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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- For best results, apply your initial application of hair serum to clean, damp hair.
- Add 1 to 2 drops of hair serum to the palm of your hand. Warm the serum between your hands for 5 seconds.
- Apply to your hair, working from the ends up to the middle of your strands. Try to spread the product evenly with your hands. Avoid applying the serum to your roots or using too much product, as this can make your hair look greasy.
- Be gentle when applying hair serum. Avoid pulling through your hair, which can cause damage.
- Once you’ve finished applying the serum, use a wide-tooth comb to gently distribute the serum evenly from the middle of your strands down to the ends.
- Style your hair as usual.
- If necessary, you can use a serum throughout the day to touch up your hair.
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:
Serums to enhance straightness
- Herstyler Marula Oil Serum. With ingredients like marula oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E, this product is formulated to smooth and straighten your hair. It also helps tame frizz and flyaways. Buy Herstyler Marula Oil Serum online.
- Mixed Chicks Straightening Serum. Although it’s designed to straighten frizzy or curly hair, the smoothing effect of this serum also makes it a great option for straight hair. Ingredients like witch hazel and rosemary extract help protect against heat styling and humidity. Buy Mixed Chicks Straightening Serum online.
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:
Serums for curly hair
- PATTERN Jojoba Oil Hair Serum. Specifically formulated for curls, coils, and tight hair textures, this serum features a lightweight, moisturizing blend of natural ingredients, including safflower oil and jojoba oil. It can help define your curls, while adding shine and reducing frizz. Buy PATTERN Jojoba Oil Hair Serum online.
- Davines This Is A Curl Building Serum. Formulated to improve hair elasticity and bounce, this product is also frizz-resistant, which can help maintain softness and shine. Buy Davines This Is A Curl Building Serum online.
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:
Serums for taming frizz
- Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum. This paraben-free serum, suited to both straight and curly hair, contains argan oil, which locks in moisture and reduces frizz. It’s more affordable than most hair serums, so it’s great option if you’re on a budget. Buy Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum online.
- Obliphica Professional Seaberry Medium to Coarse Serum. Formulated to control frizz and static, the hydrating ingredients of this serum, such as seaberry oil, help strengthen your hair, while also boosting smoothness and shine. Buy Obliphica Professional Seaberry Medium to Coarse Serum.
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:
Serums for damaged hair
- Hair Food Hemp Extract & Manuka Honey Repair Serum. As a repairing serum, this product targets split ends, dryness, and damaged hair. It’s free of sulfate, parabens, and dye, and is naturally scented with hemp extract and honey. Buy Hair Food Hemp Extract & Manuka Honey Repair Serum online.
- Mise En Scène Perfect Serum. Made for rough, dull hair with split ends, this serum relies on several oils, including argan oil and jojoba oil for hydration. This blend of oils has a detangling effect, which can prevent damage caused by forceful brushing. Buy Mise En Scène Perfect Serum online.
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.