Function of Beauty Review: Is It Worth It?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Mar 10, 2020

Shopping the haircare aisle of any drugstore, the number of choices quickly grows overwhelming. How can you decide which products will address your unique haircare needs, and what should you do when nothing seems to offer everything you're seeking?

Function of Beauty claims to solve this problem. This hair care company sends you customized hair products based on your personal goals.

You can select for specialized ingredients designed to address your biggest concerns, and then choose your preferred product type, sizing, fragrance, and even color.

The company claims that they offer more than 54 trillion possible formulations so that you can get the perfect hair care routine for you. Each product is guaranteed to be cruelty-free, 100% vegan, sulfate-free, and paraben-free.

Does this mean Function of Beauty makes sense for your hair care needs? Learn from our analysis whether the company is worth considering.

Pros
  • In-depth questionnaire lets you fully customize your products
  • All-natural ingredients in most cases
  • You can control exactly what products you purchase
  • Available both as a subscription and one-time purchase
Cons
  • Many of the ingredients show more effectiveness for hair health when taken as supplements rather than applied topically
  • Some users experienced a painful scalp, hair loss, and other negative symptoms
  • No returns due to the custom nature of the products

How Function of Beauty Works: Details and Pricing

The first part of signing up for Function of Beauty products is to fill out a hair profile. You’ll share where your hair falls from straight to kinky-curly, whether it is fine or coarse, and whether you tend to have a dry or oily scalp. You can then select up to five hair goals.

The company will indicate which ingredients are being added to your formula based on your goals. Here’s an example of my hair goals and the corresponding ingredients added to my formula:

  • Strengthen: horsetail extract and evening primrose oil
  • Lengthen: pea sprout extract and blue-green algae extract
  • Curl Definition: chia seed extract and linseed extract
  • Soothe Scalp: menthol and aloe vera
  • Oil Control: vitamin E and rosemary leaf extract

You can also select whether you want your formulas to be silicone-free.

Next, you’ll customize your formula by choosing your preferred fragrance and how strong it is, choosing a name to be displayed on the side of your bottle, and selecting colors for both the shampoo and the conditioner.

You’ll then choose what size combos of shampoo and conditioner you want. Options include:

  • 16oz shampoo, 16 oz conditioner: $49
  • 8oz shampoo, 8oz conditioner: $39
  • 8oz shampoo, 16oz conditioner or 16oz shampoo, 8oz conditioner: $43
  • 16oz shampoo/conditioner: $36
  • 8oz shampoo/conditioner: $29

You can also add custom hair treatments to your order that will be offered to you based on your hair priorities. These include an 8oz leave-in treatment, 7.5oz hair mask, and a 3oz hair serum (each available for $19). If you purchase a subscription, this add-on will be included with each order unless you change that in settings.

Finally, you’ll choose your delivery frequency. A one-time order will include $5 for shipping. Free shipping is available for deliveries that are monthly, every three months, and every six months.

It’s possible to change up your formula’s key ingredients, coloring, or fragrance between orders. Subscription members also gain access to perks like limited-edition color and fragrance options.

Every order will come with a pump disassembled in the box for easy product dispersal. You can also choose to reuse your pump from one delivery to another and decline to receive a new one through your order confirmation page.

Once your order is submitted, expect to receive your custom formula within 7–9 business days from the time you place it. International orders may take longer.

Function of Beauty Return and Refund Policy

As all Function of Beauty formulas are customized for every order, the company doesn’t accept returns or approve refunds after your order has been processed. Any further formula changes or cancelations you make after processing will affect the next delivery.

If you need to get in touch with Function of Beauty customer service, do so through the company contact page.

Analysis of Ingredients

Function of Beauty claims to use nourishing, all-natural ingredients within every formulation. The specific ingredients will vary based on your chosen formula, but to give you a sense of what to expect, here’s an analysis of the ingredients within my personalized formula:

  • Horsetail extract: Often taken as a supplement, horsetail extract is high in silica, a compound responsible for strengthening hair strands, promoting growth, and preventing hair loss. You can also apply it directly to your hair. Though a common ingredient in hair growth products, there is insufficient evidence that it provides any significant benefit.

  • Evening primrose oil: Also called the night willow herb, evening primrose oil is a common health supplement and is used to balance hormones and slow down hair loss. While the research on its effectiveness is limited, one study from the Annals of Dermatology found that arachidonic acid, a compound it contains, plays a role in promoting hair growth.

  • Pea sprout extract: Considered a great source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals, pea sprout extract is added to hair care products to strengthen hair follicles and keep them in the growth stage of development.

  • Blue-green algae extract: This water-based plant source contains lots of proteins and vitamins known to benefit the hair and skin. It’s often added to hair care products for its antioxidant content and moisturizing effects, but there’s minimal scientific evidence to prove any effectiveness.

  • Chia seed extract: Chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than fish, which makes them a healthy dietary addition. When the seeds are mixed with water, they develop a sticky, mucous-like coating that’s often added to hair gel for extra curl definition.

