Choosing the Right Hair Serum for Your Hair Type 

Get expert advice on selecting the best hair serum for your hair type at Kosa Salon SF. Enhance shine, reduce frizz, and protect your hair’s health.

Hair serum can smooth frizz and add shine to your hair while also combating damage to your hair’s natural structure. And because a great hair serum can make a massive difference in your hair’s health, it’s worth learning to choose the best serum for your hair type. 

San Francisco’s coastal humidity can change your hair’s dew point, meaning sudden foggy weather can make your hair much fluffier. And remember, regular sunlight can cause oxidative damage to your hair! 

hair serum bottle

At Kosa Salon SF, we have years of experience applying serum to our customers’ hair. Using that experience and knowledge, this guide will cover choosing the right hair serum for your hair type. Just ensure you read to the end to learn everything. 

Understanding Everything About Hair Serums

Definition and Purpose of Hair Serums

Hair serums are thin, silicone-based products that quickly and evenly coat the outside of your hair to shield it from the elements. Often used to reduce issues such as flyaway hair, dryness and dullness, serums can smooth hair cuticles for a shinier, sleeker look and feel.

Common Ingredients Found in Hair Serums

Hair serums typically contain silicones and moisturizers, such as cyclopentasiloxane, which help smooth the hair and feel slippery on the hand and scalp. 

Girl applying hair serum to her hair

Other serums contain plant oils such as argan, coconut, and jojoba. They also include proteins such as keratin, the twisted protein that forms hair shafts, elastin found in skin, or silk-derived amino acids. 

Additionally, vitamins are included to address hair concerns related to moisture, shine, strength, and overall health. Choose a recipe that suits your particular hair needs.

Assessing Your Hair Type

Identifying Different Hair Types

Understanding your hair type is the first step in choosing the suitable serum:

  • Straight Hair: This type is usually lackluster, prone to greasiness, lays flat, refuses to hold curls, and needs something light and shiny without weight.
  • Wavy hair: Wavy hair has a natural wave pattern that tends to be more relaxed than loose curls but slightly more defined (instead of just curling at the ends). It tends to be prone to frizz, especially when humidity is high, and benefits from products that enhance the wave and control frizz.
  • Curly Hair: This hair type is defined by spirals, which can be loose curls or tight ringlets. Curly hair tends to be dry and quite frizzy, and it could benefit from serums that provide moisture to the hair and help retain the curl pattern without weighing down the hair.
  • Coily Hair: This type features tight, springy curls or coils that can be very dry and fragile. It needs rich, hydrating products to maintain moisture, enhance curl definition, and protect against breakage.

Determining Your Hair’s Porosity, Thickness, and Overall Health

Considerations such as your hair’s porosity, thickness, and status (damaged or healthy) all affect which serum is right for you. High-porosity hair likely requires extra moisture, while a lighter serum best serves low-porosity hair, not to weigh it down.

How San Francisco’s Climate Can Impact Different Hair Types

San Francisco’s coastal climate, with its humidity and fog, can affect your hair differently based on its type:

  • Straight Hair: In San Francisco’s humid climate, straight hair can become flat and oily. The moisture in the air can weigh it down, reducing volume and leading to a greasy appearance.
  • Wavy Hair: The humidity and fog can cause wavy hair to experience increased frizz. The extra moisture in the air can disrupt the wave pattern, making it more unruly and difficult to manage.
  • Curly Hair: The coastal climate can exacerbate frizz and dryness in curly hair. The humidity can cause curls to lose their definition and become frizzy, while dampness can contribute to further dryness.
  • Coily Hair: The fog and humidity can make oily hair more prone to dryness and breakage, necessitating rich, hydrating products.

Hair Serum for Different Hair Types

For Straight Hair

  • Suggested Types of Serums: Opt for lightweight, non-greasy serums that provide shine without weighing down your hair.
  • Key Ingredients To Look For: Smoothing silicones; light oils such as argan. 
  • Application Tips: Rub just a bit to your hair ends to keep your hair roots ungreasy.

