When it comes to shampoos and conditioners that promise “frizz-free” results, I’m pretty skeptical. The science of curly hair may not be impossible to deduce; it’s the nuances of various curl patterns, volumes and textures that do not make for a universal, one-size-fits-all approach.
For me, it’s taken years to figure out how to work with my hair and know how it will respond to certain products. For example, hairspray used to be a staple in my rotation of hair products. However, after discovering brands such as Shea Moisture and OGX, I’ve ditched the hairspray for sprays that aim to revive and preserve curls, rather than tame them into submission.
I’d seen Living Proof while browsing the aisles of Ulta but didn’t know too much about the company. I recognize it due to its association with Jennifer Aniston, who is a co-owner and spokesperson. Considering that Jennifer Aniston’s hair is far from kinky or curly, I didn’t believe that they catered to someone with my hair type. Imagine my surprise when I learned that Living Proof has an entire product line devoted to curls.
Living Proof is quite serious about the science aspect of hair care, thanks to the wisdom of MIT. The company was founded in 2005 by “world-class biotech scientists and beauty experts…using technology originating from MIT,” and boasts a squad of beauty brainiacs. The original team consisted of Dr. Bob Langer, MIT Professor and biotech inventor, and Jon Flint and Dr. Amir Nashat, partners in Polaris Venture Partners, an international venture capital firm. The current team consists of Dr. Daniel Anderson, a MIT Associate Professor, Jon Flint, Dr. Robert Langer, and Dr. Amir Nashat. Additionally, members include Mitch De Rosa, a stylist and salon owner with over 25 years in the industry, and Ward Stegerhoek, an editorial and runway stylist who spent seven years as art director and product developer for Bumble & Bumble. Impressed yet? Langer told the Wall Street Journal, “When you create new chemistry and robotics, you can apply those things to any problem…They asked me to apply this to hair.” The brand has gone on to receive ten patents while Dr. Langer was awarded a 2012 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. So yes, you could say they know their stuff.
Eager to try the line for myself, I received the Curl Conditioning Wash ($26), the Curl Detangling Rinse ($26), and the Curl Defining Styling Cream ($28). Living Proof also recommends their Curl Enhancing Styling Mousse ($28), but as mousse typically doesn’t agree with my hair, I didn’t request it. The first step in the Living Proof regime is the Conditioning Wash, which promises to clean and condition in a single step. It’s sulfate free, silicone free, and color safe. The Wash removes product buildup and has a light citrus fragrance. Following the Wash, the next step is the Detangling Rinse. Unlike a normal conditioner, the Detangling Rinse is a water-activated, gel-like formula that detangles your curls.
In comparison to my regular shampoo and conditioner routine (less to nonexistent emphasis on the shampoo, and conditioner reliant), I was surprised to see such immediate results. The Conditioning Wash sufficiently prepped my hair for the Detangling Rinse and was just as effective as a five minute hair mask. The Detangling Rinse actually detangled my hair; I was able to finger-comb my hair with ease. With the Detangling Rinse, I didn’t have to comb my hair while it was wet, as the product did all of the work. Finally, I followed up with the Curl Defining Styling Cream. For such a lightweight product, I was surprised that it was able to work as well as my beloved Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
After using the aforementioned products, I let my hair air-dry. The final result? It appeared that the combination of the three products really did revitalize my curls! My hair didn’t feel dried out or seem to be flat and/or deflated. Instead, the Living Proof products shaped my curls and relieved some of the unwanted volume that accompanies frizz. As a working professional, I value the importance of time management. Getting ready in the morning involves deciding how to wear my hair for the day and if it’s being dauntingly uncooperative, it starts off my work day on a sour note. Living Proof delivered on their claims without product overload.
Living Proof is available in-stores at Sephora, Nordstrom, and Ulta. To find a salon that carries Living Proof, you can use their website to locate a preferred business.