Breathe Life Back Into Your Strands With 11 of the Best Hair Serums for Dry Hair

Photo: Polina Lebed
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On the quest for healthy, hydrated hair, you might find yourself stocking your vanity with a handful of popular moisturizing products. Oils, like coconut oil and Argan oil, are beloved by stylists for their powerful abilities to breathe life back into even the thirstiest strands. Deep conditioning masks and overnight treatments are, too. But sometimes these styling treatments can border on being too hydrating, particularly on finer tresses. That's why we recommend getting your hands on a hair serum for dry hair, which can work wonders on reviving moisture without weighing strands down.

What sets serums apart? Unlike traditional hair products like shampoos and conditioners, serums are formulated with concentrated ingredients that penetrate deep into the hair shaft, delivering targeted hydration and repair where it's needed most. Whether your hair is naturally dry or has been subjected to the rigors of styling tools and environmental stressors, these potent potions work their magic from root to tip, leaving you with hair that not only looks radiant but feels irresistibly soft and silky to the touch. We chatted with stylists for their recommendations on what to bring home to your vanity. Find their favorites below.

Experts In This Article
  • Michelle Harvey, Michelle Harvey is a celebrity men’s grooming expert.
  • Sienna Watson, Sienna Watson is a hairstylist based in Los Angeles California.

The best serums for dry hair, at a glance:

Wait—what is a hair serum?

“A hair serum is a product of thicker consistency that coats the hair strand to provide heat protection, moisture, smoothing, and shine,” says Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist, Sienna Watson. Unlike your average hair products, they're packed with concentrated ingredients that go deep into your hair, working their magic from the inside out. While hair serums can include oils found in popular hair oils (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.), they work differently when applied to the hair. “The major difference between hair oils and serums is their ability to penetrate the hair shaft,” Harvey notes.

What to look for in a hair serum for dry hair

Both Watson and Los Angeles-based hairstylist Michelle Harvey mention paying extra attention to the ingredients in a hair serum. Generally, Watson recommends looking out for keratin and biotin for their strengthening properties. But for hydrating, Harvey notes looking for oils, humectants (which draw moisture into the hair and keep it there) like glycerin, and antioxidants.

“Be careful with silicone-based serums,” notes Harvey. “They can easily cause buildup…which actually blocks moisture from penetrating into your hair.” While this is true, not all silicones are difficult to remove from the hair, which we paid attention to when breaking down the ingredients of each serum.

Shop 11 serums to revive dry hair

remilia the cosmocap, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best overall: Remilia, The Cosmocap — $24.00

Key ingredients: Hydrolyzed silk, amino acids

Watson notes the Remilia The Cosmocap as one of her favorite hair serums for dry hair. Why? “It’s a keratin-infused product that provides strength and hydration to damaged or color-treated hair,” she says. Hydrolyzed silk and keratin amino acids are present in the formula which help to repair broken strands and damaged hair.

It’s important to note these capsules are formulated with silicones, including one that requires a shampoo with sulfates to break down the silicones and prevent them from building up.

Size: 30 1.25ml capsules


  • Expert-approved
  • Travel-friendly
  • Includes keratin
  • Biodegradable capsules


  • More of a process to apply
  • Those with a lot of hair might need more than 1 capsule
oribe hair alchemy treatment serum, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best splurge: Oribe, Hair Alchemy Fortifying Treatment Serum — $66.00

Key ingredients: Green tea, pea protein, hyaluronic acid

The Oribe Hair Alchemy Strengthening Treatment Serum is a luxury serum that happens to be one of Harvey’s favorites. “Its plant-derived (green tea) antioxidants and strengthening extracts sink into dry, frizzy hair making it beautifully silky,” she says. Like other serums on this list, it has pea-based protein, known to help repair damage. It also boasts a hyaluronic acid complex which deeply moisturizes dry and brittle hair. Aside from the ingredient list, it has a sweet scent and nice slip that adds to the luxurious application process. If you’re willing to splurge on a larger product, this serum should be your first choice.

