Living Proof PhD In-Shower Styler, £21
What’s better than beautifully tousled hair? Beautifully tousled hair that takes almost no effort to create. That’s pretty much what Living Proof’s new In-Shower Styler is promising, since the one-step routine takes place in the shower (go figure) after shampooing and conditioning, and means you can forgo post-shower styling altogether. Instead, it claims to create “air-dried styles with enhanced body, softness and natural texture,” no heat necessary.
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It is my mission in life to be the sort of insouciant woman who washes her hair, chucks it out the way to dry naturally and wakes up to relaxed, sexily dishevelled waves. Think: a Herbal Essences advert, but if Lily James in Mamma Mia was the poster girl – a little bit mussed up, a little bit carefree, but utterly chic.
Sadly, my hair and air-drying have never got along. Why? Because I don’t have time to wash my hair in the morning (thanks to the whole process taking an hour or more), which means it doesn’t have the time to warm itself lazily dry in the sunshine (in an orange grove, with a young Pierce Brosnan) a la Lily. And, if I wash my hair before bed and sleep on it, I wake up to a damp, musty mop. Ah.
The thing is, I’d like to limit my relationship with heat tools (which I use on a daily basis) and I’d love to liberate myself from time spent styling. So, it would be great if this new launch could help me do that...
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Shampoo and condition, with whatever you normally use, then apply this generously from root to ends while still in the shower. It’s creamy, smells fresh and glides through hair effortlessly. Lightly rinse off, like you would your conditioner and that’s effectively your styling done.
Squeeze out any excess water and towel dry. The instructions don’t explicitly say to brush your hair, but, given mine was matted (I’m not sure whether it was the product or the fact that I went to town on the towel drying that made my usually tangly hair even tanglier), I thought it best. Then scrunch to add a bit of texture and leave to air dry.
To coax some more movement out of your hair, the guide that comes with the product has a few suggestions of hairstyles you could try to add some more shape (braids, twists, etc) or you can just leave it as is. I decided to go for Princess Leia-style buns (boyfriend wasn’t into them) which worked for twenty minutes or so, before I went to bed. They came out when I went to (they're uncomfortable to sleep in), so I kept twirled my hair up into a loose twist on the top of my head.
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In the morning, when I took my hair down, I was pretty underwhelmed. My hair looked a bit frizzy and misshapen and I had a big clump by the crown that still felt damp. (In fairness, I did think it would be an ambitious task for this one product to overcome my hair’s refusal to dry completely, even hours after washing). So, I broke the no-heat rule slightly and blowdried the damp section dry on a low heat for five minutes.
Having settled itself into a more appealing shape over the time since I let my hair down, I used my fingers to rake through the waves and smooth my hair down and discovered that, actually, it didn’t look too bad. The left side was wavier than the right (which stayed resolutely straight), but it had more texture and body than when it air-dries normally (which is hardly ever, for obvious reasons) and it looked more swooshy and sleek. Passable enough, even, to go into work without tonging it into shape.
This didn’t match the pretty, more defined waves that my tongs give, so for days when I have meetings or events to go to, I wouldn’t be prepared to ditch the heat tools, but for more low-key days when I’m just at my desk, I’d happily go with the more casual, relaxed finish the In-Shower Styler gave me, to give my hair a much-needed break from the heat. So, I guess we could say I’m partially converted?