These Custom Haircare Brands Will Give Your Hair the TLC It Deserves

A personalized formula may be just what your tresses need.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

When it comes to shopping for haircare products, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the plethora of choices on the shelves. The endless options are often limited to popular brands and offer a “one-size fits all” approach to haircare. With vocabulary like dry scalp, colored hair, hair prone-to-breakage, clarifying, cleansing, moisturizing, etc., choosing the right haircare products can feel more like an Olympic sport instead of a pleasant self-care experience. Thankfully, there are a number of custom haircare brands that cater to your unique needs when it comes to shampooing, conditioning, and using specialized products on your hair. 

Finding custom haircare typically consists of an online questionnaire that gathers information like the characteristics of your hair (think hair type, hair length, hair color, etc.), and your usual haircare routine. From there, you’ll receive recommendations on a custom routine and/or custom line of products made specifically for you and sent directly to your doorstep—forget the hassle of in-store shopping!

Whether you want to transform your haircare routine or are looking to incorporate new products to accomplish your hair goals, we carefully picked the best custom haircare brands to help you every step of the way.

7 Best Custom Haircare Brands of 2023

These Custom Haircare Brands Will Give Your Hair the TLC It Deserves
These Custom Haircare Brands Will Give Your Hair the TLC It Deserves

Best Customization Options : Prose

prose custom hair care


Key Specs
  • Types of products offered: Shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, leave-in conditioner, dry shampoo, hair gel, hair oil, curl cream, root supplements
  • Free shipping? Free with subscription; $7 for all other orders
  • Subscription required? No
Pros & Cons
  • Detail-oriented quiz curates products for specific hair needs and goals

  • Transparent ingredient index

  • Offers extra accessories to complete your routine

  • Products can be costly without subscription discount

  • Contacting customer service must be done via email

Why We Recommend It 

From its comprehensive questionnaire to the range of products offered, Prose always has the customer in mind. To get your custom product line, you first must complete a quiz that gathers basic information like hair texture, length, and styling routine—but Prose doesn’t stop there. Once you fill out the standard questions, the quiz asks more about your lifestyle and digs deep to learn more about factors that could affect your hair health, like dietary habits and restrictions, stress levels, workout regimens, and geographic location.  

Using the answers from your questionnaire, Prose curates a shampoo and conditioner that targets specific areas that need support, like dryness or sensitivity, and recommends additional products to build a thorough routine. The 8.5-ounce shampoo and conditioner bottles cost $32 each, but if you subscribe for recurring deliveries, you can save 15% on all Prose products. In addition to the essential shampoo and conditioner, the company offers styling products like dry shampoo, hair gel, hair oil, and curl cream, as well as supplements that target shedding and foster hair growth. Shipping is free for subscribers and $7 for all other orders. 

Best Product Variety : Function of Beauty

function of beauty custom hair care

Function of Beauty

Key Specs
  • Types of products offered: Shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, hair serum, leave-in conditioner, styling primer, purple shampoo, purple conditioner, purple hair mask, co-wash
  • Free shipping? Free with subscription; $10 for all other orders
  • Subscription required? No
Pros & Cons 
  • Extensive line of haircare products including styling primer and hair serum

  • Purple toning products are customizable

  • Offers skin and body care products

  • Quiz is shorter compared to competitors

  • Shipping is only free with a subscription

Why We Recommend It 

You may recognize Function of Beauty from the shelves of Target, but the company’s products are not limited to what you can get in stores—Target products are also a little different than what you can get directly from the brand online. Directly, Function of Beauty offers an extensive line of hair products that are tailored to your specific hair type to prioritize your hair goals. The company especially stands out against others for its line of purple products, including purple shampoo, conditioner, and hair masks that target brassy undertones for those with blonde, silver, or highlighted hair.  

To get started, fill out the site’s short, two-minute quiz that asks about hair structure, scalp moisture, and color/treatment history. From there, choose up to five hair goals from a list of over 20 recommendations that range from nourishing roots to deep conditioning, and then select your perfect fragrance. Once your answers and preferences are analyzed, Function of Beauty builds an order for you that includes a custom shampoo and conditioner, as well as other products like a leave-in conditioner and styling primer to boost your routine. Choose from an eight- or 16-ounce shampoo and conditioner bottle, which will run you $21 and $27 each, respectively. If you opt to become a Function of Benefits subscriber, you receive a 15% discount plus free shipping on all orders.

