Hair Serum Vs Hair Oil — What Works Better For You?

A woman holding her hair from back | hair serum vs hair oil

Hair products make a huge difference in how you style your hair. They extend the life of your hairstyles, add gloss, volume, and texture, and protect your hair from heat damage. 

Hair growth serum

While anything that provides you with rapid results may appear to be a lifesaver, choosing a hair product is not a one-stop-shop situation because they are all distinct. 

This article explains the differences between hair serum and hair oil, as well as their different benefits if you're wondering what the magic elixir for healthy, manageable, and frizz-free hair is. 

What Is Hair Serum? 

Hair serum is a silicone-based solution that covers the surface of your hair to seal the cuticles and lock in the curl pattern. Serums are styling treatments with extra advantages that work as a 'botox' for your tresses, designed to protect hair from aggressive brushing, heat (from electrical styling equipment), pollution, and extended sun exposure.

Serums also have light-reflecting properties, which help the strands seem shinier, smoother, and healthier.

What is the use of hair serum?

Hair serum is a liquid-based treatment that is often prepared with silicones to produce a protective layer over the hair fiber and aid in the smoothing of frizz. This smooth layer then reflects the light, giving your hair a lustrous, non-greasy finish. This eliminates the need for some individuals to use straighteners to smooth out their hair afterwards, reducing style time in half and protecting their hair from heat damage.

It's not well known, but hair serum is utilized for more than simply taming frizz. The proper serum for your hair type may address a variety of issues, such as smoothing, adding shine, and detangling, as well as mending damage and protecting against pollution. Hair serum may also be used to conceal split ends in between visits to the stylist.

Hair Nourishing shampoo

How to apply hair serum?

1. Find the right product

The first step, like with any grooming product, is to locate the correct one for you. Choose a serum that is appropriate for your hair type and particular issues. For example, if you want to grow your hair longer, you may use a hair growth serum. Likewise, if you want to combat frizz and dryness, use an anti-frizz solution.

2. Shampoo Your Hair

Hair serums work best on freshly washed hair. When using a hair serum, always apply it to freshly washed hair.

Serums, as opposed to other treatments like hair sprays or mousse, nourish your hair. They help protect it against environmental irritants like dirt, dust, and pollution. Using a hair serum on unclean hair therefore negates the aim of the serum.

3. Use Serum on Your Hair

Depending on the density and length of your hair, put a few drops of serum into your palm, swirl them together in your palms, and distribute them evenly throughout your hair. Remember that a little serum goes a long way. Over-application is never a good thing, regardless of how long or thick your hair is.

Flip your towel-dried hair front and apply the serum from the roots to the mid-lengths. Avoid getting too near to the roots since a serum works best at the hair's base.

4. Hair Care After Application

Brush your hair downwards after applying the serum to untangle it and evenly spread the substance.

Benefits of applying hair serum

Here are the following benefits of applying hair serum:

1. Controls Frizz 

Try a serum before resorting to other methods such as cutting your hair or purchasing a hair spray. The Best hair serum does wonders for taming and nourishing frizzy hair. It neutralises the negative static charge responsible for frizz, flyaway hair, and friction

2. Enhances radiance 

Shiny hair is the ultimate hair objective, and utilizing a serum can help you achieve that goal. To polish your strands and combat dullness, use a shine-boosting serum as a final touch. 

3. Nourishes dry hair

There are numerous disadvantages to having dry hair. It has a rough texture and appears to be lifeless. A decent hair serum may supply crucial nutrients to your hair while also making it smoother and silkier. 

4. Improves smoothness

Hair serum's anti-frizz action also aids in the smoothness of your hair. This is due to the silicone coating action, which gives the illusion of smooth and glossy strands.

5. Helps to detangle your hair 

It's difficult to run your fingers through dry or damaged hair without tangles or excessive roughness. A few drops of serum can soften and supple your hair. 

6. Repairs damage

When you use heat styling equipment or dye your hair, it wears down. When your hair loses its natural oils, one of the simplest methods to restore moisture is to use a serum.

What Is Hair Oil? 

Hair oils are conditioning treatments that absorb into your hair and help it to stay healthy. 

Oil is made of substances that enter, lubricate, and feed your strands with fatty acids. It's an essential ingredient that helps moisturise dry hair, regardless of hair type or texture. 

Hair oils, rather than serums, are a multi-tasker and the ideal treatment for hair prone to breakage, damage, fraying, dryness, frizzing, and split ends. 

Hair oil

Benefits of applying hair oil

1. It makes the hair stronger

Oiling hair provides "a multi-dimensional impact". It benefits the hair by enhancing its tensile strength, decreasing frizziness, and avoiding breakage.

2. It protects against heat damage to the hair

By coating the hair, the oil creates a protective barrier for the hair shaft. When individuals blow-dry their hair and other operations are performed on it, it becomes highly brittle and delicate.

3. It promotes hair growth

Aside from the substance itself, the massage method employed while applying oil offers a slew of advantages. “ It enhances or stimulates blood circulation to the scalp, which aids in the delivery of nutrients to the scalp, which subsequently acts to nourish the hair.

4. It moisturises the hair and keeps it from frizzing

Oils high in Vitamin E and fatty acids, such as castor oil and olive oil, may form a physical barrier around hair cells, preventing moisture loss and leaving strands appearing dull and dry.

Hair serum vs Hair oil

Hair Serum

Hair oil

  • Styling agent mostly composed of silicone
  • Protects against humidity, adds shine, keeps frizz at bay, and smoothes your hair
  • Serums establish a protective coating on the cuticles that protects them from intense brushing or combing as well as heat styling.
  • Hair is protected from pollution and other environmental variables.
  • It is ideal for dry or split ends and may be used for style.
  • Apply serum after washing your hair and on other days to reduce flyaways and frizz.
  • Treatment intended to nourish
  • Keeps your hair healthy by conditioning and nourishing it.
  • Hair oils lubricate the hair and have the ability to enter the cuticles. They may change the structure of the hair by replacing the lipids with fatty acids. This reduces split ends and avoids breakage.
  • Makes hair healthier and stronger, especially for individuals who have breakage, dullness, or split ends.
  • Ideal for hair in need of intensive nutrition or restoration.
  • Hair oil treatments may be used once or twice a week.

Is serum or oil better for hair?

Hair serum and hair oil are not interchangeable. Both haircare products have unique functions and properties to provide your hair. Hair serum is a hairstyling product that provides shine while also protecting hair from heat damage. A hair oil, on the other hand, nourishes the hair, reduces dandruff, promotes hair growth, and improves overall hair quality.

Take Away

In addition to serums that add shine and smooth texture to your hair, you may want to try hair regeneration serums, which work on your scalp follicles rather than your hair shaft. Hair oils are not the same as scalp serums, which are often used to reactivate dormant hair follicles and encourage hair regeneration.To get the best results, it is recommended to apply oil to the hair before washing and then follow up with a serum.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I use oil as hair serum?

No. Hair serums are intended to treat your hair superficially and quickly giving it a smooth texture and gloss. Hair oils, on the other hand, nourish and condition your hair from the inside out.

2. Can I use hair serum daily?

No, Serums are not recommended for daily usage by haircare professionals. Use serums only for special occasions and on days when you wash your hair.

3. Can I apply oil after the serum?

To get the best results, it is recommended to apply oil to the hair before washing and then follow up with a serum.


1. Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias, Jan-March 2015, Hair Cosmetics: An Overview