Do you struggle with hair frizziness, breakage or lack of shine? Beautifully healthy hair is something everyone wants to achieve. But with so many products on the market, from shampoos and conditioning treatments, to serums and sprays, it can be hard to know which products will really help achieve our dream locks. So, let’s get to the bottom of what exactly hair tonics are, and what other products are out there in the market and able to provide the same benefits. 

First thing’s first; what exactly is hair tonic? In the 50s and 60s hair tonic was especially popular amongst men. They used to lather it on to make their hair look shinier, glossier and healthier. It would come in a glass bottle and be applied by hand. Nowadays, it usually comes as a liquid in a spray bottle for better coverage. The exact make-up of each hair tonic will differ from brand to brand but many contain ingredients that help strengthen and add shine to your hair. 

Most hair tonics are created to be used on damp hair. When this is the case, simply wash your hair as normal in the shower, towel dry it, and spray the tonic on your hair as directed on the bottle (usually around the scalp and hair roots). You can also find tonics for use on dry hair, so choose whichever one best suits your hair routine. 

Hair tonic provides a boost of shine to your hair. Some can also help to enhance hair production, increase hair density, reduce premature hair, strengthen hair and reduce and prevent dandruff. 

But what else is out there to help you achieve healthy, shiny hair? Introducing hair serums! Hair serums often solve many of the issues that hair tonics do. They help reduce hair fall and breakage as well as dandruff and split ends. The main difference between the two is that serums are often used more as a styling product. Serums help to reduce frizz and keep your hairstyle in place. They generally come in pump bottles, instead of spray bottles and most advise you to work 1-2 pumps of the product through towel-dried hair using your hands, before styling. 

So, if you’re after a product that will simply help to solve some of your hair woes, hair tonic is your match. For a product with more of a styling element to it, hair serum is more appropriate. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that many shampoo products and conditioning treatments can provide the same benefits as hair serums and tonics. Try pairing back your hair routine to begin with to establish exactly what it is that your hair is lacking and what it is that it could benefit from. Lots of product can weigh hair down so try to keep your product use to just the essentials. Often a good shampoo and conditioner, coupled with a high-quality hair tonic or hair serum is all you need to achieve healthy, luscious hair.