Can be used before and after styling
Can use it on wet or dry hair
Results last multiple days
Results aren’t as noticeable for air-drying
Living Proof Restore Instant Protection Spray
We put Living Proof's Restore Instant Protection Spray to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
As someone who doesn’t use a lot of heat on her hair, I wasn’t sure what to think when I signed up to do a trial of Living Proof’s Restore Instant Protection spray. Could a heat protectant provide much for someone who doesn’t use irons regularly? This particular product claims not only to protect hair from direct heat application, but to protect it from indirect heat (UV rays), static, and frizz, all while giving the hair a lightweight shine. Eager to see if this could help my dull, frizzy mane, I opted to give the spray a chance.
Keep reading for my honest review of Living Proof’s Restore Instant Protection spray.
Best for: Any hair type
Uses: To prevent damage from direct and indirect heat
Potential Allergens: Fragrance
Active Ingredients: Living Proof's patented Healthy Hair Molecule; octa-fluoro pentyl methacrylate (OFPMA), a fluorinated acrylic monomer known for its ability to reduce friction at the hair’s surface
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the Brand: Living Proof was established in 2005 and set out to disrupt the beauty industry with its innovative, silicone-free hair products. Fifteen years later, the brand has received over 150 awards for its impressive products and continues to set new standards with its patented, science-backed technology.
About My Hair: Dry, dull, and prone to frizz
My hair has basically been living under a rock this year (hello 2020). It’s long, naturally wavy, and my faded color from two years ago still lingers around my ends. Overall, my hair feels a bit dull and dry. I don’t use heat on my hair too often but after moving to the mountains, my skin and hair have been very sensitive to the change in climate with each new season.
To keep my hair in decent shape, I’ll trim my hair regularly and use scalp treatments between product trials to sort of reset and refresh my strands for something new to come. When I’m experiencing any minor amount of frizz, which tends to be pretty common for me year-'round, I’ll use some sort of lightweight oil to help moisturize and tame my hair after the shower as it air dries (currently I’m using the OI All In One Milk Spray from Davines).
What intrigued me the most about the Instant Protection spray from Living Proof’s Restore line, is that it combats the heat from UV rays and it can be used both before and after heat exposure, and with or without heat exposure simply to enhance shine and shield the hair from static and frizz. It seemed like a great all-in-one product, so I was ready to give it a go. I tried this product with and without direct heat to see how it held up and also how it varied on wet and dry hair.
The Feel and Scent: Extremely lightweight and fragrant
For any aerosol spray that promises to provide shine and shields from unwanted factors, I was surprised at how lightweight this spray was. Normally a shine spray can feel a bit greasy, and an anti-humidity spray can get tacky fast. So naturally, I expected this spray to go overboard. I was pleasantly surprised at how generous I was able to be with the application of this spray. Although too much spray did give me a minor headache from the fragrance (I tend to be a little sensitive towards scented products).
The Results: Game-changing
The first time I put this Instant Protection spray to the test, I decided I would apply a little heat to my hair. I was enjoying my natural wave pattern that day and I didn’t want to mess that up much, so I decided to warm up my 32mm Triple Barrel Pro Waving Iron from Mermade Hair. While the iron warmed up, I sprayed a generous amount of product around the surface of my hair before flipping my hair around and lifting sections to target frizzier areas. Once the iron was warm, I did a very, very small touch up to my top layer near the roots where my natural waves were falling flat. I spent maybe 3 to 5 minutes using the iron, then I shook it out a bit and sprayed again.
After using this product, there was an instantaneous shift in how healthy and shiny my hair looked.
And it was a believable, healthy hair kind of shine, not like an overdose of shine spray that light bounces off of. My hair remained smooth and calm for the following two days, up until it was time to wash my hair again.
Given how low-frills I like to be with my personal hair routine, I have to say I will definitely be repeating this style because it was such a small effort that went a long way, still looked natural, and I did it knowing my hair was protected all the while. Overall, I was impressed. It was long-lasting, and though I was generous with its application, I didn’t need to reapply in the days to follow.
I also tried this spray when my hair was partially wet, without any applied heat, and while it did help calm my hair a bit from frizzing up while air drying outdoors, it didn’t eliminate my frizz. I think I’d prefer to stick with an oil or something less fragrant to tame my strands sans heat styling because oils also tend to help my waves come through a bit more. However, if I ever do style my hair, I can tell you I won’t ever do it again without using Living Proof’s Instant Protection.
Ingredients: A giant leap for industry standards
This product was made free of silicones, phthalates, formaldehyde, parabens and is PETA-certified cruelty-free, which is a huge step forward for any hair styling product. It's also considered clean by Brydie's standards and is made of recyclable materials, which is another major detail considering how much waste the beauty industry produces globally each year.
The Science: Living proof of healthy hair
Living Proof takes stride in its patented Healthy Hair Molecule as its proprietary ingredient for all products. This science-backed discovery of (OFPMA) octa-fluoro pentyl methacrylate, is a fluorinated acrylic monomer known for its ability to reduce friction at the hair’s surface thus smoothing the strands, locking in moisture, and preventing heat penetration which typically leads to damage. Where other product companies use cornstarch to “absorb oils” or silicones for “added shine”, these ingredients attract dirt and create a grimy feel to the hair fast.
Living Proof’s healthy hair molecule actually repels dirt from the hair.
The Value: Unbeatable
This product falls in line with the average cost of an aerosol heat protectant of its size. At around $30, to have a product that’s not only effective, but long-lasting, free of harmful ingredients, and made of recyclable materials is a total steal. If you’re using this product generously every day, I can see how it’d drain your wallet fast, but I think the value you’re getting from this formulation is simply unbeatable and worth every penny to uphold the best quality care for your hair.
Similar Products: You have options
OI All In One Milk Spray ($35): Before testing this heat protectant from Living Proof, I had fallen in love with this OI All In One Milk Spray from Davines. I spray it on my strands after showering and let my hair air dry. This spray helps detangle and soften my hair while also reducing frizz. The conditioning properties enhance my naturally wavy texture, which I love, and the anti-frizz properties give it a little boost of shine to combat any dull, matte-looking effect my hair may have now that it’s winter. The added perk to this product, as if I needed another one, is that it’s a heat protectant.
The product’s name speaks for itself—and the results are living proof (pun intended). You can have beautiful, healthy, protected hair as a result of using this spray. Regardless of your hair routine, you want to have the Living Proof Restore Instant Protection spray in your arsenal.
- Product Name Restore Instant Protection Spray
- Product Brand Living Proof
- UPC 815305020741
- Price $29
- Weight 5.5 oz.
- Product Dimensions 2 x 2 x 7 in.
- Scent Citrus
- Ingredients Alcohol Denat., Hydrofluorocarbon 152a, Water/Eau/Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Octafluoropentyl Methacrylate (OFPMA), Polyglyceryl-10, Pentaoleate, Panthenyl, Ethyl Ether, Linoleamidopropyl, Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, PPG-5, Ceteth-20, Panthenol, Fragrance/Parfum, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol.