Hair Serum vs Conditioner

With the very many available hair products available in the market, it is impossible to know what every product do. If you don’t have the knowledge on what this hair products do, you might be passing an amazing product that might be beneficial to your hair. 

For example, you might have heard people mention hair serums and hair conditioner and you have no idea what they are since you have never used them. 

If that is you, you are in the right place. I will try as much as possible to differentiate between the two products, what they do, their side effects, and how to use them in this guide. Don’t go anywhere. 

Differences between Hair Serum and Conditioners

Although both of this products are used on your hair, they aim at achieving totally different things. I will dove deep into explaining how each of the product work in this guide. But before we do that, I will give you a table of comparison that will give you a clear overview between the two products. 

DetailsHair serum Conditioner
What it isA hair serum is a liquid form of hair product formulated using silicone and other ingredients. A conditioner is a cream form of hair product that aims at easing your way around your hair. 
What it doesHair Serum creates a protective layer on your hair strands protecting your hair against environmental conditions that might affect your hair one way or another. Hair conditioner softens your hair strands making it easy to work around your hair. 
What are the benefits Controls frizzStraightens your hairAdds shine to your hairAids in repair of damaged hairMakes your hair smooth and shinyEnhances natural curls Moisturizers your hairSoftens your hairControls frizzRepairs damaged hairImproves the feel and look of your hair.
Side effects Hair damageHair lossIrritation and rashes
How to use themApply hair serum to a dampened hair and leave it on your hair Depending on what type of conditioner you are using, you can either rinse off or leave the conditioner on your hair 
When to use themIf you want to protect your hair or repair damaged hair.When you are washing your hair with a shampoo

Since the information in the table above is enough to help you know how to use this hair products, I will get into details on what each hair product entails starting with;

What is hair serum and what it does?

Hair serum are a liquid form of hair product that is formulated using silicone, proteins, and other ingredients that can be so beneficial to your hair. 

Once you have applied hair serum on your hair, silicone creates a protective coating on your hair strands which protects your hair against environmental conditions that might affect your hair one way or another. 

What is hair conditioner and what it does? 

A hair conditioner is a form of cream hair product that is applied on your hair after using shampoo. 

Since shampoos might be harsh, using conditioner will soften your hair, moisturize your hair and make it easy to work around your hair. Aside from making it easy to work around your hair, hair conditioners have other benefits that will be discussed further in the guide. 

What are the benefits and side effects of hair serum?

Silicone being the main component of hair serum, it contributes to a lot more than protecting your hair against any form of damage. Some of the other benefits of hair serum include;

  • Control frizz:

If you have natural hair, you get to deal with a lot of factors that might affect your hair. Some of the environmental factors that hair serum protect your hair against is humidity which causes hair frizz. 

  • Straightens your hair:

Instead of using heat to straighten your hair, you can apply hair serum on your hair. The weight of silicone on your hair will add weight on the strands making your hair stay straight.

  • Protects your hair against heat damage:

If you insist on using heat to straighten your hair, you might as well apply hair serum on your hair before using heat. The protective coating from the serum will protect your hair against heat damage. 

  • Aids in hair repair:

If you want to deal with hair damage, you can use products that aims at enhancing hair growth. When environmental factors can in play, the product might be held from working as they should. To ensure the products do work and your hair is still protected, you should apply hair serum on your hair. 

  • Defines your natural curls:  

Some hair serums contains hydrating properties. The hydrating properties will define the curls, while silicone will lock in the moisture making your curls last longer.

Aside from hair serum being very beneficial, they do have some side effects associated with the serum if you don’t choose the right hair serum. If you don’t know where to start, read my introduction to hair serum guide. However, some of the side effects that you might have to suffer include;

  • Hair damage:

If you don’t apply hair serum the right way, your hair might dry up and end up breaking. 

  • Hair loss:

After a long period of using the wrong hair serum, your hair will get damaged and the start falling out. 

  • Irritation: 

If you apply hair serum on your scalp or use the wrong hair serum, the harsh ingredients found in the serum might end up irritating your skin and cause some painful rashes.

If you don’t want to deal with this side effects, you can use this guide to choose the right hair serum. 

What are the benefits and side effects of hair conditioner?