Size: 5.9 oz.


  • Expert-approved
  • Protects hair from high heat
  • Ingredients help strengthen hair over time


  • Pricey (but a larger bottle)
  • May cause build-up with frequent use
living proof styling serum, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best for thick hair: Living Proof, No Frizz Smooth Styling Serum — $36.00

Key ingredients: Proprietary smoothing technology, humectant polymer

Living Proof’s No Frizz Smooth Styling Serum offers more than just deep hydration. Designed for coarse and thick hair, the serum is formulated to help gently detangle, smooth, and protect the hair for styling. Diheptyl succinate, a humectant found in the serum, helps coat the hair to lock in hydration while also smoothing out frizz. It’s definitely thick—if you have fine or medium hair, you might want to reach for something else to avoid weighing it down.

Size: 1.5 oz.


  • Deeply hydrating for thick hair
  • Lightly scented
  • Protects hair from high heat


  • May feel slightly greasy
goldie locks signature serum, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best scented: Goldie Locks, Signature Hair Serum — $37.00

Key ingredients: Jojoba oil, coconut oil, biotin, ginseng

If you’re familiar with the popular Anthropologie Volcano Candle, meet the hair serum that smells *just* like it: Goldi Locks Signature Serum. The medium-consistency serum has a light slip that adds a long-lasting citrus scent that, while powerful, isn’t headache-inducing. It’s formulated with nourishing ingredients such as jojoba and coconut oil and a little goes a long way. It leaves hair soft, silky, and frizz-free.

Size: 1.7 oz.


  • Long-lasting scent that isn’t overpowering
  • Thin texture
  • Color-safe and extension-friendly
  • Little goes a long way


  • Fragrance might not be for everyone
gisou honey infused hair repair serum, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best for everyday use: Gisou, Honey Infused Hair Repair Serum — $45.00

Key ingredients: Plant-based keratin, honey, heat + UV protection

Gisou’s Honey Infused Hair Repair Serum is a straightforward yet effective serum that primes the hair with heat protection before styling. The star ingredient is a burst of hydrating Mirsalehi honey, which is delivered through encapsulated droplets that burst when warming the product up in your hand. Other ingredient call-outs include hydrolyzed pea protein which is beneficial for healing damaged hair, but could potentially overwhelm protein-sensitive hair types leaving hair dry, and brittle. Apply 2-3 after washing and before using heat, and notice your hair become softer and shinier.

Size: 1 oz.


  • Protects hair from high heat
  • Not scented
  • Lightweight


  • On the pricier side
  • Need to use a few drops
  • Could overwhelm protein-sensitive hair
ceremonia pequi curl activator, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best for textured hair: Ceremonia, Pequi Curl Activator Styling Serum — $28.00

Key ingredients: Pequi, castor oil

Crafted with the nourishing power of pequi oil and castor oil, this serum deeply hydrates and conditions curly hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and totally quenched. Its lightweight formula enhances natural curl patterns while taming frizz and flyaways for a polished finish. Unlike heavy creams or gels, it provides long-lasting moisture without weighing down your locks, making it perfect for all curl types.

Size: 6.7 oz.


  • Helps tame frizz and hold curls
  • Castor oil can help hair growth
  • Large bottle for the price


  • Fragrance may not work for everyone
the rootist biobrew, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best for thin hair: The Rootist, BioBrew Fermented Strengthening Serum — $48.00

Key ingredients: Rootbiomic ferment, vitamin C

Would you put kombucha in your hair? The Rootist thinks you should. The new haircare brand utilizes a system called rootbiomic ferment that claims to be a “multivitamin superfood” for the hair. It can be applied all over (even the scalp), has a light scent, and doesn’t feel oily on thin hair. Ingredients such as hydrolyzed yeast protein claim to reduce hair loss and strengthen hair whereas vitamin C adds shine and protects the hair cuticle.

Size: 1 oz.


