I can’t tell you how many hair brushes have sacrificed their necks trying to deal with my tangled locks. I’ve had days where my skin co-operates and where my winged liner almost matches, but my hair has always plagued me. My strands are essentially like de-tangling Christmas tree lights – just as you free one end, the other automatically knots itself – sourcery, I tell you.
Many hairdressers have been at odds with how fine my hair is, yet I somehow have so much of it that it seems to attack itself to create knots that could tie a boat to shore. This results in a lot of floof at the roots, and ends as dry as used sandpaper. As it’s always frustrated me, I’ve in turn, tortured it a bit over the years trying to get my own back, but obviously this ended in mutual destruction.
I’ve bleached it to within an inch of its life, left it for years without trimming it and let super-short unflattering layers be chopped into it, all because I just didn’t care to look after it. I then had a hair epiphany – yes, that’s a thing – and decided that I didn’t want picture-perfect Instagram hair, all I wanted was healthy strands. I had grown up.
I lathered my whole head in the richest and oiliest of hair masks, devoted time to semi-regular trims and cut down on searing it with my array of heated tools. It took years, but it made a difference. It grew faster and didn’t seem so dry, but the element that was still vexing me was how damaged it still seemed to look.
I took my query to every hairdresser’s chair I sat in and I got some mixed feedback. Some claimed it was “just my hair texture”, whilst others tried to get me to drown it in Olaplex (spoiler: it didn’t work). I kept persisting and tried every product out there that claimed to be reparative but I was never 100% sure whether they were making a difference. That was until Living Proof’s Triple Bond Complex landed on my desk.
What are hair-bonding treatments?
You may have noticed a lot of ‘bond-building’ products being launched and found yourself intrigued (like I was). If you’re not familiar with the idea, it’s essentially a more concentrated version of a deep conditioner that uses chemical bonds to repair and reconstruct damaged hair. Without getting too science-y, the formulas generically involve proteins, amino acids and hydrogen bonds that work way deeper than your typical surface-level products.
Living Proof’s version claims to repair all three hair bonds: hydrogen, ionic and covalent, but unlike some others, it actually creates new bonds, as well as repairing existing ones, which is why it might be the first one I’ve tried that actually worked for my hair.
Do hair-bonding treatments actually work?
Having been in the beauty industry for a while now, I take ‘one-use wonder’ products with a pinch of salt. Nothing in my books can work that quickly and quelle surprise, this didn’t either. But, in under a handful of washes, I started to wonder what was going on with my hair. It appeared shinier, felt thicker rather than fluffier and almost looked like I had gone in for a glossing treatment at a salon.
Since getting my hair into a healthier regime, I don’t wash it everyday like I used to. On average, it gets washed two times a week, which was how often I was using the complex and I couldn’t get enough of it. I applied it all over to damp hair and then gave it a quick once over with the hairdryer and voila. On days where I had been in a rush and forgotten to apply it, I instantly regretted it and counted down until my next wash where I could reap its benefits.
It took less than two weeks for it to – honestly – transform my hair. It delivered healthier-looking hair, while flyaways and fallout improved, too. It works on both my natural waves and when I straighten it too, as I know some product results simply rely on the consumer using enough heat to cook a pizza to create smoothness.
Since discovering it a couple of months ago, I haven’t even gone through one whole bottle – despite me using it twice as often as the recommended once a week it says on the label.
It’s not entirely perfect. I have naturally wavy hair which hates any form of heat, but in order for the formula to be activated, it needs a burst from a hairdryer. If I’m straightening my hair anyway, this isn’t an issue but if I’m embracing my natural waves, it’s not ideal. I was told it only needed to be a quick blast of hot air to get it warmed up, which my hair doesn’t seem to mind too much if I use my diffuser attachment, but it’s worth noting you can’t ditch the heat completely.
Upon first glance, I was worried about how much product you got for your buck. This little bottle seemed so dinky (45ml to be exact), for the £42 price tag. That’s close to being £1 per 1ml. As I mentioned earlier though, I’ve been using it twice as much as I should and I’m still not through one bottle yet, which is quite impressive.
It’s still a lot of money to spend compared with its rival, Olaplex, which is £28 per 100ml. I can’t tell you how many friends have raved about this stuff to me, but I’ve been through two bottles in my life and haven’t really found it made that much of a difference for my hair. So personally, I’d rather spend a bit more and reap the bond-building benefits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still cautiously using my kitchen measuring spoons to make sure I’m not wasting the liquid gold, but you can’t argue with the results.
If I had to pick just one testament to the greatness of this little bottle, it’s the fact that I was able to use bleach on my hair for the first time in a decade without my strands being totally destroyed. That’s a major breakthrough for my hair.
Plus, fewer hairbrushes are being tortured in the process of styling my hair, which is (almost) priceless.
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