Hair Products » Best Hair Serums

Best 10 Hair Serums for Silky, Smooth, and Shiny Locks

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

From roots to ends, the right hair serum can support your tresses in so many different ways. If your hair is frizzy and impossible to tame, a silky serum can help smooth it out for manageable styling. If your hair is brittle and damaged, a hair serum filled with nourishing and fortifying ingredients can strengthen your hair to prevent breakage. 

When it comes to the best hair serums, these formulas can do it all! Even if your hair is in great shape, it’s hard to resist the beautiful shine that hair serum can offer. In this guide, we’ve selected the best hair serums for healthy hair with formulas for every hair type, need, and budget!  

Best hair serum overview:

How we chose the best hair serums

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including ingredients, hair types, benefits, and more to create a short list of the top serums for hair. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best hair serum for each category.

Our picks for the best hair serums

Best overall

What we love

  • Smoothing formula
  • Shine-enhancing
  • Contains antioxidant oils

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

This golden serum combines luxurious, nourishing oils with silky silicones that give the hair slickness and shine. It’s ideal for taming frizz and smoothing the hair, especially as part of your styling routine. A blend of botanical oils helps further strengthen the hair and provide antioxidant protection. It’s an luxury formula, and many reviewers rave about the scent, though others say it’s too strong.

Main ingredients: Silicones, argan, camellia, and marula oils | Hair type: All | Benefits: Frizz control, adds shine, antioxidant protection | Size: 3.5 fl oz

Best budget
Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • Controls frizz for up to 72 hours
  • Makes hair smooth and shiny

What we don’t love

  • Can be a little greasy

With this serum, you can achieve shiny, easy-to-style hair for under $10. This incredible serum leaves the hair frizz-free and manageable for up to 72 hours thanks to a blend of protective, smoothing silicones and natural plant oils. It also enhances the hair’s overall smoothness and shine, for easier styling and healthier-looking hair. Some reviewers mentioned that the rich formula made their hair look greasy. 

Main ingredients: Silicones, argan oil, apricot oil | Hair type: Dry, frizzy | Benefits: Frizz control, adds shine, softens | Size: 5.1 fl oz

Best for damaged hair
Olaplex Nº.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum

What we love

  • Bond building to repair damage
  • Offers heat protection
  • Makes hair shiny and easy to style

What we don’t love

  • May not be effective on healthy hair

If you’re dealing with brittle or damaged hair, Olaplex cannot be surpassed. The brand’s signature bond builder is incredibly effective at repairing damage rather than just masking it. The result is stronger, shinier hair. This water-based, silicone-free formula also doubles as a heat protectant that’s effective up to 450 degrees. 

The product includes additional beneficial ingredients including hydrating hyaluronic acid and protective red algae. Reviewers rave that in the short term, this formula makes their hair smooth, shiny, and easy to style. Just keep in mind that if your hair isn’t damaged, bond builders can sometimes make it feel a little coarse.

Main ingredients: Bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, red algae extract, hyaluronic acid | Hair type: All | Benefits: Repairs damage, frizz control, adds shine, heat protection | Size: 3 fl oz

Best for dry hair
Matrix Food For Soft Multi-Use Hair Oil Serum

What we love

  • Adds softness and shine
  • Hydrates and nourishes
  • Non-greasy

What we don’t love

  • Fragile glass bottle

This unique hair oil adds a ton of shine and smoothness to dry hair. It includes amodimethicone, a uniquely reparative silicone that’s excellent for softening damaged hair. It also features nourishing avocado oil and hydrating hyaluronic acid. The formula is heat protective and proven to boost hair hydration. 

Despite the rich ingredients, reviewers raved that this formula was non-greasy and easy to spread. The only drawback is that the glass dropper bottle is a little fragile, making it less comfortable to use and difficult to travel with.

