Yes, You Do Need to Use Serums on Your Strands — and Oils, Too!
Do you know the difference between a hair serum and a hair oil? Or which one to use when? With so many on the market today, it can get confusing. So, we're here to make it simple. In a nutshell, serums are more commonly used in styling to create a certain look, like smoothing or straightening. Oils are more about haircare — treating your tresses to nourishing ingredients that are aimed at making your hair healthier. The other big difference is that oils are made to sink into your strands, not sit on the outside and coat them like most serums.
"Serums are silicone based and coat the surface of the hair to lock in curl pattern and smoothness to each individual hair strand," says Claire Peake, senior brand manager of John Frieda Australia. "Serums add shine, definition and also block out style ruining factors such as heat and humidity. They are the ultimate frizz fighter for creating frizz free styles that last," she adds.
Serums are super-effective on thick, curly, unruly hair, to smooth, control and tame your tresses. In the past, serums were slightly too heavy for those women with fine hair, but new technologies mean you can now get lighter formulas that cater to it. There are also now lighter versions of oils for those hair types (like fine and blonde hair), that may not have been able to use it in the past. You can even check your kitchen cupboard for natural alternatives like olive oil and coconut oil.
So, what's the right way to apply a hair serum? "To soaking wet hair," says Claire. "Never rough towel dry the hair as that will disturb the natural curl pattern and hair cuticle smoothness," she adds. "Less is more. Use only one to two drops for shoulder length hair, rub between palms and gently blot into the hair."
With oils, it is important to note that hair absorbs up, so always only apply them to your mid-lengths and ends. Any higher and it will wind up on your roots within a few hours.
So now you know the difference, and when and how to use them, scroll down for our faves.