The 5 best serums for frizzy hair

A pump of smoothing hair serum can definitely help you achieve silky, frizz-free hair, if that’s a priority for you. But the best serums for frizzy hair don’t have to be used just to tame flyaways. And even if you don’t have frizz-prone hair or really care about their straightening properties, you can still benefit from the many other great qualities of these serums. For example: all of the serums on this list will hydrate dry hair, give it some shine, and provide protection against hot styling tools, pollution, and other aggressors that can dull strength and shine. Some formulas can actually repair damage at the molecular level, while others can boost color retention in dyed hair.

A word on hair serum best practices: Unless your particular product says otherwise, there’s almost no wrong way to use a hair serum. Use on towel-dried hair before blow-drying, or on dry hair before curling or flat-ironing for heat protection. Apply to damp hair (before air-drying or blow-drying, it doesn’t matter) to prevent future frizz, or to dry hair to tame existing frizz.

Generally, stylists recommend applying the serum to the ends of your hair, where the cuticle is older and needs moisture and protection the most. Then you can work the product in with your fingers (or a brush, if you’re feeling Marcia Brady about it), then touch up near your roots, around your hairline, or anywhere you want a little extra softness. and shine. For best results, apply your serum to freshly washed hair.

With that in mind, any of these hardworking serums will make your hair stronger, safer – and, yes, smoother – with every dollop.

01

The best overall serum for frizzy hair

The reviews for this Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum are as close to perfect as any product can get on the internet. It’s super light, smells fresh and fruity (but not sickly), doesn’t leave a sticky residue on your hands, and a little is enough. It’s billed as a blow-dry serum to speed up the drying process, but like any good smoothing serum, you can use it to soften and protect your hair no matter how you dry it or not. And according to the diversity of its rave reviews, this serum works on just about every hair type: people with curly, permed, fine, natural, thick, and wavy hair have all found success with this salon staple.

02

The best repair serum for damaged and frizzy hair

Olaplex products use breakthrough patented chemistry to rebuild broken bonds in your hair at the molecular level. This Olaplex No 6 Bond Smoother is one of the brand’s top five products in its consumer line, and it does more than just smooth out frizz (although it does that beautifully, too). Besides speeding up drying time and taming flyaways, this leave-in cream repairs damage and restores moisture, so it’s a must-have if you have colored or chemically-treated hair. That said, everyone’s hair does suffer damage over time, so we could all use a little (or a lot) of Olaplex in our lives.

03

The best serum that prolongs the color of dyed and frizzy hair

I’ve been using Pureology shampoo and conditioner since my colorist recommended it to protect my dyed hair, and I couldn’t really love it more – my hair is noticeably shinier and stronger, and the color is more radiant between trips to the salon. So I will definitely try this Pureology Smooth Perfection Smoothing Serum next. The formula contains the brand’s exclusive Thermal AntiFade Complex, which protects colored hair from fading induced by hot tools, while Vitamin E Oil helps prevent breakage and split ends. And Pureology’s signature sweet-spicy scent (courtesy of clove, musk, and a hint of violet) is a welcome alternative if you don’t like fruity, floral, or overly sweet scents.

04

The best long-lasting serum for frizzy hair

If you live in a humid climate or just want to feel safe knowing your hair will perform all day long, go for this Amika Velveteen Dream Smoothing Balm. The formula’s time-released active ingredients and conditioning polymers will help keep your hair smooth and protected for a full 24 hours. And many of these active ingredients are botanically derived, like collagen-rich Sea Buckthorn Berry, scalp-healthy Arnica, and conditioning Wild Cherry Bark Extract. Additionally, Amika is another brand known for products with heavenly scents – just another perk of this fabulous product.

05

Best budget serum for frizzy hair

Although the previous four products are amazing, the truth is that you don’t really need to spend almost $30 if you are looking for a simple and foolproof smoothing serum. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, try this Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine anti-frizz serum. Infused with fatty acid-rich argan and apricot kernel oils, this lightweight, supple serum does exactly what it says on the bottle: smoothes and hydrates frizzy hair (and, like all Garnier Fructis products, it smells good).

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Melissa R. Brumfield