For Wavy Hair

  • Recommended Types of Serums: Look for serums that support and enhance your natural wave and frizz fight.
  • Key Ingredients to Look For: Moisturizing oils like coconut oil frizz-fighting silicones.
  • Application Tips: Distribute evenly through damp hair to enhance waves and reduce frizz.

For Curly and Coily  Hair

  • Recommended Types of Serums: Opt for hydrating serums that define curls and reduce frizz.
  • Key Ingredients: Heavy oils like shea butter, proteins for strength, and humectants for moisture retention.
  • Application Tips: Apply generously to damp hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.

Choosing a Hair Serum Based on Specific Needs

For Frizz Control

  • Best Serums for Frizz Management: Look for serums for Frizz Control. These have the highest amounts of silicones, which help explain their frizz-taming effects.
  • Ingredients to Look For: Silicones like dimethicone smoothing agents like argan oil.
  • Application Tips: Put on damp hair to seal in moisture. Use sparingly on dry hair to tame flyaways and maintain fizz throughout the day.

For Adding Shine

  • Best Serums for a Glossy Finish: These serums provide a smooth and glossy finish, leaving your hair looking effortlessly healthy and shiny.
  • Ingredients to Look For: Lightweight oils like grapeseed oil shine-enhancing silicones.
  • Application Tips: Apply a few drops of serum to dry-styled hair as a finisher for a glossy, healthy sheen.

For Heat Protection

  • Importance of Heat Protectants in Serums: If you frequently use a blow dryer to style your hair or straighten or curl it with a flat or curling iron, your hair is at risk of irreparable damage. Here is where a heat protectant serum comes in. It creates a barrier that helps protect your hair from any high heat.
  • Ingredients to Look For: Silicones for a protective barrier and hydrolyzed proteins for strength.
  • Application Tips: Apply only to damp hair before using any heated tools. Cover the hair evenly. This will protect all parts of your hair against the damage caused by heat.

For Color-Treated Hair

  • Protecting and Maintaining Color-Treated Hair: Color-treated hair requires extra care to maintain vibrancy and prevent damage.
  • Recommended Serums and Key Ingredients: Look for serums with UV filters to protect color moisturizing ingredients to prevent dryness.
  • Application Tips: Use a color-protecting serum on damp hair and reapply as needed to keep the color vibrant.

How to Apply Hair Serum Correctly

Girl Applying Hair Serum

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Hair Serum

  1. Start with Clean, Damp Hair: Apply serum to freshly washed and towel-dried hair, allowing it to penetrate the strand better and preventing the product from sitting on your hair. 
  2. Dispense the Right Amount: Whether you have short or longer hair, use a dime-sized amount for short hair and increase to a quarter-sized amount for longer hair.
  3. Rub Between Palms: Before applying, warm the serum between your hands; this further ensures an even spread and helps get the serum through all your hair.
  4. Focus on the Ends: Serums are best used on the mid-lengths and ends of the hair to prevent a greasy appearance. The ends are the hair’s driest and most damaged part, so they need the serum.
  5. Comb Through: Use a wide-tooth comb through your hair from mid-lengths to ends, dispersing the serum to coat each strand. This ensures that every follicle is uniformly coated with shine and protection.

Expert Tips for Maintaining Healthy Hair in San Francisco

The humidity and fog on the coast of San Francisco can make it challenging to keep your hair healthy. Humidity and frizz require anti-frizz serums to help with those issues. Keeping hair well-hydrated also helps to avoid frizz because hydrated hair is less likely to get frizzy. Use a hydrating serum to help keep hair hydrated and tame. 

Protecting your hair from UV damage and pollution is another essential part of hair care in San Francisco. Look for serums containing UV filters, which will guard your hair against drying out from sun exposure and ensure your color doesn’t fade. 

Seasonal changes can affect how you treat your hair. In the summer, use a lighterweight, UV-protective serum to protect against sun damage and tackle increased humidity. 


There are many options for hair serums; choosing the correct one can make a big difference in your hair’s health and beauty. Before picking a suitable hair serum, it is essential to consider your needs, hair type, climate, and environment.

At Kosa Salon SF, we have the expertise and specialized consultations to help you have the hair of your dreams. Call us today and get a consultation with our expert team to help you find that perfect serum for your hair type.