How Much Product to Use on Curly Hair: A Guide

How Much Product to Use on Curly Hair: A Guide


General Guidelines for Product Application

While individual needs may vary based on hair type, porosity, and the specific product being used, there are general guidelines that can help you determine a starting point for how much product to apply.


  • Amount: A quarter-sized dollop
  • Application Tip: Focus on the scalp rather than the ends of your hair. The shampoo will cleanse the lengths of your hair as it's rinsed out, without stripping away essential moisture.


  • Amount: A dollop the size of a grape, adjusted for hair length and thickness
  • Application Tip: Apply conditioner starting from the mid-lengths to the ends of your hair, where moisture is needed most. Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to distribute the conditioner evenly.

Leave-In Conditioner

  • Amount: A nickel to quarter-sized amount, depending on hair density and porosity
  • Application Tip: Emulsify the leave-in conditioner in your palms before applying it to damp hair. This helps ensure even coverage.

Curl Cream

  • Amount: Similar to leave-in conditioner, start with a nickel-sized amount and adjust based on your hair's response
  • Application Tip: Apply curl cream using the "praying hands" method to smooth the product over your curls, then scrunch gently to encourage curl formation.


  • Amount: Start with a small, quarter-sized dollop and adjust based on the desired hold and your hair's length
  • Application Tip: Apply gel to wet hair to help define curls and lock in moisture. Scrunch gently to distribute the gel and form curls without causing frizz.


  • Amount: A golf ball-sized amount for medium-length hair, adjusting for shorter or longer styles
  • Application Tip: Distribute mousse evenly through damp hair from roots to ends for volume and hold. Scrunch to enhance curl definition.


  • Amount: A few drops, depending on hair thickness and porosity
  • Application Tip: Warm the oil in your palms before applying it to the ends of your hair. Oils are best used as a sealant after moisturizing products to lock in hydration.

Tailoring Product Amounts to Your Hair

Hair Porosity: Hair porosity affects how your hair absorbs and retains moisture. High porosity hair may require more product to seal in moisture, while low porosity hair needs lighter application to prevent buildup.

Hair Density and Length: Thicker, longer hair will generally require more product to fully coat the strands and scalp. Adjust amounts based on your hair's volume and length.

Trial and Error: Finding the right amount of product for your curly hair is often a process of trial and error. Start with the recommended amounts and adjust based on how your hair looks and feels.

Additional Tips for Product Application

  • Layer Products Correctly: Apply hair care products in the correct order, typically starting with water-based products and ending with oils or butters to seal in moisture.
  • Use a Scalp Brush: For products applied to the scalp, like shampoo, use a scalp brush to ensure even distribution and to stimulate blood flow.
  • Refresh with Water: When refreshing your curls between wash days, lightly mist your hair with water before applying a small amount of product. This can reactivate products already in your hair and help new products distribute more evenly.


Understanding how much product to use on curly hair is key to maintaining its health, definition, and shine. By starting with general guidelines and adjusting based on your hair's unique characteristics, you can find the perfect balance that works for you. Remember, curly hair care is deeply personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. Embrace the process of discovery and enjoy the journey to healthier, happier curls.

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