Hair Oil vs Hair Serum –– Everything You Need To Know When Picking What Works Better For Your Hair


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Remember how a hot oil massage was a weekly ritual when you were a child? Whether there was a hair problem or not, dousing your hair in oil was a must! Hair oils have stood the test of time. Think of them as the OG haircare-cum-styling product that has been passed down for generations. Step in the newbie, hair serums. This elixir not only provides shiny and healthy locks but also does it without leaving your hair feeling tacky or sticky.

In the battle between hair oil vs hair serum, who will win? Which one is better for your hair? We put each to the test so that you can decide what works best for you.

Hair Oil

This is a rite of passage that is passed down from your great great grandparents. This traditional hair care product has been the magical potion behind many voluminous and healthy locks. Hair oils strengthen the hair from the root, nourish it till the ends, and ensure that your scalp is fed the right nutrients for healthy functioning. The fragrance of pure oil might be off-putting for some, or it might just trigger interesting memories for others –– but, you’ve got to admit that there’s a reason it’s loved by many. From coconut hair oil to onion hair oil, the possibilities are endless. 

The benefits of hair oil:

  1. Nourishes the hair from root to tip

  2. Treats split ends

  3. Improves scalp conditions

  4. Treats dandruff and dry scalp

  5. Hydrates the hair shaft

  6. Improves blood circulation

  7. Boosts hair growth

  8. Restores shine

Hair Serum

This newbie is a great way to protect your hair! The best hair serum will shield your hair from environmental factors, add shine, control frizz, and give your mane an overall healthy and luminous look. 

Finding the right hair serum takes a bit of a trial and error approach, however, when you do find the one, it’ll literally take care of all hair woes. From repairing broken and damaged hair to protecting it from heat, sun, and other factors. Pick an onion hair serum that’ll also boost hair growth while giving your hair the coverage it needs post a wash. 

The benefits of hair serum:

  1. Adds shine

  2. Forms a protective layer on hair strands and shields it from the environment

  3. Can be used as a heat protectant before styling

  4. Shields against humidity

  5. Fights frizz

  6. Smoothens split ends

  7. Repairs damaged hair

  8. A great detangler

Difference Between Hair Oil and Hair Serum - Hair Oil vs Hair Serum

Hair oils or hair serums, which one is the superior hair product that’ll take care of your every hair need? Well, the answer isn’t that simple. It all depends on what exactly it is you’re looking for from your hair product. While one is a pre-wash ritual, the other works better once you wash your hair. When one takes a deeper approach, the other protects it superficially –– however, both work together for the greater good of your hair.

Here’s the difference between hair oil and hair serum.

Hair Oil

Hair Serum


Once a week

Post every wash and before styling


Thick and oily



Treatment approach

Styling approach


Deeply nourishes and conditions the scalp as well as the hair, maintaining your hair’s overall health

A topical agent that coats each strand and prevents frizz, split ends, and flyaways on the spot

The lubrication penetrates deep into the cuticles, preventing breakage from the very root of your hair

Most serums contain silicone that coats each strand and protects it from heat styling. This also prevents breakage during styling

Great for damaged hair that needs deep conditioning

Great for styling and treating split ends and dry hair to make it more manageable

What Is Better - Hair Oil Or Hair Serum

If you’re looking for a long-term solution to major haircare problems, it’s better to nip it in the bud. In this sense, opting for hair oils would make more sense. It’s literally the one-stop product that’ll solve your issues. The only downside? The texture tends to be very thick, which makes it a bit of a pain to wash off. Oiling your hair means putting it up in a bun or braid for the entire time you apply the oil.

As for hair serums, they are an immediate solution for issues like split ends and flyaways. They are the perfect protectors for when you want to style your hair, as well. That doesn’t mean they do not provide long-term benefits. Regular application helps fix damaged hair as well. Since they are made for styling you don’t need to worry about looking like a greaseball.

You can either use one or the other or use both together for better results. Deep condition your hair at least once a week for that extra nourishment, and apply a serum after a hair wash or when styling your hair. That’ll give your hair the protection it needs.

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In the battle between hair oils vs hair serums there isn’t a clear winner –– this is because both are equally effective. Hair that requires a little extra TLC needs extra nourishment too. This kind of hair is usually dry, dull, brittle, and is usually coupled with scalp conditions like dandruff. Using hair oil takes care of those issues, ensuring that your hair grows strong from within. On the other hand, hair serums take a more topical approach. They are great for when you want to style your hair, settle down split ends and flyaways –– here the main goal is to give you manageable hair, along with nourishing it simultaneously.