While they’re lumped together in one category here on BeautyMNL, serums and oils are actually two very different kinds of hair care products. So which one is better for your hair? The answer basically depends on what you need.
If you’re looking to cap a hair care treatment, oil is better. It contains fatty acids and various vitamins, and works by getting absorbed into the strands of your hair. Since they’re meant to be absorbed by the body, the best options are those marked as 100% pure, extra virgin, unrefined, or cold-pressed varieties, as those contain the most nutrients.
Meanwhile, if you need something to add shine and definition to your hair, a serum is the best choice. Serums are just for enhancing healthy hair, as it simply coats each strand. It is not absorbed as much as oil. Since it smoothens out hair cuticles, tames flyaways, and detangles locks, it is an excellent choice for styling. And it is excellent at fighting frizz, making it a good choice for those with curly or wavy hair.
Though they are silicone-based, many of the serums available today are light enough to not leave buildup. And while many serums contain oil, they may not always have it in high enough concentrations to fix damaged locks. Simply put, serums are a temporary solution for your hair care problems while styling and are not a permanent fix.
Because they have different formulations, there are also some differences when you apply serums and oils. While they’re both best applied on damp hair, serums can be spread the entire length of your locks while oils should be just applied on the ends up to the mid-length. And just like face serums, less is more—you won’t need more than a couple of drops for shoulder-length hair.