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Function of Beauty vs Formulate: Which Should You Choose?

Last Updated: August 3, 2022

Customizable beauty products are the industry’s next big thing. As it gets bigger and bigger and people get more attracted to the idea of being able to personalize your skincare, hair care, and more, it seems that brands are offering the same things. 

Function of Beauty and Formulate are two of these brands that claim to provide the best possible hair care by tailoring their formulas to your specific hair types. But what’s the difference, and which one should you choose? Read this Function of Beauty vs Formulate Guide to find out. 

RELATED: 8 Best Custom Shampoos For Better Hair

Function of Beauty vs Formulate Overview

Function of Beauty was founded in 2015 by Zahir Dossa, Hien Nguyen Kaplan, and Josh Maciejewski, located in New York, New York. Dossa and Maciejewski, MIT engineers, joined forces with Nguyen Kaplan, a cosmetic chemist, to create a company of beauty products personalized to each customer’s needs.

Their brand focuses on using only the necessary ingredients to create the safest, most natural, and most effective formulas for your hair. Function of Beauty is cruelty-free, sulfate and paraben-free, vegan, and dermatologist tested. 

They sell all kinds of hair care like shampoo, conditioners, and hair masks, as well as skin and body care like body wash and lotion, moisturizer, and cleansers. 

Formulate was founded in 2019 by Osmaan Shah, Chris Schmich, and Tammy Lisi, based in San Francisco. The company is a hair care brand that also provides customized hair care by cutting out the middleman and connecting consumers to scientists.

Formulate is known for their customizable shampoo, conditioner, and scalp serum sets. Also available are face wash, serums, and moisturizers. 

Function of BeautyFormulate
Take a quiz to get customized formula created by chemists

Similar prices (around $30 for 8oz shampoo and conditioner)

Customizable skin and body care

Can choose the color of your products

Available at Target
Take a quiz to get customized formula created by chemists

Similar prices (around $30 for 8oz shampoo and conditioner)

Refillable packaging

Quiz is more detailed and informative (likely to be more accurate)

How It Works

Function of Beauty and Formulate have very similar processes in giving you your personalized hair care products. 

Both brands use a quiz where you fill out questions regarding your hair type, hair texture, scalp type, and hair goals. A chemist at the company will then use those answers to create a specific formula for your shampoo and conditioner that fits all your requirements, ensuring you receive the best hair care possible. 

You can then choose a scent and size, and your package will be mailed to your door! 

Though both brands have essentially the same process, here are some key differences that you should take into account when choosing between Function of Beauty and Formulate.

Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty
📷 IG @functionofbeauty

Function of Beauty has a really quick and simple quiz with just a few questions. In addition to choosing your scent and size, you can also choose the color of your shampoo and conditioner to make it even more personalized. 

Function of Beauty is also available at Target. To get your customized hair care, you choose product bases for your hair type (straight, wavy, curly, or coily). Then, you can pick out of 10 booster shots that are meant for specific hair goals (ie anti-frizz, soothe scalp, deep condition), that you add to your bottle at home. 


📷 IG @formulate.co

The Formulate quiz is a lot more in-depth than Function of Beauty. For example, they ask about dandruff, scalp conditions like rosacea or psoriasis, how many times you use shampoo and conditioner a week, if your hair is colored, what you use to style your hair, and so much more. 

They also have small descriptions to help you decide things like your hair texture and how oily your hair is. 

This more detailed and lengthy quiz is likely to give the chemists a more accurate depiction of what you need for your customized formulas which will likely produce better results. 


Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty Pricing
📷 IG @functionofbeauty

The shampoo and conditioner sets come in 2 sizes. The 16 oz costs $49.99 and the 8 oz costs $39.99. Discounts vary for new subscribers versus buying only once. 

Function of Beauty x Target products are about $10 and the booster shots are $3. 

Custom skincare products are between $25 and $50. 


Formulate Pricing
📷 IG @formulate.co

The shampoo and conditioner sets come in 3 sizes. The 14 oz costs $49, the 8 oz costs $39, and the 4 oz costs $19.95. 


Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty Quality
📷 IG @functionofbeauty

Many customers have said that their Function of Beauty products have provided them with really great results. Customer reviews have specifically mentioned that the shampoo and conditioner sets have significantly helped with things like frizzy hair, flaky scalp, dry texture and more. 

Function of Beauty doesn’t use any unnecessary ingredients that aren’t safe for your hair. The formulas are all-natural, cruelty-free, vegan, and sulfate and paraben-free. 


Formulate Quality
📷 IG @formulate.co

Similarly, Formulate users have left positive feedback in reviews about the noticeable improvements in their hair after using Formulate’s shampoo and conditioner sets. The quiz was able to fully address each customer’s needs and ensure that the formulas fit them to a tee and get the best results. Customers have seen results in frizzy hair, hair growth, rejuvenation, and more. 

Formulate’s formulas are cruelty-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free. In the quiz, you can indicate if you want your formulas to be vegan and/or silicone-free as well. 


Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty Shipping
📷 IG @functionofbeauty

Function of Beauty offers free shipping for subscribers. Shipping will cost $7.99 if you buy the products once. Your order should process within 6-9 business days and arrive 1-6 days after being shipped. Function of Beauty ships internationally. 

Function of Beauty refills every 3 months. 


Formulate Shipping
📷 IG @formulate.co

Formulate offers free shipping for any size for the first purchase. Your order should process within 7 business days and arrive 3 days after being shipped. Formulate does not ship internationally. 

On the quiz, you can choose how often you want your custom hair care sets to be sent to you. 

What Others Are Saying

If you need more information, we looked through many customer reviews to select the main points you should know about Function of Beauty and Formulate:

  • Function of Beauty is available at Target, which makes it more accessible
  • Formulate has a longer quiz to fully address your needs
  • Formulate has more size options
  • Function of Beauty has more aesthetic packaging
  • Can try a lot more products with Function of Beauty
  • Great selection of scents for both
  • Both provide great results for your hair
  • Similar prices

In Conclusion

All in all, Function of Beauty and Formulate are pretty neck and neck. In the end, the brand you choose will be based on smaller things like if you want the ability to choose the color of your product, a more aesthetic bottle, or be able to specify more things about your hair. 

Plus, Formulate offers specific formulas for men and women whereas Function of Beauty isn’t necessarily gender-specific.

Either brand you go with, you are sure to see noticeable improvements in your hair!

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