  • Easy spray-on application
  • Works on both the scalp and ends
  • Lightweight


  • On the pricier side
bondi boost rapid repair serum, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best for color-treated hair: Bondi Boost, Rapid Repair Serum — $28.00

Key ingredients: Coconut oil, macadamia oil, chamomile extract

Color-treated hair can quickly become dry and brittle (especially if it’s been lightened), so using a hydrating serum to help with hydration feels like a no-brainer. The Bondi Boost Rapid Repair Leave-In Hair Serum for Damaged Hair has a bevy of fans who say it does a great job of nourishing damaged hair, particularly from those whose hair is highlighted or bleached. It feels similar to a leave-in conditioner thanks to the combination of coconut oil and macadamia oil. Plus, the larger bottle and easy spray-on application make this a great value pick.

Size: 2.3 oz


  • Light scent
  • Lightweight feel
  • Good value


  • Oils may cause build-up
Best for damaged hair: Kérastase, Première Repairing Anti-Frizz Serum — $46.00

Key ingredients: Peptide, glycine

New from Kérastase, this game-changing hair serum is here to rescue your strands from the daily grind. Whether you’re battling with heat styling tools or just need a little extra TLC, this serum has got your back. It wraps each strand in a protective cocoon while repairing damage and sealing split ends. With its lightweight formula, it won’t weigh down your locks or leave them feeling greasy. Instead, you’ll be left with hair that’s smoother, shinier, and totally touchable.

Size: 3.04 oz.


  • Comes in a glass bottle
  • Silky-smooth consistency
  • Doesn’t weigh hair down
  • Protects agains heat


  • Dispenser pump can be messy
  • May make hair feel greasy if over applied
garnier fructis sleek&shine, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best budget: Garnier Fructis, Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum — $7.00

Key ingredients: Argan oil, silicone

The least expensive hair serum by far on this list is the Garnier Fructis’ Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum, but don’t be fooled—its low price point doesn’t mean it’s any less efficient. With over 37,000 reviews, the serum has built a huge following for doing exactly what it says it will: fighting frizz, adding shine, and moisturizing the hair. However, the formula is on the heavier side and, because it’s formulated with silicone dimethiconol, it will need to be removed with shampoo to avoid buildup. That said, you don’t need to hunt far and wide to find it—you can likely find this pick at your local drugstore.

Size: 5.1 oz


  • Low price point
  • Easy pump-style bottle
  • Fan-favorite


  • Heavier formula
seen magic serum fragrance free, one of the best serums for dry hair
Best fragrance-free: Seen, Magic Serum (Fragrance Free) — $36.00

Key ingredients: C13-15, squalane, ethylhexyl olivate

There are only three ingredients in Seen’s Magic Serum: C13-15 Alkane (an emollient), squalane (a nourishing plant-derived oil), and ethylhexyl olivate (an olive-derived emollient). Because of its small-but-mighty ingredient list and lack of fragrance, those with sensitive skin around their hairline or on their scalp have found this serum to be a great option. It boasts an impressive seal from the National Eczema Association, so it won’t cause flare-ups for those with eczema. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, this serum is a no-fuss option that helps promote shiny, hydrated hair.

Size: 1 oz


  • Minimalist formula that’s safe for sensitive skin
  • Certified by the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance
  • Protects hair from high heat


  • Heavier formula


What’s the best way to apply hair serum?

Both experts agree to apply your serum for dry hair on damp strands after washing. “I like to apply serums to towel-dried hair to help detangle and provide heat protection before I blow dry,” Watson says. Harvey recommends avoiding applying to the scalp and to, “apply your serum from approximately halfway down your hair length to the ends.” Pro tip: Use a pea-sized amount after styling to help tame frizz if it's a bad day for flyaways.

Can I apply hair serum every day?

It depends—Watson and Harvey both note to apply on clean hair after washing. However, it’ll take some trial-and-error to tell what’s best for your hair. For example, the day after a blowout I noticed my ends looked particularly sad. I applied Gisou’s serum to my hair and felt as though it helped hold the style longer while adding an extra *oomph* to my day-old hair.

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