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The Big Hair Spray That Really Works

Photo: Courtesy of the Retailer

There are some things you can count on. Tom Hanks will always be likable. Starbucks lattes will always taste the same no matter what country you’re in. Amazon will always deliver. And Living Proof will always create an impressive-sounding hair product.

Living Proof is a beauty company backed by science — two of its founders are biomedical professors at MIT. I have found that all of its products (such as the dry shampoo) are so reliable that “You Can Count on Me” should be their theme song. But before I tried the brand’s newest product, Body Builder, I was still skeptical.

Here’s the thing: It sounded too good to be true. Body Builder is a body-adding spray for hair with an adjustable nozzle. At its lowest level, L, the spray dispenses a standard amount of product, giving your hair reasonable volume. But if you turn it to the higher setting, M, the spray actually releases more particles, making your hair even bigger. The idea is that you can customize the experience depending on how much body you want.

(The brand says it spent two years working on the product, and much of that time went toward searching for the adjustable nozzle. The product developers finally found the one they needed in the home goods industry, and now Living Proof holds the patent on it for several years.)

In its natural state, my hair is fine and flat. “Your hair is so … big,” my co-worker Diana said after I tested the product on a hot, humid summer day. But that didn’t mean I had Valentino-haute-couture hair. Instead, it just looked noticeably thicker, like I had an extra pelt of extensions sewn in. The L nozzle gave me the full hair of an accidental good-hair day. Turning it to M gave me the thick hair of a professional blow-dry.

Despite the dramatic results, the texture and feel aren’t very noticeable. I wouldn’t say that it feels like there’s nothing in your hair, but it isn’t sticky, and it doesn’t feel gunky or rough. My hair still felt airy, not like a helmet. I was sold. If you want your hair to look and feel less small, this is the way to go.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Body Builder
$29 at Ulta

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The Big Hair Spray That Really Works