I heat style my hair way more often than I care to admit. I actually find my air-dry routine way more high maintenance—whereas I’ve mastered the quick, bouncy blowout and can be out the door in 20 minutes max. Of course, I’m loyal to my heat protectant, and I invest in high-quality tools that prevent excessive heat damage, but at the end of the day, heat simply harms your hair. I know this—and so do my dry, brittle ends.
However, I recently discovered Living Proof’s Triple Bond Complex (TBC), and it literally resuscitated my stands—better yet, it works with my hot tools to immediately strengthen and protect my hair from damage.
What makes this hair treatment so great?
Chemistry hats on: Many repairing treatments can help reconstruct broken hair bonds (damaged from heat styling, chemical processing, and other physical stressors), but each strand is actually made up of three different types of bonds: hydrogen, ionic, and covalent. While plenty of products address hydrogen and ionic bonds (which are weaker and more easily broken), very few can repair covalent bonds, which are the strongest bonds in the hair. “Usually, they can only be formed with careful chemistry design and specific reaction conditions,” Ivy Ji, Living Proof’s director of research and measurement, tells mbg.
Enter, Living Proof’s patented 3D Fortifying Technology. It involves a thermo-reactive process (a fancy phrase meaning it gets activated by heat) that creates new hydrogen, ionic, and covalent bonds, thus strengthening the hair structure and rebuilding strands from the inside out. Translation? Your hair will look and feel literally brand-new. The brand even conducted clinical trials and found that bleached hair treated with TBC had a decreased number of broken hair fibers—so much so, in fact, that the bleached strands behaved similarly to virgin hair.
In addition to this patented technology, you’ll find a blend of lipids and peptides to nourish and protect the strands, a biomimetic emollient blend to align and soften the hair fibers, and a cuticle sealing agent to smooth down the surface of hair, resulting in less frizz and more shine. And like all Living Proof products, the scent is sublime.
In terms of application, you really only need to use a little bit of product (just two pumps for your whole mane) once a week to see the benefits. Again, the treatment creates covalent bonds in the hair, which are the strongest of the bunch and cannot be broken by water or shampoo. So even if you wash your hair multiple times a week, “your results won’t wash down the drain,” Ji says.
But let’s discuss the thermo-reactive process, shall we? Yes, this treatment requires heat to activate the 3D fortifying technology and create energy to form those permanent covalent bonds, but you don’t need to completely blast your strands for it to work. Any temperature above 140°F will do, which you can easily achieve with a low-heat blow dry or diffuse. “Adding just a little bit of heat will actually give you the best experience and results,” celebrity hairstylist and Living Proof ambassador Jenna Perry tells mbg.
For those like myself who are partial to at-home blowouts, this technology can take some of the fear away from regular heat styling since it harnesses the power of heat to actually repair damage. Plus, TBC serves as a heat protectant up to 450°F (although, you’ll still want to keep another thermal protectant on hand since you only need to use TBC once a week).
Triple Bond Complex promises stronger, softer, smoother hair after just one use—and I can personally vouch for this claim. After raking two pumps of product through my strands and letting it soak in for 10 minutes, I immediately noticed how much smoother and shinier my strands looked post-blowout. Thanks to the cuticle-sealing agent, my blowout also looked way less poofy and susceptible to frizz, even days after styling (amid an NYC heat wave, this was a very impressive feat).
I also love how seamlessly the treatment fits into my wash-day routine: I can shampoo and condition as I normally do (maybe apply a deep conditioning mask, if my strands are screaming for moisture), then apply the product to my freshly washed tresses. Many other bond-building products are much more high maintenance, requiring you to dampen your locks before applying, hop out of the shower to let the formula marinate, then rinse thoroughly before starting your shampoo. You can apply TBC just like any other leave-in product; all you need to do is let it soak on your strands for at least 10 minutes before activating it with heat.
I’ve been testing the Triple Bond Complex for about a month now, and I fall more in love with each use. My blowouts immediately look smoother, my strands feel stronger, and even my air-dried strands have a more noticeable shine. It’s a smallish bottle (1.5 ounces), but a little goes a very long way, and you only need to use it once a week, so it should last you a long while. I know when I do finally reach the final drop, I’ll be restocking straight away.