Splitting Hairs is our monthlong exploration of hair based on a survey of women across America. It’s like you brought a photo to the salon — we’re giving you exactly what you want.

By Erin Lukas
Aug 07, 2018 @ 12:30 pm

So, you saw Kim Kardashian wear a snatched high ponytail, so you pulled your hair into the same sleek ponytail with the help of a little hair gel. Ok, so maybe you used a lot of gel, and the pony didn't work, and now that you want to take your hair down. There's only one problem: It's a crunchy, sticky mess.  

Washing your hair and starting over from scratch probably seems like the only viable solution when you've used too much hair product, but there's a silver lining: there is a way to do damage control. We turned to celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena to find out exactly how to get all of the excess product out of your hair—without shampooing it. 

RELATED: How to Master Meghan Markle's Signature Messy Bun 

First, take a spray bottle filled with water and spritz it all over the areas where you've overdone it with product to break it down. Next, use a soft boar bristle brush like pro-favorite Mason Pearson ($205; nordstrom.com) or Harry Josh's Pro Tools Premium Oval Brush ($50dermstore.com) to loosen up the product. Mana says to work quickly because once the hair dries it will get hard again, and to work from the bottom up to prevent breakage. 

Follow up with a wide-tooth comb like Conair's detangling one ($4; target.com) to evenly distribute the remaining product through the hair, and use your blow-dryer on a low setting to give your style a smooth finish. Bonus: The heat from the dryer continues to break down the product that's weighing down your hair. 

Find out more about how to fix product-saturated hair by hitting play on the video above.