This post was most recently updated on March 18th, 2023
The secret to nutritious and flawless hair is using the best hair care products. Besides taking the perfect shampoo, deep conditioning, and comb-drying your hair, the best hair serum is the trump card to ward off your hair concerns. Be it hair loss, brittle hair, or frizz, hair serum is one of the essential hair treatment steps you cannot skip.
Going for the right pick of hair serum is not going to disappoint you. We have collected outstanding hair serums for every hair type to cater to your specific hair concerns. Before we go into details, let’s find out what is the usefulness of adding a hair serum to your routine.
Why is Hair Serum so Important?
Hair serum goes beyond your basic hair care. From enhancing hair growth to repairing breakage, the serum is a real Holy Grail to restore your hair health. Hair serum can benefit your hair in different ways depending on the type of hair serum you take.
Here’s what hair serum can do:
Protects against damage
Hair serum is a leave-in treatment, meaning it will coat your hair for some time before you rinse it. At that time, the serum helps to protect and even repair your hair effectively from damages caused by:
- Environmental factors like UV exposure,
- Heat damage from flat iron or hair dryer, and
- Chemical processes like bleaching, coloring, relaxing, or perming.
You can choose a hair serum that acts as a heat protectant, which you have to apply before using hot tools or pick a serum for chemically-treated or damaged hair.
Hair serum contains silicone that can help to reduce frizz and dryness caused by weak and damaged strands. Silicone adds substance to weak and porous strands, making it beneficial to control frizz. It also can define the curls and waves of your hair.
Boosts smoothness and shine
Besides reducing frizz, silicone is beneficial to soften your hair, making it shinier than ever before. Some types of silicone may reflect light, which will improve the shine and sleek appearance of your hair.
Conditioners may do this job in the shower, but hair serum will double the effectiveness with its detangling effect. It leaves your hair sleek and smooth, making it easier to comb and more manageable.
Now you know the benefits of hair serum, let’s take a closer look at what to consider before investing in hair serum.
How to Choose the Right Hair Serum
When it comes to hair serum, what you will pick depends on what your hair and scalp need. Buying the right hair serum that fits your hair condition may do wonders. Below are how to choose a hair serum for you:
Hair type and ingredients
A silicone-based hair serum may be the best choice to tame frizz and detangle, and picking the right one that compliments your hair type is very helpful. Here are the hair-loving ingredients based on your hair type:
- Dry and frizzy hair should look for a hair serum that contains silicone. It acts as an occlusive which blocks water evaporation and keeps hair more hydrated. Since silicone only sits on top of your strands, kindly wash your hair thoroughly after applying this type of serum.
- Color-treated hair needs intense hydration, which should consider a hair serum with a nourishing oil (jojoba oil, almond oil, argan oil), chemical-free ingredients, and cream-based formulas.
- Curly hair loves hydrating ingredients that keep the curls stay intact and bouncy, be it baobab seed oil, jojoba oil, or avocado oil.
Frequency of use
Lightweight serum can be used as a daily routine to protect your hair against damage from environmental stressors or heat styling tools. Thicker and oilier hair serum should be applied once or twice a week for deep nourishment and repair. Read the instructions given carefully to ensure the frequency of use and the recommended amount.
Pick an alcohol-free hair serum
It’s best to avoid using hair serums that contain alcohol as these can dry out your hair, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve with serums. Choose a serum that is rich in natural oils to restore your hair integrity and health. Now, let’s check our best hair serums to nourish your hair.
18 Best Hair Serums to Nourish Your Hair Strands and Scalp
Here is our best selection of hair serums for every hair type. We cover their features, key ingredients, and pros & cons for you to get more information about each product.
Olaplex Nº.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
You can take Nº.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum home with you to protect your hair from damage, reduce tangles and static, add shine, and improve manageability. Olaplex combines extracted Red Algae with scientifically-proven Olaplex® Bond Building Technology™ called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. This hair serum effectively reverses damage from bleaching and heat, even preventing future breakage.
This silicone-free hair serum is suitable for all hair types and textures, even wavy and curly hair to restore the natural bounce of your hair. Apply the serum to damp hair from roots to ends. Surprise surprise! Olaplex provides heat protection by up to 450⁰F (232⁰C), which is great to be used before the heat styling process.
Check our full Olaplex review as a brand here.
