In your arsenal of hair care products, a hair serum should be next in line behind a good shampoo and conditioner. While you may often disregard hair serums as fancy oils in pretty little bottles, the right kind of serum can do wonders for any hair type or hair problem.

Hair serums work by coating the hair shafts and filling up cracks in the hair cuticles, which are the outermost part of the hair shafts made of overlapping scales that protect and strengthen the hair. Healthy hair cuticles give your hair a smoother and shinier appearance.

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Hair serums also protect your mane from harmful ultraviolet (UV) sun rays, dirt, and pollution that can make your hair dull and weak.

There are endless options available in the market, but don’t fall prey to big cosmetic brands that charge exorbitant prices or settle for a cheap serum that will just leave your hair sticky and weighed down.

Moreover, the star ingredient in commercial hair serums is silicone, which makes your hair shiny but also brittle over time. The chemicals also slowly build up on your scalp and stall healthy hair growth.

If you wish to include a hair serum in your hair care regimen, you can make your own little bottle of goodness at a fraction of the cost. Yes, hair serums are super easy to make and free of harmful chemicals, too. You can concoct one to suit your hair type using some amazing natural ingredients and essential oils.

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Learn how to make DIY hair serum for your hair type
Learn how to make DIY hair serum for your hair type

The best part about a DIY hair serum is that you can alter the quantities, play around with your favorite fragrances and refill your bottle without stepping out of your home.

Here are the seven best and inexpensive DIY recipes for hair serums for all hair types.

Method 1: For Hair Growth

Many women want to have long and strong hair but struggle to achieve it. Environmental pollution, bad eating habits and use of chemical products are the biggest hurdles in this quest. To give your hair a little extra TLC, try this DIY hair serum that will naturally boost healthy hair growth.

This serum recipe uses nettle leaf tea that contains silica and sulfur, essentials for hair growth. The aloe vera gel in it helps smoothen the hair and imparts a healthy sheen. Also, the combination of essential oils helps prevent hair loss and boost hair growth.

Things you’ll need:  

Things needed to make DIY hair serum for hair growth

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  • Distilled water – 1 cup
  • Dried nettle leaf (boosts hair growth) – 2 tablespoons
  • Aloe vera gel (imparts shine) – 2 tablespoons
  • Clary sage essential oil (regulates scalp oil secretion) – 10 drops
  • Rosemary essential oil (boosts hair growth) – 10 drops
  • Lavender essential oil (prevents hair loss) – 10 drops

Step 1. Prepare the nettle tea

Boil 2 tablespoons of dried nettle leaf in 1 cup of distilled water to make DIY hair serum
Boil 2 tablespoons of dried nettle leaf in 1 cup of distilled water
  • Pour 1 cup of distilled water into a saucepan.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of dried nettle leaf to it.
  • Bring it to a boil, and then turn off the heat.
  • Let the nettle leaf sit in the water for 10 minutes, then strain the tea out into a container.

Step 2. Add aloe vera gel and essential oils to the tea

Add aloe vera gel along with rosemary, lavender, and sage essential oils to make DIY hair serum
Add aloe vera gel along with rosemary, lavender, and sage essential oils to the brewed nettle tea
  • Add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel to the nettle leaf tea.
  • Add 10 drops each of clary sage, lavender and rosemary essential oils.

Step 3. Whisk the ingredients & put your serum in a spray bottle for nightly use

Whisk thoroughly and transfer into a spray bottle to make DIY hair serum
Whisk properly and transfer into a spray bottle
  • Use a motorized hand blender to whisk up all the ingredients.
  • Using a funnel, pour your DIY hair serum into a 4-ounce, dark-colored spray bottle.

Spray the serum generously on your hair and the roots, then scrunch your hair to further distribute the serum. Use it once daily at bedtime. Wash it out the next morning with a mild homemade shampoo to boost hair growth.

The shelf life of this DIY hair serum is 3 to 4 months when kept refrigerated at all times.

