Welcome to Beauty & The Beat, R29 Unbothered UK's new beauty column. Each fortnight, we're spilling the tea on the latest products made for Black women and gender nonconforming people across hair, makeup and skincare.
Trying to find suitable products for wavy, curly and coily hair can be a minefield. The beauty industry — which, once upon a time, was not so inclusive — now has a million products promising to cater to textured hair. But we know that not all of them are created equal. That said, brands are cottoning on to the various different curl types and their individual needs. One such brand is cult favourite Living Proof, which has just unveiled its latest range, simply named Curl.
The seven-piece range has been made with a diversity of curl types in mind, from 2A (wavy) to 4C (coily), and is said to address frizz, dryness, dullness and breakage and aid definition. The collection includes three different curl enhancers, a shampoo, conditioner, gel and a hair oil. The brand formulated this line with a patented solution: Healthy Curl Complex. Together, the ingredients (which include jojoba oil, shea butter and sunflower seed wax) create a shield around curls to strengthen brittle strands, provide frizz protection, impart shine and enhance curl definition.
The first thing to note about this range is that it is sulphate-, silicone- and paraben-free — the ideal concoction for curly girls everywhere who want to keep their waves, curls and coils healthy and full of vitality. The Curl Shampoo, £31, gently cleanses without stripping the natural oils from your hair, allowing limp curls to spring back to life, while the Curl Conditioner, £30, adds softness that makes detangling easy.
The Curl range also includes three different stylers, which are total game-changers. Each one is packed full of the powerhouse ingredients to keep your hair moisturised and highly conditioned while giving you the right definition as per your curl type. As anyone with textured hair knows, someone with 2A curls will need a different product from someone with 4C coils, which the brains behind Living Proof kept in mind when they created these formulas.
My verdict? The Curl Elongator, £37, is one of the best products I've used for my hair. Specially created for the very tightest of curls and coils, the formula makes light work of detangling and hydrates every strand on your head. It completely eliminates frizz and defines each and every curl, making it a great product to use both on wash day and midweek for a refresh.
The Curl Enhancer, £33, is for the loosest type 2 curls, so not exactly suitable for my 3C/4C curls. I noticed how much this product resembled a very thin leave-in conditioner. It isn't sticky, nor does it make hair crispy or stiff. I can see how this product would work perfectly for those with looser curl types, eliminating frizz and flyaways but increasing volume at the same time.
The consistency of the Curl Definer, £33, took me by surprise. Traditionally these sorts of products are gels but this one is creamy. I worked the product into my mid-lengths and roots and followed by scrunching my ends. I noticed that my curls were visibly more defined and even after diffusing my hair, my curls felt stronger and more conditioned but not rock hard. If you want to add a little more va va voom to your haircare routine, there's the Moisturising Shine Oil, £31, which boasts a blend of babassu seed oil, jojoba seed oil, moringa seed oil and sea buckthorn oil. Together, they mimic the natural lipids (or oils) in your hair, adding moisture and shine. Then there's the Curl Defining Gel, £27, which should be used on wet hair. The texture is springy and lightweight — the perfect product to run through your mid-lengths for a sleek finish after using the defining stylers.
As every curly girl knows, the hair on our head is not created equal and sometimes we end up having multiple curl types on our head tops. That's why I'm really impressed by Living Proof's Curl range, because it's clear that the formulators behind the scenes have really understood what each curl type needs. It truly is a solid selection of products for every wave, curl and coil.
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