How to Use Glycolic Acid, Serum and Oil Together on Hair?

How to Use Glycolic Acid, Serum and Oil Together on Hair

Glycolic acid (1) is a water-soluble AHA (Alpha hydroxy acid) derived from sugarcane. It is a plant-based AHA that diffuses the coalition that holds the dead skin cells together, making it easier to shed them. This action of removing the dead skin cells is called exfoliation.

Exfoliation is found to be extremely helpful in eliminating dandruff (2) from the scalp. Dermatologists even recommend glycolic acid to someone who has psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Since it contributes to hair care, people often wonder how to use glycolic acid, serum and oil together on hair. If you are questioning the same, keep reading to find out. 

Benefits of Glycolic Acid

There are many benefits of glycolic acid for hair, which includes:

  • Exfoliate scalp: Glycolic acid helps remove dead skin cells from the scalp through the process of exfoliation. Exfoliating skin makes it healthy and smooth by unclogging the hair follicles.
  • Providing soothing scalp: Glycolic acid is an AHA with anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help to soothe redness, itch, and irritation in the scalp.
  • Prevents breakage of hair: This form of AHA aids in maintaining the moisture in the hair, which makes it stronger. When the hair becomes strong and hydrated, it is less likely to be prone to breakage.
  • Removes excess sebum: Using glycolic acid helps clean the scalp and eliminate the buildup of any extra sebum in the hair follicle. It helps the hair to remain clean. It also removes infection-causing harmful bacteria from the scalp.

Hair Serum 

Hair Serum 

Hair serum (3) is used as a part of hair care treatment. It has a liquid-like texture and is very light and non-greasy. When applied, hair serum covers the outer layer of the hair cuticle and locks in moisture, making it shiny.

Below are its major benefits-

  • Helps hydrate the hair
  • Makes hair smooth and silky
  • Helps detangling and prevents hair from breaking. 

Hair Oil

Hair oil 

Hair oil (4) is an oil-based formula. It is thicker and greasier than the serum, offering the following benefits-

  • Helps nourish the hair
  • Repairs damage. 

Olive oil, coconut oil, rosemary oil, and argan oil are some of the popular natural plant-based hair oils. Hair oil can be completely extracted from the plant, seeds, or fruit. Or it can be a mix of different kinds of oils.

Can I Use Glycolic Acid, Serum, and Oil Together?

Yes, glycolic acid, serum, and hair oil can be used together. All three can make a perfect hair care routine for people who are struggling with hair problems. The potency of glycolic acid works wonders with the goodness of hair serum and hair oil. The combination provides strength, moisturization, hydration, smoothness, and shine to the hair.

How to Use and Apply Glycolic Acid, Serum, and Oil?

Applying hair care products in the correct order delivers the maximum benefit. As a rule of thumb, the products should be used depending on their consistency. The products should be layered from lightest to heaviest. Layering your hair products in a proper order is the key to healthy hair. 

There are two ways that the combination of glycolic acid, serum, and oil can be used. These are-

Method 1: Carefully detangle your hair with a brush. Apply a few drops of glycolic acid onto the scalp and massage it gently with the fingers. Let it sit for 3-4 mins. After a few minutes, apply the hair oil to the strands and the scalp. Let it sit for 30 minutes to one hour before washing and conditioning the hair. Dry your hair using a towel and apply the hair serum to the damp strand.

Method 2: Apply glycolic acid to your scalp and massage gently with light pressure. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it using a mild shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry the hair. To your damp hair, apply the hair serum first and then a light coat of hair oil so that this layering can lock in the moisture in the hair.


The amalgamation of glycolic acid, hair serum, and hair oil is an excellent treatment to add to your hair care routine. It will improve the general quality of the hair and make it look and feel better. 

If you tend to use many products on your hair or the styling products, glycolic acid will help prevent the product buildup. It makes the scalp clean, while serum and oil work on the strength and shine of the hair. It is a good practice to also sometimes leave your scalp without any products to let it breathe in open.

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