Hair-Care Tips

Hairstylists Say The Ordinary Hair Serum Is the $18 Ticket to Thicker, Fuller Hair

Zoe Weiner

Photo: Getty/LumiNola
When The Ordinary hit the skin-care scene back in 2015, it was immediately lauded for its simplified, ingredient-forward products—none of which cost more than $15. The brand immediately became a cult-fave, making its way onto the shelves at Sephora and Ulta stores nationwide, and changing the expectation of affordable luxury as we knew it. Then, earlier this year, the brand launched its first hair-care products, adapting its game-changing, price-friendly formulas for our scalps and strands. One product from the line that stylists can't stop recommending for fuller, thicker hair? The Ordinary Hair Serum.

What makes The Ordinary hair serum great

The Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density ($18) is packed with peptides, which stimulate collagen production in your scalp and support your hair's natural proteins, which can purportedly create and optimal environment for them to grow. In the long run, this can translate to thicker, fuller hair (but to be clear, this probably won't happen over night). "This serum promotes a healthier scalp and environment for hair growth to happen," says Michelle Cleveland, a hairstylist based in New Jersey. It combines four patented technologies into a concentrated-yet-lightweight formula that penetrates easily into the scalp.

Aside from peptides, the serum is chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants, which work to protect your hair from environmental stressors and "keep your scalp healthy and primed for growth," says Los Angeles-based hairstylist Jeremy Tardo. In addition, it also contains biotin. The science on the efficacy of biotin for hair loss and hair thickening is shaky but it's widely used and anecdotally, Tardo says that it "has been known to help hair grow thicker and stronger."

What really makes the serum stand out, though, is the fact that it's also made with lactic acid, which acts as a chemical exfoliant to clear dead skin cells away from your scalp in order to create an optimal situation for hair growth. "When the scalp is clean and free of build-up, such as sebum, and product accumulation, the follicles are free to push new hair through," says Cleveland.

How to use The Ordinary hair serum

While the product itself doesn't actually grow new hair follicles, it does make it possible for the ones you've got to really thrive. "I think that all the ingredients listed in this product are beneficial, and can only help promote healthier and fuller-looking hair," says Cleveland. "I would recommend it for anyone who feels as if their hair just isn’t looking it’s best and perhaps someone who has noticed a shift in their hair growth cycles." That said, she adds that she wouldn't recommend it as a "cure" for anyone who is experiencing serious hair loss issues, like temporary or permanent alopecia. In those situations, you'll likely see more success with a prescription-grade solution from your dermatologist.

For best results, apply a few drops of the serum to a clean, dry scalp before bed, and massage it into your roots. Use it regularly, and you should see thicker, fuller hair over time.

For more intel on how to thicken up your strands—and about hair loss in general—check out the derm tips in the video below.

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