Can Custom Made-for-You Shampoo Really Give You the Best Hair Day Ever?

published Apr 21, 2017
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(Image credit: Function of Beauty)

My hair has a life of its own. Along with being oily, limp, and color-treated, the texture is super fine—meaning it’s prone to tangling, frizzing, and generally being all over the place. I’ve rocked the bedhead look for the better part of the past decade because of this unruliness. I’ve also made the quest for the perfect shampoo and conditioner a priority for the past few years—i.e. one that provides moisture that doesn’t weigh my hair down and volume sans the unsightly frizz and fly-aways. Believe me when I say I’ve searched the market high and low for the right shampoo and conditioner combo—my own personal hair holy grail—and save for a now-discontinued line of lemongrass-infused products from overseas, my efforts have literally been in vain.

(Image credit: Function of Beauty)

You can begin to imagine why, then, I was so intrigued when I started reading about Function of Beauty. Touted as “hair care, personalized,” Function of Beauty is a set of shampoo and conditioner that is specially formulated for each customer’s unique hair type and needs. Starting with an online “hair quiz,” the Function of Beauty’s website helps you build a personal hair profile and pick out hair care goals to determine what specific ingredients to include. For me this meant identifying my naturally wavy, fine, and oily hair and requesting help in the oil control, volume, strengthening, lengthening, and color protection department. You also get to select some fun superficial details such as the fragrance (I went with “essential oils”) and color (purple for me because it neutralizes the brassiness of highlighted hair). Then, based on your responses, custom bottles of shampoo and conditioner are created—complete with your name emblazoned on the outside—and shipped straight to your door. The whole process takes about five minutes to complete and the sets start at $36 for two 8 oz. bottles.

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Step 1 of the hair quiz: identifying your hair profile. (Image credit: Function of Beauty)

Once I took the quiz, I was one step closer to *potentially* having the best hair of my life. I had high hopes that this shampoo and conditioner that was specifically formulated to my hair needs would deliver. The nearly two weeks I waited to receive the product was torturous, but hey, custom takes time, I suppose. They didn’t build Rome in a day, and I can’t get perfect hair in 24 hours either.

While I waited, I did a little more research on the haircare I’d been reading about everywhere lately. I was happy to learn that FoB’s products are sulfate-, paraben- and cruelty-free. Another plus was that they were made in the USA (specifically for me, of course), rather than in a far away land. The Function of Beauty website notes that there are over 12 billion combinations available of their products, though the idea of more shampoo/conditioner possibilities than there are people on earth seems a little bit of a hyperbole to me (as I’m no mathematician, however, I’m going to go ahead and trust their estimation).

First Impressions

(Image credit: Caroline Biggs)
Function of…Caroline. Evidently my custom hair needs involve water falls and \concrete (Image credit: Caroline Biggs)

Upon arrival, I was smitten with the unbelievably adorable packaging, right down to the teal box it was delivered in. The bottles are plastic but chic; with optional pump toppers and my name and a cute little formula logo printed on the outside. Having never owned a monogrammed beauty product before, I was immediately enchanted with the personalized details, which means that regardless of how well they actually work for my hair, they’ve at least earned a permanent spot on my bathroom counter.

Thoughts After Testing

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BEFORE. Hair issues: Oily, limp, color-treated and super fine (meaning it’s prone to tangling, frizzing and generally being all over the place). (Image credit: Caroline Biggs)

After a full week of using the FoB made-for-me shampoo and conditioner every day, I’m happy to report I have in fact noticed some improvement in my hair. For starters, my locks smell great all day—like rosemary, mint, almond and a hint of lavender—without ever being overwhelming. They also feel softer to the touch and well moisturized (which means my natural waves fall nicely sans the annoying frizz). Specially added ingredients such as tea tree oil and eucalyptus did a surprisingly good job of keeping my oily scalp in check for most of the day, and also made my mane look super shiny, too. I am, however, slightly unimpressed with the results in the volume department. Although my hair didn’t look or feel weighed down by the products, it failed to add any noticeable “oomph” after blow drying, which is a pretty big deal for me (especially if I’m spending more than $10 a bottle).

My Score Sheet

“Best Hair Ever” Results: B

Not only does my hair smell great and feel softer, it looks way less frizzy and dry. And while this didn’t provide superior volume, it definitely helped to control my oily roots (making my hair appear fuller).

Packaging: A

Everything about the packaging—from the teal box it ships in to your name imprinted on the bottle—is so thoughtful and cute. I also love that you can pick from a rainbow of colors for even more personalization.

Value: B-

While the shampoo and conditioner are definitely a step up from the average drugstore brand (both in effect and design), at $18 a bottle, I was expecting more significant results.

Final Grade: B

More effective than drugstore brands and less expensive than most high-end lines, the Function of Beauty mostly does what it promises and looks adorable while doing so. Would definitely make an A+ gift for a beauty-loving friend or family member.