Main ingredients: Silicones, avocado oil, hyaluronic acid | Hair type: Dry | Benefits: Heat protection, hydration, frizz control, adds shine and smoothness | Size: 1.7 fl oz

Best for frizz control
Biolage Smooth Proof Serum for Frizzy Hair

What we love

  • Makes hair sleek and shiny
  • Lasting frizz control
  • Very rich and nourishing

What we don’t love

  • May be too rich for some

This ultra-popular hair serum is rich and nourishing, with ingredients that tame frizz while reducing brittleness. It controls frizziness all day long by smoothing the hair and preventing the impact of humidity. The result is sleek, shiny hair that’s ready to face the day. That said, the rich texture may not work if you have a very oily scalp or fine hair.

Main ingredients: Silicones, caprylic/capric triglyceride, camellia oil | Hair type: Frizzy | Benefits: Frizz control, adds shine, strengthens, smoothes | Size: 3.1 fl oz

Best lightweight
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil

What we love

  • Lightweight formula
  • Adds sheen and softness
  • Heat and UV protection

What we don’t love

  • Oils can cause breakouts on sensitive skin

Many hair serums have an oily formula, but this light oil is a non-greasy, easy-spreading option. It’s made with very light silicones and oils that add sheen and softness without weighing the hair down. This is a product ideal for dry hair, and reviewers recommend applying it before brushing hair out to prevent frizz. 

The Bumble and Bumble oil also doubles as one of our favorite UV and heat protectants, helping to save your hair from the damage of both heat styling tools and sun exposure.

Main ingredients: Silicones, grape seed oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil | Hair type: All but very thin | Benefits: Frizz control, adds shine and softness, heat protection, UV protection | Size: 3.4 fl oz

Best heat protection
JVN Complete Instant Recovery Serum

What we love

  • Designed for heat styling
  • Light, hydrating formula
  • Hemisqualane strengthens hair

What we don’t love

  • Jar packaging is inconvenient

If you’re a fan of heat styling, this serum is a protective two-in-one designed exactly for this purpose. It comes from JVN, the brand founded by celebrity hairstylist and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness, so you know it’s a great product! 

It looks like a cream at first, but it melts into a light, hydrating serum with ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. It’s also made with a patented hemisqualane and niacinamide which improve the strength of the hair. The formula is incredible, but we don’t love having to dip our fingers into a jar to dispense it.

Main ingredients: Hemisqualane, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide | Hair type: All | Benefits: Heat protection, frizz control, adds shine, strengthens | Size: 0.84 fl oz

Best for styling
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum

What we love

  • Speeds drying times
  • Prevents frizziness
  • Smoothes hair and adds shine

What we don’t love

  • No additional nourishing ingredients

This lightweight serum doesn’t just help make the hair smoother and easier to style, but it also actively speeds up its drying time! If you often style your hair in a rush, it’s a must-have. As with other hair serums, it’s also fantastic at sealing the strands, to prevent frizziness even in humid conditions. It conditions the hair for a smoother feel and shinier look. That said, it doesn’t include natural oils or additional nourishing ingredients like other serums on this list. 

Main ingredients: Silicones | Hair type: Frizzy | Benefits: Frizz control, adds shine, speeds drying time | Size: 5 fl oz

Best for growth
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

What we love

  • Improves hair density
  • Budget-friendly
  • Light and easy to spread

What we don’t love

  • Results may take a long time

This hair serum is actually intended for the scalp, to help improve hair density by supporting the hair follicles. If you’ve been dealing with hair growth issues but you’re not quite ready to try hair thickening minoxidil, it’s a budget-friendly option with promising ingredients! It’s made with a blend of some of the most well-tested hair growth ingredients, like Redensyl, Procapyl, and caffeine. It’s light and easy to spread, so it’s the perfect formula for anyone wishing for denser tresses. Reviews note that you’ll need to use it consistently for a while to see results.

