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Living Proof anti-frizz treatment for hair - reviewed and recommended

Is a Solution for:
Dry or Brittle Hair, Limp Hair, Dull Hair
July 28, 2009 Reviewed by Emily 13 Comments
I don’t usually get my beauty and treatment tips from the Today Show—in fact I get them exclusively from Truth in Aging—but in early May I saw a segment they ran on award-winning products that got my attention.  Actually most of it sounded like garbage, but they mentioned a product called “No Frizz” based on a molecule allegedly discovered by an MIT scientist.  That claim amused me—here I thought those MIT professors spent all their time on trivial issues like supercomputing, global warming, and “the theory of everything.”  Good to know they do think about the important stuff, like frizzy hair.

The magic ingredient at the basis of the recipe is called PolyfluoroEster, according to the manufacturer, Living Proof, which says that competing products are all based on silicones.  At, an attractive website, there is a very cute animated video which describes not at all how it works.  But the claim is that the product blocks humidity and reduces friction—the two causes, say Living Proof, of frizz.

Since it’s summer in New York, I’m frizz-obsessed.  I have been blessed with a very full head of hair, thick, but not coarsely textured, and it’s basically in good shape (even though yes, it is color-treated:  this is Truth in Aging, after all).  It has a moderate degree of wave.  It changes completely with humidity.  On a dry winter day it’s nearly stick-straight and very easy to dry and style.  It gets wavier as the humidity goes up and on a summer day in, say, Tokyo, I look exactly like Bozo the Clown.  Because I have a lot of hair, it’s cut with some layering, and I hate what happens to those shorter layers when it frizzes up.

So I went to the website in early June (the product is available at Living Proof’s site, and at Sephora).  There are six flavors of No Frizz available:  for fine-to-medium, medium-to-thick, and thick-to-coarse hair, and within each category, a “straight-making” and a “curl defining” option.  I wasn’t sure whether to get the straight or wave-shaping version, so I bought both, in the medium-to-thick hair version.  Ingredients are listed on the site for each product:  the difference between “straight making” and “wave shaping” is the presence of a “lightweight touchable holding polymer” as the description puts it—so that product has a little more body and hold.

After about seven weeks of use, I’m a fan.  It has clearly made a big difference—less frizz, easier styling, a smoother look.  And it leaves hair with a nice texture and shine, no greasiness or heaviness.  On days when I’ve experimented by using the product my hair stylist recommended instead (Phyto’s Phytodefrisant Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm), I haven’t had as good a result.   No Frizz doesn’t, of course, hold up to the tropical thunderstorms we’ve had on some of these July evenings, but it definitely works.  I’m still not sure which formulation I prefer, and often I mix the two.

No Frizz isn’t cheap:  each product is $24 for 4 ounces.  (The site does offer free shipping on orders over $48.)  And Living Proof recommends using quite a generous amount, and more on longer hair, so it I’m nearly done with my first batch.  (The site has “how to use” videos for each product.)  But I’m going to re-order.

And Living Proof has very recently introduced a No Frizz shampoo and conditioner, which are available on their site at a combined price of $48 (for 8.5 ounces of each).  I may give those a try, too.  I’d love to hear what the experts at Truth in Aging think about the ingredients in them!

Ingredients in No Frizz Straight-Making styling cream for medium to thick hair:

Water, PolyfluoroEster, Myristyl Alcohol, Polyacrylate-13, PEG-8 Stearate, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Polysorbate 20, Sorbic Acid

Ingredients in No Frizz Wave-Shaping Curl-Defining styling cream for medium to thick hair:

Water, VP/VA Copolymer, PolyfluoroEster, VP/Dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate Copolymer, Glycerin, Myristyl Alcohol, Polyacrylate-13, PEG-8 Stearate, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Polysorbate 20, Sorbic Acid

Ingredients in No Frizz Shampoo for all hair types:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Lactamide MEA, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycol Disterate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Fragrance/Parfum, PolyfluoroEster, Laureth-23, PEG-6 Caprylic / Capric Glyceride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Behenyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-47, Laureth-4, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional

Ingredients in No Frizz Conditioner for all hair types:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, PolyflouroEster, Behentrimonium Chloride, Fragrance/Parfum, Quaternium-87, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Hezyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol, Burtylphenyl Methylpropional
  • August 4, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Oh yes! aging hair becomes a messy incorrigible child. Once upon a time I had stick straight hair. I now have pretty much what you've described, JustD, only mine's configured differently. We're all individual, after all, even our hair. Washing it is the least of my problems... I'm just trying to find the right cut and style... at SIXTY! Thank the gods for product! and flat irons. ~jk

  • August 4, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi JustD, I think the recognition that your hair is different in different places is genius. We should all at least figure out the the roots and ends are different and treat accordingly. Thank you for something new to think about.

  • August 4, 2011

    by JustD

    I have inherited, over time, thinning gray hair, that, due to the natural wave in my hair, creates more frizz than I experienced as a young woman. However, I also have three different types of hair on my head to contend with as well; wavy on top and back, mildly wavey/straight on the sides and curly at the can be frustrating at times.

    Lately I've begun using an organic coconut oil weekly, and air drying, this process leaves it feeling amazing and more managable. When I'm short on time, I use It's A 10 Miracle Leave In Product on the top, sides and back, and Argan Oil at the nape area and it tames my confused tresses pretty good as well. The price of beauty can be contentious sometimes.

  • August 3, 2011

    by bethany

    I am definitely a Living Proof fan, but have moved on from the No Frizz line to the Full line. That stuff is AMAZING!

  • November 26, 2010

    by Junko

    I tried this and I'm not a fan. Jaysie posted on another hair article that it made her hair feel unhair like, and I agree. On my long hair it tangles it initially and makes the blow out really difficult. Used the medium cream and just wanted to add to this post, that not everyone is a Living Proof FAN.

  • August 1, 2009

    by Lourdes

    If you have thick to coarse hair that is relaxed and dyed and you live in a place as humid as Miami, you really need an arsenal of products to control the frizz. I can certainly relate with the poster when she likens herself to Bozo the Clown, I have been there. So yes, I would like to test this product & share my views of it.

  • July 31, 2009

    by Nellika Richardson

    Would love to trial this product -medium – please – will trial it immediately and deliver review within 8 weeks of receiving the product. Thanks, Nellika

  • July 31, 2009

    by Kathy

    Pick me, pick me! My hair frizzes if you even look at it!

    I'm fine to medium sort of a person

  • July 29, 2009

    by Julie Kay

    I use the fine-to-medium spray and love it (even the fragrance). I use it just before blow drying, and (as the literature suggests) it speeds the process. I only really use it on the topmost layers of my hair to control frizzies. I love it. ~jk

  • July 29, 2009

    by aerwin

    I really like the styling cream . I always use a leave in conditioner in my hair as well as I have coarse curly hair. Giovanni makes a terrific leave in conditioner.

  • July 28, 2009

    by marta

    The spray (not covered in Emily's post) has alcohol denat. It is very drying, but not usually irritating - unless you had a scalp problem to begin with. I think that the culprit is much more likely to be the fragrance. Overall, I'd say the styling creams have a cocktail of chemicals, but none of them stands out as to be avoided.

  • July 28, 2009

    by Cristina

    I don't have good hair. On a good day my ponytail is as big around as a pencil. So the girl at Sephora recommended the spray for fine hair. I loved the results-truly, there was no frizz, no pouff, no curl. It lasted all day and the next day as well and it was shiny and soft.
    BUT...the alcohol! It is way up on the list (first or second..I gave it away so I can't copy the ingredients here) and it stung my scalp so much that I didn't want to use it again.
    I'm going to try the cream for normal to never know, it might work on thin hair.

  • July 28, 2009

    by aerwin

    I love this stuff! I use the sytling treatment cream for curly hair, I live in the south so it is always humid here. I am a fan.

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