The Living Proof Dry Shampoo – Why I love and Hate This Product

By Tina Moretti
Published 21 Apr 2021 / Updated 03 May 2021

The Living Proof Dry Shampoo – Why I love and Hate This Product

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more

Haven’t washed your hair in a week? Maybe more?

Trust me – no one will notice if you use the Living Proof dry shampoo.

The reason it works so well is because it actually cleanses the hair instead of just concealing dirt, buildup, and greasy roots like most drugstore dry shampoos do.

I must admit:

When I first bought it, I was swayed by the buzz on social media, Reddit threads, and online magazines that glorified it when it landed on the shelves of Sephora.

But fast forward 3 months later, I wasn’t so much of a big fan 🤔

So let me tell you why I love and hate this product.

Before I dive into the full review, here’s a quick summary:

What I like:

The Living Proof dry shampoo works better than most dry shampoos out there. So top marks for its innovation.

What I don’t like:

There are too many chemicals!
Some people have reported hair loss and irritations on their scalp after using it for an extended period. It also contains Butane and Propane.

Verdict:

I won’t use it on a daily basis. Once in a while is fine.

The Science Behind Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day (phd) Dry Shampoo

perfect hair day dry shampoo living proof

The Living proof brand was co-founded by MIT professor Robert Langer, who also had the backing of actress Jennifer Aniston as a co-owner and brand ambassador.

This dry shampoo is in a class of its own because of its unique formula that combines the science of cosmetics and biotechnology to deliver proven results. Hence the name Living Proof.

So what’s this secret combination of cosmetics and science?

Let me explain how it works:

OFPMA (short for Octafluoropentyl Methacrylate) is a formulation developed by MIT scientists.

The formula does 2 things:

It helps to sweep away the cleansing powders along with the dirt attached to them.

Then it creates a weightless, invisible shield around the hair to repel dust, dirt, and oils, and other environmental elements so that the hair and scalp can stay clean for longer in between shampoos.

Moreover, Living Proof does not use traditional ingredients like silicone and oils, which can create more buildup as a side effect. Their OFPMA formula does a better job at keeping your hair and roots clean while preserving the natural balance of moisture.

Ever since it was released, the brand has garnered over 34 industry awards for its innovative scientific approach to hair care products. Plus, the company is a 2 times winner of the Allure best beauty breakthrough awards, also featuring its frizz-fighting and hair restoration products.

Every product from its labs is considered living proof in a bottle rather than just a product that would give women hope without any scientific evidence.

What caught my attention about Living Proof is the company’s unique approach to hair care using scientific technologies to offer women actual proof in a bottle rather than hoping for results.
I’ve tried so many hair care products over the years, my hair has been subjected to everything – blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, color, extensions, you name it.
My hair has taken a serious beating. After using these products, I felt like I finally discovered a solution that works every day. I could not be more excited to share Living Proof with the world. Jennifer Aniston
Actress and Former LP Brand Ambassador - PRNews

How Does The Living Proof Dry Shampoo Work?

is living proof phd dry shampoo worth it

Living Proof’s dry shampoo uses a Triple-Action Cleaning technology enhanced by fast-absorbing powders to soak up dirt, dust, oil, and sweat. Once all the impurities are absorbed, they are flushed out from your hair resulting in a fresh-out-of-the-shower feel.

Unlike other dry shampoos that use aerosols and powders to simply mask greasy and oily roots, the Living Proof phd waterless shampoo goes above and beyond to detox and purify both your hair and scalp.

Its fast-absorbing powders work like active agents to seep deep in between the roots to unclog and absorb buildup like:

  • Sweat
  • Oil and greasiness
  • Color deposits
  • Silicone remains from conditioners
  • Dead skin cells
  • Stale sebum buildup

Once these filthy deposits are dislodged, the dry shampoo unleashes its Healthy Hair Molecules (OFPMA) to disperse the impurities together with the powders.

It’s very similar to how a chelating shampoo works to remove hard water deposits from the hair and scalp.

The philosophy behind the Living Proof dry shampoo is simple:

To make your hair:

  • Look better
  • Feel better
  • And smell better

How It Makes Your Hair Look Better?

By zapping your greasy roots and adding a touch of follicular refreshment, it immediately perks up flat and dull-looking hair.

Instead of looking weighed down by the greasiness, it gives your hair an instant boost of freshness without having to go full cycle with washing, blow-drying, brushing, etc.

It’s like an invisible hair cleanser that can revive days-old hair without the wash day hassle.