Main ingredients: Redensyl, Procapil, Capixyl, Baicapil, Anagain, caffeine | Hair type: Thinning | Benefits: Improves hair density | Size: 2 fl oz

Best for shine
BioSilk Silk Therapy

What we love

  • Gives hair a sheen
  • Smoothes hair
  • Contains nourishing silk

What we don’t love

  • Strong scent

If your primary objective when searching for products is achieving glossy-looking hair, Silk Therapy is a must-try. The level of shine that this hair serum imparts is sure to please. This classic formula has been around for many years, and has become a staple for many users. 

It has a very silky texture thanks to a blend of silicones that help make the hair smooth and manageable. This product also offers the hair a bit of long-term fortification thanks to silk proteins. Lastly, it has a fragrance that reviewers mentioned tends to linger, although some found it strong and overpowering.

Main ingredients: Silicones, silk protein | Hair type: All | Benefits: Adds shine, smoothes | Size: 5.64 fl oz

Shine and smooth 

Hair serums are the perfect hair product if you want your hair to look smoother and shinier when you style it. While they’re meant to offer immediate cosmetic benefits, they often also include nourishing and fortifying ingredients that’ll make your hair stronger in the long term. 

Our top pick from Kerastase is the best serum for healthy hair. It offers instant smoothing action along with lasting strength, for hair looks and feels great. 

How to pick the right hair serum for you

When choosing the right hair serum for you, make sure to consider the ingredients, your hair type, and the specific benefits you’re hoping to enjoy. 


  • Silicones. Silicones like dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, and amodimethicone are magnificent hair-softening ingredients. They leave the hair feeling silky, control frizz by smoothing and sealing the hair cuticle, and may offer heat-protective effects. 
  • Plants oils. In hair products, most plant oils help soften the hair by sealing the hair cuticle. Many also include beneficial antioxidants that nourish and protect the hair from free radical damage. 
  • Proteins. In hair serums, proteins like biotin, keratin, or ones derived from silk or soy help to fortify and hydrate the hair.  
  • Humectants. Water-binding agents like glycerin and hyaluronic acid help to pull water into the hair. You’ll usually find them in lighter, water-based hair serums.  

Hair type

  • Dry. Look for richer serums with oil-based formulas, and use them immediately after the shower while your hair is still damp. 
  • Damaged. Your hair will benefit from frizz-controlling serums that create a seal over the hair, as well as serums with bond builders and proteins. 
  • Curly. Curly hair can often handle rich and oily hair serums really well. That said, some people with curly hair may want a silicone-free serum to avoid build-up. 
  • Thick. Silky hair serums will be easier to spread evenly through your hair. Oil-based serums will sink into your hair easily, as well. 
  • Thin or fine. Look for lightweight, humectant-rich hair serums that won’t weigh your hair down, and will instead infuse it with a bit more body.  
  • Oily. Avoid very rich hair serums, and instead look for lightweight, easy-spreading formulas. When using hair serum, apply to your hair’s mids and ends, but avoid the roots. 


  • Frizz control. With the help of oils or silicones, frizz control serums help to temporarily tame frizz with ingredients that smooth down the hair cuticle. They also create a seal over the hair to prevent frizziness from humidity.  
  • Hydration. Water-based serums hydrate the hair by pulling moisture within, while oil-based serums can help seal water into already damp hair. That can help give her body, but too much moisture can also cause frizziness. 
  • Heat protection. If you like to use heat styling tools, look for hair serums with heat protection that will help reduce some of the damage. 
  • Shine. If you want your hair to look shinier, look for silicone or oil-based hair serums designed to create a sheen over the hair. 


What’s the top-rated hair serum? 

Our top-rated hair serum is the Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Original Hair Oil, due to its luxurious feel and its ability to strengthen and smooth hair. 

What’s the best hair serum for frizzy hair?

Any smoothing hair serum will do a fantastic job of controlling frizzy hair. You can’t go wrong with our top picks from Kerastase for a luxury product and Garnier for an affordable drugstore price.

Which hair serum is best for healthy hair?

If your hair is already fairly healthy, look for a light hair serum that doesn’t contain too many proteins or bond builders. Our pick from Bumble and Bumble is an excellent option.