I Tried Prose To Heal My Damaged Hair—Here Are The Results (2023 Review)
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Despite the good hair genes in my family (both my sisters have the coveted mermaid hair; people can never believe they aren’t wearing extensions), my hair has always been a pain point. Blame it on the box dyes I started using in middle school, or rather my obsession with looking like Rachel McAdams in The Notebook. Unfortunately, Revlon’s discounted drugstore dye did not turn my fine brown hair a natural shade of red—or any of the many other colors that followed (post-breakup dyes, anyone?). Instead, it fried and colored my strands strange shades of whatever result I was truly after. Then again, it was the early ‘00s, so I just kept dying it.
In the past decade, I’ve worked to repair my hair after all that damage from my younger years. Breaking up with box dye was a start, but healing my scalp and seeing new growth has taken a lot more. I’ve tried it all, from scalp brushes and treatments to the fanciest shampoos and serums to eating “hair superfoods” and trying out supplements. To say I’ve been desperate to find a solution, preferably something natural and affordable, is quite an understatement, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to try Prose.
Prose was founded in France in 2017. The brand’s lab is in Paris, and the team’s HQ operates in Brooklyn. If you spend any time on social media, you’ve likely seen your favorite influencers boast about Prose, or you may at least recognize the branding, which is super fun and a bit flirty. The B Corp Certified and Climate Neutral Certified brand formulates custom regimens for each customer based on an in-depth haircare survey you take on the site. Here’s how it works:
On the website, you answer a series of questions so Prose can “understand your unique hair needs and goals, lifestyle, and environment.” Questions range from age and hair type to how often you wash your hair to your daily diet and water intake. There are even questions about your location since air quality and humidity make a difference. The survey is about 30 questions and takes roughly 10 minutes.
Once you’ve submitted your results, Prose then formulates a custom haircare regimen, including products, supplements, and a suggested routine. My profile showed that my hair could benefit from nourishment, fiber repair, and a scalp detox, among other recommendations. What I really loved about this part of the process was that I got to see exactly what ingredients were in the formulas since I’ve always found it challenging to understand haircare labels and what/why certain ingredients are in there.
Prose’s formulas are safe, natural, and sustainable. The brand promises that every ingredient used is “meticulously researched by our world-class R&D team and sustainably sourced from trusted partners around the globe.” Formulas are cruelty-free and have zero parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils, or GMOs. Prose can also make specific hair products vegan, and they have silicone-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free options.
If you do prefer a fragrance, Prose lets you choose the scent for your products before checkout, which is a fun perk! I selected one that is no longer available but has a light floral scent. Again, you can choose unscented if you prefer fragrance-free or are sensitive to smells. This great personalized option makes the brand that much more special, which they are very good at.
Now, for my experience trying Prose on my very damaged hair, which the survey results kindly pointed out. I was sent a shampoo, conditioner, and two hair masks (one for the scalp and one for the ends) to use over the course of a few weeks. Costs start at $32 for shampoo, with discounted subscriptions available.
When my haircare arrived, I immediately felt seen and cared for upon opening the box. The products were carefully packaged; each bottle had a personalized label with ingredients and my name. There were also detailed instructions explaining when and how to use the masks.
Before using Prose, I alternated between a few different shampoos and conditioners from brands like Kristin Ess and other semi-affordable Target options. For this experiment, though, I decided to halt the usage of any product that wasn’t Prose so that I could get the maximum benefits from the customized formulas.
I started with the pre-shampoo scalp mask and hair mask. The custom cards with the kit gave easy-to-follow instructions about when and how to use them. (“Begin with damp hair. Part into sections…”) I was most excited about the scalp mask, which exfoliates, detoxifies, and helps balance oil. My hair can get excessively oily after only one day, so I was eager to see if this would tone that down. The hair mask, which goes on the ends, is meant to revitalize and repair for overall health, which, again, my damaged hair very much needs. I put both on and let them sit for the specified 5-15 minutes.
Next, I hopped in the shower, rinsed out the masks, and introduced my hair to the shampoo and conditioner. It’s super foamy, which I am grateful for as it makes me feel like I’m really getting my hair clean. After a rinse, towel dry, and a quick blow dry to see the results, my hair felt soft and silky. So far, so good.
For the next few weeks, I continued to use the masks as instructed and only washed with Prose, usually every two to four days, depending on the week. While my hair seemed to soak up the nutrients at first, it eventually adjusted to the formulas, and my hair didn’t feel as clean in the hours after washing it. I’ve also continued to struggle with oily hair on day two, so that hasn’t really changed.
I do notice less hair loss though, and my color has faded minimally (it usually fades a lot with other color-protecting shampoos). I also love that, with Prose, I can give feedback about the formulas and adjust them for my next order to address any concerns or changes. The process of restoring hair health is an evolving and sometimes lengthy journey, and while I think this regimen is helping, it may just take a bit longer than 30 days to restore decades’ worth of damage.
Overall, I loved my experience with Prose, from the questionnaire and certified clean ingredients lists to the personable packaging and custom natural formulas. It’s an excellent brand for anyone needing more than a standard Target shampoo for hair health, and while a bit pricier than drugstore brands, you get what you pay for. After too many years with box dye and cheap hair products, you can bet I’ll be a repeat Prose customer.
Left: before; Right: after 30 days of Prose
- Prose was founded in 2017 and is a Certified B Corp and Climate Neutral Certified.
- The brand offers custom formulas for your hair based on a survey you take on the website. All formulas are safe, natural, and sustainable. The brand promises that every ingredient used is “meticulously researched by our world-class R&D team and sustainably sourced from trusted partners around the globe.”
- Costs start at $32 for shampoo, with discounted subscriptions available.
- Customers can give feedback about their formulas and adjust them for their next order to address any concerns or changes.
Kayti Christian is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside, a newsletter for sensitive people.