For the first three decades of my life, I concealed the fact that I had curly hair. It took the persistence of a beauty editor at my previous job to convince me that, with the right products, I could come to adore my natural curls.
However, the daunting task of finding these elusive “right” products stood as a significant obstacle. Hair, like eating patterns, sleep habits, and exercise routines, is deeply personal. What works wonderfully for one person may not yield the same results for another. Reading countless online reviews could only take me so far; I needed to get hands-on experience with products tailored to my unique hair needs.
That’s precisely why I eagerly seized the opportunity to review Prose, a personalized hair care regimen that had been flooding my social media feeds. Here’s a glimpse into my experience with it.
Personalization to the Core
When the Prose team claims their system is personalized, they mean it. The initial step in crafting your hair care routine involves completing a thorough 30-question survey. This survey delves into various aspects, including age, hair type, length, texture, oiliness, dryness, flaking, styling habits, diet, shedding, and even your zip code to factor in environmental stressors on your hair.
Despite the seemingly extensive questionnaire, filling it out is a breeze, taking only a few minutes. It allows you to express your preferences, even down to fragrances. Personally, I aimed to reduce frizz, boost moisture, and, like a perpetual goal, define my curls better. Additionally, I often experience an itchy scalp, so I wanted products that wouldn’t exacerbate this irritation.
A Customized Product Lineup
Once you’ve shared your information, Prose’s algorithm curates a selection of personalized products. This lineup typically includes shampoo, conditioner, pre-poo masks, treatments, as well as various styling creams, gels, and oils tailored to your specific hair type and preferences.
In my case, I decided to stick with the basics: shampoo, conditioner, and curl cream, as I wanted to gauge how these essentials would perform for my hair.
The Shampoo Experience
I typically shampoo my hair about once a week, so this Prose product saw the least use in my regimen. Initially, I raised an eyebrow as a health journalist when I noticed that my shampoo included CBD, a component that is often both under-studied and overhyped. However, ingredients like hyaluronic acid and collagen seemed like sensible additions for smoothing and improving hair health.
What I love about this shampoo is how effectively it removes product buildup from my hair and scalp without leaving my strands feeling overly stripped. There’s no undesirable “squeaky-clean” sensation that can be detrimental to moisturized curls. A sustainability-conscious touch: Prose provided me with pumps for each bottle in my initial order, encouraging reuse in future orders.
My custom conditioner is enriched with argan and jojoba oils, imparting a silky, nourishing texture. Unlike some thick drugstore curly conditioners, this one doesn’t weigh down my hair. I also noticed that I could use a significantly smaller amount compared to my usual conditioner while achieving the same silky feel. The instructions to leave it on for at least three minutes added a delightful touch to my showers, transforming them into moments of self-care.
Additionally, my conditioner boasts the best fragrance of the three products I selected. I opted for the “floral and summery” Oasis fragrance, and the jasmine and white peach notes in the conditioner were particularly delightful. For those with sensitive scalps or noses, fragrance-free options are available.
Curl Cream Magic
Loaded with curl-defining polymers and nourishing oils, my curl cream required a bit of trial and error before I nailed down the ideal application. In an effort to maximize the use of this moderately sized bottle, I initially didn’t want to waste any pumps. However, I eventually found that about three pumps were perfect for adequately coating my curls. I discovered that applying it in the shower with soaking wet hair yielded the best results.
One of my main pet peeves with curl creams is when they leave a residue on your hands if you touch your hair. With Prose’s curl cream, this wasn’t an issue, which was particularly important considering my curls were softer and bouncier, making me want to touch them constantly!
The Transformation Process
Like any habit, it took around two weeks to notice substantial changes. However, once I began to see promising results from my Prose routine, I was genuinely excited. My curls became increasingly defined with each use (remember, I only shampoo once or twice a week), and I began to understand how the curl cream worked best for my hair. By the third week, I was having fantastic curl days, leading me to take an embarrassing number of selfies.
Despite facing the oppressive humidity of New England in July and August, my curls experienced less frizz than usual. They were more defined, softer, and touchable, indicating that the moisturizing ingredients were doing their job. Additionally, I found myself less frequently battling the urge to scratch my scalp during Zoom meetings.
Around this time, I received a friendly email from Prose inquiring about my experience and offering me the chance to personalize my products further through their Review and Refine process.
This survey encouraged me to reflect on the improvements or lack thereof in the issues I had initially reported. It promised that if I chose to order again, I would receive a slightly adjusted formulation to better address my concerns. I greatly appreciated this opportunity to provide feedback in the hopes of getting even more of what I liked from these products – a level of customization that is impossible to achieve with off-the-shelf brands.
As I continued refining my part of the process, I incorporated a few spritzes of my favorite non-Prose product, the DevaCurl Defining Spray Gel, for less frizz and longer-lasting hold. Surprisingly, my curls stayed soft and well-defined even on the second day after styling, a feat I often struggled to achieve with other products.
By the 30-day mark, I was sold. Despite initially thinking that the bottles appeared small, I still had one-third of my curl cream, half a bottle of conditioner, and nearly three-quarters of my shampoo left. However, I’m eager to re-order, and I’m even contemplating splurging on the Custom Hair Oil.
Of course, everyone’s hair is unique, and I can’t guarantee that you’ll achieve the same results I did. Additionally, I can’t speak to the outcomes for those seeking thicker, fuller hair or those opting for Prose’s hair growth supplements, as they aren’t my preference.
Nevertheless, if you share my curiosity about what all the Prose buzz is about and have some flexibility in your budget, I believe that Prose is worth experimenting with for at least 30 days.
Regarding the budget aspect, cost is one of the primary downsides you might come across in the occasional negative review of Prose, especially considering the size of the bottles. In my case, the price of the curl cream was comparable to the mousse I had previously used, making it a reasonable addition to my hair care expenses. However, for those seeking savings, the subscription option offers a 15% discount.