Best Hair Moisturisers & Serums

Using a hair moisturiser or serum can help you finally wave goodbye to bad hair days, but what should you look for in a hair care product? In stores today you'll find everything from hair growth serums and anti-frizz serums to scalp moisturisers and masks - this guide will help you sort through it all so that you can find a product that's right for you and your hair. Continue reading...

Brand
Search brand...
Rating

Based on 1,638 reviews
Georgiemane 10 Minute Hair Mask

Georgiemane 10 Minute Hair Mask 🏆 2024

4.8  (574) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Emma
EmmaTAS
 
AmazingTotally love this hair mask!! My hair feels so good after ever wash with georgiemane products. Show details
Bondi Boost Intensive Growth Spray

Bondi Boost Intensive Growth Spray

4.7  (93) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
elle s.
elle s.
  Verified
ReactionUsed it twice all over my scalp and then got an allergic reaction. Scalp has been so itchy with sore spots. looks like dermatitis. Show details
Bondi Boost Growth Miracle Mask

Bondi Boost Growth Miracle Mask

4.8  (71) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Steph
StephQueensland10 posts
 
MooGoo Scalp Cream

MooGoo Scalp Cream 🏆 2024

4.6  (73) Summary
Jenny
Jenny
 
Terrible Product!This product has caused a very bad reaction on my baby!! why would they put tea tree oil and lavender and rosemary oils for babies knowing that their skin are sensitive?. I have always used moo goo products but I wont be using them now. Very upsetting seeing my baby upset and itchy. It has caused a bad rash! Show details
Maple & Wattle Hair Custard

Maple & Wattle Hair Custard 🏆 2024

3.8  (61)
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Jasmin1
Jasmin110 posts
 
Won’t be buying againI tried the hair custard and fairy locks on my daughters hair and it did the opposite of what it said, they all have bum length hair and it made it like straw, won’t be purchasing again.
Maple & Wattle
Maple & Wattle   DM   
More

Hello Jasmin, thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to see that our products were not suitable for your daughter. We hope you find the perfect fit for your family :)

Son.Sun
Son.SunQLD
  Verified
Bondi Boost Elixir Oil

Bondi Boost Elixir Oil

4.6  (16) Summary
Kelsey
Kelsey2 posts
  Fair Incentive Verified
Amazing results!!I noticed results from my first use! I used pre-shampoo and my hair was so soft after blow-drying. It takes two washes to wash out completely - but it's totally worth it.
Bondi Boost Rapid Repair Serum

Bondi Boost Rapid Repair Serum

4.9  (12) Summary
Patricia G.
Patricia G.VIC3 posts
  Verified
clara
claraNSW7 posts
 
Sam C.
Sam C.2 posts
 
Read the ingredientsThe second main ingredient in this product is alcohol. Which dries out your hair. This smooth my hair slightly and then made it look fried an awful. I wanted to like this but Troy’s beauty the nak products and k19 are way better. Show details
sally
sallyQLD14 posts
 
doesn't workdon't waste your money, been using the shampoo and conditioner for several months, has not made any difference to my grey roots, leaves my hair flat and dry
Plantur 39
Plantur 39   DM   
More
Beanthings
BeanthingsSydney22 posts
 
Hair still very frizzy- doesn't workDoesn't work. Took 2 hours, the blow drying took forever and was REALLLY boring. My hair is exactly the same colour as the model on the box- here is a pic of me after following the instructions to the letter. No difference from before, my hair is still very frizzy, waste of time unfortunately. Show details
Jaysee S
Jaysee SQLD7 posts
 
clara
claraNSW7 posts
 
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Zoe McDonald
Zoe McDonaldSA4 posts
 
Mish P
Mish PVIC3 posts
  Fair Incentive Verified
Cathy
CathyNSW13 posts
 
samoanbaby
samoanbabyAustralian Capital Territory2 posts
 
Robyn S.
Robyn S.QLD
  Verified
Eelhoe Hair Mask

Eelhoe Hair Mask

1.1  (27)
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Jesenia S.
Jesenia S.
 
EELHOE hair maskI should have read ALL the reviews before purchasing. The jar is very small for the price paid. I haven’t used it yet, let’s see how it really works! Size is 1.75 oz
Stephanie
Stephanie
 
Wirra
Wirra
  Verified
Mich
MichBrisbane15 posts
 
Great conditioner for dry hairI tried this conditioner on the recommendation of a curly girl YouTuber. It helps my hair not be so dry and frizzy, and is reasonably priced. Can also be used as a leave-in treatment. It’s my favourite conditioner atm. Show details
Kristy
Kristy
  Fair Incentive
Life saving!Absolutely love this product, life saving on my damaged hair. I use it once a week, and leave it on for a couple of hours for maximum effect and it always turns out awesome. Show details
Gina.B
Gina.BWA5 posts
 
Sarah
SarahVIC5 posts
 
nopelep
nopelepVIC24 posts
 
Kay Mariiee
Kay MariieeNSW3 posts
  Fair Incentive Verified
Drishbhan
Drishbhan3 posts
  Verified
Good productI ordered Frizz control serum and so far it’s been good to my hair .I only used it twice and can see some difference .I am trying to use it more frequently to see how it will work it’s magic on my frizzy hair as claimed .Overall ,It’s Been good so far Show details
Taylor
Taylor28 posts
 

What do hair moisturisers and serums do?

