How To Tell If You've Used Too Much Product In Your Natural Hair

We want the best haircare products for our hair to help with moisture and its overall health. There are so many products and brands to choose from, and it's so tempting to use leave-in conditioners, deep conditioners, and curl-defining cream to really give ourselves the best hair possible. Healthy hair is a major confidence booster, and when your hair has that shiny bounce, everything just feels right with the world.


But the downside to using so much product is that it can build up and weigh our hair down if we use too much. While it might seem easy to spot when we've used too much — feeling crunchy curls or greasiness right after showering — it's not always that simple. And once you do spot build-up or feel your hair being harmed by too much hair care product, how do you undo the damage? Here are some ways to tell if you've used too much product in your natural hair and what to do about it.

Closely inspect your hair and scalp for too much product usage

One of the easiest ways to tell if you've used too much product on your hair is by inspecting it for residue. Caring For Natural Hair wrote that if, after fully drying your hair, you can see gunk or feel crunchiness left over from whatever hair cream you put in or conditioner you thought you washed out, you're probably looking at product overuse. Other visible signs that you're using too much product on your hair include hair feeling "limp or greasy," looking dull, or your curls not being as defined.


If you are using a lot of protein products to replenish your hair after bleach or other treatments, you also have to watch out for "protein overload." Healthline explains that if you use too much protein, you risk actually causing further injury to your hair. While protein overload looks a lot like regular damaged hair, you can also look for split ends, "limp strands," brittle hair, or excessive shedding to specifically spot protein overuse.

There are ways to fix product overload

Once you've spotted your excessive usage of haircare products, the first thing you can do is use a clarifying shampoo. This is especially useful when you have visible product build-up, but in any case can give your hair a clean slate and help minimize the damage done by too much product. Clarifying shampoo can also help with hair damaged by protein overload. Naturally Curly wrote that if you find yourself with build-up, using an apple cider vinegar solution can help. They suggest creating a mixture of 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 gallon of lime juice, and 1 gallon of water, and pouring 2 cups of the mix on your hair post-shampoo. Make sure it really gets into your locks and then rinse it out. 


Another helpful solution you can prepare at home is baking soda and water in a 2-to-1 ratio. For really heavy build-up, dish soap might be your answer. Naturally Curly suggests using dish soap instead of shampoo, along with your typical conditioner afterward. 

Even though products like leave-in conditioner might have caused build-up in the first place, you can still condition your hair after using these at-home remedies, especially considering the dish soap method can dry out natural hair. Just remember that using conditioners specifically for your hair type should help in reducing damage from too much product if you use them sparingly and avoid your scalp.