Resolving Common Issues with Hair Serum Usage: A Comprehensive Guide

Key Points

  • Common issues with hair serums include greasiness, product build-up, and scalp irritation.

  • If your hair feels brittle and looks dull, you may be dealing with product build-up.

  • If you're experiencing scalp irritation, stop using your serum, and you may need to see a doctor or dermatologist to identify the cause.

  • Even if you're dealing with struggles with your hair serum, there's a perfect serum and technique out there for every head of hair.

Are you disappointed in the results of your hair serum? Introducing a solution for resolving common issues with hair serum usage. Discover how to tame greasiness, combat product build-up, and address scalp irritation. Find the perfect hair serum and learn the right techniques for every type of hair. Say goodbye to hair woes and say hello to luscious, healthy locks.

Common Issues Using Hair Serums

Hair serums bring a whole world of benefits to your hair! Tame your flyaways, make your hair look shiny and soft, moisturize your locks, and seal your cuticles from damage. However, it's common to also experience issues with your hair serum. Sometimes, users get a greasy look, build-up on their scalp, or irritation. While hair serums are a great product, you must choose the right one and use it properly.

Greasy Hair

Hair serums can cause greasy hair if they're too heavy or if they're not used properly. Greasiness occurs in many circumstances, such as if you're using the wrong type of serum for your hair. Hair serums have different levels of oiliness and thickness. If you have fine hair, you need a serum that's lightweight and doesn't weigh your hair down. If you have thick hair, your hair can handle a more heavy-duty serum. Combat greasiness by getting a different serum more suited for your hair type.

Another cause of greasiness from hair serum is using too much product. A little bit of serum goes a long way. If you use too much, it makes your hair greasy and weighed down. It may appear stringy or even get stiff when it dries. These are signs that you're using too much product. Start with just a little because you can always add more.

If your hair is greasy from serum, stop applying it to your scalp. Some serums, like Divi Scalp Serum, should go on your scalp, but most serums should just be on your ends and shafts. Applying serum to your scalp can make your hair look greasy and oily.

Another cause of greasy-looking hair might be not washing your hair enough. Serum can build up on your hair and make it appear greasy if you don't wash enough. Try using a scalp scrub or clarifying shampoo to get rid of build-up, and wash your hair more regularly. If you're working on training your hair to handle less washing, try using a dry shampoo to absorb extra greasiness on your hair between washes.


Does your hair feel dry and brittle, even after washing it? Is your hair dull and lacking a bit of life? Is it difficult to hold styles in your hair? Do you have an itchy or flaky scalp?

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, you likely have product build-up on your hair. To remove the build-up, use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos deep clean the hair and scalp, removing any dirt, oil, and product residue.

You might also need a hair mask, as dermatologist Maria Diaz explains: "Removing the residues without stripping the fiber is possible if the anti-residue shampoo (laureth ammonium-sulfate) is followed by the application of a thick moisturizing hair mask, preferably containing hydrolyzed amino acids, silicones, and vegetable oils. Mineral oil is mostly substituted by film-forming silicones but may still be used combined with other cationic ingredients."

Hair serums can cause build-up if they contain certain ingredients, such as silicones. Silicones are polymers that coat the hair and create a barrier that can trap dirt, oil, and product residue. Over time, this build-up can make the hair look dull and lifeless. If you're dealing with product build-up in your hair, ditch your silicone serums and go for something that's water-soluble. If you're already using a silicone-free product, try using less product and avoiding your scalp during application.

Avoid product build-up by washing your hair regularly, using a clarifying shampoo once a week to once a month, avoiding your scalp when applying the product, and using serums that don't cause build-up.

Scalp Irritation

Symptoms of scalp irritation include itchiness, redness, flaking, discomfort or pain, swelling, crusts or scabs, and — in some extreme circumstances — hair loss. If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, or you have severe symptoms, see a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any medical conditions.

