When I was in elementary school, all of my friends had personalized school supplies. No matter what type of tool or accessory, they always had their names proudly emblazoned across it. Whenever I needed to borrow a writing utensil (because I never, ever seem to have one at my disposal. I'm typing this with fifteen lipsticks next to me, unable to locate a ballpoint pen anywhere in my apartment.), the pencils they'd hand me would always read BRITNEY, JUSTIN, or CHRISTINA. I also apparently went to school with the Mickey Mouse Club.
I never realized my name was unique until I noticed that no one else in class had it. Teachers were never sure how to pronounce it — it's not hard — and no one could remember it. It never bothered me one way or another, but I was always pissed off when I'd be at the store, looking at racks and racks of personalized pens and pencils, and never seeing my name because it was different. Thanks, parents.
Would my childhood have been any better if I was able to find a lunch box with my name on it? The answer is OBVIOUSLY.
That's why I've always taken any opportunity to put my name on anything, anything, now that I can have a say. Nameplate necklaces, license plates, jackets, the ring that I wear every day, you name it. I'm so embarrassing.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a bottle of shampoo and conditioner that displayed the name of their proud owner right on them and, I swear to god, everything stopped. Did they just find them in a personalized beauty department somewhere? Was only the bottle personalized, or the juice inside, too? I had to know.
Turns out, they were shampoo and conditioners from Function of Beauty, a new beauty startup that launched in December that promises to give you customized products so that you and your hair can get the most out of your time in the shower.
I've seen and used a couple custom hair products before, and I liked them. They're fun, you know? Anything personalized to you is fun, especially in beauty. The hair products usually consist of a base, allowing you to pick your scent and throw in a serum or two in order to tailor it to the needs of your hair.
Function is different in that, you fill out a "hair profile" about the current state of your hair, its type, texture, and moisture level, then you pick five hair goals from a group of 17 options. They then mix it all up for you and send you a bottle of custom hair care.
My one hair goal is and has always been to have that perfect, piece-y texture that Britney had in the "I'm A Slave 4 U" video.
Oddly, that wasn't one of the choices. Since my hair is bleached and color-treated, my five choices were to deep condition, replenish, hydrate, strengthen, or color protect. Perfect!
Then, for fun, you choose the color. I chose mint green because it matches my hair (currently) and because they didn't have lavender or pink, about which I filed a formal complaint.
Then, the scent. They have six scents that are all too sophisticated for me, but I went with Cucumber Mint because I figure summer is on its way and I always love a mint moment in the shower.
OH. And I almost forgot. This is where you get to put your name on the bottle! Type it in, see it show up on the mock up of the two bottles, and feel power like you have never felt before.
The fifth step is choosing a size. You can choose from two eight ounce bottles, two sixteen once bottles, or mix and match sizes. That option is great for me, since, when trying to retain my color, I condition much more than I shampoo when I'm in the shower, so that would be what I would pick. Or you can just buy them individually!
$26 and $38 respectively for two bottles of product? I love that. We both know that that's some of the least expensive hair product you're going to find.
But price doesn't matter if the shit doesn't work.
My bottles came a few days before I got my hair re-bleached, so I didn't care about retaining any color since it was about to be burned out of the strand.
The first time I used it, I wanted to take my hair from being pushed back to down, so I just did a quick little rinse. I'm talking one of those standing at the side of your tub and leaning your head under the shower head situations. I used Function shampoo and conditioner real quick, pretty much just because I was curious about the scent, thinking I'd get back to their actual effect on the hair later. I'm talking, each product was in my hair for probably less than 30 seconds.
I yanked my head out of the shower and towel dried, and was shocked when I ran my hands through my hair. It felt like I had been deep conditioning my hair for the last fifteen minutes. Still wet, my hair was smoother, there were no tangles, and it didn't feel brittle in the least.
Despite my best efforts, my hair usually loses a lot of moisture between appointments. When I blew it dry, it looked healthier and more hydrated, even at the ends. The strand felt less brittle from root to tip, like the product had replenished all the strength and moisture my hair had lost after the bleaching and exposure to everything else I put it through.
Whether it's just a quick cleansing, like my first time using it, or a longer wash, my hair always feels deep conditioned immediately after rinsing, and is more and more cooperative when styling with continued use. This doesn't mean I'm going to give up deep conditioners, of course, but each time I use Function, it feels like I get an accelerated deep conditioning, even if I'm in and out of the shower before "Work From Home" can play through once.
Of all of the hair products I've tried, there are very few I that become part of my routine. The ones that do are mostly products that bring my hair back to life after all the damage I do to it, leave-in conditioners, hair oils. Rarely is it a cleanser and conditioner, but I think Function just filled that void.
I don't need to tell you that good hair products don't come cheap, but starting $13 a bottle, you're going to have a hard time finding a better product at a more affordable price point, especially one that's customized especially to you. I really think you're going to love Function. It's got your name written all over it.
Tynan is bragging about his custom hair care on Twitter @TynanBuck.