There are some brands out there that tap into our inner-nerd a little more than most—the ones that find the perfect balance between beauty and innovation to create ultra-hardworking products. Lately Living Proof, a hair brand that combines the expertise of established stylists and biotech scientists, has been one of those lines at the top of our lists.
After working as a stylist for the last 25 years, Mitch De Rosa is far more than a hair expert—he’s a guru. In addition to being the owner of the Mitchell John Salon in Boston, De Rosa is one of the cofounders of Living Proof. We sat down with De Rosa to chat about starting a beauty company, his best hair advice, and of course, spokesperson Jennifer Aniston’s unmistakeable mane.
Where did the idea to create Living Proof come from?
I’ve owned a salon in Boston for some time so, as you can imagine, I’m well aware of women’s hair concerns. I knew that the products on the market weren’t really addressing their issues. One of our other founders happens to be a client, and when he first approached me about the idea of developing our beauty company, I was really intrigued by the idea of using scientific innovation to solve some of these longstanding issues.
How does Living Proof treat the intersection of science and style?
There is great collaboration between the science team and all of our stylists. We have labs and a test salon right in our Cambridge office, and my salon is nearby. We’re also really lucky to have Chris McMillan, who is also a salon owner with a number of celebrity and editorial clients, out in L.A., as well as Ward Stegerhoek and Tim Rogers, who work out of New York. Between our teams, we spend a lot of time bouncing ideas off one another, testing different product formulations, and looking at packaging and fragrance.
What do you think is the one thing that defines your spokesperson and co-owner, Jennifer Aniston’s, hairstyle?
She really has the kind of hair women want—easy and effortless. She doesn’t overthink it, and that’s why women like her hair. Her decision to become a co-owner was really exciting because she really speaks to our brand.
What is your favorite Living Proof product, and why?
I love Flex. It’s our new hairspray, but it’s so much more than a hairspray. You can use it on damp hair for volume and lift and on dry hair to finish. It’s really amazing. I’ve also always been a fan of Prime—it’s something I use on all of my clients. It locks your style in and keeps your hair cleaner longer. And as a stylist, it makes the hair so easy to work with.
What are your biggest hair no-no’s?
I really don’t think there are “don’ts” when it comes to hair because it’s always fun to experiment. Lately, I’ve been into bobs and shorter cuts. I think that’s a great risk to take when your hair has been long and you’re looking for a change.
You’ve been a witness to many people’s hair struggles. Is there one piece of advice that you think would help a lot of people?
Start with a really great haircut, then get yourself started on a good product regimen. I recommend the Living Proof shampoos and conditioners to all of my clients—they really help keep your hair healthy.
Hair trend you’re obsessed with right now?
Obsessed is a strong word, but I have been creating more short hair, pixie-esque looks—mostly with longer tops, often a bit disconnected, using color and texture to keep them soft and feminine.