Hair Serum And Hair Oil: The Difference Explained

by Ramona Sinha

Regular shampooing and conditioning are not enough to maintain healthy hair. It also needs styling and protection. That is where hair oils and serums come in. However, most of the time, these two products are confused for doing the same thing and are used interchangeably. Hair serums and hair oils are two different products, serving different purposes. This article explains their differences to help you pick the best suitable product for your hair. Keep scrolling for more information.

Hair Serum And Hair Oil: Are They Same?

No. Hair serums and hair oils are two different products. Both are applied to clean, dry, or damp hair, but they differ in several aspects. In the following sections, let’s understand the differences in detail.

What Is Hair Serum?

Hair serum is a silicone-based protective solution for the hair. It coats the outer surface of your hair to shield it from pollution, heat, and UV exposure. Hair serums add shine to your locks, giving them a lustrous finish. There are several benefits of using a hair serum.

The Benefits Of Using A Hair Serum

Hair serums:

  • Smoothen your hair.
  • Add shine to your hair.
  • Protect your hair from heat styling and damage.
  • Protect from the friction caused by brushing
  • Protect your hair from pollution.
  • Protect your hair from UV damage.

Using a serum is easy. Follow the simple steps mentioned below.

How To Apply Hair Serum

  1. Take a few drops of the serum according to your hair length.
  2. Flip your hair and start applying the serum from the tips to the roots.
  3. Focus more on the hair ends.

Always apply hair serum to freshly cleaned dry or damp hair. In the next section, find out the best time to use a hair serum.

When To Use A Hair Serum

Always use hair serums on the days you wash your hair. Apply hair serum when your hair feels dry and frizzy. However, remember to apply it before applying other hair styling products.

In the following section, let’s understand what is hair oil and how it differs from hair serum.

What Is Hair Oil?

Unlike hair serums, hair oils do not sit on the hair but penetrate the cuticles to nourish the hair from within. They are multipurpose products that strengthen the hair, keep it lubricated for easy detangling, and shield the strands to prevent heat damage. Hair oils nourish your scalp, prevent dryness, and fight frizz to give you soft and smooth hair. They have multiple benefits.

The Benefits Of A Hair Oil

Hair oils:

  • Prevent tangles.
  • Act as heat protectants and shield your hair from heat styling tools.
  • Add shine to your hair and control frizz.
  • Are an excellent solution for split ends.
  • Lubricate, hydrate, and nourish your hair.

When applying hair oils, even distribution is crucial. Follow the simple steps in the next section to apply hair oil correctly.

How To Apply Hair Oil

  1. Divide your hair into sections.
  2. Apply the hair oil to your scalp.
  3. Massage the scalp with your fingers for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Take some more oil if necessary and spread it evenly across the hair length.
  5. Cover each strand and focus on the hair ends.
  6. You may cover your head with a warm towel.
  7. Leave it on for 30 minutes. You may wash it off later.

You can apply hair oil to damp or dry hair. You can also apply a few drops of oil to your hair from mid-length to the ends. The oil adds shine to the hair and protects it from external aggressors. The rules of using a hair oil are simple.

When To Use A Hair Oil

You can apply hair oil on days when you will be shampooing your hair. On those days, go for a scalp massage. However, if you want to use hair oil between the wash days, apply oil from the mid-lengths to the ends. Avoid the roots as it may cause excess grease.

If you are wondering whether you can use hair serums and oils together or not, read on to know the answer.

Can You Use Hair Serum And Hair Oil Together?

It depends on how your hair reacts to both products. If you have extremely dry and damaged hair, and if using serums and oils together does not weigh it down, you may use both.

However, it is best to use hair serums and oils separately. Before using them together, understand what your hair needs and in what proportion. This will prevent product wastage.

Moreover, the hair needs time to absorb the products. It is better to test it on your hair and decide if using hair serums and oils will work for your hair. Both hair serums and hair oils are good for your hair. It is totally up to you which one you choose.

Hair Serum Vs. Hair Oil: Which One Is Better?

It depends on your hair needs. If your hair feels dry, dehydrated, and needs deep nourishment, use hair oil. However, if you want to style your hair and tame frizz instantly, you may use a hair serum. Both protect your hair and keep it healthy in different ways.

Final Thoughts

While hair serums are styling products, hair oils are for deep nourishment. There is no comparison between the two as they serve different purposes. Both are beneficial for your hair for different reasons. You can use either of them or both, depending on your hair needs.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Can you leave the serum on your hair?

Yes, apply the serum to clean and washed hair and do not rinse it off.

Does hair oil have side effects?

No, unless you are allergic to any specific ingredient in the product.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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