A brunette woman applying a hair serum to ends of her dry, brown hair

What is hair moisturiser used for?

It’s all in the name - a hair moisturiser gives your hair strands an intense dose of moisture to make them stronger, smoother, and shinier. Most of the time, they have a creamy consistency.

Depending on the type of moisturiser you use (you can find hair masks, hair creams, and leave-in hair moisturisers), a hair moisturiser can be left in for anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight for all the nourishing properties to soak in and take effect.

They’re often used after you’ve rinsed out your shampoo and conditioner, however some can be used on dry hair, while others don’t require any rinsing out.

What does hair serum do?

A hair serum is a product (most are a gel or oil-like consistency) that coats the surface of your hair to help repair, strengthen, and thicken each strand.

Generally speaking, this has the effect of reducing frizz, adding moisture, preventing and repairing damage, and smoothing flyaways to make hair stronger and shinier. Different serums have different purposes however, so you should choose one depending on your own hair goals and concerns.

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of hair serums and moisturisers?

Pros
Nourish and hydrate hair.
Protect hair from heat and chemical damage and can prevent breakage.
Can reduce the incidence of knots, making brushing your hair easier.
Help maintain your natural style, so they can make curls bouncier or straight hair more sleek.
Cons
Can make your hair oily or greasy.
Can cause excess sebum build-up on your scalp, making your hair feel heavier.
In the case of hair masks, you often need to wait around with the product in your hair before rinsing it out, which can be inconvenient.

Choosing a product based on your hair concern

The right hair moisturiser or serum for you will largely depend on your hair type, texture, density, as well as your own personal preferences and specific hair concerns.

Think about what you want your hair care product to achieve - we’ve listed some hair goals below.

Prevent and repair damage

Doing things like bleaching, colouring, and heat styling our hair can cause it to fray, split, and break.

While a cream or serum can’t glue your split ends back together (the only real way to get rid of them is to cut them off), you can partially mend these damaged hair strands and strengthen them to prevent further splitting and breakage.

Cream-based and oil-based formulas tend to be more effective at preventing and repairing damage. You can also use a hair oil, as these penetrate the hair cuticle and treat the hair follicle, while a serum sits on the hair’s surface.

Some moisturisers and serums that help repair damage include the georgiemane 10 Minute Hair Mask, the Kérastase Masque Extentioniste, and the Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector.

Keratin is often found in moisturisers and serums for damaged hair, as it’s great for preventing hairs from splitting and breaking.

Protect against heat and pollution

If you live in a humid climate, use heat styling tools regularly, or are concerned about air pollutants damaging your hair, then it’s recommended that you opt for a quick-absorbing, lightweight formula that won’t leave your hair feeling greasy.

Ingredients like lavender oil and jojoba oil can help detangle hair and protect it against heat.

Reduce frizz and maintain your natural hair

Whether you’ve got bouncy ringlets or dead-straight hair, frizz is not your friend. The right anti-frizz hair smoothing serum can detangle knots and reduce overall hair dullness to add shine to your locks and make them easier to manage.

Even if you’re after a sleeker do, don’t opt for a cream or a product with a thick consistency if you have finer hair, as these could weigh your hair down and make it look oily. Some products that can help make your hair silkier include John Frieda Frizz Ease and Biosilk Silk Therapy.

Lightweight products with moisturising ingredients - such as argan oil, jojoba oil, and macadamia oil - can help smooth your hair and make it easier to run your hands through.

Add hydration

If your hair is parched, cream-based (if you have coarse, denser hair) and oil-based formulas tend to be more effective in replenishing your hair’s moisture - particularly if you have coloured or chemically-treated hair.

You can also opt for overnight treatments, letting you wake up with shiny, nourished hair.

Moisturisers and serums that add intense hydration often contain ingredients like coconut, jojoba, argan, and macadamia.

Promote hair growth

Whether you’re experiencing hair loss or thinning, or you just want your hair to grow longer, quicker, a hair growth oil or serum - such as the Bondi Boost Intensive Growth Spray - may help. You can also find dedicated hair loss treatments that sometimes deliver better results.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s a good idea to see a medical professional to find out the root cause for this, as well as eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Look for products with castor oil - it’s an ingredient renowned for helping hair grow.

