Let’s be honest: when we think about hair products, we rarely think about the science behind them. First and foremost, we want a thick, glossy, voluminous mane that’s easy to handle and looks effortless, all the time. As long as products work, we don’t ask any questions.
While factors including hormones, diet, seasonal change and your daily hair routine – that’s you, straighteners – can all play a role in your hair and scalp’s overall health, the products you use also have a huge impact.
Finding the right shampoo and conditioner can be trickier than settling on the perfect pair of jeans. When you do discover a range that makes your hair feel great, it’s important to consider whether it’s really doing the health of your hair any favours in the long term.
The team at Living Proof, who are obsessed with the science behind genuinely luscious locks, explained to Balance Festival how traditional hair products work and how Living Proof’s patented Healthy Hair Molecule technology, OFPMA, is revolutionising the way we approach haircare.
How do normal haircare products work?
First, it’s good to understand how exactly traditional hair products work. Many are created around silicones, a class of materials that essentially work by coating your hair in a plastic-like substance.
Initially this creates a shiny look, but over time it results in a build-up of product and dirt. While can make hair appear
shinier, it’s not necessarily a “real” glow – it’s more like the clear top-coat you put on after nail polish. In other words, your hair probably isn’t getting any healthier.
Unfortunately, it can also weigh hair down & cause dryness, making it appear dull and lifeless.
How is the Healthy Hair Molecule different?
Foregoing traditional silicone and oil-based ingredients, the molecule OFPMA – better known as the Healthy Hair Molecule – is now a key ingredient in all of Living Proof’s products, including their dry shampoo.
In simple terms, OFPMA works by creating an invisible and weightless molecular shield around individual strands. This shield actively repels dirt by smoothing hair so that any grime slides right off, unlike a silicone layer which allow residue and dirt to build-up on top of it. The fact that your hair is so much smoother means that everyday tangling and breakage is reduced, making it stronger.
Importantly, OFPMA also blocks humidity, therefore improving the hair’s moisture balance; this in turn reduces both oil and frizz. Not only should that mean that your hair stays cleaner, it also means that your style lasts longer, reducing the need for hair-frying heated devices.
How To Choose A Shampoo That’s Right For You?
The most crucial factor in choosing a shampoo, conditioner or styling product that’s right for you is to understand your hair type and your lifestyle: is it straight or wavy, curly or coily? Where does it sit on the thickness scale? How do you usually like to style it? How much time do you spend in the sun? What are your biggest concerns?
Ask yourself all these questions, and then choose a product accordingly – for some people the Curl Conditioning Wash shampoo might be just right, others might find that they need a Restore Mask Treatment. And if you're still not sure, take the Living Proof Hair Diagnostics quiz
More from the Journal