The best hair serums for fine, dry, damaged and frizzy hair.
A good hair serum is often the difference between hair that looks great and hair that looks great, whatever your specific requirements. Think of these smart formulas as the hair equivalent of your face serum—they’re there to address specific issues your shampoo and conditioner can’t solve on their own.
Shelves are full of serums that claim to improve shine and reduce frizz (though finding the right one can be laborious), while today’s most advanced hair brands tweak their formulas to address issues like dullness. , discoloration and dehydration. There are serums to repair damage overnight, help increase root density, and even (temporarily) smooth out split ends while you wait for a salon appointment.
To find the hair serum that’s right for you, it’s important to consider your hair type: some options (especially those that claim to offer shine or smoothness) are packed full of silicones, which aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but can weigh down finer hair types, resulting in limp lengths. Similarly, a milky mist may not quite hit the mark when you’re hoping to control curls or calm rain-induced volume.
We’ve tested dozens of hair serums in our search to find the best: here, see which ones you Bazaar repeated team use.
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Best overnight hair serum
Botanical Repair Strengthening Night Serum
Botanical Repair is herbal brand Aveda’s response to the influx of bond-building “plex” products that have flooded the market in recent years. A new addition, this overnight serum is designed to penetrate the outer hair cuticle and travel to the inner cortex, where it can fortify bonds to protect against future breakage.
The idea is not that hair works differently overnight, but rather that while you sleep, the product has several hours to sink into dry ends and do its best job.
Simply smooth it on the lengths in the evening and the hair will be softened in the morning, without the need to wash it.
Ideal for dry lengths
Ashita Supreme Serum
The hair industry’s current focus on the scalp makes perfect sense: healthy hair grows from healthy follicles. Shu Uemura’s answer to this industry shift is Ashita Supreme: a collection designed to cleanse, condition and condition both skin and hair.
There’s a regenerating scrub to deeply cleanse the scalp, a shampoo-conditioner duo to soothe and rebalance, and that: a remarkably effective creamy serum (non-silicone loaded) that penetrates directly into dry hair, leaving it incredibly hydrated.
According to Brand Ambassador Paul Edmonds, it works especially well on those with bleached, swept-up ends, which are more porous and need long-lasting hydration.
Ideal for split ends
Serum for split ends
Any brand that claims its product can “cure” split ends is misrepresenting the truth: there is no miracle cure that will reverse breakouts that have already occurred.
What the right serum can do, however, is temporarily “glue” those split ends together, preventing the split from working its way up further into the hair shaft before you can head to the salon for a cut.
Packed with Virtue’s identical hair proteins, this one not only seals existing cracks, but also prevents new ones from developing.
Ideal for giving volume
Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
Fine hair has traditionally been overlooked when it comes to non-prescriptive topical treatments, but now a promising number of options are hitting the shelves. One of the most popular is also one of the most affordable: The Ordinary’s Smart Serum uses a combination of caffeine and peptides to treat follicles (rather than hair) and encourage root lifting as well as new growth.
Ideal for stimulating growth
Supa Thick Topical Hair Supplement
This season, The Nue Co applied their forensic formulation approach to their first topical hair product. Supa Thick is a milky serum, designed to be massaged into scalps that need a little TLC. The combination of probiotics, proteins and peptides work to support hair in its growth phase, preventing premature hair loss while encouraging new growth – users report promising progress around the hairline in particular. For best results, use this in conjunction with the support supplement.
Ideal for damaged hair
N°9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
This month, Olaplex is launching its first serum formula, and fans of the brand’s bonding technology are sure to love it. Pollution and protection against heat are at the center of our concerns here: the first is made with antioxidant algae, while the second is provided by film-forming polymers rather than silicones.
The milky texture will suit most hair types, but anyone with a habit of heat styling or bleaching should smash one straight in.
Ideal for frizzy hair
Frizz Dismiss Instant Deflate
This rich oil-serum hybrid is brilliantly effective when it comes to calming the unwanted bulk that humidity and unexpected showers can induce. Frizz occurs when moisture reaches the hair strands, returning them to their natural texture. The lightweight silicones in this formula wrap around each strand, keeping humidity out and preventing frizz from occurring. Trust it to keep defined curls and smooth blow-drys intact.
Ideal for blonde hair
Bright Blonde Essential Priming Serum
This smart serum has multiple benefits for blonde hair. Pearlescent purple pigment brightens color and neutralizes creepy yellow tones, while antioxidant fruit extracts prevent UV rays from fading your highlights. A host of humectants lock moisture into dry strands, leaving hair soft, smooth and satisfyingly shiny.
Ideal for the scalp and strands
Abeille Royale Scalp And Hair Oil-In-Serum
Guerlain’s long-loved Abeille Royale line expands into haircare this month, and we’re particularly impressed with this 97% natural scalp and hair serum.
More of a treatment than a styling aid, it uses the brand’s signature (and sustainably sourced) honey extracts to strengthen and fortify hair, ensuring optimal growth and locks that get stronger and shinier over time. . For thick, silky hair, this is a smart option.
Ideal for heat protection
Dream Lengths anti-frizz serum
Heat damage doesn’t just come from straighteners: your hair dryer can also lead to frazzled ends. Whatever the tool of choice, a good thermo-protective serum is always beneficial: it protects against high heat while smoothing frizz. It is free of silicones and enriched with vegetable oils for deep and lasting hydration.
Ideal for colored hair
Absolute Chroma Thermal Chroma Serum
Kérastase covers all the most common hair issues with its core ranges – the Nutritive line remains our go-to for dry hair – so its latest launch focuses on a more targeted hair issue. Chroma Absolu is designed to treat color-treated hair, not just by injecting moisture, but by dissolving dull deposits that make blondes, reds and browns look dull.
This lightweight, fast-absorbing serum contains lactic acid that strips minerals from the surface of each strand, instantly brightening your color. Hydrating and smoothing, it’s the perfect choice for porous hair of all types and tones.
Ideal for fine hair
Wild marula detangling spray
A spray-on serum is ideal for finer hair types, as there’s little risk of you over-saturating any given area. Drunk Elephant’s detangling formula is as light as water, yet contains botanical oils that will provide just enough glide to resolve tangles and control flyaways. Spray it on freshly washed hair for gentler drying.
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