Function of Beauty: Algorithmic Shampoo

Business Insider: Function of Beauty “lets you create custom shampoos and conditioners based on your hair type and goals.” Zahir Dossa came up with the idea while developing his dissertation at MIT. He explains: “I saw that was the most bloated [industry] was beauty, and more interestingly, the value chain for beauty hadn’t really changed over the last 100 years. There were all these middlemen in the way.”

“Dossa decided to build a direct-to-consumer company that focused specifically on hair care. Shampoos and conditioners were the most varied because of different hair types and hair goals… Function of Beauty can create 12 billion different combinations of ingredients … You start by taking a quiz on Function of Beauty’s website about your hair … You’ll answer questions about your hair type, hair structure, and scalp moisture. Next, you’ll select five ‘hair goals’ … Then, you’ll pick which color and scent you’d like the shampoo and conditioner to be, along with the fragrance strength. After that, Function of Beauty will build your custom formula using its algorithm.”

“Once the set is delivered to a customer, they can test it out. If it doesn’t work for their hair, they can send it back and a new formula will be created, free of charge. Function of Beauty also has a subscription service, so you can have new products delivered without having to manually reorder or shop in a store.”


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