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 http://livingproof.com, 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