The first time I heard of Living Proof was less than 3 years ago, yet it was already considered a cult US hair care brand. I was working for a manufacturer and distributor of hotel cosmetics, I’d just come back from maternity leave (what beauty news had I missed in those 9 months?!) and was researching brands to partner with for hotel amenities. I’ve admitted in previous posts that my hair rarely benefits from the attention my skin gets. So I am less au fait with the latest hair care news and on trend hair brands. Now you can get your hands on Living Proof through Look Fantastic, Feelunique, John Lewis, Space NK and of course the mecca of beauties in the know, Cult Beauty. Even good old Marks & Spencer stocks it. Better late than never, I’m finally going to discover if these haircare products warrant the hype surrounding them.
One of the brand’s key advantages vs other beauty brands is that it was founded by stylists who knew about hair and scientists who knew nothing about the industry. Meaning they could come up with solutions without being influenced by the limitations, expectations or trends within beauty. They found that many hair care products on the market relied on silicones that mask rather than solve problems – typically coating the hair to create that desired silky shine. Living Proof’s research resulted in patented technology that delivers solutions to three key hair concerns:
- Healthy Hair Molecule repels dirt and oil to keep hair cleaner for longer
- Thickening Molecule creates body that lasts up to 5x longer
- Volumizing & Texturizing Molecule for bigger volume
Products that promise hair that’s cleaner for longer, with more body and more volume – as well as silicone-free, paraben-free, phthalates-free and cruelty-free. I test two Living Proof styling products to see first-hand if they live up to the hype.
My first impressions are mixed: I love a multi-purpose product and this one boasts 5-in-1, but it seems like such a small bottle for £24. I love the soft touch matt grey bottle and the way it fits nicely in my grip, but the name ‘Perfect Hair Day’ seems too big a promise to hold. Let’s start with the 5-in-1 claim. Thanks to its patented Healthy Hair Molecule and Thickening Molecule this product promises to:
I apply a generous dose to clean towel dry hair and comb through lengths with my fingers before blow drying (it delivers heat protection) with a round brush, as recommended. This is a leave-in treatment and styling product which is a big thumbs up for me as it reduces time in the shower by skipping conditioner. And it actually delivers on all of the above, the only one I can’t properly comment on is strengthen as I wasn’t suffering from breakages previously. My hair looked sleeker yet bigger than if I’d just used conditioner in the shower, and it felt as nourished and soft as if I’d used one. It did feel however as if I’d loaded my hair with too much product, so the next time I applied a 10 pence coin amount (rather than the previous £2 size) and that felt perfect – and would explain why the bottles are small. Although you’re supposed to blow dry for best results, I’ve also just braided my damp hair with the product on and left it to air dry. When I undo the braid the following day I’m left with defined rather than fuzzy waves. 118ml RRP £24.00
Another leave-in product, this one treats locks to an ultra-hydrating formula for smooth and sleek hair. I think this one is probably more relevant for curly or hard-to-tame hair, whereas mine could be described as lank – especially once it gets past shoulder length and hangs either side of my face like (well groomed) spaniel ears. Featuring Living Proof’s Healthy Hair Molecule for a weightless invisible shield protecting hair from humidity, I apply in the same way I do the previous product: a small amount to damp hair, worked through the lower lengths with my fingers, making sure I don’t start too high so as not to load up my roots or irritate my scalp, especially with leave-in product. Once blow dried my hair is sleek and straight rather than kinky. It can also be applied sparingly to dry hair to tame flyaways. 118ml RRP £22.00
On a parting note I’d like to highlight Living Proof’s sustainability credentials. They have partnered with TerraCycle, a fantastic organisation that recycles items typically considered non-recyclable. I’ve previously mentioned TerraCycle in Reduce Reuse Recycle as they work with an increasing number of beauty brands. To dispose of your Living Proof packaging you need to create a TerraCycle account, box up your empties, apply a free return label and post. For every 450g you send you get $1 in credit to donate to charity. Yes this programme is only currently available in the US and Canada, hopefully they’ll extend it to Europe too. This is a great example of circular economy previously discussed in Top 6 Sustainable Beauty Habits, where instead of the linear make, use, dispose consumption pattern, you follow the make, use, reuse/recycle loop.
Have you tried Living Proof? What are your hair care cult products? Please leave a comment below to let me know.