After washing your hair with a shampoos, you should go in with a hair conditioner. A conditioner will not only calm the harshness of the shampoo, it has other benefits on your hair. Some of these benefits include;

  • Moisturizing your hair: Hair conditioners contains some ingredients that aids in moisturizing your hair. 
  • Softens your hair: Since hair shampoos are harsh to your hair, using hair conditioner on your hair will soften your hair making it easy to work around. 
  • Makes your hair feel and look good: Aside from moisturizing and softening your hair, conditioners will make your hair feel good and look good. 
  • Adds shine to your hair: Hair conditioners contains silicone which reflects light to your hair. 
  • Repairs your damaged hair: Hair conditioners contains some nutrients that aid in helping blood flow reducing pressure and which then enables new hair to grow. 

Hair conditioners are very safe and gentle. However, if you leave a hair conditioner that is supposed to be rinses off, you might feel some itchiness.  To prevent this from happening, follow this guide to apply hair conditioner. 

How to use hair serum?

To ensure you don’t suffer the negative side effects of hair serum, you can follow this guide to use hair serum. 

  • Wet your hair with some warm water then apply a hair shampoo. Massage your hair for some minutes ensuring there is enough blood flow and that all products are off your hair. 
  • Rinse off your hair with warm water then use a gentle conditioner. Massage your hair again and let every part of your hair get the product. 
  • Rinse off the conditioner with warm water then tow dry your hair. 
  • Moisturize your hair before going in with a hair serum. 
  • Part your hair into small sections then start applying the serum from the ends to the mid length. 
  • Do not use a lot of hair serum or apply hair serum on your scalp. Some ingredients might be too harsh on your scalp.
  • Massage your hair to ensure every part of your hair gets the serum 
  • Run a wide toothed comb through your hair to ensure your hair is detangled. 
  • You can then go ahead and style your hair as you wish. 

How to use hair conditioner?

Depending on which hair conditioner you are going for, applying hair conditioner on your hair is not that hard. 

  • Wet your hair with some warm water before going in with a shampoo. 
  • Apply shampoo from the ends to the mid length. 
  • Massage your hair properly so that you can remove all the other products from your hair. 
  • Rinse of your hair with some warm water and then apply the hair conditioner. 
  • After applying hair conditioner, massage your for hair for a few minutes to ensure every part of your hair gets the conditioner. 
  • After a few minutes, rinse off your hair to remove the conditioner.
  • Use a moisturizer and then go in with other products you want. 

Are hair conditioner good for your hair ?

There are different types of hair conditioners each used differently. 

If you are using the regular conditioner, you should let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse it off your hair. By that time your hair will be fully nourished, hydrated and easy to work with. 

Leave in conditioner on the other is left on the hair to work it’s wonders. If you are using the leave in hair conditioner, you can be assured your hair will benefit from every thing hair conditioners have to offer.  

Aside from the benefits, hair conditioners are very gentle and have minimal side effects. 

Can I use hair conditioner and hair serum together?

This again depends on the type of hair conditioner you are using. If you are using a regular hair conditioner, you will need to rinse it off your hair before applying a hair serum. 

However, if your are using a leave-in conditioner, you can totally apply hair serum after. Your hair will benefit from what a conditioner and a serum has to offer. 


Knowing what each product on the beauty store does is not possible of you are not a hair enthusiast. 

However, having an idea might benefit you when it comes to other utilizing what this hair products have to offer. You might be passing on an amazing product stuck on your usual products that might be damaging your hair. 

The guide above gives a comparison between hair serum and hair conditioner. If you don’t know where to start on using this products, you can read the guide and then subscribe to this page for more beauty hacks. 


  1. Hoshowski, M. A. (2018). Conditioning of hair. In Hair and Hair Care (pp. 65-104). Routledge.
  2. Patil, M. A. (2019). Phytochemical and in-vitro evaluation of formulated polyherbal hair conditioner. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 8(6), 35-39.
  3. Bhuvaneswari, S. S., Prabha, T., Begum, S. S., Sivakuamr, T., Saranraj, P., Manivannan, V., & Kumar, B. A. (2021). Formulation and evaluation, comparison of herbal hair dye with marketed formulation. Annals of Phytomedicine, 10(2), 175-181.

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