Are Function of Beauty's Custom Haircare Products Really That Special? Read Our Review

The formulas you receive are created to complement your exact hair type.

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Woman washing her hair in shower

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It isn't uncommon for hair products to cater to certain hair types and textures. You can easily find a shampoo that claims to make your hair thicker or a conditioner that promises to make your curls bouncier. Unfortunately, finding a hair product that actually does what it says on the label is no easy task. Instead of making a universal formulation that caters to the masses, Function of Beauty, a popular haircare brand and service, customizes its products according to each customer's hair.

If you've been on an ongoing hunt for the perfect shampoo, it might be worth taking a peek at Function of Beauty. The brand has a well-established reputation in the beauty industry, and it isn't just because it's fun to personalize the name and color of your hair products. For anyone who takes pride in haircare, the main appeal of Function of Beauty is that the product formulas are all custom-made for a variety of hair types and textures.

Custom haircare, especially of Function of Beauty's caliber, is a big investment. From the customization options to the types of products and ingredients in them, there's a lot to consider before deciding if Function of Beauty is right for you. Luckily we're here to explain everything there is to know about the brand so you know exactly what to expect.

Key Specs

  • Price range: $21–$29
  • Free shipping? Yes
  • Delivery frequency: Monthly, bimonthly, quarterly
  • Subscription discount: 20 percent off first order of shampoo and conditioner
  • Vegan? Yes
  • Products: Shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, co-wash, hair serum, hair mask, styling primer, purple hair mask, purple shampoo, purple conditioner
  • Ideal for: All hair types

Pros & Cons


  • Highly concentrated formulas ensure you don't use a lot of product
  • Noticeable results within first few washes
  • All ingredients are dermatologist- and toxicologist-tested
  • Option to make your products dye-free, fragrance-free, and silicone-free
  • Can customize the color and name of your formula
  • Bottles and packaging are 100 percent recyclable, and pumps are optional


  • Some people may find the scents too artificial smelling
  • Formulas can only be adjusted manually
  • Quiz skips over many specifics, like hair loss and sensitivity to humidity

What You Should Know About Function of Beauty

Since its launch in 2015, the company has been formulating products that are scientifically proven to work on each of its customer's hair types. To accomplish this, Function of Beauty's formulas use both natural and synthetic ingredients but never any parabens or sulfates. All ingredients meet strict toxicology and cosmetic standards and are always vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. The products themselves also come in 100 percent recyclable bottles with reusable pumps.

There are currently two ways to get your hands on a Function of Beauty product. You can either visit the haircare aisle at a participating Target, or for maximum customization, go through the Function of Beauty website. There, you'll be prompted to take a quiz that will ask different questions about your hair type, routine, and goals. 

This quiz will determine not only which products will work best on your hair but also the ingredients and their precise dosage. You'll also be able to pick out your own scent (or go fragrance-free), select the color of your formulation, and give it a name. Before your products get made, you'll first get to see the ingredients they contain, and if applicable, opt to exclude silicones.

The most cost-effective purchasing option is Function of Benefits, Function of Beauty's subscription service. The customization process is still the same, but instead of purchasing each product individually, Function of Benefits allows you to set up monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly deliveries with free shipping. In addition to 20 percent off your first order of shampoo and conditioner, subscribers also have more color and fragrance options and get first dibs on new products.

Since all Function of Beauty products are made-to-order, that unfortunately means they're nonrefundable. But whether you subscribe or make a one-time purchase, you'll be covered by the company's satisfaction guarantee, which promises to reformulate any products for free if you're not happy with them. Just be sure to reach out within 30 days of ordering to qualify.

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Function of Beauty

Who Is Function of Beauty Best For?

Technically anyone can benefit from Function of Beauty because it caters to many different hair types and textures. However, people who are picky about the ingredients in their hair products and haven't had a ton of luck with all-natural or "clean" ones will likely get the most out of the service. 

Function of Beauty prioritizes natural ingredients in formulas whenever possible, but it also heavily relies on lab-made ones when proven to be more effective for a given hair type. Any ingredients that aren't natural are tested for quality and safety, making the brand ideal for customers who don't want to use any toxic or unnecessary chemicals on their hair.