Method 2: For Dry Hair

Dry hair can easily get tangled and is quite vulnerable to split ends and breakage. It is essential to keep your hair well-moisturized. A blend of thick oils can do that as well as restore your hair’s natural shine.

This hair serum uses a combination of castor, avocado, and sweet almond oils to nourish your hair with the right kind of fatty acids and make it more manageable. These oils easily absorb into your scalp and nourish the hair follicles. They also unclog follicles to boost hair growth. The sweet almond oil is rich in antioxidants that prevent hair loss. The essential oils further improve scalp health and impart a sweet fragrance to your hair serum.

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Things you’ll need:

Things needed to make DIY hair serum for dry hair

  • Castor oil (nourishes hair follicles) – 1 tablespoon
  • Avocado oil (unclogs hair follicles) – 2 tablespoons
  • Sweet almond oil (prevent hair loss) – 6 tablespoons (about ⅓ cup)
  • Lavender essential oil (prevent hair loss) – 8 drops
  • Sandalwood essential oil (soothes scalp) – 7 drops

Step 1. Combine the three base oils

Combine almond, avocado, and castor oil in a bowl to make DIY hair serum
Combine almond, avocado, and castor oil in a bowl
  • Pour 6 tablespoons (about ⅓ cup) of sweet almond oil into a mixing bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of castor oil and 2 tablespoons of avocado oil to it.

Step 2. Add the essential oils, blend everything & put it in a dark bottle

Add lavender and sandalwood essential oil and blend thoroughly to make DIY hair serum
Add lavender and sandalwood essential oil and blend thoroughly
  • Add 8 drops of lavender essential oil to the oil blend.
  • Add 7 drops of sandalwood essential oil as well.
  • Use a motorized hand blender to mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Funnel the oil blend into a dark bottle for storage.

Step 3. Apply the serum as a leave-in conditioner

Use the DIY hair serum as a leave-in conditioner
Use the serum as a leave-in conditioner
  • Rub 2 or 3 drops of the serum between your palms.
  • Apply the serum to your freshly washed, damp hair. As a leave-in conditioner, you don’t need to rinse it out.

Use it after each time you wash your hair to keep it well-moisturized and manageable.

The shelf life of this DIY hair serum is up to 6 months.

Method 3: For Oily Hair

The biggest hair challenge is faced by those who have oily hair. Applying anything to hair that is prone to greasiness simply compounds your hair troubles. But it need not be that way.

Using a coconut oil-based hair serum can help keep your hair well-hydrated without weighing it down. Extra-virgin coconut oil is best suited for this purpose, as it is extremely light and also highly nourishing.

You can add your favorite essential oils to boost your scalp and hair health, along with making your hair smell great. We used rosemary, lemon, and orange essential oils in this homemade serum.

These oils prevent excess sebum (oil) secretion, thus controlling the oiliness in your hair.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to make DIY hair serum for oily hair

  • Extra-virgin coconut oil (moisturizes hair) – 3 tablespoons
  • Rosemary essential oil (strengthens hair follicles) – 3 or 4 drops
  • Lemon essential oil (regulates oil secretion) – 3 or 4 drops
  • Orange essential oil (soothes scalp, antifungal) – 3 or 4 drops

Step 1. Add essential oils to coconut oil and whisk them together

Mix coconut oil with rosemary, lemon, and orange essential oil to make DIY hair serum
Mix coconut oil with rosemary, lemon, and orange essential oil
  • Put 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil in a bowl.
  • Add 3 or 4 drops each of rosemary, lemon, and orange essential oils.
  • Use a small, motorized blender to mix everything well.

Step 2. Store the blend in a dark bottle & use as needed

Transfer the prepared blend into a dark bottle and use as DIY hair serum
Transfer the prepared blend into a dark bottle by using a small funnel
  • Pour the oil blend into a dark bottle using a small funnel.
  • Spread a coin-sized amount of the serum on your palms, then apply it all over your damp hair. Do this preferably at night, so that you can wash it out in the morning.