  • Linseed extract: As another name for flaxseeds, linseed extract is often added to hair care products for its high protein and omega-3 fatty acid content. There are a few animal studies that show the effectiveness of taking flaxseed supplements for hair growth, but these results haven’t yet been replicated with humans or with a topical treatment.

  • Menthol: As a member of the mint family, menthol is often added to hair care products for its cooling, scalp-stimulating effects. A 2014 study with mice found that peppermint (menthol) essential oil could help hair grow thicker and faster without adverse side effects.

  • Aloe vera: Though often used in skincare products, aloe vera is often added to hair products to promote hair growth and relieve an itchy scalp.

  • Vitamin E: Known for its antioxidant properties, vitamin e helps your body avoid damage from free radicals. Preliminary research shows that supplements of the vitamin might improve hair growth for people suffering from hair loss.

  • Rosemary leaf extract: This common herbal extract works like menthol extract to improve circulation, stimulate hair growth, and potentially prevent an itchy scalp. One 2015 study found that the extract was just as effective as minoxidil (the main ingredient in Rogaine) for slowing hair loss.

Key Takeaways:

Many of the ingredients included in this version of Function of Beauty products show scientific evidence for delivering the benefits that the company claims they will.

However, a large number of available studies on these ingredients involved taking them in supplement form, rather than topically.

Likewise, your personalized product formulation is likely to be different, and those ingredients may be more or less effective for your specific needs.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

There are more than 40 reviews for Function of Beauty here at HighYa, averaging two stars overall. Trustpilot reviewers are more positive, as the average rating for Function of Beauty is 4.2 stars after close to 1,500 reviews. Here’s what we can learn from these reviewers:

Common Compliments:

  • Great customer service experiences
  • Solved many user’s hair problems like frizzy, greasy hair and scalp issues
  • Concentrated formulas are a good value

Common Complaints:

  • Slow delivery times
  • Color and fragrances not as ordered
  • Products caused an itchy scalp and dry, brittle hair for some
  • Led to hair loss
  • Difficult to cancel subscriptions

Function of Beauty vs. Prose Custom Hair Care

For those looking for a personalized hair care product brand, a comparable brand to Function of Beauty is Prose.

Like Function of Beauty, Prose lets you take a short quiz about your hair health, which includes questions about your age, hair texture, length, thickness, and oil level, as well as the condition of your scalp and whether you have recently chemically treated your hair.

You’ll also be able to choose your preferred fragrance blend or go fragrance-free.

Unlike Function of Beauty, Prose assesses your location’s impact on your hair in regards to your exposure to UV rays, pollution, hard water, humidity, and wind. For example, I learned that my West MI location is exposing me to high humidity and hard water.

The quiz also puts less emphasis on your hair goals and focuses instead on how your hair is now.

At the end of this quiz, Prose will display eight ingredients it suggests for your personalized blend and then gives you the option to purchase products that contain them. Each 8.5-oz shampoo and conditioner is $25 ($22.50 if you sign up for a recurring subscription) and other products, like a 5.1-oz curl cream, 1.7oz hair oil, and 8.5-oz pre-shampoo mask are also available at varying price points.

As with Function of Beauty, you have complete choice over what products you receive and how frequently the subscription deliveries are, but you can’t change the size of the products in each order. This could be an irritation for anyone who wants to receive more shampoo or conditioner.

The final product for both brands will also look different. Your Function of Beauty order will be brightly colored (if desired) and come with a custom name. Prose, in contrast, doesn’t let you customize the name or color of the final product. However, both brands prioritize natural ingredients and reward longterm customers by offering discounts on the subscription level.

The Bottom Line

Function of Beauty offers a unique solution to the confusion of choosing the right hair products with customizable formulas tailored to your preferences.

Customer reviews are mixed on how well the company delivers on these claims, as many were left disappointed in their personalized formulation and didn’t think it was worth what they paid for it.

Function of Beauty ingredients can vary considerably based on your formula specifications. However, our research shows that many show clinical evidence of improving hair health, though many might be more effective in the supplement form than when taken topically.

We think Function of Beauty makes sense if you’re struggling with hair problems that traditional products haven’t been able to solve. Consider signing up for a smaller size as a one-time purchase for your first delivery so that you aren’t left with lots of products you don’t plan to use if you end up not loving your blend.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Function of Beauty:
  • 45 Customer Reviews
  • 20% Recommend This Brand
2.0 out of 5
5 star: 17% 4 star: 2% 3 star: 4% 2 star: 15% 1 star: 60%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

Sort reviews by:

  • Obsessed!

    • By Alyssa Quast,
    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Jun 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Love! I've only used it once, and I can see a difference in my hair! I dye my hair blonde every three months when I usually have dark black hair. Using this product made my hair feel alive again. The only downside is that the bottles are kind of expensive.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • LOVE this shampoo!

    Overall Experience:

    I love this shampoo! I've been using it for a few months now and my hair used to be SO thin and flat and now it feels so much healthier and bouncier.

    I got the feeling pineapple scent, and it smells just like a pina colada! I always feel so fresh after washing my hair.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Love it

    • By Trina B.,
    • Fort Huachuca, AZ,
    • Oct 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have very fine hair that gets damaged and won’t grow long without looking terrible, even with regular trimmings. This shampoo has been a life saver for my hair. It is finally growing longer without looking like a nightmare. The "Feeling Fineapple" fragrance is my favorite scent.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • So impressed!

