Commerce Catalysts

Strategy and designPress

Modern Retail Feature: Function of Beauty's Tailored Approach to Custom Haircare Lines for Retailers

Strategy and designPress

Function of Beauty, a hair care startup that originally offered custom-made product subscriptions, is expanding into retail by developing specific product lines for different retailers. Unlike releasing a single collection for multiple retailers, Function of Beauty is tailoring its offerings to cater to various customer needs and preferences. The company's latest Pro collection is being launched on Sephora's website and in hundreds of stores across the U.S. and Canada. This new collection is aimed at hair damage repair and was developed in collaboration with professional stylists. It features proprietary bond-building ingredients and includes shampoos, conditioners, and treatment pods called Hair Goal Concentrates.

Function of Beauty's approach now spans three distinct product lines: the hyper-customized direct-to-consumer (DTC) offering, the salon-grade Pro range for Sephora, and the value-driven mass retail collection designed for Target. Alexandra Papazian, CEO of Function of Beauty, explained that different lines are being created to align with each retailer's customer base. The Pro range is intended for Sephora's premium haircare assortment, while the Target collection provides accessible entry points to the brand.

The brand's website, functioning as the top of the brand pyramid, offers the highest degree of customization through an algorithmic quiz that tailors products to each visitor's hair texture, goals, color, fragrance, and even bottle label preferences. This level of customization is not entirely feasible in a retail setting, so Function of Beauty introduced concentrate pods that customers can mix with base products to maintain some degree of tailoring across all channels.

Personalization is a growing trend in the beauty industry, especially as retailers aim to attract Gen Z shoppers. Function of Beauty's approach reflects this trend, and its partnership with Target and Sephora has proven successful. As Function of Beauty continues to expand into new retailers, it plans to maintain DTC as its flagship channel while increasingly integrating retail into its business strategy.

For hair care, the rise of texture-specific solutions in retail environments from brands like Shaz & Kiks, Amika, OUAI, and K18 Hair illustrates the sophisticated expectations of personalization from shoppers across generations and ethnic backgrounds. Despite the complicated formats that sometimes accompany a ‘made-for-you’ collection sold online, a retail experience remains important for brands to execute customization at scale.

Amber Williams

VP, Brand Strategy

byStrategy and design

One notable instance of Function of Beauty's expansion is its recent launch of the Pro collection on Sephora's platform. This move marks a significant step for the company into the premium haircare market and highlights its commitment to developing specialized lines for different retailers. To delve deeper into Function of Beauty's strategy and its journey into the world of retail, including insights from our own subject matter expert, Amber Williams, VP of Brand Strategy for Front Row's Strategy and Design division, read the full article on Modern Retail here.