioner cup.

Follow the general formula of a dollar-sized amount for medium length hair (slightly less for short hair and a tiny bit more for long hair).

Image via iStock

Be sure to squeeze out all of the water from your hair before you apply your product. This is really important. Think of your hair like a sponge. If the sponge is already full of water, it's not able to absorb any more.

Related: "I made vagina art for my husband and ended up in hospital."

Therefore if your hair is already wet, it won't take in all the conditioner that you're adding to it. You are literally just washing product down the drain. (Post continues after gallery.)

Treatment or hair mask

Hair treatments are generally highly concentrated and provide the hair with a nice little turbo boost.

Similar to your conditioner, you don't need to be using a lot (which is nice to hear given that treatments are often on the pricier side of hair care).

RELATED: “How washing my hair with oil-based products actually made my hair less oily.”

Follow the same idea as your conditioner and distribute throughout your hair using your fingers or a tangle teezer brush.

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is everyone's Bad Hair Day Best Friend. If you're a regular user, keep the application to short bursts around the hair line and scalp and be sure to use a good clarifying shampoo to deal with any product build up.

Image: istock

Dry shampoo acts by soaking up excess oils and moisture and giving the hair lift and boost.

Related: The disturbing side effect of dry shampoo that no one tells you about.

However, you shouldn't overload your hair with it because dry shampoo has the ability to build up on the scalp and cause some serious issues.


Have you ever noticed that hairdressers seem to have an art to their misting that differs to the usual 'nuking' method a lot of us employ when using hairspray? It's because hairspray is not a coat-and-go situation.

Firstly you need to choose your hairspray properly. Instead of coating your hair to make it stay put, get yourself a strong hold hairspray formula. This will mean that you use a lot less to get the same 'stay in place' effect.

RELATED: The 6 definitive rules of looking after your hair

Next, be sure not to apply the hairspray too close to your hair. Ideally, you should be misting the spray from a 20 to 30cm distance.

Finally, remember that hairspray is a finisher. Use short misting actions rather than letting off an atomic bomb in the bathroom. You want your hair to retain some natural movement. Lego helmet hair is not in.

Looking for the easiest new 'do for the days when you just have no time what so ever? Hello half bun.