Pretty P.O.V.: Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen Wednesday 16 May, 2012
After two years of obsessively bleaching-out the ends of my hair for that coveted ombré haircolor, I needed to fix the straw-like appearance—or cut it off. Thank goodness for Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen, which seals in moisture and keeps out humidity, effectively strengthening hair, putting the kibosh on breakage and making my brittle hair look shiny and brand new.
To know me is to know I don’t often stick with one haircolor for very long. It used to be that every three months or so, I’d take my locks a shade lighter, or go completely hog-wild and dye them a whimsical color, like magenta, pink or even light blue. But those days dwindled about two years ago when I discovered the art of the ombré haircolor. This type of technique looked just “off” enough to be edgy without being full-blown cray-cray (like my vivid fuchsia hair). I kept the haircolor—a deep chestnut brown at the roots and mid-lengths that faded to a fiery coppery gold—for practically two years—a record! But you can imagine the damage to the last four inches of my hair. After repeatedly dipping it in bleach, the ends became brittle like straw—a sad side-effect of obsessive at-home ombré-ing.
Then, I met Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen. Now, if you don’t know Living Proof, let me give you a 10-second background. MIT scientists set out to solve that damning issue all women endure: frizz. In fighting the good fight against frizz, they uncovered the idea that humidity is a main stressor of hair. This is because, as we age, we inevitably subject our hair to certain aggravators—mainly, chemical processes (dye or straighteners) or heat-styling (we all do this). With each aggressive act against our hair, we break down the protective layer around the hair shaft, creating tiny holes and rips. This is what we mean when we say our hair is “porous.” If you’re a bleached-blonde, you know this term all too well. Porous hair is unable to seal in moisture, and because of this, becomes dull, rough, stiff, brittle and defenseless against future damage.
I also met Dr. David Puerta, the brains behind the company’s breakthrough PolyfluoroEster (and, who, I might add, had faded red hair—he’s been testing out haircolor formulas for a possible Living Proof haircolor line!). He explains that humidity is more than a frizz curse; it causes hair to shrink and expand (which he terms “vapor flux”), which ultimately weakens hair. Think about it: We sit in our office, where the air is dry and stagnate, but mostly dry (and Sally, bless her heart, won’t stop turning up the air conditioner to sub-Sahara temperatures, which is super-annoying, so we have to run our moisture-stripping space heater when it’s 80 degrees outside…sigh). Our hair in our office is normal. Then, we go outside to grab a latte; the air outside could be humid—but what we can all agree on is that it is most likely different than the environment of our office—and our hair expands with all the moisture. Then back to our office we go, latte in hand; and back to that normal state our hair goes, shrinking. This can happen multiple times a day—and each time it happens, it weakens the hair. The message: That porous problem? It’s more than a frizz-inducer; it’s a breakage maker. This is news to me—and not good news.
The ends of my hair: POROUS. So how do we fix this problem if we don’t feel like lobbing off a good four inches of our hair? In steps Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen. Rather than coat the hair with silicones—a common approach to fighting frizz that unfortunately can weigh down the hair, making it limp and sometimes greasy-looking—Dr. Puerta’s PolyfluoroEster molecule does all the work. It’s a weightless, moisture-controlling molecule—and the Restore Recovery Regimen is flooded with the good stuff. Used once a week, the formula works to restore hair back to its virgin state by tackling the problem two-fold: It penetrates inside the hair’s cortex and infuses it with keratin protein (hair is made of keratin, so it’s simply reinforcing any weak spots). Then, it weightlessly conditions, reinforces and smooths the outer cuticle. By blocking those pores, rips and tears on the cuticle, humidity is less likely to penetrate the hair and wreak havoc leading to expansion, contraction and eventual breakage. Hallelujah!
Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen comes as a five-pack of ampoules, each ampoule being a “single dose” that you can apply from roots to ends. I, however, concentrated my application on my bad bits—those last four to five inches of hair that have been blasted by bleach. Now, even though I don’t have a fancy robot like Dr. Puerta does that tests hair strand strength, I could tell my hair was stronger after the first two uses. The company claims that after four weeks of weekly applications, hair is 24x stronger than its compromised self and 96% less prone to breakage—even on triple-processed (super-platinum blondes) hair. I have blown through my five ampoules, and though I can’t say for sure that my hair is breaking 96% less than it previously was, I do notice that when I brush it, little bits don’t fall all over my lap like they did before. That’s progress. And that straw feeling has all but dissipated—which, I have to say, is the biggest bonus in my book.
Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen is available exclusively at Sephora through July 2012; then you can also find it at Ulta.