We’re so glad you’ve all been loving our Damn You, Social Media Ads review series, in which we purchase products from those ads flooding our social feeds, 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, 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.

Updated for 2024

Function of Beauty custom shampoo and conditioner review: We tried it to see if it's worth it!
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Function of Beauty: How it works

The whole idea behind Function of Beauty haircare is that it’s a totally customized shampoo and conditioner made just for you. That means it will take a little time and thought up front, including answering some questions about your hair type, thickness, structure, scalp moisture any color treatment, and hair goals in order to build a “hair profile.”

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.

How Function of Beauty helps you find the custom shampoo and conditioner just for you

They will ask you to select from a list of “hair goals” but worry if you’re like, “oh no, I haven’t thought about my hair goals!” Check off 5 of the 16  — like tame frizz, preserve color, scalp care, and protect from heat — for all you Dyson Supersonic fans out there.

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.)

Next, you select the benefits you want out of your styling products (curl definition, humidity shield, eep condition and so on) and indicate whether you prefer to avoid silicone or not. Finally, you get to choose your favorite scents, including unscented — plus how strong or light you prefer your scents. Amazing.

Originally, the website would share active ingredients to help you accomplish your goals along the way but I’m glad they eliminated that because most of us have no idea whether baobab seed protein, algae extract, or carob seed extract are just what we’ve been looking for.

Function of Beauty custom hair products - scent options, plus unscented

Then…the big reveal! (Well, shortly.)

If you were hoping to just get through a fun quiz and find out your dream hair product match then move on…no such luck. You need to enter your email (of course) to get your final reco.

But this is where they share the right formulas for you: A custom shampoo, custom conditioner, a custom leave-in conditioner if that’s right for you, and a customer styling product, like a primer, serum, or hair mask.

To make it even more fun, you can choose from 9 different colors of shampoos and conditioners, just to coordinate with your bathroom. Or differentiate from the other people in your home using Function of Beauty haircare so they don’t steal yours.

Custom shampoo review of Function of Beauty: you can even include your own name on the bottle | mompicksprod.wpengine.com

(And here, our editor Liz insists we 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 campaign in her early ad agency days. Maybe you remember it too? So it’s interesting that this is back again, only with spendier products, higher-end ingredients,a better website experience, 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.

A 16oz bottle of shampoo or conditioner will run you $27 each plus $9 shipping. Eek. Try all four products and you’re talking $104.You can save a bit ($21) ordering an 8oz size, but you can see how “supersizing it” is beneficial — to you, and to them.

If you want to “subscribe with benefits,” the price drops 20% but only for the shampoo and conditioner; other products are the same. If you do want a subscription, you can have them delivered every 1-3 months, depending on your hair length.

Function of Beauty custom shampoo + conditioner -- is it worth it?

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.

You can also add any products they didn’t recommend, including a custom hair mask, custom serum, or accessories like a gorgeous comb or an entire travel toiletry set.

Function of Beauty Pro: What’s that about?

Function of Beauty Pro at Sephora: Kind of customized hair products

Now (this post is updated for 2024) you can also find a line of Function of Beauty Pro products at Sephora that lets you skip the full customization process. You can choose products based on general hair type needs – straight, wavy, curly or coily. They start around $12, and you can also play around with the $4 Concentration Mix-Ins or “boosters” that you can add to other Function of Beauty Pro Products to customize them more; say you want to smooth frizz, define curls, or restore vibrancy to color-treated hair. (That’s what’s in the little F shaped packets.)

There’s also a line of fairly affordable Function of Beauty styling products at Target, with a fun mini-quiz on the site to help guide you through it.

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 some of these? — but my hair definitely looks healthier and less frizzy than it has in years.

I have shoulder-length hair and the 8oz shampoo and 16oz conditioner have lasted 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 cost down with the discount.

OH Pro tip: it turns out the color is more important than you might think because the bottles are clear. So choose wisely!

Function of Beauty Custom Shampoo Review: We bought, we tried, here's what we thought!

In all, 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 an alternative for salon-brand products, so if you can see spending $13 a month or so on shampoo and conditioner it’s definitely worth a shot.

Plus, it will save me the anxiety of standing cluelessly in a haircare aisle for hours.  And hey, my hair is looking fabulous.