Products that claim to give you long, luscious locks seem to be flying off the shelf at the moment, but are they actually worth the hype? According to trichologist and founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis, Bridgette Hill, there's some important information to know before going full speed ahead on purchasing a product that's labeled as a hair growth serum.
"It's first important to clearly state that we identify serums and topicals as hair loss prevention products versus hair growth products," Hill shares. There is no serum or active ingredient to date that is proven to grow hair. No product can regrow a dead hair follicle, meaning a hair follicle without a viable blood source. The FDA-approved topical drugs to treat androgenic or genetic hair fall address loss prevention, not hair growth."
With that distinction being made, Hill also wants to highlight the benefits of using a hair loss prevention serum and how strands become thinner in the first place. "What is being experienced with 'hair growth' serums, is the reawakening of the hair follicle," says Hill. "It creates a healthier scalp microbiome which increases the numbers of hair fibers that each follicle produces. To clarify, each hair follicle can produce multiple hair fibers and most people can have two to five hair fibers per hair follicle (this is genetically predetermined). As the follicle is compromised the follicle produces less hair fibers, which results in 'hair loss' and thinning. The benefit and goal of these serums is to address miniaturization in its infancy stages for the best results."
Even if hair loss isn't a concern for you and you simply would love a serum to help promote long, luscious locks in some way, you can still look for hair strengthening serums containing ingredients that help keep breakage at bay. Hill recommends looking for hair products containing ingredients like saw palmetto, caffeine, licorice extract, pfaffia extract, ergothioneine, ginseng root, and burdock root. These will help nourish your hair at the root so strands have the opportunity to grow longer than ever before. Keep scrolling below for a few options recommended by Hill and other user favorites.
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's a favorite of Hill's for its top-notch formula.
2. Dr. Barbara Sturm Scalp Serum
Hill also loves this formula from Dr. Baraba 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, which can potentially damage the hair follicle.
3. Virtue Flourish Nightly Intensive Hair Rejuvenation Treatment
Virtue's Flourish Nightly Intensive Hair Rejuvenation Treatment is another top pick of Hill's for its ability to help rebuild fragile locks. It contains a shampoo, conditioner, and density booster that strengthens hair and helps it appear thicker.
4. Act + Acre Cold Processed Stem Cell Serum
Rich in antioxidants and a youth-restoring complex, Act+Acre's Stem Cell Serum promotes a healthier scalp by protecting it from sun damage and other pollutants that can cause follicles to become damaged.
5. Vegamour Gro Hair Serum
Vegamour's Gro serum contains an abundance of plant extracts that help strengthen hair at the root. The invigorating ingredients make it perfect to use with a scalp massager for a little midweek pick-me-up.
6. René Furterer Triphasic Reactional Concentrated Serum
René Furterer's leave-in concentrate aids thinning hair by utilizing a powerful lotus mineral complex that helps balance the scalp. It also contains pfaffia extract, a star ingredient Hill says is key to look for when selecting a serum.
7. HerStyler Castor Oil Hair Serum
This hair serum from HerStyler has castor oil and aloe, which help keep 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 provide hair with maximum strength benefits. It can also be paired with the brand's shampoo and conditioner for added strengthening benefits.
9. Nutrafol Growth Activator Hair Serum
Nutrafol's serum is fast-absorbing and lightweight. It contains ashwagandha root to help boost cell renewal within the scalp.
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 somewhat of a cult following. Users rave about its nourishing, plant-based ingredients that help soften, detangle, 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 include their blueberry and mint tea scalp treatment in this bunch. In addition to its strengthening benefits, it also helps relieve a dry or itchy scalp.
13. The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
This formula from The Ordinary is geared more towards increasing hair density, but the ingredients simultaneously 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 provides next-level moisture and nutrients for high-porosity hair—specifically, extra-coily hair types.
16. Mielle Rosemary Mint Scalp & 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. Rossano Ferretti Parma Vita Rejuvenating Serum
Rossano Ferretti Parma's serum is loaded with hyaluronic acid, camelia sinensis leaf extract, and hydrolyzed silk protein to help the hair's natural repair process. It's a must for stronger, longer strands.
18. AG Hair Vita C Repair Serum
You guessed it: Vitamin C isn't only great for your skin, but it also helps reduce hair breakage and increased elasticity for some seriously Rapunzel-esque strands.