(Trial Run)

I Overhauled My Curl Routine & Finally Got Beach Waves With Zero Hot Tools

This new hair collection is something to celebrate.

Isabela Sarlija after using Living Proof Curl Collection

In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, we tried the Living Proof Curl Collection.

Earlier this year, Living Proof launched the Curl Collection, an assemblage of products that promise to add bounce, definition, and moisture to wavy, curly, and coily hair types. Now, dealing with curls is a tricky battle that seems to take a lifetime to perfect. That’s because curly hair types tend to be on the dryer side and are also more prone to frizz. And because of the natural shape of the curls, the hair is actually much longer and heavier (shrinkage is real), making curls weighed down and flat. So, there are a lot of potential obstacles to address when you want to rock your natural hair texture. That is where curl-enhancing routines come into play.

When it comes to products for curly hair types, a lot of the time brands will fall short on the promise to help with these concerns, which is why this new seven-piece Living Proof Curl Collection piqued my interest. The products claim to moisturize curls, diminish frizz, boost shine, and add definition and separation to wavy, curly, and coily hair. This collection contains different curl styling products for different curl types, along with a proprietary blend of ingredients specifically designed for curly haired folks in mind.

I’m always interested in trying out new curl products since my hair is a bit finicky. I have 2B curls that are pretty oily at the roots, yet dry from the middle to the ends. Plus, my hair is currently the longest it has been since I was 16 and I’ve noticed that the sheer weight has caused my curls to fall into flat, big waves. With all this in mind, I decided to test the new Living Proof products for three weeks — here’s how they fared.

My hair before using the new productsIsabella Sarlija

What’s In The Living Proof Curl Collection

To make sure that the products work well for all curl types, the Living Proof Curl Collection contains no parabens, sulfates, or synthetic ingredients in its formulas. This ensures that you’ll be able to get a gentle yet effective cleanse without stripping your curls of their vital moisture. Plus, the collection is safe for chemically treated and colored hair.

Isabella Sarlija

Living Proof also created the Healthy Curl Complex, a biomimetic blend of ingredients, for these new products. Bio-who? A biomimetic formula is essentially a formula that combines engineering, chemistry, and biology to mimic nature’s designs. The Curl Collection includes a myriad of ingredients to enhance natural curls, form a protective shield around each strand, and maintain structural integrity, i.e. definition, separation, and volume. The Healthy Curl Complex lives in all of the Curl Collection’s products, but here are a few specifics about each product in the collection.

Shampoo: This product contains methiopeptides that help to strengthen the hair and boost elasticity.

Conditioner: This has a rich conditioning blend with shea butter to separate and moisturize the hair from the root to the tip.

Curl Enhancer: This is a curl cream for wavy hair that uses jojoba esters and a resin blend to add moisture to and define waves.

Curl Definer: In this curl cream for curly hair, you’ll find shea butter to minimize frizz, while a curl-controlling resin blend defines individual curls.

Curl Elongator: This is a curl cream for coily hair. The Curl Elongator contains shea butter to moisturize coily hair, while a resin blend defines hair and sunflower wax provides more hold.

Curl Defining Gel: This isn’t your average crunchy gel — it contains a blend of humectants to hydrate the hair while providing hold and structure.

Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil: With a blend of five oils (including jojoba oil, moringa seed oil, babassu oil, calabash oil, and sea buckthorn oil) this product mimics the hair’s natural oils to boost shine and diminish frizz.

Most companies tend to create one or two curl creams for all hair types, despite the fact that different curl patterns don’t do well with a one-size-fits-all type of treatment — meaning my 2B curls won’t work with a product meant for 4C coils, and vice versa. The different textures and porosities have different needs. So I appreciate that Living Proof has created three different curl creams for type 2, 3, and 4 curls. Another bonus: This entire collection smells divine and has an elevated fruity scent like something you might find in a spa shower.

My Hair After Using The Living Proof Curl Collection

Shampoo & Conditioner

The shampoo and conditioner truly rocked my world from the outset. I shampoo and condition my hair every two days since I have a lot of oil at my roots. The Living Proof Curl Shampoo is *so* creamy, to the point where I thought I had accidentally picked up the bottle of conditioner during my first wash. Despite it being creamy and sulfate-free, I noticed that with about a half-dollar size of the product I was able to get a really nice sudsy cleanse from my scalp down to my ends.

Isabella Sarlija

After letting about a half-dollar size amount soak in my hair for five to 10 minutes, my hair felt like a mass of silk while rinsing the product out — no knots here.

Curl Definer

After briefly drying my hair with a microfiber towel, I use a wide-tooth comb. Then, I begin by using one pump of the Curl Definer — if you have wavy hair, you can opt for the collection’s Curl Enhancer styler, and if you have curly, coily hair, you can opt for the collection’s Curl Elongator styler. This curl cream feels smooth and moisturizing without feeling too heavy — key to keeping my texture nourished and bouncy.

Isabella Sarlija

Curl Defining Gel

After that, I use one pump of the Curl Defining Gel and run it through my damp hair with my hands from the root to the tip — this adds extra hold and volume from my scalp down to the very ends of my hair. I scrunch my hair and let it air dry for about an hour. In contrast to the crunchy gels I used in middle school, this gel leaves no hard, dry feeling behind. It just defines my individual curls and keeps them feeling touchably soft.

After going through the whole Living Proof product routineIsabella Sarlija

Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil

My hair *always* frizzes up once it dries, despite the number of creams, stylers, or gels I use. To remedy this, I always finish my hair with a pump of oil banish flyaways and frizz while boosting shine. The Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil is basically the cherry on top of this entire routine. Plus, the texture of this oil is on the dryer side and soaks in quickly, so it keeps my hair looking shiny and feeling soft, never greasy.

Isabella Sarlija

I’ve been doing this routine every two days for about two and a half weeks, but, admittedly, I saw results in my hair’s definition and texture almost immediately. Despite having three styling products in my hair, my strands are pretty much weightless, and I have a curl definition that I thought was only possible after a salty day at the beach. I’m also pleased with the amount of volume at my roots, along with the cumulative softness and shine in my hair the longer I use these products.

Is This Collection The End All Be All For Curly Hair Types?

The full-size Living Proof Curl Collection products range between $28 to $38, which is about the average price in a luxe hair care system. However, pricing doesn’t always signify efficacy when it comes to curl-enhancing products. So, do I think the Living Proof Curl Collection is worth its price tag? I certainly do. I thought that my hair would remain flat until my next haircut — now, thanks to this collection, I’m rocking some bouncy, moisturized curls even with my longer length and weight. These products define and hold my curls all day long — heck, they even survive a full night’s rest for some luscious second-day locks. Plus, I’m able to get a nice, clean feeling in my hair without stripping it of its vital moisture with harmful ingredients. And despite incorporating a gel back into my routine, my hair continues to stay soft, and never feels crunchy or dehydrated.

So, if you’re looking to either revamp your entire curl routine, or swap out a styling product or two, these new options from Living Proof are definitely worth the investment.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.