What Is A Hair Serum—Its Pros, Cons, Side Effects And How It Works

What Is A Hair Serum—Its Pros, Cons, Side Effects

Shalu B

Updated At  26 Mar 24

Do you want to know what is a hair serum? Do you want to find out hair serum benefits and side effects?

Thanks to the multi step Korean beauty routine, the world was introduced to serums—miracles in a bottle. You must be well aware of skin serums. But do you know how life changing can hair serums prove to be?

We will answer all your questions related to hair serums in this article. We will tell you what is a hair serum, advantages and disadvantages of hair serum, and hair serum side effects among others.

We cover the following:-

  • What Is A Hair Serum
  • Top 8 Hair Serum Benefits
  • Disadvantages Of Hair Serum And Its Side Effects
  • How To Use Hair Serum
  • Precautions To Be Taken
  • How To Choose A Hair Serum
  • Hair Serum Vs Hair Oil
  • Frequently Asked Questions On Hair Serum



What Is A Hair Serum?

Ask us what is a hair serum and we will probably tell you that it is the one stop solution to all your hair woes. Consider your prayers for a luscious mane answered. Hair serum is like magic in a bottle. It can transform your dull and drab hair into smooth and shiny in under a minute.

A must have in one’s hair styling kit, hair serum is a product which has quickly gained a lot of popularity just like skin serums.


A hair serum is basically a hair care product in liquid form and primarily consists of silicone, ceramides and amino acids. Though it is in liquid form, its consistency is thicker than water. Hair serums are not just meant for hair styling. They are also used for treating multiple hair concerns like dry hair, dull hair, and unmanageable hair. 


Previously hair serums were mainly used by professionals to style hair but now the market is flooded with a variety of hair serums. Anybody can use it. 

Now that you are aware what is a hair serum, its time to look at hair serum benefits and side effects.




8 Best Hair Serum Benefits

Its important to know hair serum benefits and side effects before you finalize the product. A hair serum predominantly has the following 8 benefits.


1) Multi Purpose

A hair serum solves a lot of hair issues and not just one problem. There is a reason it is called a one stop solution for all your hair woes.

Hair serum transforms a bad hair day into a good hair day. With just a few drops, your hair will feel and look different.

2) Protects Hair

Hair serum forms a layer on hair strands. It thus acts as an excellent protectant against heat, sun damage, dirt, dust and pollution. It prevents your hair from getting damaged. This is why it is advised to use a heat protecting serum before using hot styling tools.

3) Gives Shine To The Hair

The layer formed by hair serum acts as a reflector of light thus making your hair look shiny and lustrous.

Hair serums consist of amino acids which protect colored and chemically treated hair.

4) Prevents Hair fall From Breakage

When our hair becomes a tangled mess, we tend to lose a lot of hair strands because of the wear and tear that goes into detangling. Hair serum acts as a lubricant for such hair and makes detangling easy. And the result is less hair fall.

5) Best For Dry Hair

The most to benefit from hair serums are those who have dry and frizzy hair. Hair serums lock in the moisture and makes hair smooth and shiny.

6) Nourishes Hair And Makes Them Manageable

Hair serums fill the follicular cracks and revive brittle and damaged hair.. Hair serum makes hair more manageable which further makes it easy to style them. Time, energy, patience. Everything is saved.


7) Saves Time

The transformation takes less than a minute. It means you save a lot of time which you would have otherwise spent on hair styling. You reap maximum benefits in a little span of time. And ladies, in today’s world, time is the real money.

8) Ideal For Parties

If you want to be a head turner at the next party or outing, then do it with your head full of shiny, lustrous healthy looking hair. Hair serums give the required pick-me-up to your dull hair in an instant which makes them very useful before big events.



Disadvantages Of Hair Serum

There are a few disadvantages of hair serum which one needs to be aware of.

  • One of the disadvantages of using a hair serum is that its application can be a little tricky. However, there is nothing which cannot be solved by taking a few precautions. 
  • Additionally, you might get used to using a hair serum as without it your hair might become dry and dull. One has to ensure that too much of it can be bad for hair as it can make your hair oily.
  • Choose the right serum which works for your hair. Serums usually contain silicons and a lot of it might cause hairfall.



Hair Serum Side Effects

There are a few hair serum side effects which one must know before using it.

  • Regular use can make your hair dry and unhealthy. Hair serums form a protective layer over your hair and this is why it becomes important that you let your hair breathe once in a while and give them the required nourishment and care. If you are facing the dry hair problem after just one day of use, then you should change the brand of serum you are using.
  • Since hair serums are chemically formulated with its primary ingredient being silicones, they can prove to be harmful in the long run.
  • Scalp application should be avoided as it might make it oily or can lead to inflammation.
  • Excessive usage of hair serum can lead to hair fall so one needs to be careful about its usage.




