Living Proof – blinding us with hair science

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No Frizz collectionphoto: we heart this

Summer is just around the corner! But with the excitement of a change of season comes hair that weighs heavy on my mind. Being a curly haired lady, summer often brings out the dreaded “pyramid hair” and enough frizz to compete with a baby duck. What is a girl to do? Enter Living Proof…

Living Proof is hair by geeks. No, really- the developers behind these products are from MIT. They studied countless hair products in an attempt to discover a real cure for frizz. What they discovered is that most hair products use silicone to coat the hair, but the silicone breaks off, coats unevenly, and hair frizzes anyway. Their findings lead them eventually to a new compound; polyfluro ester, the secret ingredient to their No Frizz system.

Human hair is very sensitive, and humidity can increase the water content of the hair by up to 100%. This makes the hair puff up and tada-frizz. Polyfluro ester coats the hair effectively, blocking out moisture, but not drying the hair.

(And stick around, fine haired gals, some of our testers got to try the Full Thickening Cream, with equally impressive science behind it.)

I tested two different No Frizz products for Medium to Thick Hair – Wave Shaping, Curl Defining Styling Cream and Straight Making Styling Cream (both $24 for 4 oz.). It takes some trial and error to figure out how much product you need (it was a very small amount for me), but once you’ve gotten it down these products are amazing. My frizz is gone. We had about a week of rain and my hair looked just as great as it did on a bone dry day. A near miracle!

The Wave Shaping, Curl Defining Styling Cream made my curls thick and voluminous. But the Straight Making cream was the true test, as straightening my curls often means a lack volume. Not with this cream! My husband called it “shampoo commercial” hair. That’s enough of a testament for me!

For my own scientific purposes, I arranged a bit of a study. One day I used the Straight Making Cream and left my hair curly, and another I used the Wave Shaping, Curl Defining Cream and straightened my hair. There really was a difference! My hair was harder to straighten with the curl defining cream, and the straight making cream wasn’t quite enough to banish the frizz on my curly days. Those scientists really know what they’re doing when creating these formulas, and yes, it is totally worth it to have both creams.

I’m excited to hear if the testers who tried the Full Thickening Cream ($24 for 3.7 oz) are as impressed as I am. It’s lightweight formula is said to create “a micro-pattern of thickening points on each strand.” I’m inclined to believe them!

Don’t forget to check the comments for the we heart this review team’s thoughts and experiences with all three Living Proof products.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • mandaleem

    Amanda loves all things yummy, shiny, beautiful, and fun. On any given day you’ll find her in the kitchen, walking her dogs, or catching a concert with friends.

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  1. I’m admittedly a bit of a nerd so I love that this was developed by people from MIT! I have wavy/frizzy hair that looks pretty wretched with humidity so this stuff sounds fantastic. I want “shampoo commercial” hair too! :D

  2. I got to try the Full Thickening Cream and like Amanda I was a happy camper. Normally my good hair days are the ones that I have gone three or more days without washing my hair. I’m guessing that it’s because all the dirt clings to my fine hair making it seem fuller. Gross as that sounds, I like my hair on these days because it looks full, has a shape and bounce to it that just isn’t there when it’s clean.

    When I got Full to try I wanted a true test. So I washed my hair, normally I would use some volume mouse and hope for the best. I put a dime size amount in my hand and applied to my hair and combed it threw. Once my hair was dry, it looked like it does when I have gone 3 days without washing! Full, shape, and bounce all there, I could even run my fingers through it without losing the fullness. Any other time after washing, I would have to spray it with hairspray and have helmet head to keep the fullness intact. With the full cream I didn’t have to use hairspray. I did use some wax, but that was just to give some definition to my wispy ends.

    I kept using Full along with my wax the following days to see what it would be like when I went without shampooing. I had the same great results. But by the 4th day, it got to where it would stand up on its own and not move, I could have styled a Mohawk and not used hairspray… but come on, it had been 4 days without washing it!

    All in all another great product I’m going to have to buy when I run out!

  3. Your review has me seriously excited. My hair looks fine all winter long; then summer hits and my hair develops a freakish ability to soak up every drop of humidity from the atmosphere no matter what I use! These products sound truly new and different. Can’t wait to try them!

