What it is: Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray, $24
What it does: Creates completely flexible and touchable volume, waves and curls without stickiness or crunchiness.
Why it works: They're calling it the "no hairspray hairspray" because although it technically is, it functions very differently than all the rest out there. It's more of like a dry shampoo and hairspray hybrid—how cool is that?
After giving yourself a good misting of most hairsprays, hair can get hard and brittle, increasing your chance of breakage. So instead of bouncy, brushable curls, you've got strands that feel like they might just snap if you bend them in half. To fix this common hair woe, Living Proof's team of MIT scientists came up with their new "flexible web technology." Basically, the molecules in the product form an elastic, web-like bond on the hair that bends instead of snapping. To test its power, the scientists sprayed both your average run-of-the-mill hairspray and the Flex hairspray on tiny squares of glass. After they dried, they picked each piece up and bent it in half. The normal hairspray cracked into two pieces; the Flex simply bent back and forth while staying intact.
We've used it on both damp and dry hair, and it can do wonders for both. Use it to prep hair before drying with a roundbrush to add extra volume and shine while sealing out humidity. Or, you can spray it on dry hair and brush it through before curling to create soft and frizz-free curls that actually stay put. Our favorite part? It's hard to use too much, so if your hair doesn't hold a curl easily, you can apply very liberally to build structure without worrying about having rock solid hair. You can even rebrush it after and there won't be a tacky residue like similar products.
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