- Compatible with all hair types
- Sulfate-, gluten-, and cruelty-free
- Vegan and lightweight formula
- Protects your hair from daily pollution for up to 48 hours
- Can be pricey
Best Hair Growth Serum
Nutrafol Growth Activator Hair Serum with Patent-Pending Ashwagandha Exosomes
Growth Activator is a light, water-based topical solution that is formulated with Ashwagandha Exosomes, a patent-pending nutraceutical regimen that enhances cell renewal and boosts hair thickness in as little as 90 days. Based on the company’s clinical trial, Growth Activator improves healthier hair by up to 87 percent and hair quality by 85 percent after 30 days.
Apply directly to your scalp, focusing on the thinning area be it temples, crown, or hairline, once daily and massage into your scalp for better absorption. With proper usage, you may start to see visible healthier hair in the first month and notice less breakage and thicker-looking hair after three months. Since Growth Activator is focused on your scalp, it leaves your hair greasy, but you may be able to blow dry your hair for quick absorption.
- It has a lightweight texture and almost no smell
- Minimize breakage, reduce shedding, and promote hair growth
- 100% natural and safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women
- May leave a greasy look
- A bit pricey
Best Hair Serum For Hair Loss
Vegamour GRO Hair Serum
Vegamour’s cruelty-free hair serum is equipped with a blend of vegan Phyto-actives that improve the appearance of hair density and reduce shedding for thicker hair. Its plant-based active ingredients work by supporting a healthier hair follicle environment, making it suitable for hair to grow faster. According to the company’s clinical study, GRO Hair Serum increased hair density by up to 52 percent and reduced signs of hair loss by up to 76 percent after 4 months of use.
Vegamour GRO Hair Serum is suitable for all hair types and is safe for daily use. Apply this leave-in treatment directly to your scalp on dry or towel-dried hair every morning or night. Then style your hair as usual. You can expect to see fuller-looking hair by the third month and maximum density in the month of four. However, results may vary for each individual.
- Clinically tested improve hair thickness and reduce shedding
- Safe for all hair types
- It’s a water-based serum and can be used daily without leaving your hair greasy
- Very expensive, especially since you have to use it for 3-4 months to see the best results. Each pack may only last for 30 days.
Read more on Vegamour Growth Serum on our Vegamour Review.
Best Hair Growth Serum For Black Hair
CB Smoothe Wild Jamaican Black Castor Oil
CB Smoothe oil-based serum is formulated with a unique blend of Biotin, Niacinamide, and Rosemary Oil. This is why it is great for stimulating hair growth while also reducing hair loss and breakage. Wild Jamaican Black Castor Oil helps increase blood circulation to your scalp, transferring nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles so they will reactivate to produce new hair growth.
CB Smoothe hair serum is free of harmful chemicals, including parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, and formaldehyde. Only natural ingredients are used in the creation of this peppermint-scented hair serum. Shake the product well before applying it to your hair and scalp.
To help reduce tangles, use an appropriate amount for the length and thickness of your hair. Gently massage the serum into your scalp to stimulate your hair follicles. Wild Jamaican Black Castor Oil is also suitable for people with African-American hair who are looking for fast and healthy hair growth.
- Users reported the first visible hair growth after 1-2 months
- Several users noticed hair shine improvement and less shedding after about 2 weeks
- Improves hair moisture and shine
- Affordable price
- May leave your hair greasy
- Peppermint scents may bother some users
Best Hair Serum For Men
Alex Costa’s Forte Series Hydrating Argan Oil Daily Hair Serum
Even though it is an oil-based serum, Forte Series Hair Serum has a lightweight water-like texture, so it doesn’t easily make your hair greasy. This serum is specially designed for men with dry, frizzy hair and who often use a hair dryer. Forte Series Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Serum is a game-changer for transforming your dry, frizzy, and damaged hair into silky smoothness, leaving it more manageable.
For those who often use hot styling tools, you can use this serum as a heat protectant to guard your hair against heat damage. This sulfate- and paraben-free serum is designed for daily use by applying it to damp hair after shampooing. The formula is an effortless washout, meaning you will easily remove the residue in the shower without having to use up a large amount of shampoo.
- Great for pre-styling, making your hair easy to style
- Leaves your hair smooth and hydrated all-day
- Strong smell
- A bit expensive for a small size
Best Hair Serum For Women
Venanoci Hair Growth Serum For Women
A plant-based serum that is specially designed for women who want to accelerate healthy hair growth. Venanoci Hair Growth Serum relies on biotin and caffeine which are known as natural remedies to promote the health of your hair. This sulfate-free hair serum is safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair and keratin-treated hair. Its non-sticky formula will not weigh your hair down. For oily-prone hair and scalp, it is better to apply a small amount of serum to prevent limp.
