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Hair Growth Serum: Is It Worth It?

 Do Hair Growth Serums Work?


Estimated Read Time:  6 minutes 


Summary: In this blog we detail and explore whether hair growth serums work, are necessary and/or beneficial. We’ll discuss the benefits of using hair growth serums on your hair, why they’ve been curated in the first place, and the ingredients to look out for on your hair growth serum label. Read on to discover how hair growth serums work and how best to apply them.  


Eva Proudman MIT IAT is a much sought after independent trichologist and hair loss specialist with an excess of 18 years’ experience in her field. She’s Cel’s Consultant Trichologist and has answered some questions for Cel in this blog! 

Eva is regarded by both the hairdressing industry's elite and by high profile global brands as the go-to expert for everything related to hair loss and trichology. Eva is also a Board Member for the Institute of Trichologists responsible for continued professional development and education. 

Hair serums are popular in the hair care industry, and all promise to do amazing things like protect your hair from heat, strengthen your strands, give them a shiny sheen and even kick start growth. But, can a serum really help your hair grow? 

How do hair growth serums work? What ingredients should be in your hair growth serum? And, should you try one…?

How Do Hair Growth Serums Work?

Eva says: “The first thing is, the action of rubbing them into the scalp; the physical massage on the scalp stimulates the microcirculation [which brings the blood to the surface] which is really important to get the [hair] follicles active.”

So, targeted hair growth serums can optimize the scalp’s condition and help hair follicles to produce thicker and shinier hair strands, which in turn makes the hair look fuller. 

Which Ingredients Should I Look For In A Hair Growth Serum? 

Eva says: “In a hair growth serum formulation, the first thing you’re looking for is some kind of stimulant, so that stimulant’s going to work on the scalp to stimulate the microcirculation [of blood to the hair follicles]. So things like juniper, chilli, ginseng, chilli peppers, those kinds of things are a natural stimulant, and they enhance the circulation when you’re rubbing that serum in. You’re [also] looking for proteins in there - they can be wheat, keratin, rice - they add a molecule to the hair and give it a cosmetic density that otherwise it would lack. 

“A really important ingredient is antioxidants. We’re subjected [to], in the environment, to lots of oxidative damage these days from smog, smoke, alcohol, stress and plant based antioxidants (things like asparagus stem cells) - they’re really good at preventing the damage that that can cause. 

“And, then we’re looking for moisture as well. So, the hair is made up of 3% moisture and it needs to be hydrated. [You want] Glycerin in there. Glycerin is like a magic sponge, it really pulls that moisture into the hair and the scalp. It makes it soft and smooth and shiny. So, they’re kind of the key types of ingredients you should be looking for to get the best from a serum.”

What’s The Best Hair Growth Serum?

Eva says: “The serum formulation for Cel’s Microstem Hair Stimulation Formula is absolutely brilliant because it’s packed full of stimulants. It’s got some great antioxidants in there [too. As I’ve mentioned], our hair and scalp suffer from damage from the environment: from smoke, from alcohol, all kinds of things and the antioxidants [included in the formula], like the asparagus stem cell, really help with that. It’s also got some vitamins in there like biotin, which work around the follicle and help the metabolism of proteins. Its also got some protein in there that helps with the structure of the hair in terms of making each strand thicker and fuller - it’s actually keratin that’s in this formulation, so it’s a really powerful, strong formulation [that] helps get the best out of each strand of hair.

“Recently, I was at an international trichology [hair specialist] congress (I was actually privileged enough to speak there) and we were talking about phytochemicals, which are basically plant based essences - stem cells. And, this serum from Cel is actually packed full of natural, botanical ingredients that really do work on the hair and scalp. I really love the ingredients that are in it and they are proven to actually help with hair condition, texture, diameter, growth and scalp health.”

What’s The Best Way To Apply A Hair Growth Serum?

Eva says: “So, the point of a hair growth serum is to stimulate the scalp. The scalp is the growing medium of the hair and we need to stimulate that, the microcirculation, and we need the serum to penetrate around the hair follicles. So, ideally you’re massaging it in to the scalp. There’s no problem with then - if there’s residue on your fingers - working it through the mid lengths and to the ends of the hair but primarily, the function is to go onto the scalp - to stimulate the action through the scalp. 

“When we train as a trichologist, we train in trichological massage. And, it is different to [say] Indian head massage. It’s slower, and it’s more of a lifting and squeezing technique. So, what you’re trying to do is lift the skin off the scalp, gently squeeze, rotate it and drop it again and very slowly do that - it really stimulates that microcirculation. It’s quite relaxing as well!

“The stimulation of the blood into the follicles reinvigorates them. It also encourages what we call ‘follicular activity’ - so, it encourages the derma pilar (which is where the hair grows from) to be active, and to get that hair growth active and to also get the hair to stay in [its] growing phase for longer.”

So, all in all, a hair growth serum when applied optimally and sourced intelligently (when you really research the best ingredients that are going to actively help improve the scalp’s condition and growth rate), can really work!

Related Reads

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Does Ginseng Help Hair Grow?



Sarah Milton

A passionate content writer, with a specific interest in the science behind hair care. Having created content for several years, I’ve grown my knowledge exponentially in the science behind hair growth, quality and texture, and what ingredients our tresses need to thrive. When not in the office, I’m walking my dog along the beach or invested in a brilliant television drama.