This Shampoo and Conditioner Set Brought My Curly Hair Out of Hiding In a Single Wash

The curl-specific cleansing products transformed my limp waves into the bouncy, curly strands I had been dreaming of.

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Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner
Photo: Sephora

There's no nugget of wisdom I relate to more than "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" — at least when it comes to beauty. When I was a toddler, I had tight, bleach-blonde ringlets just like Taylor Swift did back in her country days. As I grew older, those curls loosened into gentle waves, and by the time I was a teenager, I was straightening my hair on a daily basis. (I mean, it was *the look* of the mid-2000s.)

Now that we're living in the renaissance of curly hair, though, I'm aching for the locks I had as a kid. I've accepted that the springy strands of my childhood may be long gone, but I'm set on reviving at least some sort of curl pattern. And so far, the Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner are the only products I've found that have helped me on my journey.

Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner Key Features

  • How I tested: I've used the shampoo and conditioner set three to four times a week for six months.
  • Perfect for: Anyone who wants to accentuate their natural waves and curls without using a hair styling product.
  • What you'll love: The immediate results; the shampoo's non-stripping formula and the conditioner's non-greasy texture.
  • Keep in mind: The curl-enhancing effect is only temporary — at least for me — and other products may be necessary to get them to stick.
  • Key ingredients: Methiopeptide in the shampoo (to improve hair strength and elasticity) and shea butter in the conditioner (to help create curl groupings).

Living Proof Curl Shampoo

Living Proof Curl Shampoo
Sephora

Living Proof Curl Conditioner

Living Proof Curl Conditioner
Sephora

Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner Review

As you could guess by the names, Living Proof's Curl Shampoo and Conditioner were both specifically designed for wavy, curly, and coily hair types, spanning from fine to thick textures. The creamy shampoo doesn't create much lather, so it won't dry out your mane, but it still provides a deep enough clean that you aren't left with a greasy scalp. Similarly, the moisturizing, shea butter-infused conditioner helps create curl groupings and reduce frizz without weighing down strands. And both hair-care products have a fresh, slightly floral scent that makes me feel like I'm at a salon.

I first gave the Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner a trial run six months ago, and I immediately knew I had struck gold. On the initial wash day — and all of the wash days that followed — I first used the shampoo to cleanse my scalp, which was built up with sweat and grime from workouts and gardening. Then I worked the conditioner into my strands, focusing on the midshaft and ends, and allowed it to sit for two to three minutes as I washed my face and body. From there, I combed the product through my hair with my Wet Brush, gave it a good rinse, and gently scrunched and squeezed out as much water as possible with a soft cotton t-shirt.

Once air dried, my usually barely-there waves looked bouncier, curlier, and more defined than they had in decades. Plus, my hair felt soft and oh-so clean.

Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner
Courtesy of Megan Falk

Without any styling products, my curly-ish waves do fall flat after a day or two, so the Living Proof formula isn't necessarily a long-term solution for my hair dilemma. For that, I'll likely need to investigate and test out some gentle curl creams and mousses that hold my curl pattern in place yet are lightweight enough for my fine texture. My hair length also seems to affect the state of my waves; immediately after a collarbone-length chop, my post-wash curls looked springy, and they seem to have loosened up as my hair has grown out.

Even though I don't believe my wavy curls have reached their full potential yet, I won't be giving up the Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner anytime soon. The two sulfate-free products have made my hair feel healthy, strong, and gunk-free — and when combined with other curl-enhancing treatments, who knows, those well-defined curls of my youth might just come back again.

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