Hair serum is a word that is upcoming on the beauty market. Every haircare routine by a beauty influencer includes it, but what does it really do?
Hair serums are known to reboot hair follicles like rebooting a computer. Rebooting a computer ensures that it runs faster and cleans all the junk that might have been running in the background. Hair serums do the same and can be used for multiple uses. The biggest uses for hair serum include stimulating hair growth, repairing any damages and as a leave-In conditioner.
Facts about hair serum
Serum does not work the same as hair oils, even though they have a similar consistency. Serum is never applied at the roots, unlike hair oils, because they are of an increased viscosity and can block the pores rather than being absorbed fully into the scalp. The best time to apply serum is right after a shower because it is given the most time to absorb into the hair, and it acts as a leave-in conditioner as well.
When thinking about a dry winter, and moisturizing skin and lips, people often forget about their hair. With the dryness, the hair experiences a loss of its natural oils, similar to all the skin on our bodies. Using a serum will help in restoring the oils into the dry hair and reducing both brittleness and damage because dry hair is easier damaged than well-nourished hair.
Hair serum for hair growth
For these reasons, the best way to have serum stimulate hair growth is to apply it to the length of the hair and then spread gently with a hairbrush.
To start, the serum applicators are usually push-to-release or dropper-based and should be accumulated on the palms. Depending on the length of hair, it is advisable to stick between 2-6 drops be accumulated on the palms and rubbed together.
After being spread on the palms, run your fingers and palms through your hair thoroughly until the palms are no longer sticky or wet (depending on the type of serum). Once all the hair serum is on the hair, take a softer hairbrush, and brush your hair continuously.
The spokes of the brush get lightly coated with the serum and transfer it to the roots and follicles. The light massage from the brush also encourages an increased blood flow to the roots, stimulating hair growth in a second way. Keep brushing until the serum is spread evenly and the scalp feels rejuvenated and fresh.
Hair serum for damage repair
A second use for hair serum can be to “repair” split ends and damage. Now as expected, something broken, especially a hair strand, cannot be glued together and fixed. However, hair itself is regenerative, and if given the right conditions, will grow healthily.
The only true cure for split ends is to trim it but serums can help protect it from spreading. By moisturizing the hair, it keeps the split ends from growing upwards, and the viscosity of the serum can keep the strays stuck together but only temporarily.
The main difference in the application for the purpose of split end damages versus stimulating hair growth is to focus the attention on the ends and not the scalp or roots. After applying it through your hair, use the brush to really make sure it gets everywhere, but start at the midpoint of your hair instead of the scalp.
Unless you want to increase hair growth as well, the product on the scalp gets wasted but if only kept on the lower end of the hair its usefulness is maximized. A large side effect of split ends is the loss of natural oils in the hair, causing dryness and brittleness. By moisturizing the hair, and using it as a leave-in conditioner, it will also help the spit ends.
PRO TIP: It is also recommended that you read the bottle prior to purchasing, especially for split ends. There are specific serums on the market targeted towards repairing damage, and split ends, and that should not be used as a regular serum.
Common misconception: heat
When taking out the serum into your palms, really work it in well and make sure it is warm. The heat reduces the viscosity and allows the serum to envelop your hair better and protect it from external damage and to keep the stray ends tame.
A common method to decrease the viscosity and increase the heat is to use styling tools like a blow dryer after serum application. It, however, is not recommended when trying to repair split ends and damage because it will only cause more than the serum can reverse.
A compromise hack is to blow the blow dryer onto the bottle of serum to heat it up a little before usage. The serum bottle can also be taken into the shower or bath and put to the side, in order to get a little warmer than normal.
The most basic usage of serum is to use as a leave-in conditioner and protectant. Before using hair styling tools, it can be used as a heat protectant, since the heat will warm up the serum and it will “melt” before the heat damages the hair.
Additionally, all external impurities: dust, air pollutants, etc. will come into contact with the serum and the high viscosity acts as a chemical/ physical barrier and leave the hair as it was. Even in a low pollution environment, the basic and original purpose of serum was to act as a leave-in conditioner. Its biggest advantages are to tame frizz, similar to the science of taming stray split ends, and to add shine.
PRO TIP: The usage as a leave-in conditioner can differ based on the type of hair you have. If you have dandruff and a dry scalp, it would be advantageous to have the brush spread the serum to the roots, whereas colored hair shows damage closer to the ends so the split ends route would be correct. Based on your hair concern, this method can be personalized.
The last advantage, a bonus if anything, of using a serum is to add some shine, and that is the ultimate sign of serum-coated hair. The shine shows some healthiness as well as a protective barrier. The biggest avoidance when applying serum is to never put it on the roots directly like a hair oil, but to use a brush to spread it evenly. There are only two main ways of applying hair serum: roots-focused or ends-focused, but the advantages are unlimited.
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