How Does It Make Your Hair Feel Better?

Clean hair = beautiful hair.

This dry shampoo thoroughly cleanses through every layer without clashing with the texture of your hair.

For example:

If you have curly hair, you won’t need to reactivate your curls.

It strikes the perfect balance between cleansing and moisturizing.

How Does It Make Your Hair Smell Better?

This dry shampoo does not mask odors.

In fact, any product that does it is like brushing dirt under the carpet, which will only worsen over time (i.e. buildup and bacteria).

Instead, the Living Proof dry shampoo tackles the source of the problem. It uses odor neutralizers that work 24/7 in your hair to eliminate them.

At the same time, it also releases a fragrance at regular intervals to make sure your hair smell fresh for as long as possible.

It Prevents Frizz From Humidity

living proof no frizz dry shampoo

As I said earlier, the secret of the Living Proof dry shampoo uses its patented Healthy Hair Molecules to creates an invisible shield around the hair that protects against environmental elements.

One of these elements is humidity.

If your hair is usually dry and dehydrated, outside humidity can force your strands to seek moisture from the damp air surrounding it. You’d usually use an anti-humidity frizz control spray to keep it under control.

But did you know?

The Living Proof dry shampoo can also double up as an anti-humidity shield?

That’s right!

The Healthy Hair Molecules (OFPMA) do precisely that.

No pollutants, dust, humidity, or allergen can get close once you’ve sprayed your hair with the LP dry shampoo.

Living Proof Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair

One common problem people with dark hair have when using dry shampoos is the white cast residues.

Like any other dry shampoo, the Living Proof phd also uses white powders. But, you’ll have to make sure you follow the instructions correctly to avoid these white casts and spots.

So, if you have dark hair and want to use this dry shampoo, you need to shake the can thoroughly to make sure the formula is well-distributed.

Shaking your dry shampoo well before use helps to minimize the white powdery residues.

Then, when spraying, make sure you hold the can at least 10 inches away from your hair. Once sprayed, wait 30 seconds, then brush the powders out thoroughly.

Remember, when you’re brushing out the powders, you’re also brushing out the dirt they have attached to them.

If you have white residues still in your hair, you haven’t done a good job.

So people with dark hair, remember this, the LP dry shampoo powders are not designed to stick to your hair. It’s how you brush and remove them that matters.

Living Proof recommends using a Boar Bristle Brush.

Living Proof Dry Shampoo for Fine Hair

Fine and thin hair tends to flatten out and feel greasy on the second day after washing. It’s normal.

Another common frustration most people have with fine hair is the lack of volume and bounce.

So when choosing a dry shampoo, you need something lightweight.

The living proof dry shampoo works well for fine hair because it uses weightless molecules instead of the traditional silicone and oils, which are the culprits that weigh down the hair and zap volume.

Think of it as an invisible, waterless, barely-there shampoo.

Living Proof Dry Shampoo for Volume

Without any silicone and oils, this dry shampoo creates a frictionless cleansing experience without robbing your hair of its moisture balance.

By removing all the elements that weigh your hair down the Living Proof dry shampoo does a superb job at jazzing up your roots.

It’s like adding volume to lifeless hair without a full-scale blowout!

Also, check out the new addition to the dry volume range:

Living Proof Dry Shampoo for Curly Hair

The Living Proof dry shampoo cleanses any type of hair without clashing with the texture no matter what your hair type.

Regardless if you have waves, curls, coils, or kinks, every pattern stays in place. There is no need to reactivate your hair texture.

That’s because there are no sulfates, silicone, and oils in the product.

The weightless cleansing molecules go in and out without causing any friction to the hair surfaces at all.

How to Use The Living Proof Dry shampoo?

Here are the step-by-step directions for using the Living Proof dry shampoo for best results:

  1. Shake the can thoroughly (Very important to avoid white cast residues)
  2. Hold canister 6-10″ away from your hair
  3. Apply in sections in a sweeping motion
  4. Wait 30 seconds for the powders to activate and cleanse
  5. Remove the powders with fingers or brush
  6. Shake hair thoroughly to get rid of powders

Pretty straightforward.

Using The Living Proof Dry Shampoo After Working Out

It does well to get rid of post-workout grossness.

Sometimes, I hit the gym early morning before work, and this dry shampoo helps me spruce up before work. It definitely saves me time doing my hair.