Use it 1 or 2 times a week to manage oily hair.

The shelf life of this DIY hair serum is up to 6 months.

Method 4: For Frizzy Hair

Tired of frizzy hair ruining your hairdo? You can kiss bad hair days goodbye by making this effective anti-frizz serum with common ingredients, including coconut oil, aloe vera, rose water and vitamin E.

The coconut oil along with vitamin E in this recipe help nourish the hair. The rose water acts as a growth booster. The aloe vera gel works as a smoothening base to tame frizzy locks. Adding jasmine essential oil imparts a pleasing fragrance to your hair.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to make DIY hair serum for frizzy hair

  • Extra-virgin coconut oil (moisturizes hair) – 1 tablespoon
  • Aloe vera gel (smoothens hair) – 2 tablespoon
  • Rose water (boosts hair growth) – 1½ tablespoon
  • Vitamin E oil – ½ teaspoon or 1 capsule
  • Jasmine essential oil (adds fragrance) – 6 drops

Step 1. Combine aloe vera gel and rose water

Combine aloe vera gel and rose water in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly to make DIY hair serum
Combine aloe vera gel and rose water in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel into a mixing bowl. You can either extract fresh aloe vera gel or use a packaged gel.
  • Add 1½ tablespoons of rose water to it.
  • Using a motorized blender, whisk the two together to get a consistent liquid.

Step 2. Add coconut and vitamin E oil

Add coconut and vitamin E oil and blend again to make DIY hair serum
Add coconut and vitamin E oil and blend again
  • Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil to the blend.
  • Puncture and squeeze out the contents of 1 vitamin E capsule into the mix. (If you have a bottle of vitamin E oil, use ½ teaspoon.)
  • Whisk the ingredients again with the blender.

Step 3. Add the essential oil & pour the serum into a dark bottle

Add jasmine essential oil and transfer into a dark bottle for storage to make DIY hair serum
Add jasmine essential oil and transfer into a dark bottle for storage
  • Finish up by adding 6 drops of jasmine essential oil.
  • Transfer your homemade hair serum into a dark brown bottle for storage. You can use a funnel to prevent spilling it.

Use this serum after every time you wash your hair to get rid of frizzy hair. Just rub a small amount of the serum between your palms and apply it on your freshly washed, damp hair. Let your hair air-dry.

The shelf life of this hair serum is 1 to 2 months.

Method 5: For Hair Straightening

Chuck those straightening irons and awful smelling chemical straighteners. You can naturally straighten your hair using an oil blend that not only smooths out your unmanageable locks but also makes your hair thicker and stronger over time.

This recipe uses coconut, jojoba, soybean and olive oils that deeply moisturize the hair, filling up the cuticle gaps to give it a straighter appearance with regular use.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to make DIY hair serum for hair straightening

  • Extra-virgin coconut oil (moisturizes hair) – 1 tablespoon
  • Jojoba oil (prevents hair breakage) – 1 tablespoon
  • Olive oil (contains nourishing fatty acids) – 1 tablespoon
  • Soybean oil (retains moisture in hair) – ½ tablespoon
  • Jasmine essential oil (adds fragrance) – 5 drops

Step 1. Combine the four main oils

Combine coconut, olive, soybean, and jojoba oil in a bowl
Combine coconut, olive, soybean, and jojoba oil in a bowl
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil into a bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon each of olive and jojoba oils to it.
  • Add ½ tablespoon of soybean oil as well.

Step 2. Mix in the essential oil & put the serum in a dark bottle

Add jasmine essential oil and store the DIY hair serum for hair straightening in a dark bottle
Add jasmine essential oil and store the DIY hair serum for hair straightening in a dark bottle
  • Add 5 drops of jasmine essential oil to the mix.
  • Whisk the oils together and transfer the blend to a dark-colored bottle for storage. Use a funnel if needed to prevent spillage.
  • For use, partition your freshly washed and damp hair into 4 sections.
  • Pour 2 or 3 drops of the oil in your palm and apply it to one section of hair, covering the entire length of the hair.
  • Repeat the process for the other 3 sections.
  • Once done, comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb to detangle it.
  • Cover your hair with a shower cap, and wrap a warm and damp towel over the cap to apply heat.
  • Wait 20 minutes, then let your hair loose. It will be much straighter than before.

