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Blog > Hair Routine > How To Use a Hair Serum: Benefits, Do's and Don'ts

How To Use a Hair Serum: Benefits, Do's and Don'ts

Whether you reach for a hair oil or a hair serum there is much to understand before you apply it on your strands.

You may have asked yourself, “What is hair serum and how is it different from hair oil”? We are going to dive into the facts of what it is and the multiple hair strengthening benefits your hair will get when you apply this product.

What Is Hair Serum?

Hair serum is a product that can easily be mistaken as a hair oil.

A hair serum generally is thicker in its consistency and is created to shield the outside of your hair strands.

It is commonly used for those struggling with frizz, dull, weak hair, and becomes an everyday staple product if you always reach for heat tools when styling your hair since it provides great heat defending benefits.

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Hair Serum Benefits

hair serum benefits

The benefits to using a hair serum are:

Strengthens Hair

Hair serum plays a major role in strengthening your hair simply by protecting it from elements that will weaken each individual strand such as UV, direct heat and chemical processing.

This is especially true for serum/oil hybrids that can also deposit essential fatty acids and nutrients within the hair strand to help build up weak points along your strands.

Controls Frizz

For the unwelcome frizz that is hard to control, hair serum will come to the rescue by aiding your hair with a boost of hydration while adding an element of oil that nourishes your strands to prevent pesky frizz from popping up.

As your hair starts to recognize the humectant factors that are offered in some serum’s, it will help to keep frizz at bay while constantly soaking up the good moisture to keep your hair satisfied.

Adds Shine

That illuminating factor that makes all hair look and feel healthier (even if you are just camouflaging at the moment) hair serum gives you more of a reflective shine, so no matter the light it reflects a brilliant shine.

Protects From Heat

The main responsibility of a hair serum is to protect your hair from elements that may otherwise ruin, weaken or frustrate your hair.

By using a hair serum you can trust that you are adding a shield of protection so that UV’s, heat tools and pollution don’t stand a chance of disrupting your good hair day!

Protects Color Fading

UV damage is serious and though we care for our body and face before we head out the door, little do we think about the damage our first line of natural protection is getting hit with.

Our hair protects our scalp from the UV’s, which causes serious harm to our hair, especially color-treated hair.

When hair color gets exposed to harmful UV’s the color fades as the UV’s suck the hydration from our locks, making a UV protectant extremely necessary to keep the longevity and vibrancy of our hair color in check.

red hair before and after image using hair serum


Hair serums that also carry hair moisturizing ingredients are essential to ensure our hair doesn’t feel dry and brittle.

It also helps to restore naturally occurring moisture that your hair needs in order to not break or cause split ends.

If we look at the different moisturizers our hair care can provide, we will see that moisture through fatty acids and oils can be hair’s best friend.

Increases Elasticity (Prevents Breakage)

It may be a while since your hairstylists pulled an elasticity test or explained why this is so important in hair length and integrity, but it's important for you to understand hair elasticity.

This is your hair's ability to stretch and come back without breaking or creating a breaking point in your hair.

When you lose elasticity you will experience more hair breakage, split ends and what you think are flyaways…which are actually multiple strand breakpoints. Hair serum helps to restore and strengthen hair elasticity.

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Softer Manageability

When your hair is getting all the internal nutrients, hydration and the moisture it needs, you will find that your hair becomes easier to manage day to day.

Generally, unruly hair is acting out by telling you it needs more—and when you start using the right hair serum it starts letting you play again, while living in peace. In other words, your hair becomes a lot softer to the touch!

brunette hair before and after using hair serum

Helps To Detangle Hair

If you have any texture to your hair then you know just by looking at it you’re getting more tangles!

Here is a fun fact, healthy hair doesn’t tangle.

While that may seem like quite a strong statement, it’s true.

The more texture you have the easier it is for damage to find its way to your strands, leaving you vulnerable to friction or element exposure-caused tangles.

By adding a hair serum you are calming hair strands while adding hydration and will find combing or brushing through hair becomes easier.

How To Use Hair Serum

how to use hair serum

Want to get the most out of your hair serum? Here’s how:

  1. Start small, you can always add more hair serum but it is near impossible to erase what you just put on (unless you shampoo).
  2. Add hair serum to your palms and rub your palms together before touching your hair.
  3. Starting on freshly washed, conditioned and leave-in prepped hair, apply the hair serum starting at the back of your head – like you’re grabbing a ponytail.
  4. Focus on mid-strand through ends as these are the most dehydrated places within your hair strands.
  5. Work the product through, staring in the back and moving toward your face.
  6. Once it has been applied use your fingers to work out any easy tangles.
  7. For even distribution grab a comb or a brush and comb through for even distribution.
  8. Style as usual.

How To Use Hair Serum With Hair Extensions  

long blonde haired woman and long red haired woman from the back

The moment you decide to invest in longer locks aka hair extensions, there are some tips your stylist will share with you in preserving that new beautiful head of hair. From the list of home care tips, there is one, in particular, we can’t stress enough—using your hair serum daily!

Your extension hair is a bit different from your natural hair because of the cleansing and sterilization process it goes through which makes them susceptible to premature damage, breakage, and color fading if you skip the proper care.

Goldie Locks® Signature Hair Serum will not only keep your hair extensions more manageable, but it will also help to prevent future damage while protecting the hair on the outside. As you apply your hair serum daily you are replenishing moisture and hydration that hair extensions have lost on their own which means you will be doing yourself a favor by replenishing nutrients and moisture to gain a longer life span for your extensions.

