To use hair serums effectively, a person should wash their hair and warm up the serum before applying it. They should avoid applying the serum to the hair roots, overapplication, and rinsing the serum off.

Hair serums are styling products that target different hair issues, depending on their formulation. They can add shine to dull hair, reduce frizz, and prevent heat damage.

A variety of hair serums can solve different hair problems. Knowing which serum works best for a person’s hair type and specific hair concern is beneficial.

This article explores hair serum, its benefits, and the dos and don’ts of how to use it.

A female in a towel scrunching her hair with hair serum.Share on Pinterest

Hair serum is a styling product that coats the hair’s surface to provide a range of benefits.

Different hair serums suit different hair types, from coarse to fine. Typically, hair serums contain silicone and active ingredients that nourish the hair. These include:

Hair serums offer a range of benefits to the hair.

1. Adding shine

One of the benefits of hair serums is their ability to revive dry, dull-looking hair by infusing moisture into each hair strand. Healthy, moisturized hair tends to be silkier and glossier.

Some hair serums may also have light-reflecting ingredients, which add sheen and luster to the hair without making it feel greasy.

2. Controlling frizz and dryness

Damaged hair typically looks dry, brittle, and frizzy. It is also common for dry, damaged hair to have flyaways and split ends. Serums can create help tame unruly hair strands and create a polished finish.

The silicone content in many hair serums helps manage these issues by forming a protective coating around the hair cuticle. This seals the hair and keeps weak and damaged hair hydrated and moisturized.

Some hair serums contain hydrolyzed keratin proteins, which offer several hair benefits:

  • improves the hair’s ability to retain moisture
  • prevents strands from splitting
  • repairs damaged hair
  • neutralizes the negative static charge that causes frizz, flyaway, and friction
  • improves the tensile strength of dry, damaged hair

Learn more about home remedies for dry hair here.

3. Reducing knots and tangles

Hair serums smoothen the hair, causing a detangling effect on the hair. As the serum makes the hair smoother and silkier, it becomes easier to comb through and manage.

4. Enhancing the hair’s natural look

Hair serums improve the natural structure and texture of the hair, resulting in sleeker, more defined hair, enhancing the hair’s natural look.

5. Protecting against damage

The serum’s protective coating protects the hair from pollutants, dust, photodamage, and heat damage from styling. This is why serums are often applied to the hair before they undergo styling.

Most serums contain ingredients that protect the hair from:

  • heated styling tools such as straightening and curling irons and hairdryers
  • chemical processing used to dye, straighten, bleach, or perm the hair
  • environmental stress, such as photodamage and weather
  • mechanical damage from repeated treatments and styling

They help protect, improve and recover the hair fibers’ properties, including smoothness, elasticity, and strength.

Read more on different ways to treat damaged hair here.

Knowing how to use hair serums properly is crucial to getting the most benefit. Below are some recommendations when using hair serums.

Do: Wash hair before application

Hair serum is typically a leave-in product and best applied to freshly shampooed hair. The serum’s primary purpose is to protect the hair from pollutants. Using it on unwashed hair defeats the purpose. Moreover, applying it on unwashed hair can make the hair look oily and weighed down.

After a person washes their hair, they can towel dry it and then apply the product. A person can also use some after taking a shower at night for a more glossy, soft hair in the morning. However, a person may also use hair serums to touch up their hair throughout the day.

Learn more about how often to wash hair here.

Don’t: Overapply serum

Over-applying serum can cause the hair to go flat and greasy. Ideally, people should begin with a small amount and gradually add more as needed to prevent this.

Learn more about tips to prevent greasy hair here.

Do: Warm it up before applying to the hair

Most hair serums have a thick consistency, making them hard to apply. Warming up the product by placing a little product on the palm and rubbing it for a few seconds can make it smoother, which helps ensure a more even application.

Don’t: Apply on roots

It is important to avoid applying hair serum on the roots as this can weigh the hair down, make the roots appear greasy, and cause product buildup. Since the hair tips are naturally drier, applying the hair serum from the ends to the midshafts is best.

Do: Consider a person’s hair type and hair goals

Hair serums may have different formulations, meaning certain hair types may benefit more than others, depending on the serum type. It is not only important to know which serum works best for a person’s hair type, but vital to check their ingredients to ensure that the serum will provide their desired hair goals.

Learn more about the different hair types here.

Don’t: Rinse the serum after application

Hair serums are leave-in products that work on the hair’s surface to moisturize, smoothen, and protect the hair. Washing it off removes this coating.

The best way to get the most benefit from a hair serum is to select the best product for a person’s hair type.

People with coarse hair types can opt for serums that offer intense moisturizing. Serums that protect against humidity and seal in hydration may be beneficial for this hair type since this type is prone to frizziness and dryness. A person with coarse hair can look for castor, marula, and rosewood products for intense hydration.

Lightweight, hydrating serums can add bounce and definition to curly hair. Similarly, people with fine hair can also benefit from serums with lighter formulas.

Learn more about natural ways to get thicker hair here.

People with straight hair who want to boost its straightness can also use serums. As the serum smoothens and moisturizes the hair, the more straight and glossy it will appear.

People with damaged hair and split ends should consider keratin serums to bring back the protein in their hair. These serums are often known as “repairing” and “fortifying.” Meanwhile, people who use straightening irons or hairdryers may wish to opt for heat-protecting serums.

Learn more about ways to repair hair breakage here.

Adding a hair serum into a person’s hair routine can provide a range of benefits, from adding protection to adding moisture and shine, reducing split ends and flyaways, and adding definition to their hair’s natural look.

To get the most of its benefits, a person should look for a hair serum formulated for their hair type and hair goal. They may also look for their favorite hair care ingredients on the serum’s label.

Proper use and application are crucial when using a hair serum. A person should only apply a small amount to the tips up to the midshafts. It is also best applied to clean, damp hair.