How to Use Hair Serums
Is your hair difficult to manage? Do you wake up with a lion's mane? A lion probably wasn't your stylistic muse, and it's probably safe to say it's not the look you're aiming for. If you have hair that is frizzy and untamed, smoothing serums might be the answer to your hair problems.
Methods of Use
- Used prior to blow drying on damp hair, serums reduce frizz, combat heat damage, and produce a sleeker finish.
- When used before straightening hair, they produce all of the above effects whilst making it easier to straighten resistant hair, add shine, and conditioning to the finished style.
- Used on dry, styled hair, they can improve the appearance of dry, dull hair that snags by adding shine and conditioning. They will also act as a barrier cream against humidity or steam moisture.
Smoothing Serum Benefits
Smoothing serums are comprised primarily of silicone compounds. These compounds are used extensively in barrier creams and similar products, and they have the same effect when used on hair: Locking in moisture and keeping it where it in place.
In combination with these silicone compounds, hair serums generally contain other conventional conditioning and nourishing ingredients that improve the look of hair and strengthen it over time. This gives serums a plethora of benefits, and almost anyone can benefit from using one.
What Serums Can Do for Your Hair
- Tame frizz.
- Calm down static.
- Prevent heat damage.
- Act as a straightening or curling aid.
- Add shine to dull hair.
- Reduce dryness.
- Prevent humidity from ruining your style.
Serums and Blow Drying
A common problem for those who blow dry their hair is the heat that can do damage and weaken hair over time. If you've colored or chemically treated your hair previously, you'll want to avoid blow drying, as it has a cumulative effect on your hair's condition. To alleviate this risk, use a smoothing serum on damp hair before drying, to protect from heat damage. This creates a smoother finish with less frizz and flyaway hair. Smoothing serum coat the hair and condition it so that it behaves itself. If you have frizzy, dry hair, use one every time you blow dry.
Styling Hair With Serum
Hair serums have significant benefits when used on dry hair prior to the use of other heated styling tools like straightening irons. For this purpose they will protect the hair from heat and help to seal the cuticle after using heated tools. They tame leftover frizz and flyaway hairs to make it easier to straighten your hair.
One benefit that certainly doesn't go unnoticed is that serums allow a straightening iron to glide across the hair much more easily. This means there's less chance of snagging or anything else untoward happening because the straightener has a smoother surface to move across. They can also reduce tangling whilst combing the hair, so there's less pain and work involved when you brush or section out your hair during straightening and styling.
To use them to help straighten your hair, administer one pump of the product and evenly distribute it through your hair. You need to use a light touch when you do this to avoid applying too much product to any one location. Keep your hands moving to reach everywhere. Massage your hair for a few seconds before brushing or combing to finish evening out and distributing the product. You can straighten your hair immediately after the product is applied.
Use After Styling
If you suffer from dry hair and leave-in conditioners aren't offering much help, a smoothing serum is the best option. Because the silicone compounds in the smoothing serum act like a barrier cream, they can help prevent the loss of hydration from your hair during the day.
For this purpose, you can use a small amount of product as often as you need through the day. Smoothing serums last a long time because you only need a dab of the product. They are compact and easy to carry around wherever you go, should you find yourself suffering from dryness out on the town.
Smoothing serums are also one of the most effective ways to manage your hair in humid climates. When the humidity is high, hair absorbs moisture from the air, frizzes up, and loses its style as a result. Because of the barrier cream effect, hair serums can protect your hair from this excess humidity, whilst maintaining the correct amount of moisture in your hair so it looks better for longer.
- Smoothing serums protect the hair from environments that are high in humidity.
- They lock in adequate moisture to prevent hair from being dry and brittle.
More Styling Tips
For best results with smoothing serums, it's important to always use them properly.
- Never apply too much. Using too much will cause the hair to feel too slick and have the opposite effect. A little is really all you need.
- Apply before the use of heat to protect against damage.
- If you're using hairspray, apply your smoothing serum beforehand and give it time to set into the hair.
- Using smoothing serums with waxes or gels is counter-intuitive and won't produce the best results. Smoothing serums reduce cling, add shine, and make hair sleek. Waxes and gels are meant to add grip and a matte texture. If you need to use wax or gel, give the serum a miss, and vice versa.
Choosing a Serum
Choosing the right smoothing serum for your hair will give you the best results. Whilst there's no hard and fast rule to tell you which product is best for your hair type, you'll find that different hair types generally suit specific consistencies of serum.
- Fine, thin hair lacks volume and tends to sit flat and look dull. The last thing you want to do with hair like this is weigh it down more. For hair that is fine or thin, look for a lighter serum to avoid over-coating your hair. A lighter hair serum will protect and nourish your hair whilst allowing it to maintain volume and movement. For great results, use a product like Matrix Deep Smoothing Serum, or a spray-based product like Goldwell Sleek Perfection, and apply sparingly.
- Coarse, thick hair however, has no problem with volume. The issue with this hair type is that it tends to puff up and be unruly. To smooth out thick frizzy hair, use a denser and stronger smoothing serum like Redken's All Soft serum.
- For hair that is in-between, you'll find that you can use either side of the smoothing serum range. In this case, it will take a little testing to find a hair serum that gives you the absolute best results, but all serums should work quite well to tame your hair.
As is always the case, different people have different needs when it comes to hair. It may help to try a few different serums before you commit to purchasing one. Salon products are generally significantly better than the products you can buy in a supermarket and will provide you the best results overall. Most importantly though, have fun styling your hair and don't be afraid to try something new.
Do you have a question about smoothing serums? Having trouble finding a product that will help you manage your hair? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.