ROAD TEST: The customisable shampoo and conditioner that's all over Instagram.


If there’s one thing the Internet has taught me, it’s that everything is better when it’s personalised.

That phone case of yours? It’s ordinary. Slap some initials on it, however, and it becomes a trendy accessory for your Sunday brunch photoshoots that are totally organic and definitely don’t take half an hour to orchestrate.

Same goes for wallets, mugs, cheeseboards and now, your shampoo and conditioner.

Oh, yes.

U.S-based beauty brand Function of Beauty has turned the hair care biz on its, er, head by introducing a range of shampoo and conditioner that’s completely customisable and, as you can probably imagine, the Internet has gone wild for the stuff.

The brand, which is the brainchild of a group of MIT engineers and scientists, has done away with the idea that customers should choose an okayish product from a limited selection on a shelf.

Instead, they’ve built a lab that has the means to create billions of hair care cocktails, based on your needs.

Not only that, but the bottles are ridiculously cute, the products are cruelty-free and they’re completely vegan.

Once I heard about the hair care that was blessing people with hair like Sofía Vergara I decided I had to investigate because, you know… journalism.

So, I ordered myself a batch and kicked off my experiment to see just how much of a difference personalised products can really make.


As a start, you’re asked to complete an online quiz. This is so those magical hair fairies in the Function of Beauty lab can tailor their potion to your locks.

Here you’re asked to select: your hair type, structure, the moisture level of your scalp, five “hair goals”, the product colour, fragrance and a label for your bottles.

I chose wavy, medium and oily.
This was like Sophie’s Choice, but I eventually chose: anti-frizz, shine, replenish, fix split ends and colour protection.

When it comes to the label, you can choose whatever you like as long as it’s 10 characters or less. I went with my name, but it could say anything from “function of banana” to “function of Mrs Elba” if that’s what you’re into.

…I kinda wish I chose Mrs Elba now.

With colour, you can usually choose between blue, pink, orange, green, purple and dye free. There was a limited-edition aqua shade on offer when I completed the quiz, however, so I went for the shiny new thing.

I also chose a limited-edition fragrance called for (shore) which is made with sea salt and orange blossom.

I’ve since smelled the feeling (f)ineapple scent and it’s like a Hawaiian holiday in a bottle. Just sayin’.

The final step is choosing a size (I got 8oz or approx. 240ml bottles) and how often you’d like your order mailed to you (I chose once-off, just in case).

When the package arrived, I noticed the box came with an outline of my hair profile and instructions based on my hair, specifically.

Before you ask: yes, it was different from my usual routine.

First up, it was recommended that I use the products daily, which I’ve always known to be a huge no-no. The second eyebrow raiser was that it suggested I rinse out the conditioner with cold water… Even during winter?!

I used my pretty aqua shampoo and conditioner for one week. Admittedly, I didn’t do this daily because that was way too hard, but I washed my hair five out of seven days.

This is what I found:

  • After the first wash, my hair felt softer. It wasn’t exactly straw before, but I have highlights and I never get treatments, so it was pretty stripped of moisture.
  • A couple of days in, my locks were way easier to comb through while wet. Nice!
  • My split ends and frizz didn’t disappear, but there was an improvement. My hair seemed smoother and less unruly.
  • By the end of the week, I felt comfortable stepping out of the house after letting my hair dry naturally without adding any product to it. This, for me, is a big deal.

Check it out for yourselves:

No, I didn’t plan on wearing the same top in these photos. Yes, I washed it between snaps.

All-in-all I was pretty damn impressed with the results. And while these products aren’t cheap (US $36 for two 8oz bottles), the price isn’t far off other popular brands that don’t offer the personalised experience, or that bloody divine feeling f(ineapple) fragrance.

I guess the main takeaway here is if you’re willing to drop a little more cash on your hair you can rest assured that this option is more than just a frivolous Instagram trend; it’s a great product that just happens to look freaking lovely on a social media feed. What’s not to love?

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