Sometimes, hair serums cause scalp irritation due to ingredients. If you're experiencing irritation, check your serum for alcohol, silicones, fragrances, and comedogenic ingredients (ingredients that clog pores). If your serum contains these known irritants, it's best to ditch your current serum and opt for a more sensitive formula.

If your hair serum is causing irritation to your scalp, stop applying it to your scalp immediately. Give your scalp time to recover. If your symptoms are very uncomfortable or persistent, see a doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible.

When you jump back on the hair serum horse, look for hypoallergenic serums. Avoid known irritants in the formula. Apply it only to your ends and mid-shaft, avoiding your scalp.

If you have other persistent scalp issues, look into serums that treat your scalp, balance its pH, reduce oiliness, and treat dandruff. Your dermatologist can uncover the cause of your scalp issues and recommend a treatment.

Using Hair Serums

Using hair serums isn't as simple as it seems. To get the best use out of your serum, apply it to damp hair after the shower. Put a pea-sized amount in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together to warm it up, and start applying the serum to your tips. Work your way up your shaft, distributing the product as you go. You can also comb through your hair with your finger or a wide-tooth comb to distribute your serum more effectively, but be gentle when doing so.

Give your hair a few minutes to absorb the good stuff before styling or blow-drying. This also gives your hair a chance to coat in the serum for heat protection when styling. It's best to apply your serum daily to damp hair. You can apply more throughout the day for an added boost of shine, protection, and hydration. Apply an even smaller amount when you're putting it in dry hair.

If you have persistent flyaways or frizz, even when you apply serum to your damp hair, try applying a bit more throughout the day. If your hair is still a bit lifeless even when using a serum religiously, try to remove any build-up with a clarifying shampoo and perhaps try a different serum.

Not even the best hair serum in the world works for everyone. It takes some experimentation and practice to find the right product and regimen for you and your hair. If you don't like how your hair looks or you experience some common issues, try a different product!

Choosing the Right Hair Serum

So many hair serums are on the market with huge promises that it's hard to know which is right for you. To choose the right hair serum, consider your hair type and hair goals. There are serums available for frizz, moisture, volume, shine, heat protection, flyaway control, hair growth, and scalp treatment. Some serums are for fine hair; others are for textured hair. Understand what your hair needs when choosing your serum! Then, make sure you use it properly for the full effect.

Here are some of the top serums according to hair goals and hair type:

No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
$30.00 ($10.00 / Fl Oz)

by Olaplex 

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03/07/2024 09:10 pm GMT

© Age Defying Testing Lab.

Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum

Work a little bit of this serum into your hair for moisture, shine, heat protection, and environmental protection. Use just a little bit of The Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum in damp or dry hair for a silky smooth finish. This lightweight serum is suitable for all hair types! Tame your flyaways all day with this industry-favorite serum.

Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
$31.34 ($9.22 / Fl Oz)

by Bumble and Bumble 

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03/08/2024 03:07 pm GMT

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil

Tame your frizz without weighing down your locks, nourish your hair, enjoy smoother and softer hair, and protect your hair from UV or heat damage, all with one product. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil makes your hair healthier with consistent use and provides an irresistible shine from the first use. This product improves the health of even dry, damaged, and color-treated hair.

This serum suits just about anyone, but it might be too heavy for some fine hair. Enjoy a harmonious blend of six different oils that simply work wonders on your locks.

Super Skinny Serum
$28.50 ($5.59 / Fl Oz)

by Paul Mitchell 

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03/07/2024 07:40 pm GMT

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum is suitable for all hair types, resistant to humidity, and even shortens your drying time. This product is especially perfect for those looking to control frizz and flyaways without sacrificing body or shine. This serum is a reliable, versatile cream for any hair type and goal.

© Age Defying Testing Lab.

Love Your Serum

If you don't love your hair serum, you're probably using the wrong product or technique. Now that you understand some common issues with hair serums, make the most out of your hair routine for shiny, healthy locks!

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