Easy mane-tenance

American actress Jennifer Aniston.

Jennifer Aniston remembers the first time she was convinced that the products by Living Proof, the haircare brand she has co-owned since 2012, truly worked.

"As with all women, I was always searching for that perfect product that would make my hair easy to manage.

"After I met the founders of the brand, I said, 'Let me try the products for three months to see if they live up to their claims'," says the 45-year-old American actress in an exclusive phone interview with Urban from Los Angeles.

She took some of the products - the Restore Mask Treatment ($36) and the No Frizz range - to North Carolina, where she was filming the comedy, We're The Millers, amid high humidity levels.

In the film, Aniston sported a bobbed brunette wig.

"At first, the woman who washed my wig at night didn't use Living Proof. So I would go to work in the morning with my hair perfectly smooth because I used the products, while the wig piece was so frizzy, it looked like pubic hair," she quips.

"Then I had her use Living Proof on the wig, and everything was fine. The proof is in the pudding."

Based in Massachusetts, Living Proof is one of the most technologically advanced haircare brands around. Two of the brand's co-founders, Dr Robert Langer and Dr Daniel Anderson, are professors at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they specialise in areas such as tissue engineering and nanoparticle drug delivery systems.

The Satin Hair Serum, No Frizz products and Full Thickening Mousse have picked up numerous awards, including the prestigious Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough Award in 2008 for the entire No Frizz line.

Shortly after she came on board Living Proof, Aniston roped in her hairstylist Chris McMillan - creator of the popular "Rachel" cut of the 1990s - to work with her on the brand's product development.

Together, the duo came up with one of the brand's best-selling products, the Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment ($36).

"Chris always tries to combine different products together to achieve one look. He would put a serum into a paste, then push them through my hair, put a little root lift through my roots.

"And I said, wouldn't it be great if one product could smoothen, volumise, defrizz, shine and condition at the same time?

"Whenever we have an idea, we would call these wonderful people from MIT and say, let's figure out the perfect curl or the fix to damaged hair. It's nice having access to that."

The Perfect Hair Day Shampoo and Conditioner ($32 each) are now available in Sephora stores.

To get her hair ready on off-duty days, Aniston says she has a pretty fuss-free routine. In fact, it takes about 30 seconds to throw it into a ponytail, she says.

"But if I'm going out and washing it, it will take around 20 minutes. I'll mix the Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment with the Amp Instant Texture Volumizer and work it through my hair. Then I'll give my locks a blow-dry while running my fingers through it.

"I like my hair to be loose and natural. "

For red carpet events, she shies away from updos like the French twist.

"It's too serious and I don't look good serious. I always think it is really important to have the hairstyle go against the dress. The way bedhead, messy hair contradicts the structure of a formal gown is awesome."

Calling herself "a long-haired-girl at heart" - until she was 13, Aniston wore her hair so long she could sit on it.

She only trims her hair every eight weeks.

"I try to cut it as little as possible. So it's just like filing your nails to get rid of the edges and split ends."

Born a brunette, what she cannot do without though, are her blonde streaks.

"It's like they say, once you start highlighting, you can't go back."

And despite the fact that the "Rachel" cut - long layers that framed her face perfectly - made her locks famous, Aniston says it is her least favourite hairstyle.

That is because in reality, the sleek look required plenty of maintenance.

"It was so hard to maintain. It was like, unless you were a wizard with a round hairbrush, you were left with a big mess.

"I like no-fuss hair so I can do it. Otherwise, you're held prisoner by your hairdresser and the only way you can look half decent is to have him do it."

She is also puzzled by all the attention given to her hair.

"I do not obsess over my hair. That's why I've always felt it was so funny and odd, considering that my hair is always so thick, frizzy and unmanageable, that it would be the envy of anybody."

But the one thing nobody can deny is how good she looks at her age.

When pressed for her beauty secrets, Aniston, who is engaged to American actor Justin Theroux, says: "I exercise five days a week, eat five healthy meals a day - three big ones and two snack meals - and drink loads of water.

"Sleep is also very important to me. I meditate once in the morning and once in the afternoon to help me keep a positive outlook on life."


This article was first published on Aug 15, 2014. Get a copy of Urban, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.