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Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty

Y Combinator LogoW16ActiveE-commerceBeautyPersonalization

Customizable beauty for hair, skin, and body care products.

We’re a customized beauty brand at the intersection of tech and beauty, setting out to democratize custom beauty and truly empower individuality. There’s no one size fits all with us.

Jobs at Function of Beauty

New York, NY, US
$70k - $80k
3+ years
Function of Beauty
Founded:2015
Team Size:300
Location:New York
Founders
Zahir Dossa
Zahir Dossa
CEO
Hien Kaplan
Hien Kaplan
Chief Scientist
Joshua Maciejewski
Joshua Maciejewski
COO

Hear from the founders

How did your company get started? (i.e., How did the founders meet? How did you come up with the idea? How did you decide to be a founder?)

Function of Beauty was created by beauty outsiders: two MIT grads and a chemist who believed that everyone deserves a custom product and should be empowered to create their own beauty journey. Engineer and MIT grad Zahir Dossa was trained to see problems as equations to be solved. But when he looked at the beauty industry, what he saw didn’t add up—real people were more than broad categories like “curls” or “dry,” so cookie-cutter solutions could never deliver transformational results. No wonder consumers never saw the results they were after. But making effective, customized products at scale was thought to be impossible.   Zahir teamed up with fellow MIT grad Josh Maciejewski and cosmetic chemist Hien Nguyen, combining their expertise in supply chain, sustainability, and data science to create something revolutionary in the beauty industry. They imagined enabling every consumer to create their own product based on a totally customized set of variables, made to order with bespoke craftsmanship and care. They imagined an algorithm-based approach that would let them constantly iterate and improve every formula. The most important variable at the center of their equation was the consumer, who—for the first time—could be honored with formulas as one-of-a-kind as they were.

What's the history of your company from getting started until the present day? What were the big inflection points?

We built a pioneering production facility and algorithm that allowed customers to co-create perfect, freshly crafted hair care formulas.  We focus on select, targeted, high-performing ingredients, expertly combined to work for optimal efficacy. We deliver freshly formulated, customized hair care right to customers, minimizing waste and ensuring you get everything they need  — and nothing they don’t.After building a successful DTC business, we set out to become an omni-channel pioneer and bring customization to the brick and mortar environment. In 2020, we designed and introduced a new concept and behavior for consumers - giving them options to mix their own custom shampoo and conditioner at home.

What is the core problem you are solving? Why is this a big problem? What made you decide to work on it?

At Function of Beauty, our mission is to truly empower individuality and we are the first brand to deliver on this promise by offering a fully personalized response to the vast diversity of hair and skin goals that women and men have. There is no one size fits all product, and we believe customization is the ultimate response to consuming more sustainably by having the perfect product made just for you. Customization is a challenging task that most beauty brands have not been able to figure out. We developed a unique technology and manufacturing capability which allows us to create custom formulas at scale.  We saw an opportunity to make a difference.

What is your long-term vision? If you truly succeed, what will be different about the world?

We often get the question about how big is big for customization. We believe we are at the beginning of a fundamental evolution of customer behavior. Customization is  the future of beauty. It is a sustainable response to the consumer evolution and changing complexity of their beauty needs.  Today, nearly everyone can have access to custom formulas for their unique hair, skin and body needs. We want to continue to democratize access to custom beauty products over the next few years.