Function of Beauty is a new company specializing in personalized shampoo and conditioner, customized to your hair type, goals, and tastes. We now have customized prescription skincare and customized K-beauty boxes, so why not haircare? When Function of Beauty offered us a complimentary set to try, I excitedly agreed to give it a go.
The premise is simple: describe your hair type and pick the qualities you seek in a shampoo and conditioner (effects, scent, and color), and in a few days, receive the bottles in the mail.
As far as personalized beauty products go, Function of Beauty is a steal. $26 for a custom shampoo & conditioner set (8 oz. ea.) with free U.S. shipping? Yes please! Jan. 2018 Update: It’s now $36 for a set. Definitely a splurge, but we’d still repurchase.
This review’s rather long (a lot of photos!), so here’s a table of contents and TL;DR up front:
Pros: Sooo many ways to customize! Brilliant for gifts. Successfully addressed competing goals–volume and moisture–and I’ve been regularly reaching for Function of Beauty over my store-bought stuff ever since I got them almost 3 months ago. If your formulas don’t work for you, Function of Beauty will reformulate them.
Cons: Inherently YMMV. Superficially, the colors were dull, and the printing on one bottle a little fuzzy. Nov. 2016 Update: FoB has revamped the colors to be brighter, more saturated, and include PURPLE. And the printing on subsequent orders has been fine. The most common complaint I’ve seen is that the formulas were too heavy or left a residue; in my case, I liked the heavier conditioner because it defined my layered ends well, but the complaints are reminders that YMMV.
Function of Beauty: Personalization and Ordering Process
So FoB (unfortunate abbreviation) claims that millions of combinations are possible. Luckily, from the customer’s perspective, the choices are few and simple at each step. There are only three screens to get through.
Step 1: Hair Profile
My starting point: hair that’s straight, healthy, long, and air-dried 95% of the time. But I get some flyaways around the crown without a little silicone serum or hair oil. I’m also using a curling iron 2-3x/week on the ends to hide a bad haircut of choppy, uneven layers.
Step 2: Hair Goals
This was my favorite part and what makes FoB special: you can pick up to FIVE hair goals. Store-bought haircare often has only one goal in mind: volume, moisture, damage repair, etc. I usually pair a volumizing shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner because volumizing conditioners are too lightweight.
With FoB though, I can pick volumizing and moisturizing goals. Like a greedy Scrooge, I picked 5 goals even though, before seeing this questionnaire, I couldn’t have named even 2 hair goals (because obviously my only goal is to have Selena Gomez hair).
When you click on a goal, you can see how FoB defines it and which “active” ingredients would be added to the formula. How cool is it that “lengthen” is defined as stimulating the anagen growth phase? Definitely unusual!
Don’t worry about the essential oils btw. The final product will be scented with a fragrance of your choice, and I didn’t detect any whiff of the essential oils.
One potential pitfall of the multiple goals is that some can conflict with others, resulting in a formula that’s, well, less than the sum of its parts. I definitely had some apprehension about how FoB would handle that: many of my goals involved oil ingredients yet the formula needed to leave my hair light enough to have volume.
Step 3: The Superficial Stuff (Name, Color, Scent)
For the name, “Beauty&Cat” came in just under the character limits. For color, I picked green shampoo because I liked the idea of using green goo. Yeah, I’m weird. And then blue conditioner just for something different. Finally, for fragrance, I played it safe with grapefruit hibiscus. Update: FoB now offers more colors and more scents. We’ve tried the “new” purple, pink, orange, and green now. They’re gorgeous except for the green, which looks only slightly brighter than it looks in this post. We’ve also opted for “medium” strength scent, which makes for some nice aromatherapy without following you outside the shower.
Step 4: Size
The shampoo and conditioner are offered individually and in sets with varying sizes for each–so clever because I always run out of conditioner long before shampoo.
Confirmation and Shipping Time
I ordered my set on April 28th and it shipped 8 days later. Way ahead of schedule based on what my order confirmation said–A-OK with me!
Function of Beauty Shampoo & Conditioner Review
I was pretty psyched to get my custom shampoo & conditioner. My only (very slight) disappointments were in the colors and the print quality on one bottle. The colors were duller than expected, more like dusty yellow-green and dusty blue. And the text on my conditioner was pixelated. Update: The colors are now brighter and richer looking. Just check out FoB’s Instagram! And the printing has been sharp on subsequent orders.
But most importantly, the actual products were great! Consistency, scent, sudsiness…they were indistinguishable from the store-bought stuff. This is no amateur formula that separates or fails to lather. Mmmmm…and the grapefruit hibiscus fragrance (more hibiscus than grapefruit to my nose) was yummy and elegant at the same time. Nov. 2016 Update: We are not a fan of the sandalwood scent. And the essential-oil scent smells a bit of eucalyptus.
Well I’m very
lazy low maintenance. My overall goal: long, full, straight hair that falls into place with just air-drying and no styling products.
Goal achieved! After air drying, I was happy to see that my ends lay flat and even curved under very slightly, helping disguise the bad layered cut I got around Christmas.
Compared to my previous favorite–the sakura version of the Honeyce set reviewed by Renee–FoB isn’t Head & Shoulders above it, but it is better. The Honeyce also leaves my ends straight–but a little fluffier and less defined than FoB. FoB is just a little heavier and so defines strands better. Despite regular use, the heavier formula hasn’t caused buildup or lankiness.
Function of Beauty Sample Ingredients
Just as an example, here are the ingredients for my personalized shampoo and conditioner. Yours will differ.
To sum up, Function of Beauty is worth a try. As someone who used to mix volumizing shampoos with moisturizing conditioners, I was pleasantly surprised that FoB managed to do both successfully. I’d definitely spend my own $$$ to repurchase once these run out.
Jan. 2018 Update: After multiple orders, Renee and I both LOVE and have re-ordered from Function of Beauty and have also gifted it to several friends who loved their formulas.