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If you’re working on improving hair health, this is a post-wash step not to be skipped.
Like a pet (of sorts), dry, damaged or stressed-out hair requires regular care and attention. Whether it’s hair masks, scalp treatments, glosses, glazes, oils, massages or protective styles, there are myriad options to revive your hard-worked hair.
A simple step to show your hair a little more love is by introducing a serum to the mix. A hair serum – designed to be used on freshly washed, damp hair – can help to shield and protect against chemical, mechanical or heat damage, as well as seal split ends, add shine to lacklustre locks and increase softness and manageability. Lighter than an oil but still delivering a boost of hydration and shine, a hair serum is a must-have step in your haircare routine.
Whether your hair is dry, limp, curly or frizz-prone, we’ve edited down the best hair serums for 2023…
Pattern Argan Oil Blend Serum
Specifically tailored to kinky, curly, coily and textured tresses, this argan and castor oil hair serum is designed to protect your hair, strengthening lengths and giving your hair a healthy-looking sheen.
Shop Pattern Argan Oil Blend Serum at Cult Beauty, £25
Virtue Correct Healing Oil
From the moment this little bottle landed on my desk, I haven’t been able to stop smoothing it through my hair. It’s light enough to not add too much weight to the hair while it smooths strands and softens dry ends. It also smells delicious – with a creamy coconut and woody fragrance. It’s one of my favourite discoveries of 2023.
Shop Virtue Correct Healing Oil at Cult Beauty, £25
Kérastase Symbiose Intensive Anti-Dandruff Cellular Night Serum
If you struggle with a dry, flaky scalp, this hair serum is the one to try. It’s specially formulated for sensitive scalps in mind, packed with ingredients like salicylic acid and probiotics to clarify and clear the scalp, without stripping your hair or scalp of essential moisture.
Shop Kérastase Symbiose Intensive Anti-Dandruff Cellular Night Serum at Lookfantastic, £48.50
Living Proof No Frizz Smooth Styling Serum
Designed for coarse, thick hair – this concentrated serum softens and smooths, leaving hair more manageable and silky. It’s formulated without silicones to prevent tangles for a softer, more conditioned feel. Plus, it cuts blow-dry time in half and protects the hair from heat up 232°C – ideal.
Shop Living Proof No Frizz Smooth Styling Serum at Space NK, £37.20
Amika Dream Routine Overnight Hydration Treatment
For an instant hit of hydration, this hyaluronic acid based serum is ideal. Designed to be used as an overnight treatment, it works to douse hair in moisture – without weighing down strands or leaving hair feeling greasy.
Shop Amika Dream Routine Overnight Hydration Treatment at Space NK, £29
Bumble and Bumble Bond-Building Repair Oil Serum
A must-have for heat styled hair, this milky serum is designed to visibly smooth, detangle and hydrate hair, all while providing heat protection up to 232°C. Smooth through damp hair before heat styling, or use on dry hair for an instant hit of hydration.
Shop Bumble and Bumble Bond-Building Repair Oil Serum at Lookfantastic, £35
Ceremonia Pequi Curl Activator Serum
Perfect for curly hair, this softening hair serum is designed to de-frizz and boost the definition of curls. Aloe vera works to strengthen, hydrate and add shine, while castor oil and murumuru butter to hydrate and condition.
Shop Ceremonia Pequi Curl Activator Serum at Space NK, £25
Aveda Scalp Solutions Overnight Scalp Renewal Serum
This overnight scalp serum works while you sleep to restore calm to stressed-out scalps and nourish the lengths of hair. The serum blend is enriched with soothing ingredients to help hydrate and nourish your hair from root to tip.
Shop Aveda Scalp Solutions Overnight Scalp Renewal Serum at Cult Beauty, £42
Coco & Eve Miracle Hair Elixir
This lightweight, nutrient-packed hair elixir is formulated to soften, smooth and nourish parched strands while simultaneously protecting against heat up to 220°C.
Shop Coco & Eve Miracle Hair Elixir at Lookfantastic, £29
Nécessaire The Scalp Serum
Packed full of peptides and hyaluronic acid, this ultra lightweight serum works to minimise visible thinning, while soothing itchy scalps. The water-like texture can be applied daily without weighing down the hair or contributing to excess build-up.
Shop Nécessaire The Scalp Serum at Space NK, £60
Olaplex No.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
This moisturising serum is designed to be run through freshly washed hair. With heat protection up to 232°C, the serum treats dry and damaged hair, protecting it from the effects of pollution, free radicals and environmental stressors, too.
Shop Olaplex No.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum at Cult Beauty, £26
JVN Complete Instant Recovery Serum
A brand bestseller, the JVN Hair Complete Instant Recovery Serum contains hydrating hemisqualene – a supercharged ingredient that works to repair damaged, dry, split ends, leaving hair silky soft.
Shop JVN Complete Instant Recovery Serum at Space NK, £24
The Nue Co Supa Thick Hair Treatment
Infused with rosemary oil (an ingredient famed for encouraging hair growth) and peppermint, this creamy scalp and hair serum works to balance the skin’s microbiome and reduce dandruff and flakiness.
Shop The Nue Co Supa Thick Hair Treatment at Cult Beauty, £35
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
As of 2022, The Ordinary now supplies the building blocks for great hair, as well as skin. Packed with peptides and caffeine, this serum works to increase the volume and fullness of your hair without weighing it down in the process.
Shop The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density at Cult Beauty, £15.80
Grow Gorgeous Daily Growth Serum
Something to use consistently, this hair serum can help to increase the volume of fine, limp or flat hair in as little as four weeks. Created with ingredients that stimulate hair follicles – including caffeine, organic pea sprout extract and Chinese skullcap – it promotes blood flow to the scalp and encourages healthy hair growth.
Shop Grow Gorgeous Daily Growth Serum at Lookfantastic, £22.50
OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum
A weightless serum, this coconut-milk infused pre-styling serum shields each strand from further damage caused by mechanical, heat or chemical-related stress.
Shop OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum at Boots, £8.99
Kérastase Nutritive 8H Magic Night Serum
A hair serum designed to be used overnight, this lightweight Kérastase gem conditions dry hair as you sleep. The best bit? There’s no need to rinse it out in the morning – simply go about your business (but with better hair).
Shop Kérastase Nutritive 8H Magic Night Serum at Lookfantastic, £32.40
Christophe Robin Serum Régénérant
Prickly pear is renowned for helping stressed hair and skin repair itself (the seeds inside a prickly pear contain fatty acids and vitamin E) and this serum does just that, as well as protecting against heat. Winner.
Shop Christophe Robin Serum Régénérant, £40
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