    • By Lauren W.,
    • Brooklyn, NY,
    • Oct 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have pretty fine, straight hair that is prone to frizziness and tangles. By the end of the day, my hair always feels greasy, so I tend to shower daily. After just one use of this shampoo and conditioner, my hair already looks better. It's super soft and straight and less frizzy than I am normally used to. I am so excited to continue to use Function of Beauty and see how my hair improves. I got the peach scent and I love it, not too strong but just enough to catch a whiff every once and a while!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Loveeeeeeee

    • By Lori D.,
    • Key West, FL,
    • Mar 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Function of Beauty has changed my life! My hair has always been damaged due to bleaching but not anymore. My hair has never felt or looked better. I love the sents and I love that you get to customize everything! Also, if it doesn’t work for you, return it within 30 days and they will reformulate it for you! I absolutely love Function of Beauty.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Amazing!

    • By Heather B.,
    • Canandaigua, NY,
    • Mar 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I've always struggled with an oily scalp, but dry, split ends and frizzy hair. I tried so many different products from cheap drugstore brands to expensive salon products and none resolved all of my hair problems. I am so glad that I finally tried Function of Beauty and will never go back to any other brand! My scalp isn't oily anymore and I can easily go 3-4 days between washes. My hair is so soft and easy to manage and the ends aren't dry and straw-like anymore. I have long, thick hair and have always used more conditioner than shampoo, so I order the 8 oz shampoo and 16 oz conditioner and they last about 3 months. It's a very concentrated product, so you don't have to use a lot. I prefer dye free, so I can't comment on the colors, but I LOVE the scents - I've tried Peach and Pineapple so far and they are both wonderful!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Great shampoo and conditioner!

    • By Jessie C.,
    • Nova Scotia, Canada,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I wanted a shampoo + conditioner that's cruelty-free, good for dandruff, and good for oily hair. I decided to try out this company and it's great!

    I was able to customize the formula, color, scent, scent strength, etc. Even included a sticker pack. I don't have any complaints.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Amazing product

    • By Teresa B.,
    • Houston, TX,
    • May 27, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This shampoo and conditioner helped my hair to be so healthy and grow so much in 90 days. I couldn’t be happier with a product. It was well worth the money. So much so, I bought a set for my mom.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Customer service has improved! Refunds aren't a hassle.

    • By Merry L.,
    • Oregon,
    • Mar 28, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have wavy hair that needs a lot of hydration. Even though I chose "deep condition," "hydrate," and "anti-frizz," my hair was dry and frizzy even after TWO applications of conditioner. Needless to say, the product didn't work for me.

    The company has a 30-day money back guarantee, but I was really nervous after reading other reviews on here. No need! Customer service was great. They will still offer you a reformulation, but as long as you DO NOT ACCEPT it and it's within 30 days, they will refund you the purchase price.

    Good to know that you can get a refund if it doesn't work out for you!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • I want to leave more stars, but...

    Overall Experience:

    Similar to the other reviewer from Canada, I have both positive and negative feelings about this product. I'll list them for easy reading:

    Positive:

    - I chose a combination for thin hair that also requires moisture, and after using the shampoo and conditioner for a couple days, they seem to be working great. My hair is shiny and not weighed down (which happens with most moisturizing combos).

    - The fact that you can customize your order for your own hair needs is fun and original, and most importantly, so far the formula is working as promised.

    - The packaging is fun and cute, and it's easy to order.

    Negatives:

    - They state they have 2-day guaranteed shipping, however, they don't state clearly that this ONLY applies to American residents. My order took well over a month to arrive to Canada, and I had to ask when the order was being shipped. They answered my question promptly, but they need to get their order fulfillment/shipping issues fixed as I've received orders from Turkey much faster.

    - The 8 oz bottles cost around $60 CAD for both, which was quite steep in my experience.

    - I picked purple for my shampoo and green for my conditioner. The shampoo was lovely, however, the conditioner turned out to be a seasick, off-green color. It looked nothing like the picture on their website or my order confirmation. Yuck.

    - I also picked the medium fragrance level (Pineapple) for both, and I'm finding the scent a bit overpowering, even when my hair is dry.

    If Function of Beauty can get their shipping woes sorted out, I might consider ordering again. But for now, I wouldn't recommend to Canadian residents.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Not bad, just not as good as promised

    • By Katie J.,
    • Nebraska,
    • May 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Positives:

    - Smells great.

    - Not horribly priced.

    - Cleans well enough.

    Negatives:

    - Formula keeps separating, so I have to shake it really well to remix it prior to use. Kind of annoying.

    - The product is really watery and runny.

    - Hair feels dry and brittle rather than smooth and shiny as promised.

    Overall, it's not terrible stuff; it's just not the product quality I'd hoped for. I could get the same results from a $4 bottle of Dove from the drugstore. I'll use the product up, but I won't purchase it again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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Function of Beauty Review: Is It Worth It?