Function of Beauty (W16) Creates Personalized and Precise Haircare Formulas

by Alexis Ohanian12/11/2015

If you walk into any drugstore, you’ll find an aisle full of shampoos and conditioners. But ultimately, these are all still one-size-fits all solutions. The actual amount of variation among each product and brand is quite small, and many consumers shop around for years trying out different haircare products without finding one that really works for them.

Function of Beauty is a startup launching out of our Winter 2016 class that creates truly customized haircare products. Founded by two MIT grads, computer scientist Zahir Dossa and engineer Joshua Maciejewski, along with cosmetic chemist Hien Nguyen, Function of Beauty has built a software platform that allows customers to create a personalized profile from 36 different features, encompassing options regarding hair type, style goals, fragrance preferences, and more. Ultimately, the company says that its platform can be used to create more than 450 million unique end products.

TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook wrote about Function of Beauty in a story published this week:

“For now, the team is hand-filling each bottle and using a software
algorithm to determine ultra-precise formulas for both the shampoo and
conditioner. Eventually, however, Function of Beauty will use an
advanced robotics machine to automate the creation of each formula and
fill the bottles.

‘Once we build the machine, we’ll be able to handle 100 different
ingredient blends, leading to 900,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
combinations,’ said Dossa. ‘That number dwarfs the number of people on
the planet, much less the relatively small number of shampoo and
conditioner options on the market.’

Beyond formula customization, the company also offers the ability to
name your specific formula, with that custom name printed right on the

…Function of Beauty keeps prices relatively low by selling directly to
consumers online. An 8oz set will go for $26 and a 16oz set goes for
$38. Comparatively, low-end products like Suave will cost you around $10
to $15, whereas high-end products like Fekkai shampoo and conditioner
can cost up to $50/set.”

Read the full story here.


  • Alexis Ohanian