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.

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  • Hair started falling out

    Overall Experience:

    I bought this for my daughter, personalized for her thick head of hair. Although at first, she did like the way it made her hair feel (but it did not control the frizz as she had hoped). Within a few weeks, her hair was falling out in clumps.

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


  • Hair started falling out

    • By Danielle,
    • Pennsylvania,
    • Feb 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I personally believe this shampoo is entirely too expensive. Not to mention, when I started using the shampoo and conditioner, my hair began falling out. I will stick to my $20.00 bottle of conditioner that works as advertised.

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


  • Washed out my hair color, made it dry, flat and dull.

    • By Lala Lee,
    • Newport Beach, CA,
    • May 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was very excited when I received my pretty packaged shampoo and conditioner. I should have known better, no ingredients listed. My hair, in over 30 days, slowly began to fade my expensive, color-treated hair, and became dry, dull and lifeless. Of course, once I realized what had happened, I contacted the company to let them know. They responded that I was past the "happy 30-day guarantee" so NO REFUND, but they wanted to send me more of their shampoo and conditioner for free! REALLY? No thanks.

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


  • Horrible products, makes my hair dry

    • By Suzie J.,
    • New York,
    • Jul 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I like the concept of Function of Beauty. However, much to my dismay, the products are horrible. Both the shampoo and conditioner are very very dry. Especially the conditioner, after applying the products, it doesn't run smoothly on my hair at all and have zero effects of what conditioners should do. My hair is left dry and lackluster. These products feel worse than drugstore products, and I will never use again.

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


  • Loved it, but now hate it!

    • By Julie W.,
    • Oregon,
    • Sep 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    It made my hair feel amazing, at first, but now my hair feels stripped and brittle. I have to use a TON of leave-in conditioner to just be able to brush through my hair, AND it feels like I'm losing my hair by the handfuls. The amount of breakage it insane and heartbreaking...

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


  • Damaged hair

    • By A. V.,
    • Bay Area, CA,
    • Oct 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I loved the idea of picking the right formula for my hair. The process, packaging, and customer service was excellent, but the formula destroyed my hair in a way nothing ever has before.

    I wanted it to work, so I tried a SECOND formulation, and that still left my previously-healthy hair with breakage and frizz. A shame, because I loved the violet and sandalwood scent I had selected.

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


  • Charged my account randomly without my consent

    • By Amanda C.,
    • Texas,
    • Nov 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I bought shampoo a month ago and loved it. I am still using it. Today, my account was charged and shampoo is being shipped to me! I confirmed I do not have a subscription. So far, I have received no response.

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


  • Greasy mess

    • By Stefani M.,
    • Portland, OR,
    • Dec 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Do NOT purchase this if you have even slightly oily hair.

    I had such high hopes from seeing positive reviews on YouTube, but they were all from people with dry scalps/hair, and I’m sure they’re paid promotions too.

    I entered my hair type exactly, I didn’t ask for ANY extra moisturizing since I know my hair is oily. I made sure to select OIL CONTROL and volume.

    Yes, from day one, my hair never felt clean. Within hours it was so oily, which was never the case before. I used to go 24 hours without a problem. I really wanted to give the product the benefit of the doubt, assuming that maybe my hair just needed an adjustment period, so I actually waited over a month and used up half of the bottles. If there was absolutely zero change, within a couple of hours my hair would be a greasy mess. My sister actually tried their products as well, she also asked for oil control and yet had the same results tonight. So it’s not just me.

    To make matters worse, I message them about this issue and their only response was to offer me a $10 account credit and more of that product. There’s no way I can imagine any of their products working if this "oil control" version makes my hair this bad.

    Bad product, even worse customer service.

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


  • Where is my stuff!

    • By Nette T.,
    • New York City, NY,
    • Dec 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I made an order with this company on November 2, 2018. It is now December 5th and my daughter has not received her birthday gift. "I'm sorry baby, it's still in the mail." She was super excited to try this new company that "so-called celebrities" swear by. The staff is incompetent, sending multiple conflicting emails, one that my address is invalid (Amazon delivers to me almost every day with no issue). Second my order was returned to sender, and third, they are still waiting on my order to be returned so they can re-ship. Two days after each email I am told: "ticket resolved, thank you." UNACCEPTABLE! The ticket is not RESOLVED! Where are my daughter's personalized products? I would expect a Manhattan-based company literally 20 blocks from me to get the job done right.

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


  • Never again

    • By Kate E.,
    • Melbourne, Australia,
    • Dec 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Smells nice, good idea for a product, HOWEVER, it dried out my hair so badly it took several weeks of hair masks to get it back to soft and shiny again. Also, despite selecting "one of" purchase on my account, I got an email that I was being charged for a second set that I certainly did not want or order. The website would not let me log into my account to cancel the order or see what was going on, so I had to dispute the charge through PayPal.

    Either their terms of service are dodgy, or the website has poor security and someone else made an order with my details. So mad.

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


  • Nope

    • By Lauren B.,
    • Nebraska,
    • Jan 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have so many issues with this company. First off, it took close to three weeks to receive my first order. Second, my shampoo and conditioner were the wrong colors (not the ones I had picked), had NO scent even though I chose the holiday scent, and worked nothing like the samples I received a couple of weeks prior.

    I contacted customer service for replacements because the non-scented shampoo and conditioners smelled disgusting and they definitely were not the right formula that I had been using for two weeks with my samples. They offered me $10 off of my next order, which I thought was completely insufficient for the amount of things wrong with my order. When I refused, they said I could use my one-time complimentary free reformulation to fix the order. I accepted, and about a week later I received the second order.

    This time it was the right color and scent, however, the scent smelled extremely synthetic and I did not like it. I didn't think much of it, I was just hoping it worked this time. I'm positive it was exactly the same formula. I had all the same issues - scalp dryness and itchiness, my hair itself got very dry and brittle, and I was already oily after one day without a wash.

    I contacted customer service again after a little over a week of use because it just wasn't working out for me. I simply wanted to return the bottles and receive a refund so I could purchase my usual Briogeo shampoo and conditioner set, which I regretted leaving to try Function of Beauty. Customer service informed me that because I chose a free reformulation, I no longer am eligible to return my products and receive a refund. They didn't actually say this though, I exchanged back and forth with them a few times until I got a straight answer clarifying that I'm just SOL and stuck with these products. I do not understand how after you fail a customer TWICE so very badly that you still keep their money and essentially tell them, "oh well, sorry it didn't work out the way you wanted it to!"

    After the extreme disappointment in product quality and customer service, I will never purchase from Function of Beauty again, nor do I recommend these products to anyone that cares about their hair. My hair is completely dried out, brittle, and dull after approximately four weeks of using my custom shampoo. I want to try Prose instead, since they use clean ingredients (and actually show you the full ingredient list) and have a much more thorough hair consultation. I'm positive Function of Beauty uses the lowest quality ingredients they can and slap a "custom" label on it just to make it seem bougie. Head & Shoulders is better than Function of Beauty, to be quite frank.

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


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Function of Beauty Review: Is It Worth It?