  4. I have been waiting patiently for this review to be posted ever since I began using the Wave Shaping, Curl Defining Styling Cream (I’ve been using it for about two weeks straight now). First let me tell you about my hair: it’s long and wavy and fine in texture (though I’ve got lots of it). My hair is color-treated and it’s oily at the roots, dry on the ends. Also, it’s very prone to frizzies and flyaways and, 99% of the time, I let it air-dry to avoid further damage from heat-styling. I usually use a leave-in product to help reduce frizz, and I pretty much just “scrunch” my hair a few times when it’s wet and then let it air-dry for a natural, wavy look.

    So let me just cut straight to the chase. This product absolutely DELIVERS in a way that no other hair product has ever done for my naturally wavy hair. The frizz is GONE. And it never rears it ugly head throughout the course of the day.

    I totally agree with Amanda in that you need to determine exactly how much product to use, and it’s not without some trial and error. At first I used waaaaaay too much, and it left my hair looking like it was wet all day (even after it dried). But once I found my sweet spot (about two pea-sized amounts), look out, ladies! I honestly never knew my hair could look like this.

    Living Proof Styling Cream makes my long, naturally wavy hair look the way it SHOULD look. In other words, it looks incredibly natural (no crunch, no weird texture, no dulling matte effect). Just long, wavy ringlets and no frizz AT ALL. You know how children look when they have long, wavy hair? How it’s just so naturally beautiful because they haven’t heat-styled it or color-treated it or given it years of abuse? That’s what my hair looks like. Every single time I use this product.

    The most important thing I want to get across is that, not only does this Styling Cream totally and completely eliminate frizz, it actually makes your hair look naturally beautiful again. I swear I feel like I’ve got “little girl hair” again when I use this. It looks shiny, healthy, soft and natural.

    Coming from someone who rarely (if ever) spends over $20 on a hair product, I have to tell you that this is one product I will make room for in my budget. When I don’t use this product, I can tell instantly that something is lacking. That’s the true test as to whether or not I need to repurchase something. If you miss a product desperately when it’s gone, it’s pretty much achieved holy grail status, right?

    I wish I could give it ten stars. Really.

  5. YES! Agreed, Amanda. Fantastic products. I have very curly hair (not tight ringlet curls, the notch under that)and it is very difficult to find anti-frizz products that actually work. I usually have to reapply anti-frizz creams in the evening – they never last all day. However, this product is true to its word!

    I had given up all hope and let my hair just frizz whenever and however it wanted. No more! This is a great product, especially if you live in a humid state. Most days I feel like Louisiana must be the most humid place in the U.S. But this product works even in 100% humidity, which we have often!

    I must reiterate everyone’s comments about finding the right amount. I used too much the first time and it was icky. It doesn’t take nearly as much as you think! Which is great because it will last longer.

  6. I was equally delighted by the Straight Making Cream! I straighten my hair every couple days, by first blowing it out and then straightening it. I found when I put some of the cream on before drying, (a small amount does work best), the blowout and the flat ironing went so much easier. My hair looked so good my students asked me that day if I got it cut and styled! It DID look like “shampoo commercial” hair! I would definitely like to try the Thickening Lotion, as my hair is thin and lacks volume. I love that MIT people developed it…go science geeks!! I really liked this product…it worked great for me!

  7. SO happy to see this review. I invested my hard-earned dimes, nickels and quarters to buy a teeny tiny bottle of the Full Thickening Cream from Sephora, and after only one use I ran back to get the full-sized, also pretty teeny tiny 3 oz. bottle. This is an amazing product, or rather collection of products. I cannot wait to try some others. Here’s the deal: menopause has given me the gift of good skin, but it has also thinned out my formerly thick, luxuriant locks. So much so that last year I invested in some extensions, not for length but for a bit of fullness. They are only a small double-handful, and they only are used on the sides of my head, not the back or front. The difference has been dramatic, but their addition has also changed my use of hair products, radically. I use only Great Lengths shampoo and conditioner, and after each wash (or rainstorm) I spray the bonds with GL Anti-Tap to preserve their hold. I never, ever use silicone-based products, because that is death to extensions, and have relied instead on Moroccan Oil cream for manageability and shine.
    Now, I add this amazing Full Thickening Cream in dime-size increments and my hair is thicker, easier to manage and, best of all, long-lasting in its hold. No spray, so no stiffness, but each a.m. I awaken with soft, thicker clouds of hair. Oh, all you mammas who sent your kids to MIT, you can truly be proud. They may not be building rockets, but they are building body. Even better.

