Products that claim to give you long, luscious locks seem to be flying off the shelves at the moment, but are they actually worth the hype? According to trichologist and founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis Bridgette Hill, there is some important information you need to know before you rush into buying a product labeled as a hair growth serum.
“It is first important to clearly state that we identify serums and topicals as hair loss prevention products versus hair growth products,” says Hill. “To date, there is no serum or active ingredient that has been proven to grow hair. No product can regenerate a dead hair follicle, which means a hair follicle without a viable blood source. FDA-approved topical medications for the treatment of androgenic or genetic hair loss address prevention of loss, not hair growth.”
With that distinction, Hill also wants to highlight the benefits of using a hair loss prevention serum and how hair strands thin in the first place. “What is experienced with ‘hair growth’ serums is the reawakening of the hair follicle,” says Hill. “It creates a healthier scalp microbiome, which increases the number of hair fibers that each follicle produces. To clarify, each hair follicle can produce more hair fibers, and most people can have two to five hair fibers per follicle. (This is genetically predetermined.) As the follicle is compromised, the follicle produces fewer hair fibers, resulting in ‘hair loss’ and thinning. The benefit and goal of these serums is to address miniaturization in its infancy for the best results.”
Even if hair loss isn’t a problem for you and you’d simply love a serum that helps promote long, luscious locks in some way, you can still look for hair strengthening serums that contain ingredients that help keep breakage at bay in check. Hill recommends looking for hair products that contain ingredients like saw palmetto, caffeine, licorice extract, pfaffia extract, ergothioneine, ginseng root, and burdock root. These will help nourish your hair at the root, allowing strands to grow longer than ever before. Keep scrolling below for a few options recommended by Hill and other user favorites.
This article originally appeared on whowhatwear.com
#1 Groh Stimulating Scalp Serum
Containing a blend of ergothioneine and vitamin D2, this serum rebalances the scalp and adds essential nutrients to the hair follicle to create stronger strands. It is a favorite of Hill’s for its premium formula.
#2 Dr. Barbara Sturm Scalp Serum
Hill also loves this formula from Dr. Barbara Sturm. Its key ingredients are hyaluronic acid and purslane, which provide an extra boost of hydration and restore the scalp’s natural moisture balance. Purslane is also an ingredient that helps fight free radicals that can potentially damage the hair follicle.
#3 Virtue Flourish Night Intensive Hair Rejuvenation Treatment
Virtue’s Flourish Nightly Intensive Hair Rejuvenation Treatment is another top pick among Hill’s for its ability to help rebuild fragile locks. It contains a shampoo, conditioner and density booster that strengthens the hair and helps it look thicker.
#4 Act+Acre Cold Processed Stem Cell Serum
Act+Acre’s stem cell serum, rich in antioxidants and a youth-restoring complex, promotes a healthier scalp by protecting it from sun damage and other pollutants that can cause follicle damage.
#5 Vegamour Gray Hair Serum
Vegamours Gro serum contains an abundance of plant extracts that help strengthen the hair at the root. The refreshing ingredients make it perfect to use with a scalp massager for a little mid-week pick-me-up.
#6 René Furterer Triphasic Reactional Concentrated Serum
René Furterer’s leave-in concentrate helps with thinning hair by using a powerful lotus mineral complex to help balance the scalp. It also contains pfaffia extract, a star ingredient Hill says is key to look for when choosing a serum.
#7 HerStyler Castor Oil Hair Serum
This hair serum from HerStyler has castor oil and aloe to help keep hair strands smooth and strong. Vitamin E also soothes locks that have been damaged by heat or chemicals.
#8 Pureauty Biotin Hair Serum
The biotin and pea sprout extract in this serum give the hair maximum strength. It can also be combined with the brand’s shampoo and conditioner for extra strengthening benefits.
#9 Nutrafol Growth Activator Hair Serum
Nutrafol’s serum is fast absorbing and light. It contains ashwagandha root to help boost scalp cell renewal.
#10 Hair Thickness Maximizer Saw Palmetto Serum
As I’m sure you can tell, the star ingredient in this serum is saw palmetto – an ingredient that revitalizes, strengthens and protects strands from sun damage.
#11 Wild Growth Hair Oil
This hair oil from Wild Growth has gained a bit of a cult following. Users rave about its nourishing, plant-based ingredients that help soften, develop and strengthen strands in record time.
#12 Curls Blueberry & Mint Tea Hair Growth & Scalp Treatment
Curls provides an incredible line of products for textured hair, so it was only natural that I included its Blueberry and Mint Tea Scalp Treatment in this bunch. In addition to its toning benefits, it also helps relieve a dry or itchy scalp.
#13 The Common Multipeptide Hair Density Serum
This formula from The Ordinary is more aimed at increasing hair density, but the ingredients also promote stronger hair and a nourished scalp – two must-haves for sustainable growth.
#14 Sephora Collection Strengthening Hair Serum
Is there anything Sephora can’t do at this point? ICYMI, the brand has added an incredible hair-strengthening serum to its arsenal that contains biotin and other plant-based extracts that promote luscious locks for days.
#15 Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum
Using ancient emollient oils like castor and moringa, this serum delivers next-level moisture and nutrients to high-porosity hair – specifically extra curly hair types.
#16 Mielle Rosemary Mint Scalp and Hair Strengthening Oil
Ingredients like rosemary, mint and biotin all work together in this oil to help promote a balanced scalp and healthier hair growth.
#17 AG Hair Vita C Repair Serum
You guessed it: Vitamin C is not only good for your skin, but it also helps reduce breakage and increase elasticity for some seriously Rapunzel-esque locks.