When approaching the hair products aisle, promises come thick and fast: sleek and straight, frizz-free fun, bouncy curls and long, luscious locks — all type of buzzwords that lead you to believe the contents in the bottle will tame and tussle to your specifications. But it's never that specific, is it?
Those who are unfamiliar with the chemicals that make up your everyday shampoo and conditioner won't be able to spot red flags, nor will people of different ethnicities likely find their hair perfectly catered to by one solution. Instead, we settle. For some that might mean buying a $90 French product set because our fancy hairdresser (who intimidates us) told us to, while others might buy the most cost-effective item from a brand we recognize with a "no palm oil" guarantee. Regardless, we're putting our most fundamental accessory in the hands of corporations whose ingredients we don't recognize, and wonder why our stylists tug at and exclaim about our lifeless, damaged hair.
All of this propelled the creation of Function of Beauty, says co-founder Zahir Dossa, explaining there was no emphasis in the beauty industry on the unique needs and preferences of every individual. For those unfamiliar with the brand, it's flagship store in Soho allows women to create their own shampoo and conditioner based on their specific hair goals and day-to-day issues — the process took years and two MIT-educated engineers to properly analyze data and create the technology to translate and manufacture the products accordingly. Now, Functions of Beauty has moved online, revolutionizing what women might expect from their haircare. By following a four-step hair quiz consumers can customize their own haircare. Not only is the formula manufactured to suit the exact needs of you hair, you can choose the product's smell (strength and scent), color and personally brand the packaging.
"Before I started, I realized how unhappy people were with the products they were receiving," explains Dossa. "Companies don't have the ability to target each person as an individual and therefore have to create products that serve a certain 'group' of people. I realized from the get-go that a big technological push in the beauty industry (from the way people purchased products to the way products were formulated and manufactured) would be a monumental solution."
It took off. The natural pivot of our modern society to emphasize individuality, from how we dress to how we curate our social media, meant many millennials gravitated towards a personal touch. With their own name printed across the containers, consumers are able to take ownership of their own formula (and perhaps keep it away from klepto-inclined roommates and family members). Not to mention the products have zero parabens, toxins, sulfate, are cruelty-free and all made in the USA. Function of Beauty is, in short, revolutionary, and will no doubt reach the kind of prevalence where none of us can function without it at all.
"I wish [the industry] had less stereotypes and no models or archetypes for beauty," Dossa says. "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?"