Below are some helpful tips to ensure you get the most out of your hair serum:
  • Hair serum can be used in two ways:
    • After applying leave in conditioner on freshly washed and towel dried hair
    • On dry 2nd or 3rd day hair
  • Start with two pumps of hair serum and rub your palms together before applying it to your hair
  • Focus on getting most of the serum on the ends of your hair and using your fingers to work the product up the mid strand of the hair
  • With the remaining product on your hands, lightly press your palms where your natural hair meets the extensions to camouflage any rough natural ends into the hair extensions
  • Comb or brush through for even distribution
  • When applying hair serum before bed:
    • Start with two pumps of hair serum and rub your palms together ensuring the serum also gets around your fingers
    • Start working the serum starting from the bottom length upward
    • Comb or brush through for even distribution
    • Create a simple 3 strand braid and secure the ends
    • This will ensure you have less friction that would otherwise lead to damage

Hair Serum Do’s And Don’ts

glass geometric clear hair serum bottle on glass tray with hair products

How to use hair serum dos and don’ts

  • Apply hair serum after you’ve applied your leave-in conditioner.
  • Apply hair serum focusing on the mid-strands through ends.
  • Apply hair serum daily when wearing hair extensions (right before bed is an excellent time to apply hair serum).
  • Use just enough product - you can always go back for that extra pump.
  • Comb or brush through for even distribution.
  • Always start applying at the back of the head working forward towards the face.
  • Skip washing your hair when using hair serum.
  • Use too much or avoid applying in one concentrated area.
  • Reapply hair serum if your hair is feeling or looking dirty.
  • Apply hair serum to a dirty scalp.
  • Skip hair serum if you are using heat tools to style out your hair.

How Often Should You Use Hair Serum?

woman holding clear glass bottle

Depending on your hair type is how often you will monitor your hair serum usage.

Those with fine or thin hair may find it beneficial to apply a light amount of hair serum on freshly washed hair, following your leave-in conditioner.

Whereas someone with thicker density or texture (including our curly hair friends) may find it beneficial to use a hair serum more frequently due to the cuticle expression leaking out too much moisture and hydration.

Can I Use Hair Serum Daily?

Hair serum is recommended for daily use when you are wearing and caring for hair extensions.

Hair extensions tend to have the cuticle removed from the hair and therefore your investment piece needs an added layer of moisturizing protection to prevent future harm.

If your natural hair is in serious distress mode and you’re looking for a means of rejuvenation, then hair serum is great to use daily until your hair experiences the recovery you are looking for.

Once your hair is feeling like itself again, it’s recommended to apply hair serum after every fresh shampoo.

Is Hair Serum Harmful?

Depending on the type of hair serum you reach for, it can pose a potential risk of hair suffocation.

While there are hybrid products available, such as Goldie Locks® Signature Serum that has the formulation of a hair oil while providing the protection of a hair serum, other hair serums can be heavier in the molecular structure.

Simply put, if you use hair serum with a heavy concentration in formulation you may build up its presence on your hair strands and block necessary moisture from penetrating your hair.

Long term effects of this can be dehydrated and overall weaker strands.

It is always a good idea to keep shampoo on your list of things to do when you’re using protective products like hair serum.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Hair Serum?

When using hair serum you will want to be aware of the job it was created to do, which is to protect your hair and prevent damage.

So while those who wear hair extensions find it necessary to apply this product daily, you will want to take a look at your overall lifestyle and make the choice of how much protection your hair may need.

Indicators that you should be using a hair serum are:

  • Hard water
  • Use of heat tools like blow dryers, flat irons, etc.
  • Harsh environment as well as consistent chemical processes, i.e. hair color or highlighting services

If you are applying too much hair serum you may experience it starting to lay heavy on your hair. Avoid oversaturation, adding a little hair serum at a time.

Rest assured, hair oils and hair serums are usually made to be shampooed and cleansed away to prevent any serious harm to your strands.

What Is The Difference Between Hair Oil And Serum?

clear oil with glass tincture

Yes, there are differences when using hair oil versus hair serum.

Most common are the consistency of each product.

A hair oil uses lighter ingredients that can penetrate your hair deeper, whereas a hair serum can be hefty in ingredient concentration and will focus on protecting your hair from the outside — think of it like putting a shield of protection on your hair so it wards off damage.

You may also find hair oil and serum hybrids such as Goldie Locks®Signature Serum, which is lighter in overall ingredient weight and works internally while leaving behind the outer shield of protection like a traditional hair serum.

Is Leave In Conditioner Or Serum Better?

A leave-in conditioner is the lightest of hair conditioners and is water based, which allows for quick and easy absorption to focus on nutrient deficient and dehydration factors that can lead to breakage.

Hair serum is in its own category, because it has an oil base, it soaks into the hair slower and its purpose is to always be on the defense.

If we compare them to something we are more familiar with, a leave in conditioner is like coconut water (that we drink) rich in nutrients and satisfies our hydration, while a hair serum is more like a bountiful smoothie.

It still carries necessary nutrients but has a dense presence and will deliver all of its goodness in a different, more predominant way.

These two products work amazing hand in hand, starting with your leave-in conditioner on freshly shampooed hair and followed by your favorite hair serum.

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