We’re so glad you’ve all been loving our Damn You, Facebook Ads article series, in which we purchase products from those ads we see over and over, then test them out just for you. Today, we’ve got the honest scoop on Function of Beauty custom haircare products.
As that harried mom you see in the aisles of Target or CVS, I tend to be completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of hair care products in the shampoo aisle. My M.O. is to grab something cheap and fast so I can move onto the fun stuff. (Hello seasonal candy!)
But I couldn’t turn my back on this custom shampoo concept product that keeps popping up in my Facebook feed.
Function of Beauty: How it works
The whole idea behind the Function of Beauty haircare is that it’s a totally customized shampoo and conditioner. That means it will take a little time and thought up front, including answering some questions about your hair type, structure, moisture and hair goals in order to build a “hair profile.”
Don’t worry if you’re like, “oh no, I haven’t thought about my hair goals!” You only have to select 5 from a list of 17 choices.
This part of the process was actually pretty interesting to me, because “clean hair” wasn’t a choice – and isn’t that why you use shampoo? (Yes, I’m that basic.)
As you select each goal, the website will indicate the active ingredients that help you accomplish it. Now I have no idea whether baobab seed protein, algae extract, and carob seed extract are real hair ingredient things, but they sound like serious business.
Finally, you get to customize your formulas which sounds scientific, but know that it’s basically just choosing color (a including dye-free option), and fragrance type and strength.
You can even choose the name you put on the bottles up to 10 characters. I suggest going with something fun here, like “Rapunzel” only because “Hands off Mom’s expensive shampoo” is too long.
(And here, our editor Liz wants to point out that P&G pioneered this very same customized beauty product process with Reflect.com during the first dot-com boom, which she remembers because she was the creative director on the ad campaign. Maybe you remember it too? So it’s interesting that this is back again, only with spendier products, higher-end ingredients, and way nicer packaging.)
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Function of Beauty: The cost
The final step in your process is choosing the size and frequency of the bottles you get, because of course they’d rather hook you up with a subscription than just selling you a single bottle.
I ordered the “just once” option for an 8oz shampoo and 16oz conditioner which seemed like a good trial option for me — although the grand total was $42. Yikes.
The two products start at $36 for 8oz bottles, or you can save a bit per ounce if you want to take the plunge and get a $30 16oz bottle of shampoo or conditioner. And there are more savings — 10% off — if you opt to get new products every month, or every two or three months depending on your hair length.
Fortunately, Function of Beauty does offer free shipping and returns, which at least for me, softens a bit of the anxiety over buying a $42 haircare system.
Function of Beauty: The final verdict
Shockingly, I am in love with this stuff. Like, really in love.
It smells crazy good and mine came in a lovely shade of purple. I have no idea if it’s actually accomplishing all of the goals I selected — like, how do you judge anti-aging properties? — but my hair definitely looks healthier and less frizzy than it has in years.
Also, it turns out the color is more important than you might think because the bottles are clear. So choose wisely! (The Function of Beauty Instagram feed has a bunch of examples like the pretty blue, below.)
I have shoulder-length hair and the 8oz shampoo and 16oz conditioner have lasted me nearly three months. So when I reorder, and yes I will be reordering, I will probably select the once-every-3-months subscription (though they recommend that one for short hair).
That should be plenty and will bring my total down to $38 with the 10% discount.
Even so, this is not a product for people who tend to spend $4.50 for a 28oz bottle of shampoo on the drugstore shelf. It’s more for those who tend to buy salon brand products and can see spending $13 a month or so on shampoo and conditioner.
Plus, it will save me the anxiety of standing cluelessly in the haircare aisle at Target for hours. And hey, my hair is looking fabulous. – Lisa, CMP staffer and new Function of Beauty Fan
If you’ve got a product you’ve seen advertised or promoted everywhere and you’re curious about it, let us know and we might try it! Email email@example.com.
I also love Function of Beauty, but stopped ordering because of the wasteful and non-recycleable packaging: pumps included with every order, heavily waxed boxes. It’s very disappointing that a company in 2018 does not consider sustainability.
You can actually opt out of receiving pumps now! I don’t know about the packaging of the boxes, but I do know that the bottles are 100% recyclable too. They don’t have an official recycling program, however, because sending the bottles back to be refilled would actually leave a bigger carbon footprint than just recycling them at home.