  8. I would definitely recommend Living Proof Frizz Styling Cream products to everyone! These MIT guys are Geniuses! My first exposure to this line was a few months ago, I got a few samples of Straight Making Styling Cream from Sephora, and loved it. Why? Because my hair needs such a product to look good! You can imagine how THRILLED I was to see, Frizz Styling Cream Wave Shaping; Curl Defining Styling Cream for Medium to Thick Hair in my bag from WHT to test out– Here’s what I found. I only need to use a little bit to take control of my wavy curls and prevent frizzing- really, you only need a small amount. I think I made a misstate the first time using it.. They say to fully coat hair on the bottle and I think I went a overboard with that! It’s not greasy at all. It works best on wet hair. I have pretty dry, frizzy hair and using this has made a huge difference making it sleeker and more manageable. I really need to blow out my hair and use a flat iron to make it look its best, which is a time consuming process. With this, I can get away with using only my trusty big round brush and elbow grease! I LOVE this stuff! Seeing my hair smooth and free of frizz after using this was very satisfying. My hubby even gave me a nice compliment afterwards. He thought I went to my hairdresser! HA! Incredible stuff. I think anyone who has struggled to find a great product that works for battling frizz should give No frizz products a try, just fabulously frizz free hair. Yippy! Five flippin stars without hesitation!

  9. THIS? This is here is a WONDERFUL product! I am mixed race and my hairdresser used to say I had “Kinda white girl kinda black girl” hair. Curly and kind of coarse but not too prone to breakage. I usually use a silicon product and then a gel on my wet hair and let it air dry, so I was skeptical on the Wave Shaping, Curl Defining Styling Cream. I didn’t think it’d have enough oomph to make my hair behave.

    I was very wrong, it’s lovely! Nice soft hold and no frizzy hair! My only complaint is it’s a pain to judge how much you need. (It says to coat hair and I definitely did the first time…WAY too much…) I still prefer using some sort of gel product with my hair, my curls separate and my hair get bigger and more poofy as the day goes on. But for the weekend (or non-windy days!) when I don’t have to beat my hair into submission, this product works wonders! 5 stars!

  10. Oh, I love beauty science! Especially when it really works. And let me tell you, this REALLY works.

    I got to try the Straight Making styling cream, and truth in advertising-that’s exactly what it does.

    I found a very small amount (dime size) clings to your hair and with minimal work during blow drying, my hair laid pretty darn poker straight. I did not flat iron afterward, because I really didn’t need to. Which is great, because I’m not very handy with my flat iron! I tend to sizzle, and that always makes me a bit scared to use it. I’m glad to have found something so that I don’t have to.

    Price wise, I’m really ok with it. Especially after seeing how little you need. I think it works out to be a good deal. And really, I’d gladly pay a tiny bit more (who am I kidding, even a whole lot more!) for something that works. Not “kind of works” or “works a little bit”. WORKS.

    I’m glad to see that everyone’s so happy with the other 2 products as well.
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..Cargo Pro Picks Collection – a beautiful steal! =-.

  11. I tried the thickening cream and wasn’t as overjoyed as most of the rest here. I did a little trial and error usage to get the amount right, but just couldn’t find it. A dime-sized amount did nothing for my long, fine hair. A quarter-sized amount seemed too much as it made my hair feel like a cottonball…or like I didn’t wash all the soap out of it. The latter worked it the thickening aspect, I suppose: my hair was fuller and seemed thicker. It just felt dirty. For all of you out there telling me to try a nickel-sized dollop, done–a nickel-sized dollop just didn’t work its way through my locks.
    I should add here that my hair has very few products that it plays well with. I also tried this product on the heels of HerCut, which I loved. That product added volume and polish AND left my hair looking and feeling clean. It’s tough to be number 2 in line behind a product that works great for you. Maybe had I not tried HerCut first, I would have liked this one more.
    Bottom line for me? It thickens my hair, has no overwhelming scents, is packaged simply and prettily but makes my hair feel dirty. I’ll give it three stars.

