What Are the Side Effects of Hair Serum? Are There Any?

No doubt you’ve heard rave reviews about hair and scalp serums — they have revolutionized the hair care industry with their protective, smoothing, and nourishing capabilities. Yet you can’t help but wonder if all of the hype is too good to be true. Surely, there must be a downside. 

Any substance applied to your hair or scalp has the potential for side effects because everyone’s body chemistry reacts differently to the variety of ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, fragile hair, or use a product contrary to its instructions, hair serum could end up causing more harm than good. 

What are the side effects of hair serum? Let’s explore the different serum types and examine their potential downsides. 

A Look into What Hair Serum Is 

Not all products labeled as “hair serums” are the same. This is a term used interchangeably for a variety of liquid hair care solutions — some of which are applied to your strands while others focus on your scalp. Hair serum could refer to: 

  • Silicone-based serums that coat and protect your strands, increasing their shine and manageability.
  • Hair growth serums applied to your scalp to activate the follicles. These formulations often contain a hair growth medication like minoxidil.
  • Other scalp serums that nourish, stimulate, and support your follicles for denser, thicker hair. 

When we apply serum to our hair or massage it into our skin, we hope for smoother, shinier, thicker hair. Unfortunately, adverse side effects can happen, manifesting undesirable results. 

More About Side Effects 

A side effect, or adverse reaction, is an unintended consequence that an individual experiences after using a hair product. Though side effects can technically be positive, we use the term in this article to refer to negative results that you want to avoid. 

Most side effects are rare; however, it is crucial to understand the potential downsides of any substance you plan to use on your hair or scalp. Equipped with this knowledge, you can make better choices on safeguarding your hair and scalp from injury. 

Silicone-Based Serum Side Effects 

Silicone is a plastic known as a polymer, widely used in cosmetics and hair care products. 

Silicone-based hair serum coats and protects your hair from environmental damage. Yet, it is only beneficial when applied directly to your hair shaft; therefore, contact with your scalp should be avoided. 

Silicone-based hair serum side effects can include: 

  • Scalp issues — Most silicone hair serums are not intended to be applied to the scalp. Over time it may clog your pores leading to red, inflamed, and irritated skin.
  • Dullness — Although silicone hair serums are intended to add a glossy shine to your hair, too much can cause buildup, leaving you with a dull, matted effect.
  • Breakage — Aging hair is typically fragile and fine. Silicone serums often have heavy formulations that can weigh down and damage your delicate strands' underlying structure. Eventually, your hair could experience breakage, split ends, or excess hair fal
  • Limpness — Silicone hair serums can often overburden your thin hair, leading to flat, lifeless locks. 

If silicone builds up on your strands, you may need to occasionally take additional steps to remove the excess residue. Clarifying shampoos can accomplish this task, but if used too often, they might cause damage that includes: 

  • Drying out your hair.
  • Increasing frizz and flyaways.
  • Stripping your locks of luster.
  • Prematurely fading your dye job. 

When applied correctly, the side effects of silicone-based serums are primarily limited to your hair. Scalp serums, on the other hand, can affect the health of your skin. 

Scalp Serum Side Effects 

Most scalp serum side effects relate to an allergy that triggers a reaction to one or more of its ingredients. 

Sensitivities and allergic reactions affect everyone differently, and they can be difficult to predict. When choosing a scalp serum, select one with high-quality ingredients to minimize the likelihood of experiencing a negative reaction. 

Potential scalp serum side effects include: 

  • Inflammation
  • Irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Hair loss
  • Rash 

In rare cases, scalp serums that promote hair growth with minoxidil can cause more severe health issues. If too much of this synthetic drug is absorbed into your body, it could result in: 

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling or numbness in your feet, hands, or face
  • Unexplained and rapid weight gain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches 

How to Determine if a Hair Serum Is Right for You 

Before using any new product, try it out on an inconspicuous patch of your hair or skin to see how your body chemistry responds to that particular formula. 

If you experience side effects, your response will depend on the severity of your symptoms. If you experience a critical allergic reaction or other health issues, discontinue use and immediately seek medical help. 

If the serum seems to be helping, and the side effects are not too severe, you may overlook the minor inflammation or temporary itching. However, if the negative side effects are more than you can handle, consider switching to a hair serum specifically formulated for the underlying biology of your aging hair.

Choose BNY’s Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum 

Better Not Younger’s Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum was developed with ingredients designed to nourish the scalp and reenergize hair follicles, for thicker, healthier hair. These ingredients were chosen for their effectiveness and backed by considerable scientific research. 

These ingredients were formulated into a high-quality serum that effectively addresses the varying causes and underlying biology of your aging hair. They include: 

  • Apigenin — Apigenin is found in chamomile and parsley and supports hair and overall health.

  • Kelp extract — Kelp extract is derived from nutrient-rich seaweed and delivers zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iodine to your scalp and hair.

  • Niacinamide — Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B that supports hair follicle function.

  • Ceramide NG — Ceramide NG replenishes natural lipids and aids moisture retention in your scalp.

  • Ginger — Made from the root of a perennial herb, ginger stimulates your scalp while softening your tresses.

Visit Our Shop Page to View Our Full Line of Hair Care Products

All of our hair care products, including Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum, are vegan, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free. 

Please stop by the Better Not Younger Shop page and click on each of our hair care solutions to review a full list of ingredients.