Hair Serum—What Is It and How Do I Use It?

BY Alyssa Montemurro
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As far as essential hair products go, you probably think you’re pretty well-stocked at this point. You shampoo and condition, you apply a hair mask at least once a week, and use a heat-protecting leave-in treatment post-shower. What else is there to consider? 


As it turns out, you may be missing out on one key product with major multitasking hair benefits—hair serum! Packed with a potent concentration of active ingredients, hair serums like our new, customizable hair serum, can effectively smooth, soften, and protect the hair from environmental aggressors so that your hair stays sleek and shiny all day long. Love the idea of a hair serum but now sure how to work it into your hair care routine? Below, we’ve broken down all of the essential dos and don’ts of using this all-in-one product so you can start making the most of your daily #hairgoals.

Wait, so what exactly is a hair serum?

Not to be confused with hair oil, hair serum is a silicone-based styling product that is designed to coat the surface of the hair to help impart added shine, smoothness, hydration, and humidity + pollution protection (note: you always have the option to go silicone-free!) Intended to be used on wet or dry serums can act as both a pre-styling treatment and a finishing product, making it perfect for wash days, in-between washes, and on-the-go touch-ups. And while some serums get a bad rap for being too heavy and slick for fine, thin, or oily hair types, our specially engineered hair serum is 100% customizable, meaning it will work for every single hair type—period. The key to getting the most out of your hair serum, however, is learning how to use it properly, which is why we put together some quick dos and don’ts for you to follow below. 

DO use it to tame unruly frizz and flyaways.

One of the greatest benefits of using a hair serum is its ability to block out humidity and create a sleek, polished finish, which is why there is no better product to use when you’re trying to create that perfect glass hair look. Rather than just using it on damp hair prior to heat styling though, we suggest also using it in lieu of your hairspray (a frizz-fighting no-no) to help tame any unruly strands. Simply rub a small amount of serum through the palm of your hands and then, using two fingers, gently apply it to the strands using a pressing motion anywhere you want added frizz control. Just be careful not to press the serum directly to the top of the scalp to avoid giving your hair an oily appearance.

DO avoid applying serum to your roots.

While the idea of having super shiny hair from root to tip may sound like a good idea, in theory, trust us when we say that you’re going to want to avoid applying your serum directly on your roots or scalp. This holds especially true for those with naturally fine or oily hair, as even the most lightweight serums have the potential to weigh the hair down, cause product buildup, and make your roots look greasy. For that reason, we always recommend applying your serum to the ends first and slowly working your way up to the mid-shafts from there. This will not only ensure that you don’t overload on product, but that you’re also only applying it to the part of your hair that needs it most (a.k.a your naturally drier ends).

DON’T apply your serum right away.

Unlike hair oils, hair serums tend to be a little thicker consistency, which can make working them into your hair a bit more difficult for some. Our tip? Don’t try applying your hair serum as soon as you dispense it. Instead, try warming up the product between your hands for a few seconds so that it has the chance to break down and liquify a bit. By giving it five to six seconds in your hands, you’ll give your serum the chance to soften up so that it has a little more slip to it. This will not only help your serum perform better but also ensure a more seamless, even application.

DON’T over apply.

If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this: there is such a thing as using too much hair serum. Whether your hair is long or short, thin or thick, there is a fine line between looking perfectly polished and flat and greasy, which is why it’s important to start with a small amount of serum and then gradually work in more only as needed. When in doubt, start with the least number of pumps recommended for your hair type and then slowly build from there. And whatever you do, just remember: a little goes a long way!

DO consider your hair type and hair goals

Just like all hair isn’t made the same, all hair serum formulas aren’t made the same either, which is why we’ve made sure ours is fully customizable according to your hair type and hair goals. Figuring out which hair goals you should choose when creating your formula however can be a little bit intimidating—we have over 11 different ones to choose from after all. To help, we’ve highlighted a few options for you to consider below:

You want: smoothness + shine  

Try the shine, anti-frizz, and hydrate hair goals, which work together to help enhance your hair’s luster, protect against frizz, and ensure that it stays soft and well-nourished.

You want: longer-lasting, more vibrant color  

Try the color protection and shine hair goals, which help lock in your color to prevent dulling, fading, and damage. 

You want: stronger, healthier hair 

Try the strengthen, fix split ends, and deep condition hair goals, which help nourish and condition the hair from the inside out to help prevent split ends, damage, and breakage from occurring.

You want: soft, bouncy curls

Try the hydrate and curl definition hair goals, which will help keep your curls help and moisturized, all the while giving them the added definition and smoothness they need to look their best.

Ready to make hair serum a part of your daily hair care routine? Head here to start customizing your hair’s perfect formula!

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