Strands of long hair with a comb brushing through the strands. Share on Pinterest
Ester Keate/Offset Images

Hair serum is a styling product that coats the surface of your hair. It’s made with a base of silicone, a rubber-like substance that sits on top of your strands.

There are different types of hair serums for different hair goals. Depending on the product’s formula, a hair serum might reduce frizz, add shine, or straighten your hair. Some formulas may also protect against various forms of damage.

Here’s a look at the benefits of hair serum and how to use it. And if you’re looking for product recommendations, we have that covered, too.

Hair serum can benefit your hair in several different ways. Let’s take a closer look at what hair serum can do for your locks.

Controls frizz

If your hair is weak and damaged, it may look frizzy or dry. You may also have flyaways, or hair that looks like it’s standing on end.

The silicone in hair serums can help control these issues. It adds weight to weak strands, giving them more substance. Silicon’s ability to coat your hair also helps lock in your natural curl pattern.

Some hair serums contain hydrolyzed proteins, which can help counteract the static charge that causes frizz and flyaways.

Boosts smoothness

The antifrizz effect of hair serum also helps improve the smoothness of your hair. This is due to the coating action of silicone, which creates the appearance of sleek and polished strands.

Reduces tangles

When your hair is smooth and sleek, it’s less likely to tangle or knot. The detangling effect of hair serum can make your hair easier to comb, style, and manage.

Promotes shine

When your hair is smooth, it tends to look shinier and glossier. Plus, some types of silicone used in hair serum can help reflect light, which increases the appearance of overall shine.

Enhances straightness or curls

According to hair experts, the shape of your hair follicle determines your hair type, which can be:

There are different hair serums for each hair type. For example, if you have curly hair, you can use a serum that creates bouncy or defined curls.

Likewise, if you have straight hair, a serum can enhance the smoothness and shine of your locks.

Protects against damage

Because hair serum coats your hair, it can help protect your strands from different types of damage. This includes damage caused by:

  • chemical processing (like coloring, perming, or straightening)
  • heat damage (from blow drying and heated styling tools)
  • environmental stress (like sun exposure)
  • mechanical stress (due to repeated hair styling)

Some hair serums are marketed as heat protectants, which are applied before using heat styling tools.

To get the most out of your hair serum, it’s important to apply it properly. Here’s how to do it.

The key to using a hair serum is to choose a product that’s formulated for your hair type or hair concerns. Here’s what to look for:

To boost straightness

To enhance straightness, use a hair serum that has smoothing properties. The smoother your hair, the straighter it will appear.

If you have curly or wavy hair and want to use a flat iron, look for a heat protectant serum. This will reduce the damage caused by a flat iron.

Check out these hair serums:

To enhance curls

Hair serums that are too thick can weigh down curls. The key is to choose a lightweight hair serum that has a hydrating formula. This can help reduce breakage while maintaining the natural bounce of your curls.

Hair serums you may want to consider include the following:

To reduce frizziness

Dry air and humidity can both contribute to frizz. To combat this issue, look for a product that offers hydration and protection against humidity.

Options you may want to consider include:

Damaged hair

If your strands lack vitality and strength, pick a serum that’s designed to repair hair. It may be labeled as “conditioning,” “fortifying,” or “repairing.”

To protect your hair from further damage, choose a serum that protects against heat and sun exposure.

Hair serums you may want to consider include the following:

Hair serum can benefit your hair in several different ways. Depending on the type of serum you use, it can help add shine, reduce frizz, and enhance your natural texture. It can also keep your hair healthy by protecting against damage.

Look for a hair serum that’s designed for your hair type or hair goal. For best results, use a small amount on clean, damp hair, and avoid applying it to your roots.