Best for Men : Hims

hims custom hair care


Key Specs
  • Types of products offered: Shampoo, conditioner, prescription topical spray, prescription foam, prescription drops, prescription pills, biotin gummies
  • Free shipping? Yes, on prescription orders; $5 processing fee for all other orders
  • Subscription required? No
Pros & Cons 
  • Products specifically formulated for men experiencing hair loss

  • Prescription and non-prescription products available

  • Access to support from medical experts

  • Does not offer general haircare products

  • Finding nonprescription products can take some navigating

Why We Recommend It  

For men struggling with hair thinning or hair loss, Hims provides a seamless and discreet hair treatment experience from the comfort of your home. The company’s line of prescription and nonprescription products range from the Max Volume shampoo and conditioner duo ($32 for both, $18 individually) to prescription foam, drops, and topical spray. Upon entering the Hims site, you’re prompted to take a quiz that gathers information about the type of hair loss you’re experiencing (bald spots, receding hairline, thinning all over, etc.), hair treatment history, and hair goals. Based on your results, the company will suggest a treatment plan that can include prescription products, which require a consultation with a Hims medical professional. 

A subscription isn’t required to shop the site if you opt for the nonprescription choices. And if you need a prescription product, you get one-on-one support from medical experts along with periodic follow-ups to track your progress. The site’s inventory is limited, though, as it is aimed toward shoppers experiencing hair loss, so keep that in mind if you are shopping for general haircare products. Shipping is free on all prescription orders, but there is a $5 processing fee for all other orders.

Best Scientifically Formulated : Formulate

formulate hair care


Key Specs
  • Types of products offered: Shampoo, conditioner, scalp serum
  • Free shipping? Yes
  • Subscription required? No
Pros & Cons 
  • Chemist-curated formula caters to your specific needs

  • Communicate with your personal chemistry team via the Formulate app

  • Free shipping on all orders

  • Selection of haircare products is limited

  • Customer service is only accessible through email

Why We Recommend It 

If you aren’t impressed with the common and ineffective hair products sold in stores, Formulate will wow you with its products specially designed by chemists based on your hair needs. Like other custom haircare companies, your journey with Formulate begins by taking a simple quiz to build the best formula for you. The quiz inquires about your specific hair texture, thickness, oil and dryness levels, and scalp conditions, but goes further to understand factors that affect your hair, including environment (your location’s average UV index, humidity, and temperature), water type (well or public), allergies, formula restrictions, and more.  

Based on the results, your personal chemist will mix a custom shampoo and conditioner set with your preferred scent. Formulate offers three different sizes for the shampoo and conditioner set: travel size, four-ounce bottles ($20), eight-ounce bottles ($39), and 14-ounce bottles ($49). If you are looking to add more to your routine, the company also has a $39 scalp serum to use with your custom products. We especially appreciate Formulate’s user-friendly app that allows you to easily communicate with your chemistry team and provide updates, feedback, or adjustments along the way. Delivery frequency is flexible and ranges from immediate to eight weeks, and shipping is free with every order.

Most Comprehensive : Strands

strands hair care


Key Specs
  • Types of products offered: Shampoo, conditioner 
  • Free shipping? Free with subscription; $5 for all other orders
  • Subscription required? No
Pros & Cons 
  • Comprehensive formula design process

  • Provide a hair sample to get the most accurate product

  • One-time purchases and subscription options available

  • Only offers shampoo and conditioner

  • Receiving a product is contingent upon submitting a sample

Why We Recommend It 

By far, Strands is the most comprehensive custom haircare experience on the market. The site’s unique approach to formulating a custom duo of shampoo and conditioner goes beyond the typical online quiz and uses a hair sample to diagnose and effectively treat your hair problems. The Strands Starter Set, priced at $50 (or $40 when you subscribe), consists of two separate shipments: the Test Kit and the products. In your Test Kit, you receive sebum test strips, four sample scent cards, a sample collection bag, and a return label. Once you activate your kit online, collect your hair sample from a hairbrush, comb, shower, or haircut, and send it to Strands using the included sample bag and return label. 

After your hair sample is received, experts at Strands take two to four business days to evaluate various factors that make up your hair health, like protein levels, scalp sebum, hair texture, cuticle health, etc. through microscopic imaging. When the analysis is completed, you get the second part of the kit, which includes your personalized hair analysis report, a detailed product ingredient list, and your custom shampoo and conditioner duo. If you subscribe to Strands, you receive a 20% discount on all orders; otherwise, shipping is $5.

Best for Varying Hair Thickness : Ouai

ouai custom hair care


Key Specs
  • Types of products offered: Shampoo, conditioner, scalp scrub, scalp serum, leave-in conditioner, volume spray, wave spray, masks, hair oil, hair foam, hair cream, pomade, dry shampoo, supplements
  • Free shipping? Yes, for orders over $50; $10 for orders under $50
  • Subscription required? No
Pros & Cons 
  • Founded by celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin

  • Products cater to those with different hair thicknesses and textures

  • No subscription needed to shop

  • Products are not customizable

  • Introductory quiz has limited answer options

Why We Recommend It

Ouai was founded by hairstylist Jen Atkin, known for her extensive celebrity clientele, which includes the Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, and Bella and Gigi Hadid. Unlike other companies that take an ultra-specific approach to haircare, Ouai has a generalized focus on creating products that cater to customers with varying hair thickness. Shopping the site’s large line of products is easy using the navigation bar, but if you want haircare recommendations, Ouai has a short hair quiz that asks about your hair thickness, hair concerns, hair treatment history, and desired goals. From there, you get a recommended set of products to build your daily routine. 

