Function of Beauty and Living Proof are two hair brands born out of the minds of MIT grads and professors. Their concepts are similar- use science to create the best hair products possible for consumers, but their execution is different. Living Proof has created patented molecules and technology to achieve results, while Function of Beauty created an algorithm that allows users to create customized shampoo and conditioner. Here’s Part 1 of why Function of Beauty could be the next (and potentially better version of) Living Proof.
Product: Customization and Efficacy
Function of Beauty is in very early stages and only has two products: shampoo and conditioner. However, with their ability to customize based on customer needs, they claim to be able to create millions of formulations. In the future, they could apply their technology to styling products, hair treatments, and extend to skincare as well.
The idea of personalized hair products is what first caught my attention. However, the product efficacy is what would make me a loyal customer. Based on my selections in their short quiz, Function of Beauty did not disappoint. The shampoo cleansed my hair without stripping it and the conditioner was moisturizing and defining. Over time as my hair goals change, I can re-customize and try new formulations to meet my hair’s needs.
The Living Proof products I’ve tried have not blown me away, despite the numerous awards they’ve won. The No-Frizz Humidity Shield spray is the only product that I’ve liked because it did a good job protecting my hair against summer in Miami when I straightened it. The other products left my hair feeling like straw and smelling awful. Living Proof does try to help customers find the right products for their hair needs through its questionnaire. This isn’t exactly customization, but it does help the customer navigate their many product lines to find the right products. The main difference is that you are limited to the products that already exist with Living Proof, but have unlimited options with Function of Beauty.
Finally, one area I didn’t think too much about when I was placing my order was the scent. It wound up being one of my favorite things about Function of Beauty. There have been times I’ve found products that worked well, but smelled terrible (looking at you, SheaMoisture JBCO Leave In). I picked the scent and strength with Function of Beauty and the passion fruit papaya scent was fruity without being cloying. In contrast, the smell of Living Proof reminds me of the Chevron coolant lab I worked at where the sickly sweet smell of ethylene glycol pervaded the air. This is not a good thing. Living Proof’s strong scent is the primary reason I wouldn’t repurchase any of the four products I’ve tried so far.