Use this treatment 2 or 3 times a week to make your hair naturally straight.

The shelf life of this oil blend is 1 year.  

Method 6: For Shiny/Glossy Hair

This blend of oils makes a nice hair serum that will restore a shine to your beautiful tresses with minimal effort.

This homemade serum uses avocado, jojoba and almond oils that are less dense than other traditional oils and will help nourish your hair without making it oily. It also uses argan oil that is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E and imparts a natural luster to your hair. The grapeseed oil helps add extra gloss.

Things you’ll need:  

Things needed to make DIY hair serum for glossy/shiny hair

  • Avocado oil (hydrates hair) – 2 tablespoons
  • Jojoba oil (hydrates hair) – 1 tablespoon
  • Almond oil (nourishes hair) – 1 tablespoon
  • Argan oil (retains moisture in hair) – 1 tablespoon
  • Grapeseed oil (adds shine) – 1 tablespoon

Step 1. Combine the oils

Combine jojoba, almond, avocado, and argan oil in a bowl to make DIY hair serum
Combine jojoba, almond, avocado, and argan oil in a bowl
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil into a mixing bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and 1 tablespoon each of almond and argan oil to it.

Step 2. Mix in grapeseed oil & put the serum in a dark bottle

Add grapeseed oil and whisk thoroughly to make DIY hair serum
Add grapeseed oil and whisk thoroughly; transfer into a dark bottle for storage
  • Add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil as well.
  • Mix the oils using a small hand blender and
  • Transfer it to a dark-colored bottle. Use a funnel to prevent spilling it.

Apply a small quantity of the serum all over your hair 1 hour before shampooing it to get glossy tresses. The shelf life of this serum is 1 year.

Method 7: For Wavy/Curly Hair

Maintaining curly or wavy hair is not easy. If proper care is not taken, your hair looks unkept and unmanageable. But this hair serum will certainly help control those chaotic curls.

A simple blend of jojoba oil and peppermint essential oil will tame and detangle your curls in no time. You can also use any other essential oil of your choice in this recipe.

Things you’ll need: 

Things needed to make DIY hair serum for wavy/ curly hair

  • Jojoba oil (smoothens hair) – 2 tablespoons
  • Peppermint essential oil (adds fragrance) – 5 drops

Single-Step Method: Mix peppermint essential oil and jojoba oil & put it in a dark bottle

Combine jojoba oil with peppermint essential oil to make DIY hair serum for wavy or curly hair
Combine jojoba oil with peppermint essential oil to make DIY hair serum for wavy or curly hair
  • Put 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil in a container.
  • Add 5 drops of peppermint essential oil to it.
  • Mix the two well and pour it into a dark bottle for storage.

Shampoo your hair as usual. Apply a small amount of serum on your damp hair. Wait 30 minutes, then rinse your hair with cool water. Use it after each time you shampoo your hair to manage your curls.

The shelf life of this hair serum is 1 year. 

Tips

  • Always store your hair serums in a dark bottle and in a cool and dark place. Since essential oils are extremely volatile, excessive heat or light can render them ineffective.
  • Do not use extra serum in hopes of getting better or faster results. Applying too much serum can make your hair sticky and oily, nullifying its purpose altogether.
  • When applying serum, your hair should be damp but not dripping wet.
  • Avoid using excessive heat and styling products, as they can make your hair brittle.
  • Opt for a natural or homemade shampoo to wash your hair. We’ve got some easy recipes for DIY shampoos and even homemade dry shampoos that you can make.
  • Avoid rubbing your hair with a towel after washing it. It creates friction and can make your hair frizzy. Simply pat dry your hair to soak up the water.
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