Over the past couple of years, my hair has somehow transformed from chronically straight to wavy in some spots, curly in others, and prone to frizz all over the place. To be clear, frizz isn’t a bad thing — I think it’s kind of cute sometimes — but it does make my hair more difficult to work with. And if you're reading this article, I'm going to assume you've been dealing with something similar. Along with a weekly deep conditioning mask, hair serums have been revelatory. That’s because the best hair serums for frizzy hair contain ingredients that seal the hair cuticle to protect it from heat, humidity, and other environmental aggressors that all contribute to frizz. In the process, they’ll make your hair look glossy and smooth and feel more moisturized. Plus, many of them smell amazing, too — what's not to love?
Since dry hair is more prone to frizz than hair that's naturally more oily or rich in moisture, most serums contain nourishing and replenishing ingredients like argan oil, shea butter, and coconut oil. In some cases, proteins are added to the mix to help repair damage. In turn, your hair will look smoother and feel stronger, because it genuinely will be.
Whether your hair is curly or straight, thick or thin, or about to get hit with some heat, the seven best smoothing serums featured ahead are here to help instill a little discipline.
1. The Best Serum For Thick Hair
A boosted version of their beloved classic serum, this John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum is spiked with seaweed extract, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to smooth and replenish dehydrated hair. Silk proteins help repair split ends, which also contribute to unwanted frizz. Reviewers say this is a little intense for fine hair, but it’s effective for making thick and coarse hair about a million times more manageable. Apply it to wet hair for best results.
2. The Best Serum For Fine Hair
If you have fine hair, look for a flexible spray over a thicker serum. The latter runs the risk of weighing down your hair, which is the opposite of the smooth, silky results we’re going for here. I like this coconut oil mist from OGX for my own fine hair. Came for the mildly beachy, not-sickly scent and reasonable price tag, stayed for the things it does: Smooths flyaways and frizz, boosts shine, and helps maintain your hair’s movement and fluidity, thanks to nourishing coconut oil and hydrating bamboo extract. Since it’s so weightless, you can keep spraying it on throughout the day (either for the irresistible scent or the smoothing effects, up to you).
3. The Best Serum For Curly Hair
Ideally, folks with curly hair need a serum that defines their curls, keeps them light and bouncy, and protects them from the heat and humidity that tries to tamp them down. This Cantu Shea Butter Super Shine Hair Silk ticks all those boxes. In here, shea butter restores moisture and imparts a glossy but natural-looking finish, while the addition of fragrance gives it a nice, fresh scent. Despite the ingredient's inherent richness, the formula itself is light and fluid, so it won’t compromise your natural curl pattern. This works beautifully on all types of curls and waves, as well as relaxed and permed hair.
4. The Best Serum For Damaged Hair
Products infused with keratin, which mimics the naturally occurring protein that exists in your hair and skin, can help repair damage inflicted from over-processing, dyeing, and heat styling. This Global Keratin GKHair serum contains a proprietary keratin blend that helps rebuild compromised hair from the inside out, while argan oil suffuses and coats dry hair with some welcome nourishment. Altogether, this cult favorite keeps your hair looking smooth and shiny, but it’ll genuinely feel stronger, too. This one also works well as a blow-drying primer.
5. The Best Serum For Heat Styling
If you’re styling your hair with hot tools, you need a serum that provides ample protection from potential heat damage — like this Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. A perennial best-seller, it’s beloved for speeding up blow-drying time and preventing frizz from cropping up in the process. The formula contains lightweight silicones, which are ideal for sealing the cuticle from frizz- and damage-inducing heat and water. Overusing silicones can actually cause limpness and dehydration over time, however, so reserve this heavy-duty serum for your most heat-intensive styling sessions.
6. The Best Budget Hair Serum
When in doubt, go for Garnier Fructis’ Sleek & Shine range. Not only are these products wildly inexpensive (like, under $5 inexpensive), but they’re really, truly effective (it also doesn't hurt that they smell like a tropical fruit grove that exists solely on some heavenly plane). In particular, the Sleek & Shine serum gets nearly perfect reviews on Amazon. It helps calm frizz without being too heavy, and it works on curly, wavy, and straight hair alike. And a little goes a long way, so the price-per-wear probably evens out to something like $0.0001, according to my inexpert calculations.
7. The Best Premium Hair Serum
For a more luxurious choice, try this Shine Serum from Swedish brand SACHAJUAN. A pro favorite, this serum is packed with vitamin B12 to nourish and soften your hair, while dimethicone (a type of silicone) forms a smooth, protective coating over each strand to help absorb humidity. It'll help keep your hair looking smooth and shiny all day long, and it smells amazing, too. At $33, it’s something of a splurge. But still less expensive than a blowout, which would give you comparable results.