When to use hair serum and hair oil?

In the battle of which hair products is the best, you will see hair serum being compared to hair oils. 

While the two products aims to work for the good of your hair, which product you pick depends on your hair. If you have an oily hair and oily scalp, you can avoid using hair oils and go for hear serum which are less greasy. 

Still in the battle, is it ideal to use hair serum and hair oils together?

Yes. There are times you will find yourself needing a touch of oil and hair serum on your hair. 

Keep reading this guide to find out when you should apply hair serum and hair oils.

Differences between hair serums and hair oils 

If you have been growing your hair out for a years, there is a chance you have come across both hair serums and hair oils. This two products are ideally the same, the difference comes in the usage. 

A hair serum creates a protective layer on your hair strands which shields your hair from outside interference that might damage your hair on way or another. 

Aside from protecting your hair, it can add shine to your hair, make your hair look smoother and silkier. Hair serums also has some proteins that aim at repairing damaged hair. 

Hair oils on the other hand aims at nourishing your hair, giving it an extra shine and also boost hair growth. 

If you are dealing from dry hair and scalp, a touch of hair oils will revive your hair and make it look more vibrant and healthy. 

Despite of the difference on structure and usage, using each product the right way will benefit your hair in a huge way. You should however learn when to use both products. 

If you don’t know when to use hair serum and hair oils, keep reading this guide. 

When to use hair serum?

A hair serum is one of the most versatile hair product in the market. If you have been dealing with dry hair, oily hair, you can’t get your curls right, and your silky hair looks duller, hair serum might be your product. 

Although it has so many benefits you will need to apply hair serum the right way for it to work as intended. Otherwise, you might have to deal with some serious negative side effects. So when is it right to use hair serum?

If you want to control hair frizz

During seasons such as winter, your hair tend to frizz a lot. You might also be annoyed by the number of flyways and spilt ends in the same season. 

To curb this serious hair disorders, you should apply just a few drops of hair serum on clean wet hair. 

A coating will be formed on your hair that will tame your hair and protect it against conditions that might causing frizz. 

When you are straightening your hair

Although blow drying or flat ironing your hair will make your hair look presentable, the heat used to do so can damage your hair big time.

Using a touch of hair serum on your hair before straightening will create a layer that will protect your hair against the effects of heat. 

When you can’t seem to get your curls right

A lot of products will promise to get bring your natural curls back to life. In most cases, they manage to do. However, you will find yourself having to deal with dry hair which might start to break at any moment. 

If you want to define your curls while enjoying the smoothness and the softness of your hair, go in with a hair serum that has some hydrating properties. 

Your hair curls will pop out and last longer than you could imagine. 

When you are going for an event

Using hair serum on a daily basis can be a disaster. Silicone which strips off your natural hair it’s oil might overdo that when you apply it more often than required. 

However, if you are looking for an excuse to turn heads for a whole day and use your favorite hair serum, it should be when you are attending an event. 

Since hair serum forms a protective layer on your hair, your hair will be tamed the whole day and looking smooth, silky and straight. 

When dealing with oily hair 

If you have an oily hair, you can attest to how uncomfortable they feel. While most products use oil in them, hair serum has a combination of ingredients that can be ideal for oily hair. 

Silicone which has some drying effects will strip off your hair it’s natural oils and since this is what you are looking for, your hair will be more manageable. 

The protective coating formed on your hair also locks in the oils on your hair meaning your greasy hair situation will be handled. 

When to use hair oils?

Although hair serum can work best for most hair types and most situations, there are times where hair oils come in handy. 

When you want to oil your scalp

Even if you are using hair serum on your hair, you cannot use it on your scalp. Some of the ingredients found in the serum are too harsh on your scalp. 

Applying some hair oil on your scalp will get rid of the dryness and nourish your hair and scalp. 

When you are straightening your hair

Although hair oil will not add a protective layer to your hair, hair oils absorbs more heat in a healthy way making your blow dried hair or flat ironed hair appear more shiny. 

If you want to moisturize your hair

Hair oils are very safe to be used from the scalp to the ends of your hair. If you want to add some moisture to your hair after washing your hair, you can give your hair a touch of hair oil. 

Hair oil will nourish your hair, make it look vibrant and healthy a day long. 

When you are dealing with dry hair

There is no greater pain than seeing your hair break due to dryness. If you are afraid of adding hair serum in your hair due to the dryness, hair oil might be your one step to reviving your dry hair. 

When you want to repair damaged hair

For a hair product to aid in repair of damaged hair, it should be able to balance the flow of blood in your scalp, nourish the existing hair strands, and take good care of the new emerging hairs. 

Unless you are using a homemade hair serum, you cannot apply hair serum on your scalp.

Hair oils on the other hand will do all that is required to boost hair growth while also repairing the existing damaged hair. 

Can I use a hair serum and hair oil together?

Depending on the situation, you can absolutely use a hair serum and hair oils together. 

What a hair serum will not do, hair oils will. In fact the two products compliment each other very perfectly.

After applying hair serum on your clean wet hair, you can go in with a touch of hair oil to add shine to your hair. 

Before applying hair serum, you also need to moisturize your hair. If you cannot access a hair moisturizer, you can go in with a liquid hair oil as a moisturizer.

A hair moisturizer will also keep your hair nourished, and vibrant when the hair serum will protect your hair against conditions that might be damaging to your hair. 


Both hair serums and hair oils are very great products with a lot of benefits to your hair. 

You might think that hair serum and hair oils cannot work together. However, this two hair products compliment each other perfectly. 

While hair serum promises to protect your hair against any conditions that might damage your hair one way or another, a hair oil will nourish and repair your hair if damaged in any way. 

There are different situations where you can use these two hair products separately as described in the guide above.

One instance where you cannot use hair oils is in case you are dealing with oily hair. Another instance where you cannot use hair serum is on your scalp. 

If you want to bag benefits from both products, you can also use both a hair serum and hair oil together as  discussed in the guide above. You should also subscribe to this page for more beauty hacks. 


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  2. Tansathien, K., Chareanputtakhun, P., Ngawhirunpat, T., Opanasopit, P., & Rangsimawong, W. (2021). Hair growth promoting effect of bioactive extract from deer antler velvet-loaded niosomes and microspicules serum. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 597, 120352.
  3. Verma, Y. K., Verma, R., Singh, A. K., & Gangenahalli, G. (2021). LiCl containing thermosensitive formulation improves hemostasis, wound healing, and hair regrowth. Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine, 7(3), 362-378.

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