Let’s see a show of hands: Do you 100% love your hair and think there is zero room for improvement? Thought so. Fret not because you are not alone, far from it. Dry, dull, fizzy, prone to split ends and breakage or not growing as quickly as you want—it seems like there are a million (ten million?) products out there that promise to solve all your hair woes in one wash. But have they? We’ll admit it, on more than one occasion we’ve given into the marketing hype and bought that one, incredibly overpriced product that was destined to give us the hair we’ve always wanted, and yet, here we are back at the drawing board. However, there may be hope. With a slew of new custom hair care products hitting the market, the path to perfect hair might just be one online quiz away.
Before we delve into which service is right for you, let’s take a minute to consider all the factors—internal and external—that might be at the root of your hair dilemma. There are so many considerations, but the first question is always, what does your diet look like? Remember, what you feed your body in turn nourishes your hair. Without the proper macro- and micro-nutrients your strands don’t stand a chance against styling or environmental damage (more on that in a minute). Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are great for shine, dark leafy greens (think spinach, kale, chard) contain vitamin A, iron, beta carotene and folate that keep the scalp in tip-top condition and combat breakage, and eggs promote hair growth due to their high protein, iron and biotin content. A well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet is ground zero.
Even if your diet is one Hollywood A-listers would be envious of, there are other factors that might be wreaking havoc on your locks. A short, cringe-inducing list includes your age, the sun, air pollution, secondhand smoke, chemicals in swimming pools, impurities in your water (at home and when you travel), heat styling, styling products, brushing hair while it is wet, scraping hair back into your favorite out-of-your-face do—see where this is going? But what if you could combat all of this—and all you needed was a custom hair care routine that addressed your lifestyle, genetic predisposition and the climate where you live? With everything else in our lives becoming more and more bespoke, it only seems fitting that hair care is finally getting a customizable upgrade. Here are three of our favorite brands who are taking custom hair care to the next level.
With their minimalist packaging and paraben-, sulfate-, mineral oil-, dye- and GMO-free formulas, this custom hair care brand couldn’t be more boyfriend and husband friendly if it tried. Prose is the only service we have come across that asks for not only for your age, but for your zip code as well so they can calculate UV index, air pollution, water quality, humidity and wind where you live. We love that after taking the quiz it gives you a complete breakdown of your hair and scalp characteristics calculating things like sensitivity, dryness and sebum production. The only drawback, if you can even call it that, is that you have to give your email before taking the quiz, but if better hair is on the menu, then it is a small price to pay. www.prosehair.com
Function of Beauty
Created by two MIT grads, this NYC-based brand is both customized and subscription based. During the online quiz you are able to choose the size of bottle that you would like to receive as well as the frequency. We love that Function of Beauty doesn’t contain any nasties and they also offer super personalized touches like printing your name on the bottle and allowing you to choose your own fragrance (including the strength of the smell), or, if you like, go dye and fragrance-free. And if you live or are planning an upcoming trip to NYC, you can visit the Soho lab and create your own personalized hair care routine with a Function of Beauty technician. Not sure you can commit to a new brand without trying it out first? Not to worry, the brand offers free returns within 30 days if you aren’t completely satisfied. www.functionofbeauty.com
Ouai is the brainchild of Hollywood hair guru Jen Atkin. More than a customized hair care service, this is a lifestyle brand complete with how-to videos, a rewards program (earn points for simply engaging with the brand) and an online shop where you can purchase everything from branded tops to dad hats. Atkin’s A-lister and beauty editor following is growing by the day so rest assured that there is more than one product that you are going to fall in love with. Ouai also gets major brownie points for giving you your hair quiz results without ever having to sign up or give your email. We also love that part of your hair care Rx will probably include supplements that are also available on the Ouai website (remember what we were saying about beauty from within?). www.theouai.com