There’s a new beauty innovator entering NYC: Function of Beauty, which has opened a Nolita pop-up, transforming Mulberry Street’s Ruby’s Cafe into a chic chemistry lab that churns out customized, personalized haircare. The company launched last December, and sells exclusively online.
“[Function of Beauty] started out of a beauty company in the past, called The Argan Tree,” co-founder Zahir Dossa told The Daily. “We asked customers what we could do better, and everyone gave us a different answer—some said different fragrance, some said stronger fragrance, some said more moisturizing, others said more cleansing. If we wanted to satisfy every customer, we’d have to create 1,000 SKUs with 10,000 units, which is impossible. The only way was to construct a machine to individually fill bottles.”
Dossa and his team are constructing small science labs for customers to visit, where they fill out a brief questionnaire about their hair type, pick up to five hair goals (like hydration, color protection, or oil control), select from five colors and four fragrances (including potency), and leave with a personalized shampoo and conditioner, right down to the physical bottle, which prints their name on the face.
“I’m a computer scientist by training, so it was easy for me to work with Hian [Nguyen], my partner, who’s a chemist, to come up with an algorithm that can put preferences into ingredient components,” Dossa added. “We looked at the most common hair goals that people had, and came up with a list of 17. For each of those, we looked at the ingredients that have been shown to back them up. Each blend ranges from two to three ingredients all the way to six or seven.”
The pop-up, located at 219 Mulberry Street, will be open from November 11 to 16 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. The sulfate-, paraben-, and cruelty-free products range from $32 to $42 per set, which come in a variety of 8 oz. and 16 oz. combinations.