Do Hair Serum Treatments Really Work?

With an endless number of hair products to buy, it can be confusing to decide which one is best for you. Hair serums are leave-in treatments that promise to help with hair growth, length, moisture, and more. But do these products really work? Ultimately, it depends on the product itself and its intended use.

According to Byrdie, any hair serum treatment that promises to make your hair grow faster is getting your hopes up for nothing. "The maximum rate to which your hair will grow is genetically determined," said trichologist Anabel Kingsley. "For most people, this is approximately half an inch a month, and unfortunately there's nothing you can do to speed this up." The key to healthy hair growth is a healthy scalp. Some hair serums may contain ingredients that improve scalp health, but how well they work depends on the concentration of ingredients and how they are created in the product. Hair growth serums are most likely to show improvement in hair growth if they contain ingredients like minoxidil, niacin, arginine, and polyphenols, which increase blood flow to the scalp.

Hair serums can fight frizz, increase shine, and protect strands

According to Healthline, you're more likely to find success with a hair serum if it is fighting surface level hair issues like frizz and dullness. Hair serums designed to treat these problems often contain some kind of oil and coat each strand of hair when used. Silicone is a common serum ingredient because it can coat your hair and effectively reduce frizziness caused by dry or damaged strands. Silicone can also make curls look more defined. Its silky effect often makes hair look shinier and smoother.

Other hair serum treatments are designed to protect your hair against damage caused by styling tools, chemical processing, and sun exposure. These need to be used before your hair is exposed to whatever could potentially damage it. For example, a heat-protectant serum applied to your hair before you use a curling iron will protect your strands from being burned or dried out from the heat of the styling tool.

There are many hair serums available. To find one that works, look for trusted brands and high-quality ingredients. When applying a serum, work a small amount through your hair beginning at the ends and working your way toward the roots. Avoid putting serums on your scalp unless they are designed for that area, as this can make your hair look oily and unkept.