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7 Best Scalp Serums That Target Dryness, Oily Roots, Hair Loss and More

Massaging a serum into the scalp can boost the benefits even more

If you’ve been down the hair care aisle at any store lately, you’ve likely seen a plethora of scalp serums. You might have wondered what a scalp serum is, if you need one or what do they even do (click through to learn about the scalp serum benefits). Well, hair experts say it’s a promising idea to add one into your routine for optimal scalp health — and in turn increasing hair growth, shine and more. Here, how to use one of these treatments and the expert-backed best scalp serums to add to your cart.

How to use a scalp serum

The general rule of thumb is to follow the directions of whichever product you’re using, especially as it pertains to the frequency of use. But as far as application goes, remember that scalp serums are meant to stay on the scalp, so you’ll use one after you’ve shampooed and condition, says trichologist Sophia Emmanuel, a V&Co. Beauty brand ambassador of one of her favorites. points out.

In order to ensure even coverage and make sure you can really get the product onto the skin, section your hair. “I like to create vertical sections, working from the hairline moving towards the back of the head, and apply the product directly onto the scalp,” says celebrity hairstylist and groomer Mia Santiago. As an added benefit you can then massage it in; this will further help maximize absorption. Santiago likes to do so with a rubber scalp brush, although you can also just use your fingertips.

For a step-by-step tutorial, watch the below video from the KérastaseUSA YouTube channel.

The best scalp serums

Check out these best scalp serums loved by experts that help target a variety of scalp situations.

The best overall scalp serum

NouriTress Perfect Hair Follicle Therapy
NouriTress

NouriTress Perfect Hair Follicle Therapy

There’s really nothing this formula can’t do. “I like this product because its ingredients target multiple scalp conditions, such as hair loss, itchy scalp, dandruff, and inflammation. It’s formulated with saw palmetto, which targets hair loss, biotin strengthens strands, and witch hazel and peppermint oil soothe inflammation,” says Emmanuel.

The best scalp serum for a dry scalp

Nuele Nighttime Scalp Serum
Nuele

Nuele Nighttime Scalp Serum

Hairstylist Robin Emtage, founder of Silktáge, says this pick is an excellent choice, delivering tons of hydration and nourishment. And it’s also oil-based, which is why it’s so moisturizing.

Best scalp serum for an oily scalp

The Rootist Clarify Balancing Serum, one of the best scalp serums
The Rootist/Sephora

The Rootist Clarify Balancing Serum

Santiago says she’s, “obsessed,” with this pick, which is packed with salicylic acid and helps to balance out oil production. “The lightweight formula makes my scalp feel hydrated, not oily and weighed down.”

Best scalp serum for thinning hair

Philip Kingsley Density Preserving Drops
Philip Kingsley

Philip Kingsley Density Preserving Drops

Both Emmanuel and Santiago have this serum on their list of favorites. Santiago says it’s great for preserving the density of your hair, while Emmanuel lauds the fact that it’s soothing, hydrating, and stimulates hair growth, too.

Best scalp serum for a flaky scalp

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment, one of the best scalp serums
Briogeo

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment

Thanks to ingredients such as charcoal and witch hazel, this helps to detoxify and purify the scalp. Emmanuel says it’s great for anyone with a flaky, itchy scalp. Also nice: It can be used either as a leave-on serum or as a pre-shampoo treatment.

Best multi-tasking scalp serum

Kérastase Initialiste Scalp & Hair Serum
Kérastase

Kérastase Initialiste Scalp & Hair Serum

Sure, any scalp serum is going to help improve your hair, but this one does so in an even more direct manner than others. It’s a favorite of Santiago’s, who raves about how lightweight it is, and how nicely it thickens hair. Plus, it helps reduce breakage, too!

Best splurge scalp serum

NeoGeneisis Hair Thickening Serum, one of the best scalp serums
NeoGeneisis

NeoGeneisis Hair Thickening Serum

According to Emmanuel, this is a standout scalp serum that effectively targets a variety of different types of hair loss. Yes, it’s pricey, but also very effective. “It’s formulated with stem cells, which help activate your body’s own stem cells to increase hair density, reduce shedding, and make hair strands fuller,” she explains.


See more scalp care tips:

How to Protect Your Hair and Scalp From the Sun, Plus the Products That Make It Easy

If You Have Thinning Hair or a Flakey Scalp, This $10 Natural Oil Is The Beauty Hero You’ve Been Waiting For, Say Dermatologists

Why Does My Scalp Smell? Dermatologists Reveal What Women Over 50 Need to Know

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