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Hair serum vs hair oil: Which one is better?


Hair oil vs hair serum: Two popular hair care products but which one is better? Know the pros and cons of these hair products.

Who doesn’t want long, thick, and gorgeous hair locks? While there are so many hair care products out there, hair serum and hair oil are two of the most popular hair care products that have been used in hair care routine for a decade. But ever wondered which one is better for your strands: hair serum vs hair oil? If you are confused, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of the hair serum and hair oil and which one is better for you.

What is hair serum?

Hair serum is a silicone-based protection remedy for the hair. It forms a protective layer over the hair strands, adds lustre, smoothens the hair, and prevents tangling. It also provides adequate hydration and humidity resistance, making it the finest frizz-fighter, according to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science.

Also Read: 6 best natural hair serums for strong and healthy hair

What are the benefits of hair serum?

Here are some benefits of hair serums, per a study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science.

1. Provides nourishment

Hair serums are designed to deliver vital nutrients and hydration to the hair follicles, scalp, and strands. Using hair serum can be beneficial if you are looking for ways to make your hair softer, smoother, and more manageable.

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Hair serums nourish your hair. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Strengthens hair

Hair serums often contain substances that strengthen the hair shaft and minimise damage. These serums strengthen the hair strands, preventing split ends and promoting stronger, healthier hair.

3. Repairs and restores hair

Hair serums are designed to restore the damage caused by heat style, chemical treatments, and environmental conditions. These serums may include chemicals that restore hydration, elasticity, and shine to damaged or dull hair.

4. Promotes hair growth

Hair serums are specially formulated to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. These serums may contain substances that increase blood flow to the scalp, nourish the hair follicles, and promote the growth of new hair strands.

5. Protects the hair from UV rays

To shield the hair and scalp from environmental harm such as UV rays, pollution, and free radicals, hair serums often include antioxidants and UV filters. This protection helps keep the hair healthy and intact, preventing premature ageing and damage.

Are there any other side effects of hair serum?

Here are some of the side effects of hair serum, as explained by dermatologist Dr Ritika Shanmugam.

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-Excessive and regular application might make the hair dry and unhealthy.
-Using the serum on the scalp may cause irritation, redness, or burning of the scalp
-It can also lead to hair breakage
-Always perform a patch test before using a new product, and be on the lookout for any damage. You should also see a dermatologist or healthcare expert if you notice any problems.

What is hair oil?

Hair oil is an oil-based product that is formulated to improve the quality of your hair. “Unlike serums, hair oils penetrate the cuticles to nourish the hair from within. They are multipurpose solutions that strengthen hair, keep it moisturised and protect strands from heat damage. Hair oils nourish your scalp, reduce dryness, and battle frizz, resulting in soft and smooth hair,” says the expert.

What are the benefits of hair oil?

1. Promotes hair growth

The presence of substances such as bhringraj and amla in hair oils can aid in hair growth by providing your scalp with important nutrients, as found in a study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences. They can help nourish your hair follicles, improve blood circulation, and promote healthy development.

Also Read: 5 Ayurvedic oils for hair growth and strong tresses

2. Improves scalp health

Hair oils contain antifungal and antibacterial qualities that may help treat scalp problems such as dandruff, itching, and infections. Regular application of these oils helps prevent microbial growth and keep your scalp clean, says the expert.

3. Prevents hair fall

Hair oil helps in preventing hair loss and tames frizzy hair, according to a study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences. Many hair oils contain Brahmi, neem, and other elements that can strengthen your strands from the roots, reducing breakage and hair loss. They can help keep the scalp healthy by reducing infections and creating an ideal environment for hair growth.

4. Gives shine and smoothness

If you are looking for ways to get silky and shiny hair, using hair oils can be beneficial. “As hair oil helps to add lustre to the hair and makes your hair shinier by getting rid of frizzy hair. Plus, hair oils contain moisturising substances such as coconut oil, which can give deep conditioning to the hair shaft, making it smooth and manageable, says the expert.

5. Moisture retention

Hair oils are good at retaining moisture and preventing dryness and frizz. They form a protective layer around the hair cuticle, ensuring that your strands keep their natural moisture. However, more research is needed to back this claim.

What are the side effects of hair oil?

Here are some of the side effects of hair oil, as explained by the expert.

-Scalp irritation: Some people may experience itchiness or redness after using hair oil, especially if you have a sensitive scalp.
-Allergic reactions: This is less common, but some people can be allergic to specific oils or ingredients added to hair oils.
-Greasiness: This is a very common problem, excess use of oil on the scalp and hair can lead to greasiness.

Hair serum vs hair oil: Which is better?

“It depends on your hair type. Hair oil can help if your hair is dry, dehydrated, or in need of deep nourishment. If you want to style your hair and calm frizz right away, you can apply a hair serum. Both protect and nourish your hair in unique ways. Plus, you can condition by using hair oil once a week and applying the serum after hair wash to protect the hair from environmental stressors,” says the expert.

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Hair oil vs hair serum: Know the pros and cons of these products. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can we use hair serum and oil together?

Yes. After towel-drying your hair, you can apply hair serum and finish with a little oil. However, oil should be kept away from the roots. On days when you do not wash your hair, use a few drops of oil or serum to rehydrate the strands.

2. Can hair oil replace serum?

Both haircare products provide unique functions and qualities for your hair. Hair serum is a hair styling product that adds shine and protects hair from heat damage. Hair oil nourishes hair, reduces dandruff, promotes hair development, and improves overall hair condition.



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