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Curly Nikki

How Much Product Do You Use?

By January 27th, 202126 Comments

How Much Product Do You Use?
Jeanine writes:

I go through one 16oz bottle of cheap conditioner a week. I use an 8oz jar of gel in two. Although my favorite products aren’t very expensive, the constant re-upping is draining my pocket. The other day while slathering on my leave-in, I began thinking, am I using too much? Is it even effective?

How much product do you use? What look are you usually going for?

CN Responds: I go through a crap load of conditioner, at least a bottle every two weeks…and I’m talking the family sized bottle of Herbal Essence Totally Twisted or Hello Hydration. I need for my hair to be loaded down and ridiculously slippery in order to feel like I’m doing the least amount of damage possible during the detangling process.

I used to be heavy handed with product during styling, but not anymore. I like the fluffy, almost intentionally undefined look, and I find that it’s easiest to achieve this with minimal product. I apply my styler (whether it’s a conditioner or conditioner + styling cream combo) one section at a time. I usually use about a pea to dime sized amount per twist, which also aids in speedy drying times.

Bottom line: Loads of detangling conditioner, and only small amounts of styling conditioners/creams.


  • Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful says:

    I have a variety of products that I use, but I haven't finished any one product in the 6 months that I've been natural.

  • Anonymous says:

    I ALWAYS use Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Conditioner and Eco Styler Gel and plenty of water and my hair loves it. I have many other products, but these work fabulously..

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm generous with the Yes to Cucumbers. It's about $8 at my local Target. I use the equivalent of a golfball for cowash and detangling.

    Conditioner = $8.00
    Hair not breaking = priceless

  • curlygem says:

    2 palmfuls of conditioner for cowashing, or 3 tsp of liquid shampoo to clarify, penny-sized amounts of hair butter for each braid/twist, 1 palmful of hair butter/gel for afro. I'm really loving my big 'fro now, so I've been fluffing out my chunky twistout for the past few weeks (after wash night, of course).
    If I were to put up shelves on my wall like in the pic, that's pretty much how my products would line up, I think. I got it bad….

  • LBell says:

    Short hair = not a lot of product = bottles of product last longer = money saved. Whee! :D

  • Anonymous says:

    I find myself buying products for my hair almost every time I go out. A lot of it has to do with my excessive PJism, but it's mostly because my hair is very thick and drinks up any conditioner that I put in it. It's not very long at all, just brushing my shoulders when stretched. I just washed my hair recently and emptied a brand new bottle of burts bees conditioner half way. And that was only to detangle my hair. After that I always use a garnier conditioner to cowash with. The most I can get out of a regular size bottle is two and a half washes.

  • Hair I Am says:

    I'm a 4b and I detangle my hair with a cheapie conditioner/coconut oil and put my hair into about 20 braids before washing or cowashing and then I DC. I'm a little past shoulder length stretched and the only product I use a lot of are the cheapie conditioners, I'll go through a bottle after about 5 washes. I wash my hair every 1 to 2 weeks. All my other products (shampoo, cowash conditioner, DC, leave in, and stylers) last a very long time because I use less product since my hair is in braids. Since my products last awhile it gives me the opportunity to find some of my favorite conditioners (Nature's Gate, Yes to Cucumbers, Giovanni, etc.) at discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx. So I stock up when I see them there so I'll never run out.

  • KayDanai says:

    I am HEAVY HANDED – but I don't have that much hair so I end up using a lot, but not that much (if that makes any sense what-so-ever). What I know for a fact I use the most of is my cantu shea butter leave in – my hair loves it so I give it plenty.

  • ForeverCurlyCatrina says:

    I use about 1oz of shampoo when I wash my hair. I probably use 6-8oz of conditioner when I detangle my hair (it's MBL). It takes me several months to go through styling products. I only wash and style once a week.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm a newly natural (7months!) And have been using Bumble and Bumble brand exclusively for much of the journey. I alternate their Curls Conscious line and the Creme de Coco line..stylers I use Tonic Lotion and Grooming Creme…so yes, all of these products are stupid expensive, but most importantly, they are highly concentrated so my hair won't behave if I'm heavy handed on any product…even shampoo. As a result, I feel like I save more money because I only have to repurchase at most, twice a year

  • Notthecoolmom says:

    I was using a lot when I first started my journey, but now not so much…I go thru leave in more than anything else, but I also use that on my head and my daughter's. I have 2 shampoos that will probably last me until next spring, but I still haven't had to repurchase may stylers either. I think I use appropriate amounts and they last me for months at a time.

  • MsD-Vine says:

    I think the important thing for me and my family is to buy family sizes and make it cheap but good. Like Garnier Frutic Sleek'n' Shine Leave-In is amazing and doesnt break the pocket.