How To Use A Hair Serum?

Hair serums are ideally used on damp hair. Not dripping wet hair but damp hair. Follow these steps to find out how to use serum on hair.

  • Flip your hair to the front.
  • Take a few drops of hair serum in your hands. Blot it between the palms of your hands to heat the serum up.
  • Apply starting at ends and then move up towards the scalp.
  • Brush your hair downwards to get the desired effect.


Precautions To Be Taken

There are certain things that you must keep in mind while using a hair serum:

  • Always consult a professional before using a hair serum. Ascertain your hair type as well as hair issues.
  • While applying the hair serum avoid the use of fingertips.
  • Do not use hair serum on the roots or it would lead to buildup.
  • Always apply hair serum on clean shampooed hair.
  • Be vigilant about the amount you are using. Excessive use can make the scalp greasy. For medium length hair, use 1 to 2 drops and for long hair use 3 to 4 drops.
  • Do not rub the serum in between your palms like oil. But gently blot it.
  • Always blow dry your hair after applying hair serum.


How To Choose A Hair Serum

Knowing what is a hair serum is not enough. With so many options available in the market it becomes hard to choose the right serum for your hair. Though silicone is the primary ingredient, you need to look for certain other ingredients to target specific hair issues.

If you are looking to find out how to choose a hair serum, then refer to the following guide.

  • For split-ends: Serum with keratin to repair damage
  • For protection from heat and pollution: A lightweight serum with lavender or jojoba oils
  • For curly hair: Serum with oils like jojoba oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil for intense moisturisation
  • For thick and textured hair: Serum with argan or Moroccan oil for extra hydration
  • For excessively dry hair: Cream based serum which can be applied overnight
  • For colored hair: Lightweight cream based serum with jojoba, argan or coconut oil and green tea extracts




Hair Serum Vs Hair Oil

Due to its consistency and texture, it is easy to confuse hair serums with hair oils. However, both of these hair products are very different. We will now tell you what is a hair serum and how it is different from hair oils:

  • Hair oil penetrates deep into the hair shaft to nourish hair from within whereas hair serum merely sits on the surface and forms a layer.
  • Hair oil conditions and nourishes hair which has a direct impact on the overall hair health. But no such impact is seen with the use of hair serums. A hair serum only forms a layer on the hair’s surface and has no effect on hair health.
  • Hair oil gives a permanent solution to hair issues if used over a period of time whereas hair serum provides instant temporary solutions that can prove to be life changing.



Frequently Asked Questions On Hair Serum


Q. Does hair serum cause hair fall?

No, it does not. In fact, hair serums help in detangling hair which reduces hair fall.


Q. Between a hair serum and hair oil which is better?

Both hair serum and hair oil have their own uses and benefits. If you are looking for a temporary and instant fix, hair serum is the way to go. But, if you are seeking a long term and permanent remedy to your hair issues, then hair oil is perfect for you.


Q- Is serum harmful for hair?

There are no immediate harmful effects of a hair serum but over a long term with excessive usage one might see dry hair and an increased hairfall. So always make sure to minimize a hair serum usage.


Q- What does hair serum contain?

A hair serum usually contains the following ingredients:

  • Silicones
  • Amino acids
  • Silk proteins


Q. Can hair oil be applied after using hair serum?

Applying hair oil after having used hair serum will not serve any purpose. Hair serum’s protective layer won’t let the oil reach down to the hair follicles. There is then no question of your hair getting any nourishment from that oil. Also, applying oil after using hair serum will lead to greasy build up in your hair which can lead to hair fall.


Q. Can hair serum be used daily?

The use of hair serum is ideal for times when you are going out for a lunch, a party, function or any other occasion. Daily use is not advisable as it can have severe effect on the health of your hair.


Q. Is it good or bad for hair?

Hair serum is good for a temporary fix. Though it can be bad in the long run due to the presence of silicones.


Q. Can it be used for dry hair?

Yes, it can be used. Hair serums are in fact a boon for dry and frizzy hair. It can be a life changing experience for people with dry hair.


Q- Does hair serum damage hair?

A hair serum can damage your hair over a long term as it contains silicones which make the hair dry. Additionally, excessive usage over long term can also lead to hairfall.


Q. Can hair serums be used for straightening hair?

Yes, hair serums can be used for straightening hair. If you have mildly wavy hair, hair serum alone can straighten your hair. Otherwise, hair serums act as a protective layer against the heat styling tools.



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