What Does The Living Proof Dry Shampoo Smell Like?

what does living proof dry shampoo smell like - not fragrance-free

The LP dry shampoo smells like lemon, powder, and Jasmine, but sweet.

It’s not overpowering at all, but it’s always there with a subtle hint.

With a smart time-release fragrance activator it keeps your hair smelling fresh all day rather than just giving an initial surge of fragrance that dissipates within an hour.

Available in Multiple Sizes To Suit Your Needs

The Living Proof dry shampoo is available in many sizes ranging from Jumbo to small travel-friendly and discrete options.

Here are the variations:

The Cute Travel-Size Cans Are Pretty Handy

These Living Proof travel-size dry shampoos are 92ml, making them ideal for carrying in your hand luggage while traveling.

So here are the key info you need to know for packing them in your luggage when traveling:

  • Max Capacity: 92ml
  • Weigh: 52g
  • Liquid / Aerosol: 1.8oz

Living Proof Dry Shampoo Reviews

living proof perfect hair day dry shampoo reviews

The Living Proof dry shampoo has over 7381 reviews on Amazon with over 5600 5-star ratings.

The most popular trends in these reviews were:

  • Best dry shampoo
  • Ease of use
  • Value for money
  • Volume control
  • Scent

The low ratings were correlated to:

  • Minor hair loss
  • Counterfeit products online
  • Some people not liking the fragrance
  • Butane and Propane

Overall, most people who used this product have given a big ol thumbs up, but there were some concerning reviews.

And this brings me to tell you why I am anxious about using this product over a long period.

Who Shouldn’t Use it

If you have dry and flaky scalp conditions like Eczema, Psoriasis, and Dandruff, you shouldn’t use any dry shampoo with Butane and Propane.

The Living Proof dry shampoo contains propellants like most standard dry shampoos do. So if you have a known problem or sensitivity to such ingredients and aerosols in general, it’s best to avoid it.

Now, this is where this product fails to convince me.

All the science and the effectiveness is top-notch. I have to give credit to this product for working as promised.

But:

I stopped using it when I got more and more conscious about cosmetic ingredients.

Recently I’ve been reading about this thing called Clean Beauty and Vegan products. I got so deep into it that I started to take stock of my beauty products and clean up everything that I won’t class as clean.

And this dry shampoo was, unfortunately, a victim of my beauty purge due to its long list of tong-twisting ingredients that got me concerned about long-term side effects.

So here’s the list …

Ingredients

Here are the Living Proof dry shampoo ingredients. I have used Incidecoder and Skinsafe to get easy and friendly explanations on each of them.

Isobutane
A colorless gas used as an aerosol propellant.
Propane
Also, a gas used as a propellant in cosmetic products.
Alcohol Denat
A solvent, penetration enhancer, and antimicrobial ingredient.
Caution: This can be very drying if used more than the recommended amount.
Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch
Used as an absorbent in cosmetic products. Present in 70% of dry shampoos, it helps to absorb sebum from the scalp.
Cellulose
A natural polymer derived from the cell walls of green plants. It improves absorption of the product and reduces oiliness on the skin layer. Also used as a sensory additive and thickening agent.
Octafluoropentyl Methacrylate (OFPMA)
Living proofs’ patented molecule technology. It creates a weightless, invisible shield around your hair to repel dirt, dust, and oil to keep the hair and scalp clean.
Caprylyl Glycol
A humectant/moisturizing ingredient that gives the skin a soft feel. Also helps to boost the efficacy of preservatives.
Dipropylene Glycol
A clear, colorless liquid. Used to maintain consistency of the product.
Citronellyl Methylcrotonate
An ingredient for masking odors.
Hydroxypropylcellulose
An emulsion stabilizer. Used to make two non-mixable ingredients stable.
Hydrated Silica
Allows the product to penetrate the skin. Can also be abrasive (i.e. can wear away the surface of the skin if overused)
Cetrimonium Chloride
Antimicrobial. Emulsifying. Preservative.
Prevents the growth of microbes. Also works to preserve consistency and product shelf life.
Zeolite
Crystalline composed of silica, alumina, and metallic oxides. Allows the product to penetrate the skin
Ethylcellulose
A derivative of cellulose. A polymer used for thermal stability.
Octoxynol-10
An emulsifier and surfactant.
Disteardimonium Hectorite
A derivative of clay used to make the formulation thicker and not runny.
Water/Eau/Aqua
Just water.
Fragrance/Parfum
The fragrance of the product.
Ethylhexylglycerin
A medium-spreading emollient and a deodorant.
Phenethyl Alcohol
A colorless liquid that helps to mask odors. Also has antimicrobial properties.
Benzyl Benzoate
A common cosmetic ingredient that has a light balsamic smell. Prevents bacterial growth.
Hexyl Cinnamal
A Jasmine-like fragrance.
Linalool
A common fragrance that oxidizes in air exposure.
Coumarin
A sweet vanilla nutty scent ingredient.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it sulfate-free?