Function of Beauty Products


Though the formula will ultimately be customized to your hair, every Function of Beauty shampoo starts off with a base of glycerin, quinoa protein, and provitamin B5. Combined, these ingredients contribute moisture and strength to every hair texture. After you take your customization quiz, other ingredients will be added, such as blue-green algae to promote hair growth, rosebay extract for dandruff, and beetroot extract to protect against split ends. Silicones are also standard in the shampoo; however, you can request that your formula be made with a natural alternative for the same price. The custom shampoo comes in two sizes—eight and 16 ounces—and if you subscribe, you'll get a one-time discount of 20 percent off the larger bottle.

Hair Serum

Function of Beauty's custom hair serum relies primarily on annatto, sunflower seed, argan, and jojoba oil to make your hair soft, smooth, and shiny. Though most hair serums are designed for drier, frizzier hair, Function of Beauty's can be used on all hair types since each formula can be customized. Additionally, the hair serum isn't designed to be put on the scalp but rather the lengths of your hair. You may end up getting matched with the hair serum after taking the quiz if you mentioned that you straighten or curl your hair often because the product can also be used as a heat protectant, which is perfect for southern humidity.

Purple Hair Mask

Usually paired with purple shampoo and purple conditioner, Function of Beauty's custom purple hair mask is designed specifically for natural or artificial blonde, silver, and brassy hair. The purple pigments neutralize any oranges or yellows on your hair, while moisturizing agents, including shea butter, molasses, and argan oil, nourish it. The longer you leave it on, the more protection you'll get from chemical dyes, heated styling tools, sun, and chlorine, providing you peace of mind during your beach trips or pool days. If your hair color doesn't need toning, Function of Beauty also offers a similar custom hair mask that is just as hydrating and protective but without the purple pigment.


If you have curly or coily hair, your custom haircare products will most likely include co-wash. Function of Beauty's co-wash is similar to a shampoo in that it cleanses your hair and scalp, but much like conditioner, it also hydrates and conditions it. Because of its moisturizing properties, you might also be recommended the custom co-wash if your hair is color-treated. The base of every co-wash is Jamaican black castor seed oil, aloe juice, and avocado oil, but because there are many types of curls, coils, and waves, the exact dosage and any other additives will depend on your hair quiz responses. 

Leave-In Conditioner

Ideal for those with low porosity hair, Function of Beauty's custom leave-in conditioner helps keep your hair hydrated well after you step out of the shower. To ensure it won't weigh down your hair in the process, the primary source of hydration in your formula is a combination of avocado and argan oil, along with coffee seed extract to improve your hair's elasticity. The product can be used on either wet, dry, or damp hair, and also doubles as a detangler. Note that upon ordering the leave-in conditioner, you'll be unable to customize the color and fragrance like with Function of Beauty's other products, as it'll automatically be made dye-free and scented with the nude peach fragrance.

Function of Beauty


  • Shampoo: $21 for 8 oz. bottle; $27 for 16 oz. bottle
  • Conditioner: $21 for 8 oz. bottle; $27 for 16 oz. bottle
  • Co-wash: $20 for 8 oz. bottle; $30 for 16 oz. bottle
  • Leave-in conditioner: $24 for 8 oz. bottle
  • Hair mask: $24 for 7.5 oz. tub
  • Hair serum: $29 for 3 oz. bottle
  • Styling primer: $29 for 6 oz. bottle
  • Purple shampoo: $21 for 8 oz. bottle; $27 for 16 oz. bottle
  • Purple conditioner: $21 for 8 oz. bottle; $27 for 16 oz. bottle
  • Purple hair mask: $24 for 7.5 oz tub
  • One-time 20 percent discount on shampoo and conditioner for first-time subscribers (16 oz. bottles only)

Function of Beauty Reviews

The majority of people who have tried Function of Beauty have positive things to say about it, with many praising how quickly the products work. Though it can take up to a month with consistent use, customers have reported seeing results after the first wash, and it appears to ring true for a range of different hair types. Customers with dry, curly, or frizzy hair say they've noticed a significant improvement in those areas, and those with naturally oily tresses share that they no longer have to wash their hair as often. In general, people also find that they don't have to use as much product, so one bottle lasts a long time.

The one aspect of Function of Beauty that gets the most criticism is the scent. While Function of Beauty lets you pick out your own fragrance and customize its strength, many customers complain about how artificial the products smell. A handful of people say otherwise, but all seem to agree that it's still worth the price, especially since there's a fragrance-free option.

