In Morocco, where I’m from, long thick cascading curly hair is the feminine standard of beauty—and I’ve never been able to achieve it. Not while I lived there, and definitely not here in Canada. My hair is thin—“Like baby hair!” my mom has joked. I don’t like that joke. It’s also short because with all the products and blow dryers I use to breathe volume and life into it, it’s never healthy enough to grow past my shoulders. And regardless of how much I try to gently cater to my Arab curls, it’s wavy at best. I’m also convinced that the environmental factors of this country—including the harsh winters—aren’t doing me any favours.
The direct-to-consumer haircare line advertises itself as the custom haircare solution. Their “radically custom” formulations, Prose explains, couldn’t exist without you—consumers have to complete a haircare questionnaire to determine which of the brand’s 200+ ingredients suit them best.
With nine customizable products (pre-shampoo scalp mask, pre-shampoo hair mask, hair oil, shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, leave-in conditioner, curl cream, and styling gel), it’s an ingredient-centric business model that relies on your hair type and lifestyle to create your mixed-to-order haircare products. Prose is also B Corp certified, which ensures it meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Prose is also carbon-neutral.
To formulate your precise products and routine, you need to answer 25 questions related to your lifestyle and haircare routine. The questions include things like whether you’re prone to flakiness, how much of your hair is colour-treated, what types of foods you eat, how stressed you are (aren’t all writers?) and where you live (I knew it!). You’re also asked to share your hair goals—I chose volume and curl definition—and select a fragrance (there are seven options; I chose Corsica, which has notes of Anjou pear, peony and cedarwood).
Once you’re finished, you’ll get an email with a link to a list of recommended products, along with detailed instructions on how to use them. There are also links to buy, either as a one-off, or as a subscription (which comes with a savings of 15 percent plus free shipping). Most products range between $34 to $37 each.
I got started as soon as I received my box, which included a pre-shampoo scalp mask (unlike the rest of the products, it didn’t seem to come in the Corsica fragrance, but smells like eucalyptus), shampoo, conditioner and curl cream. I used the products exclusively for one week, and I’m pleased to report the results were immediate and amazing.
My hair felt nourished, healthy and soft after the first deliciously fragrant wash. I had the beginnings of well-defined curls after the first application of the curl cream, and they only got better as the week went on. Whether I washed it every day or every other day didn’t make a difference; my scalp and hair never seemed to be stripped of their natural oils. Not once has it felt stringy or dry since I started using Prose. My mid-length bob, which I thought needed a revitalizing trim, now has the volume and beautiful curls of a fresh cut.
All this to say, in my experience, Prose lives up to its social media hype. After just one week, I’m surprised to say I’m in love with how my hair looks.
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