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  5. How To Use A Hair Serum: The Dos And Don'ts

Is frizziness making it impossible for you to manage your hair? You must have heard everyone raving about the miraculous anti-frizz benefits of hair serum, right? You’re wondering if you should conduct this new experiment on your hair and invest in a hair serum.

The thought may seem intimidating at first. So allow us to break down the scientific technicalities for you and explain if it’s really worth the hype.

What Expert Says

“Hair serums help in replenishing lost lipids, thereby preventing cuticular damage. It is essential that you evenly apply the serum on your hair, especially the parts where it's the most needed. If your hair is chemically treated, choose a serum with proteins.”

Dr Harish Koutam, Chief Dermatologist, SkinKraft

What Is Hair Serum & How Does It Help?

Just like skin serums, hair serums are formulated with active ingredients to penetrate deeper into your hair. They are used to control frizz, set hairstyles and protect the hair from environmental aggressors. While oils provide nourishment to the scalp, serums work on the surface level. You can consider them as quick fixes or even a replacement to your conditioners.

Our chief dermatologist, Dr. Harish Koutam says, “Hair serums help in replenishing lost lipids, thereby preventing cuticular damage. It is essential that you evenly apply the serum on your hair, especially the parts where it's the most needed. If your hair is chemically treated, choose a serum with proteins.”

Benefits Of Hair Serum

  • Smoothens the hair
  • Adds shine to hair
  • Controls frizz
  • Detangles hair
  • Repairs hair damage
  • Protects hair from environmental pollution
  • Maintains curls and hair straightness

How To Use Hair Serum?

When To Apply:

One of the main benefits of serum is protection against pollution. Serum should be applied on fresh, washed and damp hair. This way it adds a layer of protection to your hair.

How to apply:

Start with the ends of your hair and work your way towards the middle sections of your hair. Do not apply serum to your scalp as it can make your hair look oily and greasy. In fact, we would recommend you to totally forget the roots to avoid any product buildup. Remember, your ends need the most shine, so dab it in!

Pro tip:

Serums are slightly thicker in consistency. So instead of taking it in your palms and quickly rubbing on the hair, let the serum stay in your palms for 5-6 seconds. This helps the serum to liquify, soften up and glide smoothly all over the hair.

How Much Should You Use:

Don't over-apply serums. You will only need a pea-size amount of serum if you have thin or oily hair and a little more if your hair is on the thicker and drier side.

Myth buster:

Thin hair does not need serum because it makes the hair fall flat.


Anyone can use a hair serum. If you have thin or oily hair, stick to the lighter formula. If you have dry hair, go for a heavy and ultra-moisturizing formula.

How To Pick The Right Serum For Your Hair Type?

Hair serums are basically silicone-based products that coat your hair, smoothen out frizz and flyaways. Choose one based on your hair type and concern:

1. Dry And Frizzy Hair

Look for serums with ingredients like rosewood, castor and marula. All of them provide intense hydration to your hair.

2. Split Ends

Your hair is prone to breakage. Look for ingredients like keratin (a hair protein) in your serum.

3. Damaged Hair Due To Heat And Pollution

Opt for lavender and jojoba oils that take care of your hair, detangle them and are super lightweight.

4. Dry Hair

There are cream-based serums that can be applied and left overnight for your hair type.

5. Thick Hair

Serums infused with argan oils and morrocon oils should be your go-to if you have very thick hair.

5. Curly Hair

This hair type is a bit more difficult to manage. Look for ingredients like jojoba, sweet almond oil, argan and marula in your serums. These add an extra boost of hydration.

6. Colored And Chemically Treated Hair

Look for serums with combinations like coconut oil and green tea extracts.

Is Serum Necessary For Hair?

Hair serum has become an essential part of our hair care routines for all the right reasons. Shampoos, though are cleaning enough, can expose the hair cuticles. Conditioner does not do an effective job at sealing your cuticle and hence a layer of serum is a must.

If you are someone who can't do without heat styling your hair, serums should be a part of your hair care. They add a layer of protection to your hair and prevent heat damage.

Can We Use Hair Serum Daily?

Haircare experts do not recommend serums for everyday use. Limit the use of serums to special days and the days you wash your hair. But if you have extremely unmanageable and frizzy hair, you can use an oil-based serum every day as well.

What Do You Do If You Put Too Much Serum In Your Hair?

If you've applied too much hair serum, it can cause greasiness. A dry shampoo comes handy if you need to fix this problem. What else can you do? Use a brush or a wide-tooth comb to spread out the product evenly.

What Is The Difference Between Hair Oil And Hair Serum?

Even though hair oil and serum seem to have the same texture, their functions are different. Hair oil penetrates deeper, passing the cuticle and reaching the cortex of hair strands. Besides providing nourishment to the hair, hair oil restores hair damage caused by heat styling and coloring. Hair serum adds gloss and reduces frizz on the outer layer of the hair.

Does Hair Serum Have Side Effects?

Hair serums are formulated for your hair shaft and not for the roots. Bear in mind that the chemicals in serums can harm your hair if used for prolonged periods. They can cause breakage and hair fall. Some hair serums can dry out hair. To stay away from the side effects of hair serum, minimize the frequency of application.

What Can We Use Instead Of Hair Serum?

You can replace hair serum with a DIY homemade serum. Add 4 tablespoons of avocado oil, 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil, 2 tablespoons of almond oil, 2 tablespoons of argan oil and 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. This blend of natural oils is your best bet for shinier and bouncier hair. However, it will not give the lightweight feel of silicone oils.

Wrapping Up

We hope that this post helped you get the most out of hair serums. Pick a hair serum that suits your hair type and you are ready to rock the shiny hair days ahead. Apply it only on the shafts of your hair and discontinue usage if a particular serum causes rashes on your scalp or excess hair fall.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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