Unsurprisingly, customers who bought Function of Beauty at Target rather than through the website didn't have quite as positive of an experience using the products. With fewer customization options available, Target customers for the most part seem underwhelmed by the formulation, even comparing the results to those of generic hair products.

Prose vs. Function of Beauty

When it comes to custom haircare, there's another brand besides Function of Beauty that leads the conversation: Prose. Both Prose and Function of Beauty offer premium hair products that can be tailor-made according to customers' unique hair needs, but they are fundamentally different due to the types of ingredients they use in their formulas. While Function of Beauty has a more scientific approach to custom haircare, Prose products rely primarily on the power of natural ingredients.

The customization process for the two brands is generally the same. Both require you to take a hair quiz, but Prose goes much more in-depth, as it even factors in how your diet and exercise might affect your hair growth, and asks for your ZIP code in order to determine if pollution or humidity is a concern. Function of Beauty's quiz only covers the basics—hair type, texture, and washing and styling routine—but unlike Prose, you also have the option to customize the color of your formula and the strength of the fragrance.

Given that there are more customization options, Prose's products are slightly pricier than Function of Beauty's. Prose's 8.5-ounce shampoo, for example, is $27. For the same price, Function of Beauty gives you 16 ounces. However, it's hard to truly compare Prose and Function of Beauty because they have a different selection of products. On one hand, Function of Beauty has purple toning products for color-treated hair, but on the other hand, Prose has custom hair supplements, hair oil, dry shampoo, and styling gel. Both brands do have a product designed specifically for customers with curls, but Prose's is a custom curl cream, and Function of Beauty's is a custom co-wash.

One major similarity between Prose and Function of Beauty is each company's 30-day guarantee. The whole point of getting custom hair products is that they're tailored to your hair, so if you find that your formulation isn't fully working for you, both companies offer complimentary reformulation. Outside of the 30-day window, your formula can still be adjusted; however, with Prose, it's more streamlined, as you refine your formula every month when you review your product after receiving it. With Function of Beauty, you'll have to manually edit your hair goals in your account settings whenever you notice changes in your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Function of Beauty FDA-Approved?

    Function of Beauty isn't FDA-approved, but it does adhere to the European Union's cosmetic safety regulations, which are actually much stricter than those of the United States. Formulations only include ingredients that are deemed safe both individually and when combined with others, and if they don't meet these standards, Function of Beauty won't put them in its products.

  • Does Function of Beauty Sell Products at Target?

    Function of Beauty does sell hair products at Target, but the customization process is mostly DIY. You'll start by selecting pre-formulated hair products from the straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair collections, then you'll choose three "booster shots," each offering a different benefit, such as color protection, shine, and volume. When you get home, you add the booster shots to your products. Though there are fewer customization options available at Target, the formulas will still be paraben-free, sulfate-free, and 100 percent vegan like the ones you get through the website.

  • How Much Do You Save by Subscribing to Function of Beauty?

    When you subscribe to Function of Beauty, you'll automatically get a 20 percent discount applied to your first order of custom shampoo and conditioner. For every order after that, you'll have to pay full price, but you'll get free shipping on everything. Without the subscription, shipping costs $10 per product, which can definitely add up if you're buying all the recommended products in your routine.

  • What Function of Beauty Product Is Best for Curly Hair?

    It depends on your curl pattern, but Function of Beauty's co-wash is the product most curly-haired customers typically get. The base ingredients tackle common curly hair concerns such as hair tangling and surface build-up, and it's more moisturizing than a traditional shampoo so curls stay bouncy and frizz-free. If your hair doesn't require co-wash, your quiz results will simply tell you. Just be as accurate as possible when answering questions about your curls, as the algorithm may determine that a shampoo with curl-defining acacia extract will be more effective than the co-wash.

Final Thoughts

Compared to the generic products you find in the haircare aisle, Function of Beauty is automatically an upgrade. The quiz you take accounts for many different hair qualities and concerns, and the customized offerings extend beyond just shampoo and conditioner. At the end of the day, however, the formulations are created by an algorithm and may not be 100 percent accurate to your hair's needs. 

Still, with quality ingredients that are backed by science and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, seeing if the products work isn't exactly a gamble. For the same reason, Function of Beauty is significantly pricier than the average department store brand. Only you can determine if the products are worth it for you, but if more customization is your bare-bones requirement, it's safe to say you'll get a lot out of Function of Beauty.

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