Ouai’s extensive product inventory includes 10-ounce shampoos and conditioners that target thin, medium, and thick hair types, all of which are priced at $32 each. In addition to the basics, the company offers specialized styling products, including: volume spray ($18), wave spray (from $14), texturizing hair spray (from $14), air dry foam ($28), super dry shampoo (from $14), and finishing crème ($26), to name a few. Ouai’s products are not customizable but are great if you’re looking for high-quality solutions to your hair thickness problems. Shipping will cost you $10 on orders under $50 but is free once you order more than $50. The products are also available at stores like Sephora and Ulta Beauty.

Best With Pigment : Aura

aura custom hair care


Key Specs
  • Types of products offered: Shampoo, conditioner, pigmented conditioners, pigmented hair masques, balayage highlighting kit 
  • Free shipping? Yes, for orders over $60; $6 for orders under $60
  • Subscription required? No
Pros & Cons 
  • Option to add semi-permanent or neutralizing pigment to your custom product

  • Choose from different shade categories like classic or fantasy when building a formula

  • 15% discount when you sign up for recurring deliveries

  • Limited haircare line

  • High purchase threshold to apply for free shipping

Why We Recommend It 

Did you know that you can get hair products with pigment added to achieve your hair color goals? Meet Aura, a haircare company that specializes in custom hair products, as well as pigmented conditioners and hair masks. 

To begin, take the introductory quiz that covers basic hair questions regarding your hair length, texture, thickness, density, sensitivity, and styling routine. Using the information provided, Aura recommends hair goals, and gives you the option to add semi-permanent pigment or neutralizer to your formula, which is where the process gets fun! If you opt for this option, there are three different categories to choose from: Classic shades (meant to enrich hair colors, e.g. Medium Brunette or Ash Copper), Fantasy shades (includes pigments like French Lavender and Rose Gold), or Neutralizer (purple-toned to minimize brassiness). 

After picking your color and desired fragrance, get your custom 10-ounce shampoo and conditioner bottles that are $28 each (you can save 15% with autoship). Along with your haircare duo, you can also get a custom eight-ounce hair masque for $28. For adventurous shoppers, Aura offers an at-home balayage highlighting kit ($28), in addition to a variety of hair accessories. Get free shipping when you spend $60 or more; otherwise, shipping costs $6 per order.

Final Verdict

Regardless of your hair type or desired goals, there are several custom hair brands that address whatever you are looking to accomplish in your haircare routine. Companies like Prose and Function of Beauty have a vast selection of customizable products to suit your needs. Other brands, like Formulate and Strands, take a scientific approach to haircare through detailed quizzes, chemist formulations, and unique techniques. For special hair needs, Hims and Ouai have specific products tailored toward those with either hair loss or varying hair thickness. Lastly, Aura offers custom products with pigment for those who want to add color to their daily hair ritual.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Custom Haircare Worth It?

    Custom haircare is a great option if you have hair that doesn’t work with traditional, store-bought products, or if you want to add variety to your haircare routine. With custom haircare, you can get personalized products based on your hair needs and goals.  

  • What Is the Difference Between Regular Shampoo and Clarifying Shampoo?

    Regular shampoo is meant to gently clean hair and has a combination of surfactants (cleansing agents) and some type of protective ingredient (like silicone) to provide moisture and shine to the locks. Clarifying shampoo, on the other hand, is formulated to deeply cleanse and detoxify hair by removing residue left from products like oils, gels, and mousses and strip excess buildup. 

  • Is Silicone Bad for Curly Hair?

    Generally speaking, silicone is a safe ingredient, and there are no risks to using products with silicone on curly hair. Excessive use of silicone products, particularly ones that have insoluble silicones like dimethicone, dimethiconol, stearyl dimethicone, and cetyl dimethicone, can create buildup and cause hair to look oily and feel weighed down. Additionally, these silicones can also prevent moisture from penetrating the hair shafts, which can result in brittle, dry, or frizzy hair. A good rule of thumb is to use a combination of products that have silicone and are silicone-free to ensure your hair is getting moisture protection without the risk of breakage or excess buildup.

  • Do Haircare Products Expire?

    Like skincare and makeup products, haircare products do expire. The shelf life for unopened hair products is about three years and is reduced to one year for opened products. Expiration is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to haircare products, and in most cases, will just result in the product losing its efficacy. 


We reviewed more than a dozen custom haircare brands to compile a list of the best companies. While researching, we considered many factors, including product variety, prices, and subscription options. We also looked at each service's method of customization, shipping costs, customer support channels, and ingredients.  

Women styling her curly hair

ohlamour studio / Stocksy

Article Sources
  1. Real Simple. "Ask a Beauty Editor: Why You Should Never Use Expired Shampoo."