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My Subscription Addiction

Function of Beauty vs. Prose: Which Takes the Hair Care Crown?

Caroline Levere
ByCaroline LevereMay 5, 2022

As someone who loves customizing items from phone cases to toiletry kits to napkin holders, I was intrigued when I learned that there was a new category in town offering customization: haircare. I can customize my hair care to fit my hair needs and shower aesthetic? Sign me up! 

When it comes to custom haircare, there are two main players to know: Function of Beauty and Prose. With each company, you start by taking a quiz about your hair type and needs, and then receive a customized formula created specifically for you. Both have devoted audiences, so you may be wondering which one is better. Let’s find out. 

Function of Beauty vs. Prose Comparison

The Quiz

Function of Beauty: You’ll start your Function of Beauty experience by taking a quick (and easy) quiz that asks you about your hair type and goals. First, you’ll select your hair type - do you have straight hair or curly hair? Fine or coarse? The quiz has images that go with each hair type, in case you’re unsure of the answers (like me). From here, you move on to your hair goals: do you want deep conditioning? How about fixing split ends? Maybe some frizz control? No need to pick only one; just like with your standard shampoo and conditioner, you can select up to five goals.The quiz takes about 2 minutes, and your last step is selecting fragrance, color, and a name for the bottle. 9/10

Prose: Similar to Function of Beauty, you’ll start your Prose experience with a quiz. This one is a bit longer and starts by asking about your hair and scalp - think questions like hair texture (with images, similar to Function of Beauty), level of oiliness or dryness, hair denseness, porousness, thickness, washing habits, and more. From here, you answer a series of questions about how you treat and style your hair, your lifestyle (are you pregnant, what’s your diet, your stress levels, etc.), and any hair goals or preferences (scent, silicone free, and hair goals). Lastly, you can view your results and place your order. As someone that is just learning about different hair types and goals, I found the quiz a little overwhelming and long at times (it took me over 10 minutes to finish). I had never heard of some of these words, and honestly am still not entirely sure what my hair porousness is or why it matters for my shampoo. 6/10

Winner: Function of Beauty

The Customization Options

Function of Beauty: Function of Beauty offers eight scent options plus fragrance free, ranging from mango to peach to lavender, and you can customize the fragrance strength from light, medium, or strong. After selecting your scent and fragrance level, (or not, sensitive noses may opt out altogether), you can choose between 10 color options and add your name to the bottle (I love a monogram moment). Function of Beauty also includes sticker sheets with each order, if you want to take the decoration to the next level. 10/10 

Prose: Prose offers eight scent options, ranging from herbal to citrusy to floral, and just like Function of Beauty, the option to forgo the fragrance altogether stands. But this is where the customization ends. Unlike Function, you cannot select the color or add your name to the bottle. 5/10

Winner: Function of Beauty

Ingredients

Function of Beauty: All Function of Beauty products are sulfate and paraben-free, and made with clean ingredients. Products can be created free of dye (color), fragrance, and silicone. Function of Beauty goes by the EU’s regulations on safe cosmetics, which brands 1,400 ingredients (a much larger number than the US FDA). Lastly, the products are cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan. 10/10

Prose: Like Function of Beauty, all Prose products are sulfate- and paraben-free, and made with clean ingredients. Prose products can be made free of dye, fragrance and silicone, and Prose also defers to the EU’s regulations on safe cosmetics. 10/10

Winner: tie

Other Products Offered

Function of Beauty: In the hair care world, Function of Beauty also has a co-wash, leave-in treatment, hair mist, hair serum, and hair mask. The brand has started expanding outside of just haircare to offer products from head to toe including custom body wash and body lotion, plus custom face cleanser, moisturizer, and serum. The face products do not have the same customization options as the hair products in terms of color and scent, but you can put your name on the bottle and the containers look great. 10/10 

Prose: Prose has doubled down in offering a full suite of custom hair products and has not dabbled into body or skin care. In addition to shampoo and conditioner, Prose’s customizable haircare line includes root source to help stimulate hair growth, hair masks, scalp masks, hair oil, dry shampoo, curl cream, and leave-in conditioner. Prose recently introduced a hair brush, with varying bristles based on hair type. 8/10

Winner: Function of Beauty

Price

Function of Beauty: Function of Beauty offers the shampoo and conditioner in 16 oz bottles, which costs $80 for a one-time purchase or $50 for a subscription. Your subscription will refill every 3 or 6 months and you can pause, skip, or cancel it at any time. 

Prose: Prose does not offer its shampoo and condition in a set, and the products only come in one size: 8.5 oz. Each bottle is $25, so the total for both is $50. Prose subscribers get 15% off their order total, and by being enrolled in a loyalty program, receive a free product for every 10 items purchased.

Winner: Function of Beauty

The Ultimate Winner:

It’s Function of Beauty for us. For a limited time only, you can try an 8oz shampoo or conditioner for only $15 (lasts 40 washes), where you can customize up to three hair goals.

Check out our Function of Beauty brand page to learn more.

Caroline Levere
Caroline Levere

I'm the Chief of Staff at MSA and a fitness addict! Prior to joining MSA, I actually started a fitness studio. Excited to educate people on all the available fitness products out there!