best hair serum benefits

Hair Serum Benefits: 5 Pros, Side Effects And An Expert Guide on Using Serums

Wondering what are the hair serum benefits and side effects? Well in this article I’ve listed out both. I’ve also given a brief tutorial on how to use hair serum for hair and when it’s best applied. 

A hair serum is a sort of liquid, viscous product that is supposed to smoothen hair strands and add softness and shine to the hair. It doesn’t leave your hair greasy like a hair oil does, nor is it as rich and heavy as a leave-in conditioner.

Some hair serums are also used in place of a hairspray to keep hairstyles in place.

Hair Serum Benefits

Reduces Frizziness on Hair

I think this is one of the most obvious benefits of getting a hair serum. It’s actually what most serums are marketed as - anti-frizz products. But it goes much further than that.

Frizz is caused due to two reasons. One, if the moisture in your hair shaft is less due to heat damage. (Lee, Yoonhee et al. “Hair shaft damage from heat and drying time of hair dryer.” Annals of dermatology vol. 23,4 (2011): 455-62. doi:10.5021/ad.2011.23.4.455)

The other reason being humidity as hair cuticles are open in high humid climates, leaving your texture in shambles.

A good hair serum controls both these factors to give you smooth, frizz-free hair.

So I suggest going for a hydrating hair serum that not just smoothes your hair cuticles but also adds hydration to your tresses.

natural hair serum for shiny hair

Enhances Hair Shine

As I’ve discussed above, open hair cuticles can lead to frizz. But that’s not the only issue they create. 

Usually the cuticles lie flat, overlapping and close to one another, this provides a smooth hair surface for light to bounce off of, making your hair “shine”.

But if your hair cuticles are open then the hair doesn’t shine as the light’s scattered due to the uneven texture. 

Ah, physics! And you didn’t think you’ll use it after high school! 

So using a hair serum can help make your hair cuticles lie flat, enhancing the shine on your hair. 

Smoothens Any Flyaways and Keeps Hairstyles In Place

I often notice that after styling my hair in a particular way there are some hair strands that poke out from the bun or braid or flyaways and baby hair that just won’t settle into place.

For these situations, a hair serum can work just as well as a hair setting spray or gel and keep your hair in its place.

It’s actually a great alternative to hair styling products if you’re worried about product buildup. 

I also use hair serum to try out the “clean girl look” hairstyle with the slicked back bun instead of using a lot of gel or spray. This way my hair stays nourished and locked in place without the side effects that come with using chemical hair sprays or gels. 

best hair serum for frizzy hair

Enhances The Texture Of Your Hair

If you have very frizzy hair then chances are your hair is just wavy or curly and lacks enough moisture to present that texture. So it appears to be frizzy instead.

So applying a hydrating hair serum can add the necessary moisture to your tresses to make them take their original shape and appear more wavy or curly.

This also applies if you have straight hair. 

A hair serum can prevent open cuticles and reduce straight hair from looking too unmanageable and frizzy, giving it the smooth, poker-straight look instead.

Reduces Breakage By Removing Tangles 

Whenever you try to detangle your hair or brush it out, there is likely to be breakage due to the friction involved. Yes, even if you are using a soft, wide toothed comb. 

So applying a bit of hair serum right before detangling or brushing your hair adds “slip” to the hair or in layman's terms reduces the friction movement between your strands. 

This way there is less chance of breakage and you can unravel all the knots and tangles in your hair pretty easily too. 

how and when to use hair serum

How To Use Hair Serum

Using a hair serum is a simple process. The first step is obviously to find a product that suits your hair texture and scalp condition. Then, you only need to follow these steps.

  1. Using a microfiber cloth, remove any excess moisture from your hair after you’ve shampooed and conditioned it.
  2. Take a few drops of hair serums (depending on your hair length) and massage it between the palms of your hands.
  3. Massage the palms of your hands on your hair starting at the top and gently moving to the ends.
  4. If you’ve not freshly washed your hair, you can still apply a few drops of serum to hair before brushing it out to help detangle hair.
  5. A hair serum can also be applied to the last stage of your hair styling process to help keep the hairstyle locked into place and to smoothen any flyaways.

Disadvantages of Hair Serum 

Technically, there are no “side effects” of the serum as such (unless you have an allergy to one of the ingredients which is very rare). But the disadvantages arise from the way you are using the hair serum.

Just like hair conditioners you should not apply serums to your scalp unless the product specifically mentions that it’s okay to do so.

It might clog your hair follicles, leading to scalp acne, inflammation and other issues. 

Also, the biggest “disadvantage” so to speak of hair serums is the presence of silicones.

Usually present in the form of dimethicone or amodimethicone these serums. Now these particular components in themselves are not an issue. 

Silicones are used to coat your hair strands, smoothening them and reducing frizz instantly.

However, they can build up over time and prevent hair products from being absorbed properly into your hair shaft. This buildup can also weigh hair down and lead to limp, dull-looking tresses. 

So ideally, when selecting hair serum for yourself, go for ones that do not have silicones in them.


Should you use hair serum every day?

It’s best if you do not use a hair serum everyday. These products are best kept for the days you are styling your hair for special occasions or when they seem extremely frizzy or unmanageable. Using too much hair serum can lead to product buildup which will eventually lead to limp, greasy-looking hair, dryness (as buildup prevents moisture absorption) and even tangles.

Which serum is good for hair growth?

If you’re specifically looking for hair serums that target hair growth then you should go for products with ingredients that stimulate growth. These include natural ingredients like caffeine, rosemary, niacin, vitamin C, among others. If you have severe hair loss problems and want a surefire way to increase growth then you can try clinically approved chemical serums for hair growth like minoxidil 2 percent serum.

When to use hair serum in your hair care routine?

The best time to apply hair serum is when you’re out of the shower and your hair is still damp. Mind you, I mean damp, not wet. So you can use a microfiber cloth to wring out excess water from tresses and then apply a few drops of serum. Using a serum at this stage will help lock in moisture and prevent it from escaping your strands. This helps in making hair less frizzy and bringing out your hair texture better.

What should a good hair serum contain?

Ideally, a good hair serum should consist of two types of ingredients - a humectant and an emollient.
Now, a humectant is a type of substance that attracts moisture to your tresses and keeps them hydrated. Some examples of humectants include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, panthenol, etc.
The hair serum should also contain an emollient which is a substance that locks in moisture so that your hair remains hydrated throughout the day. Emollients include substances such as argan oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil, dimethicone, etc.

Final Thoughts on Hair Serum Benefits

Hair serums have so many benefits as I have listed above. They smoothen your hair, reduce frizz, make your strands softer and shinier. 

But also there are certain serums that have special ingredients tailored to target a specific hair problem like hair loss, dandruff, etc. 

So it’s really a wonderful hair care product! 

Some people do wonder if there are side effects to using hair serums. But in my opinion if you’re using a serum that suits your hair and scalp and are not overdoing it, you should be fine.

I always use a hair serum after washing my hair and styling it. But you can simply use it after applying leave-in conditioner or in place of it, if you’re air drying your hair. 

Also Read:

Why Hair Conditioner Is Important

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