Venanoci Hair Serum works by revitalizing and stimulating the hair follicles to speed up the production of new hair. This will eventually help restores the appearance of fuller and healthier hair. The bio-active nutrients also help nourish and hydrate the scalp which creates a good ecosystem for overall hair health. This cruelty-free formula works best when applied to a damp scalp and hair after washing. Use 2-3 times a week to get more optimal results.
- Helps reduce hair loss and increase hair thickness
- Great for post-styling to tame fly-aways
- Non-sticky texture
- May leave a greasy look for very thin hair
- The residue is uneasy to washout
Best Hair Serum For Frizzy Hair
Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum
For frizzy, dry, and unruly hair, Garnier Fructis is a hero to save your hair from frizz and rough texture. It is also perfect for curly, wavy, color-treated hair, straight hair, and thick hair. The texture is slippery and does not weigh your hair down. Pour one pump of serum into your hands, then apply it either to dry or wet hair (avoid the scalp) before blow drying or using hot tools. It can also be used on wash day to detangle hair.
Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum is equipped with technology infused with argan oil and Kera-System+. These act as a smoothing and shine-enhancing agent, which providing 72 hours of frizz control even in 97% humidity. Fructis Serum has a citrus, orange-like scent. Another thing you’ll love is that Garnier Fructis is free of parabens, silicones, phthalates, and DMDM hydantoin, not to mention being cruelty-free.
- Affordable price for generous size
- Flexible application (wet and dry hair)
- Leaves your hair sleek and smooth
- Strong fragrance
- Can be greasy, especially for prone-oily hair
Best For Chemically-Treated Hair
OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil
Try this one if you have very dry, chemically-treated hair to get extra hydration and revive your lifeless, dull hair. This serum deeply penetrates your hair shaft to renew and improve hair’s elasticity from the inside out. OGX’s sulfate-surfactants-free serum infuses your hair with a moisturizing blend of rich cold-pressed Moroccan argan oil, which locks nutrition to protect against damage plus reduce split ends.
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Hair Oil Treatment is applied to damp or towel-dried hair from roots to tips. This serum is also suitable for heat protection before using hot styling tools to shield your strands from excessive heat, creating touchable tresses. OGX Hair Serum is infused with a relaxing citrus, floral-green, and woody scent that provides a delightful treatment experience.
- Detangles and soften your hair
- Tames fly-aways and frizzy hair
- Non-sticky formula and is easy to apply
- The scent is too strong
- May leave a greasy appearance for oily hair. Just put a little drop to avoid this from happening
Best Hair Serum For Thick Hair
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Overnight Serum
This hydrating hair serum does a great job to nourish and soften your hair overnight with its non-greasy and pillow-proof formula. Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Serum is quickly absorbed into your hair and makes it less frizzy in the morning, thanks to red camellia oil that enhances hair’s natural shine and moisture. Its thick consistency makes it ideal for medium to thick hair and straight to curly hair textures.
To reap its benefits, apply this serum to dry or damp hair from mid-to-end before going to bed. You can immediately style your hair in the morning without having to rinse it. This serum is perfect for those who are in a rush in the morning and don’t have much time to style their hair as it reduces tangles and makes your hair soft without leaving a greasy residue.
- Fast-absorbing even with its thick texture
- Safe for color-treated hair
- It also can be used in the morning to nourish your hair
Best Vegan Formula Hair Serum
GIOVANNI Hemp Hydrating Hair Serum
This vegan-friendly hair serum is compatible with all hair types, especially damaged, frizzy hair, and colored hair. Hemp Hydrating Hair Serum helps tame frizz and flyaways, detangle, and reduce split ends with its Hemp Seed Oil. This oil can prevent your hair absorbs too much water and hair breakage due to being brushed when it is wet. This cruelty-free serum is free of harsh chemicals (SLS & SLES and Parabens), making it suitable to maintain your hair color vibrancy.
Pump a small amount of serum onto your palm, then smooth it to wet or dry hair. Style your hair as usual. GIOVANNI Hemp Hair Serum gives your hair a more radiant, frizz-free look afterward. Avoid using it on the scalp, it may make hair look greasy. Aloe Vera in this serum provides good hydration to your hair strand and strengthens them. Since it contains silicones, you should keep balance in your hair with the occasional use of a clarifying shampoo to remove product build-up.