Yes. The Living Proof website clearly states that there are no Sulfates (SLS & SLES) in the product. The Ingredients list above also confirms it.

Is it paraben-free?

Yes. This dry shampoo does not contain any paraben-based preservatives.

Can it cause allergic reactions?

According to SkinSafe, an independent cosmetic product reviewer, the Living Proof dry shampoo is among 82% of the top allergen-free products. (Source)

For peace of mind, you can contact the brand’s customer support directly or do a small test with the product first before spraying it all over your hair.

Is it alcohol-free?

No. The product contains aerosols. They can have similar effects to alcohol sprays.

Does it contain Butane and Propane?

Yes: The product’s ingredients list has Butane and Propane.

Read More: Dry shampoos that don’t contain Butane and Propane

Is the living proof dry shampoo curly girl approved?

The curly girl method does not approve of dry shampoos because of silicone. This dry shampoo does not contain any silicone and sulfates, making it safe to use as it also does not clash with the hair texture.

Is it safe for pregnancy?

There are no credible sources to suggest if this dry shampoo is pregnancy safe or not. Do your due diligence. You can check the ingredients list below and ask a doctor to advise.

Is it safe for color-treated hair?

Yes. The company mentions on its website that this dry shampoo is color-safe.

Is it gluten-free?

Yes. The company mentions it is gluten-free, and it was also independently tested by Skinsafe and confirmed to be so.

Is it vegan-friendly?

Yes. The dry shampoo from living proof does not contain any animal derivative ingredients and by-products. It is 100% vegan.

Is it cruelty-free?

Yes. 100% confirmed on the company website. Living proof products are not tested on animals, and the brand is proudly PETA-certified.

Does living proof dry shampoo have talc?

None of the ingredients mention talc or similar ingredients. However, if you want to be 100% sure, contact the manufacturer directly.

Does it cause hair loss?

Unfortunately, there are some worrying reports of hair loss reported on Sephora.

While it’s not easy to pinpoint which ingredients from the shampoo may cause this problem, experiencing hair loss with excessive dry shampoo use is nothing new.

You can read more from the Atlantic:

How dry shampoo can cause hair loss

Does living proof dry shampoo leave white residue?

No. It shouldn’t when used correctly. Wait 30 seconds to activate the powders; then, you should rake it through your hair thoroughly with your fingers or a brush to remove them. Also, shake the product before use to distribute the consistency.

Is it safe to use after a keratin treatment?

No sulfates (SLS & SLES) and no sodium chloride makes the Living Proof dry shampoo a good candidate for keratin-treated hair.

However, I recommend you do a patch test before, as it may depend on your specific keratin treatment and your hair type.

If you need a good recommendation, here’s the best dry shampoo for keratin-treated hair we recommend.

How long does it last?

If you use it every other day sparingly, the Living Proof dry shampoo can last up to a month.

If you only use it twice a week, you can stretch it up to 3 months.

It all depends on how much hair you have and how often you use it really.

But in terms of its hair protection formula and effectiveness, if you apply it once a day, it will last for the entire day without the need to reapply.

Is there any living proof dry shampoo dupes?

Here are the other high-end counterparts to the Living Proof dry shampoo I would buy if they weren’t in stock:

Where to buy living proof dry shampoo?

Living proof is not a typical drugstore dry shampoo as it retails a little higher than most average dry shampoos. You’ll only find it in places like Sephora, Nordstrom, Makeupalley, Ulta, Asos, and Amazon online.

Is The Living Proof Shampoo Worth It?

To summarise:

This is my honest review of the Living Proof dry shampoo.

No doubt a lot of science and good thinking behind this brand, but there are still too many chemicals in there for my liking.

So this is my message to Living proof: Less is more.

Please cut down on the crazy list of chemical ingredients and use clean organic alternatives instead. Your loyal fans will thank you for that!

The shampoo does a fantastic job, I agree. But customers are right to be wary of long-term side effects from ingredients they don’t have a clue about.

We want chemical-free clean beauty hair care products.