  12. I tried the Straight Making Styling Cream – and even took it to my hair stylist to get her opinion on it for my hair – since she’s the only one that actually styles my hair the way it’s supposed to be done! This is a great product for the frizz, but bottom line – it’s not strong enough for my extremely thick hair. I most definitely find that the frizzies are more tamed with this product compared to other products, but the cream is not something that works well for my hair type. I need the silicones to style my hair properly and with ease. It takes too much pulling with the round brush using a cream – way too much stress on the hair – whereas with silicone, the brush glides through and it dries quicker and with much less pulling. So for me, this is not the ideal product (but again it DOES work great on the frizz). But, I must say, I’ve never seen Erin’s hair look better! And her hair looks fabulous EVERY day anyways! I was one of the people that asked her if she’d just had her hair done the first day she used this. If I were her, I’d say five stars, but since it’s my hair – only 3…

  13. My pitifully limp locks got to test the Full Thickening Cream and let me say, each strand on my head is a happy camper. I had actually been talking myself into trying this product when I received it for review, which was fortuitous. Now here’s some background on my hair: fine, slightly wavy, color-treated, some grey, sometimes oily, a couple inches past my shoulders, and zero body. I mean, it’s not horrible, but it’s definitely not 90’s supermodel hair like I wish it could be. Anyhoo, I used a dime-sized dab of this, worked it through my damp hair (avoiding roots as per instructions), combed through, and then styled it with this curling iron/blow dryer thing that I swear by (It says to use heat, so no air drying for the full effect, I suppose?). I actually could see a difference. It wasn’t insane (okay maybe at first it was, like I kinda looked like Mufasa from “The Lion King” for the first 1/2 hour after styling, but then it settled down quite a bit), but it was definitely noticeable, so that brought me joy. I also noticed that my curl held its shape a little longer than usual, so there’s some bonus points for that, too. Overall, I’m really happy to give this product 5 stars for making the promise of fuller hair and actually delivering :)

  14. I tried out the full thickening cream and I have to say on my fine straight hair, it did a great job. The only complaint I had was the scent. It’s not a bad scent by any means, just a little too overpowering on the fruity side for me. It did thicken up the roots, and give my hair some serious full body. And it did the job without feeling too greasy. I added a small amount to my towel dried hair and then blew it dry and was really impressed how this delivered. If the scent was more my taste this would be a five plus star rating, but it’s totally a personal scent thing for me which is why I give it four and a half.. still pretty high!! for a great product.!

  15. I received the frizz styling cream for curl defining. And I just adore it! I have very curly hair that easily frizzes. It is very finicky.
    Not all hair products agree with my hair. I typically have to use some combination of products. And often times end up using too much product as a result. The frizz styling cream works so well that I only need to use it. Nothing else!!
    My curls are beautifully defined and natural looking. They are so soft and without a doubt frizz free! And I don’t have to use a lot of product. I love that I can now say goodbye to frizz and product build up. Yay!
    Yes, this is expensive. But it 100% works. And it will last quite awhile because it requires such a small amount with each use. And for me I save additionally because I don’t have to use several products. This styling cream does the job! Get it and I am certain that you too will have gorgeous hair.

  16. Eek, I didn’t get on yesterday to comment on my own post!! LOL

    I’m so, so glad to hear that nearly everyone had such a great experience with the Living Proof products! I would agree with @Stef that the price is totally worth it because not only does it *work* and work well, the 4oz for $24 has lasted me nearly a month and a half. Not too shabby, that’s less than a dollar a day!

    5 stars from me, easily!

  17. I tested the Straight Making styling cream and have been using it daily since I received it. Just a little bit of this goes a long way to make my hair straight and beautiful. Love that it doesn’t have silicone in it because silicone seems to weigh my hair down. This still gives me body, but my flyaways seem tamed and my hair looks great after a blow dry. This is a 5 star product for me!

  18. What I love most about LivingProof is how it majorly combats the frizz. I lived in a pretty dry climate for the last couple of years and now I’m back to humidity central (hello, San Antonio). It really combats the frizz and makes your hair straight!

    Call me demanding, but I wish it was a litte more hydrating and gave a little better shine just so I didn’t have to add another product for that. But I still will use this every day and would probably buy again.

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