- Suitable for all hair types, including brittle and dry hair
- Free of harsh chemicals
- Reasonably priced
- Leaves greasy appearance
Best Hair Serum For Thin Hair
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
A water-based serum that does not make your hair easily appear greasy afterward. Thin hair is usually characterized by a flat appearance making it uneasy to get bouncy hair like a model, which is what many women dream of. The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum is formulated with a combination of caffeine and peptides, resulting in a lightweight formula that is suitable for all hair textures.
It works by targeting the hair follicles, “waking them up” to stimulate new hair growth. This serum has the same pH as your hair, so it doesn’t dry out your hair, plus it is alcohol-, silicone-, cruelty-, nut-, and gluten-free. The ideal application of this serum is at bedtime once daily by massaging a few drops into a clean, dry scalp. Remember: It is a leave-in formula, no need to wash your hair afterward. Patch testing is advised to avoid unwanted effects.
- Recyclable packaging
- Great for dry and flaky hair
- Worth the penny
- Helps reduce shedding and promote hair growth
- Requires consistency and long-term use
Best Hair Serum For Dry Hair
Kérastase Nutritive 8H Magic Night Serum
Designed to optimize your sleep, this leave-in serum by Kérastase restores your dull, lifeless hair overnight, leaving it nourished and shiny by morning. This light cream-like hair serum is crafted with a powerful blend of Iris Root Extract and B-complex Vitamins to bring back the natural moisture to brittle and dry hair.
Kérastase Nutritive 8H Magic Night Serum works in two ways:
- Restores stripped hair moisture and nutrition by deeply penetrating the hair fibers overnight
- Protects hair by preventing friction from pillows that can roughen hair cuticles
Take 1-2 pumps (the amount may vary by hair length) onto your hand, rub it, and apply it into mid-length to tip onto dry hair. When you wake, your hair is hydrated, smooth, and ready to style for the daytime without stubborn tangles. No residue left and transfer to your pillowcase or sheets. Kérastase 8H Magic Night Serum provides a sensory experience by evolving a relaxing floral scent between usage and bedtime.
- Just a little serum goes a long way
- It does not weigh your hair down, even though it has a thick consistency
- Provides flawless and nutritious hair by morning without residue left
- The scent can be too strong for someone sensitive to fragrance
Best For Damaged Hair
Oribe Power Drops Damage Repair Booster with 2% Linoleic Acid
Crafted without SLS and SLES, Oribe is a dermatologist-tested serum that restores extremely dry, damaged, and time-weakened hair as well as split ends thanks to its 2% linoleic acid formula. Oribe Power Drops Damage Repair Booster reverses hair damage and strengthens its defenses against environmental stresses. Not only that, it can lower hair fall frequency due to breakage and acts as a UV protectant, preventing your hair from heat damage.
This serum is enhanced with Oribe Signature Complex Technology which protects hair from oxidative stress, drying, color fading, and damage to natural keratin. Hence, it is safe to say that Oribe Power Drops Booster is suitable for colored and keratin-treated hair. To get the benefits, apply the serum to damp hair regularly. It can also be used as a heat protectant to prevent damage from hair dryers and flat irons.
- Safe for color- and keratin-treated hair
- Well worth the penny
- Lightweight formula
- Product dispensing could be better
- May not work for everyone
Best Hair Serum For Breakage
OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum
An anti-breakage serum that is infused with Coconut Milk, Whipped Egg White Proteins, and Coconut Oil. It is beneficial to deeply nourish and hydrate your hair, leaving it looking flawless and healthier. Its luxuriously creamy texture does not weigh your hair down and is suitable for all hair types and textures. OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Serum restores and increases your natural hair’s elasticity, leading to prevent breakage caused by external stressors.
This sulfate-free hair serum is great for pre-styling treatment to protect your hair from further damage caused by heat styling tools. Pour a small amount of the serum onto your palm, then apply it evenly to your damp or towel-dried hair from mid-lengths to ends. OGX Anti-Breakage Serum is scented with coconut, white peach, and shea butter which provides a sensory experience upon application.
- Control frizz and flyaways
- Effortless washout
- Great value for the penny
- Well-detangles your hair
- May be too heavy for fine hair
- May leave sticky residue on your hair and palms
Best For Split Ends
Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Overnight Serum
Get hair repair up to the third layer overnight with Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Overnight Serum specially formulated to treat and repair split ends up to 84%. Aveda Botanical’s Bond-Building Plant Molecule Technology creates new hydrogen bonds in the hair cortex to strengthen the integrity of your hair and prevent future damage. Its macro green blend (organic avocado, green tea, and sacha inchi oil) treats and smoothes your hair cuticles to detangle.
Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Overnight Serum is scented with Aveda brand perfume, Pure-Fume™. The scent is formulated with a mixture of organic ylang-ylang, rose, marjoram, and other pure flower extracts. Apply to mid-lengths and the ends at bedtime. Style your hair as usual in the morning. It can also be applied directly to your split ends for maximum repair during the daytime.
- Suitable for all hair types
- Tames flyaways during at daytime
- Leaves your hair shiny and smooth
- Strong scent
- Sticky texture
Best Hair Serum For Bleached Hair
JVN’s Complete Instant Recovery Serum
Unlike most serums which come in pump or spray form, this one comes in a jar which is great as a primer before hair styling with hot tools. This serum is compatible with all hair types, especially for damaged, bleached, and extremely dry hairs to detangle and repair breakage.
In a company-conducted clinical study using bleached hair swatches, JVN’s Instant Recovery Serum helps reduce the appearance of split ends by up to 40%. It also helps restore hair’s natural shine and protect hair from heat styling by up to 450⁰F.
This color-safe serum provides instant moisture without silicones. JVN’s Instant Recovery Serum also improves overall hair health and doesn’t leave a lot of buildup in your hair. It is scented with a blend of amber and cashmere musk with subtle hints of lemon and mandarin. Take a grape-sized amount of serum, rub it between your palms, then apply it from mid-lengths to ends (apply more for thicker hair). Dry and style your hair as usual.
- Does not leave a greasy look
- Vegan, cruelty-free, and sulfate-free
- Tame frizz and suitable for those who live in humid regions
- Sharp fragrance
Best Hair Serum For Curly Hair
ELEVEN Australia Smooth & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum
An Australian-made hair serum specially designed for wavy, curly, and coily hair. ELEVEN Australia Anti-Frizz Serum harnesses the power of argan oil to hydrate and soften your hair. It is also combined with a fresh watermelon scent. True to its name, this serum is an ultimate weapon for taming frizz and controlling stubborn flyaways. With its vegan and sulfate-free formula, it ultimately adds shine to your hair and makes it more manageable.
Even though exclusively designed for curly hair, this lightweight serum is still suitable for all hair types. Folks with dull hair, lacking natural luster and split ends, even bleaching hair also can use it to restore healthy locks. Simply dispense 1-2 pumps into the palm, rub in, and apply to dry hair from mid-length to ends. If you have thick hair, apply to damp hair and dry it for a soft, manageable finish.
- Amazing scent
- Makes your hair shiny and smooth
- Tames frizz and flyaways even for coarse, thick hair
- May leave a greasy look
Best For Color-Treated Hair
Color Wow Pop & Lock High Gloss Finish Serum
A unique topical solution that combines the two hydration benefits of serum and oil. This allows you to get extra hydration from a highly concentrated formula. Even so, it doesn’t leave a greasy look on your hair but instead has a sparkling high-gloss finish. It is great as a heat protectant and prevents color fading. Color Wow High Gloss Finish Serum is suitable for all hair types, especially frizzy, dry, and dull hair.
The formula is especially helpful for taming frizz and flyaways and reducing split ends. It is also perfect for tight braids to impart softness. This serum can be applied to wet and dry hair. For wet hair, focus on the lower length to the ends. Meanwhile, on dry hair, apply it to the entire hair shaft to reduce frizz and get a glossy finish.
- Glossy finish
- Lightweight formula
- Leaves hairstyle-able and smooth
- A bit sticky
Hair serums are marketed with various benefits, from reducing frizz, and hydrating hair to repairing your hair. It’s best to first understand your hair type and what goals you want to achieve from hair serum so that it’s easier to find it and get the expected results. Occasionally wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove product build-up, especially if a serum contains silicones.
We hope this article will help you find the best hair serum for your hair. Hit us in the comments section if you have the best hair serum recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I use hair serum every day?
Use hair serum according to the instructions on the bottle or box because each serum has a different frequency of use. It’s best to use a hair serum on the day you wash it, before using heat tools, and/or if you feel your hair needs extra hydration.
Is it better to put a serum on wet or dry hair?
For optimal results, apply serum to clean hair after shampooing while it is damp or in towel-dried hair. However, some serums only work optimally on damp hair. This includes Nutrafol Growth Activator, Alex Costa Forte Series, and Venanoci Hair Growth Serum.
What happens if you use too much serum on your hair?
Excessive application of hair serum may turn your hair into a greasy appearance, especially if you have fine hair. Apply the hair serum a little at a time through your hair rather than a large amount in one go.