Gear On The Go

August 09, 2009|By Wendy Donahue | Wendy Donahue,Tribune Newspapers

Name: : Living Proof No Frizz styling cream

What it is: : A lightweight hair lotion that claims to employ the first new anti-frizz technology in more than 30 years. There are two formulations: Straight Making or Wave Shaping/Curl Defining. As a bonus, No Frizz purports to repel dirt and oil, lending itself to "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" travel destinations. Or just a trip to the beach.

How it works: : Created by a team led by Robert Langer, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No Frizz skips the usual fuzz-fighter, silicone, which, when overdosed, can leave hair looking as if it were bathed in bacon drippings. Instead, the wonder ingredient here is called polyfluoroester. Living Proof scientists say that this compound creates a thinner, lighter-weight shield that, in company tests, resisted humidity 30 percent more than many silicone serums. It also reduces friction between strands, preserving smooth styles.

The good: : No Frizz Straight Making is the first product I've found that rivals Phytodefrisant botanical balm for effectiveness on my Roseanne Roseannadanna-prone curls, which I blow almost-straight most of the time. After being primed with this, my hair never poufed to its default rainy-day triangle shape even on a stormy June afternoon. My hair remained improbably sleek and yet movable.

The bad: : The expense. The directions advise applying at least a quarter-size dollop evenly from roots to ends, more for longer hair. That heaping helping not only strikes fear into those accustomed to silicone products, it makes No Frizz expensive (more so than my already pricey Phyto, $34 for 5.9 ounces at Styling with a heat appliance is recommended for maximum effectiveness, so if you're sans electricity in an exotic locale, save it.

Cost: : $24 for a 4-ounce cream; $14 for a 2-ounce travel size

Available from: : Sephora stores and; and

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