Common ingredients in hair moisturisers and serums

Ingredients to look for

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but the following ingredients in a hair moisturiser or serum are known to repair and nourish hair.

  • Argan oil can moisturise your hair, promote hair growth, and protect it from damage. It can also reduce the incidence of breakage and split ends, keeping your hair healthy as it grows.
  • Coconut oil helps maintain your hair’s natural proteins, which can often be lost when hair is heated or brushed.
  • Avocado oil softens hair, making it useful for treating damaged hair.
  • Jojoba oil keeps the hair and scalp moisturised.
  • Shea butter is packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids, all of which help lock in moisture and tame frizzy hair.
  • Macadamia seed oil is moisture-rich and is packed with antioxidants that protect and strengthen hair.
  • Castor oil, including Jamaican black castor oil, nourishes the scalp which can help grow hair faster.
  • Keratin can help maintain the structural integrity of your hair and protect it from the damage caused by sun exposure, dye, and chlorine.
  • Biotin is important for hair health, as it helps prevent hair loss and brittle hair, making it a great ingredient in hair and scalp serum.
  • Glycerin is a humectant that helps your skin and hair retain moisture, making it a great ingredient to look out for if you're suffering from hair dryness.

Ingredients to be wary of

These ingredients can be damaging to your hair, so it’s a good idea to do some digging into what’s in a moisturiser or serum before you buy it.

  • Parabens extend the lifespan of your hair product by preventing the growth of bacteria, but are known to cause skin irritation and are a suspected carcinogen.
  • Silicone makes hair shinier, but this is a skin-deep benefit, as it also dries it out and prevents moisture from penetrating it, leading to frizz and breakage.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) can cause skin and eye irritation, so you’re better off avoiding them if you experience skin sensitivity.
  • Phthalates make a hair product softer to the touch and easier to apply, but they’re also thought to interfere with hormonal activity.
  • Triclosan is in many hair products to prevent the growth of bad bacteria, but it can also irritate your skin.
  • Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are a thickening agent found in hair care products that often strip the moisture from your hair.

While it’s difficult to avoid all of these ingredients, it’s helpful to be aware of the potential damage they can do to your hair so you can do your own research on products that might be right for you.

At the end of the day, these aren’t the ingredients that will nourish your hair, so your hair care routine can do without them.

Other considerations

"Green" beauty

With consumers becoming more and more concerned with ethical beauty products, there are plenty of hair care products on store shelves that are kinder to the planet.

You can find cruelty-free products that haven’t been tested on animals, vegan products, and products that don’t have ingredients whose harvest is known to be harmful to the environment (such as palm oil).

You can also look for products with minimal, plastic-free packaging to help reduce landfill waste.

Skin sensitivity

If you have sensitive skin, you should consider avoiding synthetic fragrances and colours. They serve no other purpose than to make your hair moisture cream or serum smell and look nice, and they’re known to cause skin irritation.

Price

The price of a hair moisturiser or serum can vary greatly, with a tub or bottle costing anywhere from $5 to $300 and upwards. A higher price often indicates higher quality ingredients, however there will be a big mark up if you’re buying from a luxury brand.

If you’re interested in a pricier hair treatment but don’t want to fork out money for something that may not even work for your hair, check whether you can get or buy a smaller amount to try it out.

Hair masks, for example, often come as individual sachets for 1 or 2 uses, and can cost anywhere from $2.50 to $15. You can also often get free testers for products from the beauty counters at many department stores - you’ve just got to ask.

Application tips

These are some general tips for how to make the most of your hair moisturiser or serum, but you should consult the product label for its recommended use.

  • Start by applying the hair moisturiser or serum to the ends of your hair and working your way up to the middle - this will help ensure you apply product where you need it most (that is, your drier ends).
  • Add 1-2 pumps of serum to damp hair before you blow dry it, and a few drops after it’s dry. You can also apply a small amount on days that you don’t wash your hair.
  • Avoid applying serum to your roots or scalp, as this can cause a build-up of product and make your roots look oily.

The bottom line

It’s easy to be swayed into buying "holy grail" products, but the truth is, a product can be life-changing for one person and totally ineffective for the next.

Reading reviews, doing your research into a product’s active ingredients, and considering your own hair concerns should help you find a serum or moisturiser that makes your locks look and feel great.

©  ProductReview.com.au Pty. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. General disclaimer: All third party trademarks, images and copyrights on this page are used for the purpose of comparative advertising, criticism or review. This is a public forum presenting user opinions on selected products and businesses, and as such the views expressed do not reflect the opinion of ProductReview.com.au. Further details in the disclaimer.