  • Anonymous says:

    I only use shampoo, conditioners and butters. The shampoo and butters last forever even though I do use them pretty regularly, because I use them in dabs. The conditioners I buy in the largest size available. I use a lot (palmfuls) of both my detangling/co-washing conditioners and my conditioner I leave in. But the 20-30 oz. bottles last at least a couple of months. The liter bottle lasts me SEVERAL months. I don't keep close track.

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    While I use a lot of conditioner, I don't use so much that the bottle's empty in a week, though.

    My gels last a long time since I use fingertip amounts anyway.

  • Queenofthe4s says:

    I think it's really important to buy products that are best suited for your hair type to avoid using tons of conditioner, etc. I am type 4 and skip over the cheapie $1 conditioners because I have to use half the bottle due to the thin consistency. Heavy and creamy conditioners work best for detangling, and I can use a lot less of it. My hands down favorite is Aussie Moist.

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    I use about two heaping handfuls of conditioner to detangle (hair is MBL wet). This means my conditioner lasts about eight uses give or take depending on size of bottle and condition of my hair. For DCing and styling, I use about a nickel to quarter size in about 12 sections. These products last much longer–one and a half to three months. On average, I do my hair twice a week.

  • J. says:

    I don't use conditioner for detangling BECAUSE I am heavy handed and a broke college student. My money is valuable to me, so I use it when I really need to (other than the occasional food binge — but college caf food isn't all that great!)

    For detangling I just use water and oil. Because oil already has that slippery property I don't have to use a whole lot. I shampoo, condition, and SERIOUSLY detangle once a week unless my hair is in braids or twists. Other than that I finger detangle probably every other day with my moisturizer.

    Styling products can last a good few months, maybe even weeks. My moisturizer has lasted almost three weeks and I still have a little less than half a bottle left. I try not to use a lot of it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am sporting a TWA and what I have found that works the BEST, are the homemade products. When I want to clean my hair, I make my Baking soda paste, and then I do a ACV rinse, which leaves my hair soft and manageable. I seal my hair with olive oil. The only conditioner I buy now is the Cantu shea butter (A MUST HAVE)!

  • Madeaj says:

    Shampoo lasts forever because I use very little when I wash and unless I've used a lot of greasy products that week I only wash once. I always dilute the shampoo just before I use it.

    Conditioner is another story. I do go through a lot. I can use a regular size bottle of suave in about 3 weeks. Styling products I go easy on because I hate the feel of my hair overloaded with styling product. It makes me want to shampoo more often. I don't think my hair likes too much product, lol. I was that way even when I relaxed. I like the feel of my naked hair, but I know I have to protect it so I do leave-in conditioner, aloe vera gel and cantu – not all at once.

    I am trying to formulate my own products, its a trial and error process, though I can use my stuff anywhere I want when finished even if my hair doesn't like them.

  • Anonymous says:

    Those shelves on the picture are my dream (hehe)!! Well, when I used to wash or co-wash my hair each other day, then the amount of conditioner spent was huge (the big bottle of Deva lasted 1-2 months).

    Nowadays, I use Curly Primer method (Teri from It is still a lot of conditioner, but I "do" my hair only 1 (seldom 2) a week. So, although the amount of conditioner is still a lot, I've been able to save it. A big bottle lasts around 3-5 months. Also, I rarely use gel (more saving).

  • e says:

    I wish she would have said how she used the conditioner. I am sitting here thinking how would I ever be able to use an entire bottle of conditioner in a week. It sounds like too much to me unless she has hair to her knee pits. The heavy product use in the original post reminds of a Caucasian curlies I know who daily wash and re-gel hair. I could be the president of the less is more club though. I think it is important to use a shampoo and conditioner duo. That is how they are meant to be used and ph balanced. This helps with detangling. I can use water and the Ouidad comb and be cool. I also think quality products make a difference.

  • luvmylocs says:

    i use a LOT of conditioner but i'm learning to use less styling product or oils too. i don't want to see or feel any product in my hair when it's done.

  • Kanisha says:

    I'm not very heavy with the product.


    I style my little TWA so much (every day) that I end up using a lot of product anyways! It's unfortunate to have to do my hair so often, but it's a must because good second day hair is really hard to achieve at this point.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural for one year and so far I've only worn wash and go's. One large jar of Kinky Kurly gel lasts me for about six months so it's been a good investment since I go pretty light on the gel. Nikki I love your site!

  • Anonymous says:

    i used to use alot of conditioner, but ive recently started a new detangling method that has cut the amount of conditioner i use. basically, i detangle first, under the shower stream with the ouidad comb, then add the conditioner. its surprisingly easier to detangle without conditioner than i thought… leave in though is a different story!

  • Anonymous says:

    the amount of product i use is usually directly proportional to it's cost. i don't feel bad about using a ton of conditioner if it's $2.99, but if it's more than $10, i ration it out. it also might be a worthy mind trick to think that, because a product is expensive, you should get a bigger bang for your buck… it also helps with being more decisive about expensive products.

    as far as stylers and creams, my rule of thumb is similar to Nikki's.

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