By  on April 10, 2009

Despite the hurting economy, the hair care category has seen an explosion of innovation. And women are responding, showing themselves willing to spend when new technologies emerge to improve existing categories.

One of the biggest success stories in prestige hair care is Living Proof, a company backed by venture capitalists that taps the knowledge of professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to address some of beauty’s biggest challenges. Its fi rst line, No Frizz, approaches fighting frizz from an engineering perspective rather than a beauty perspective. “We weren’t impeded by preconceived notions of what could work in the beauty industry and what couldn’t,” says Dr. Robert S. Langer, founder and scientific adviser for Living Proof, who is also one of 13 Institute Professors at MIT. “All we really knew was that we didn’t want [to use] silicones because they have great limitations and, in our estimation, weren’t real solutions. We were particularly inspired by looking at medical devices and some of our specific polymer science because they naturally delivered the benefits we needed to solve the problem of frizz once and for all.” Rather than silicones, No Frizz uses a polyfluoroester, which the firm says is more efficacious because it is a smaller molecule than the traditional materials used for frizz control. “Due to its small size, it creates a weightless shield on the hair to prevent moisture flux in and out, and it coats the cuticles to reduce the friction between fibers,” Langer says.

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