Hydrates coily curls
Has great slip
Formulated without harmful ingredients
A bit pricey
Prose Shampoo and Conditioner
We put Prose's Shampoo and Conditioner to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
I am a passive Instagram scroller—I imagine that's true for a lot of us. During my mindless social media scrolls, I often come across brands that make me say, "I should try that." Prose is one of those brands. The cute packaging, picturesque photos, and the idea of customization are enticing. However, I am wary of startup brands I discover on Instagram because pretty packaging and photos don't always mean you end up with a product you love.
For that reason, I usually stop myself just after I hit the click-through link—until now! When I got the opportunity to review Prose, I decided I was ready to give the customizable haircare brand a try. To get started, I filled out the brand's online hair consultation and answered questions about my hair, shared my zip code, and even selected my own fragrance story.
Read on for my unfiltered thoughts about Prose's custom shampoo and conditioner.
Best for: A variety of hair types
Uses: Cleansing and hydrating
Potential Allergens: Fragrance (but it’s optional)
Active Ingredients: Professional silicone, fermented rice water, argan, sacha yushi and jojoba oils, plant collagen, lilac, and hyaluronic acid
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
Price: $25 each (8.5 ounces), $50 for both
About the brand: Prose is a customizable direct-to-consumer haircare brand.
About My Hair: 4c, low-porosity hair with highlights
I am a proud 4c girl with low porosity, color-treated hair. My curls were prone to dryness, shrinkage, and those pesky knots that can keep the hair from retaining length even before taking the plunge to highlight my hair. Since highlighting my curls, my hair's dryness has gotten worse. My parched curls have forced me to make amendments to my pretty low maintenance routine: washing, conditioning, and applying a leave-in. All of those items are still in play.
However, now I pre-poo before washing my curls and deep condition under a hood dryer for 30 minutes weekly. Both shampoo and conditioners are essential components of my routine. Because I use creams and gels, a clarifying shampoo that doesn't strip my hair of moisture is especially important, but I'm not too picky about my shampoo. The conditioner is where I focus most of my attention, like many naturals. I like a product with great slip and oils that penetrate my hair.
The Feel: Light with great slip
When I shampoo, I like to dangle with my fingers as I go even with a clarifying shampoo. I was able to do that with this one. During my online consultation, I had the option to opt-out of silicones in my shampoo and conditioner. When I hit the opt-out box, the Prose site did warn me that my shampoo and conditioner experience might not be what I'd expect. So I opted to have their water-soluble version of PEG-7 dimethicone. My guess is the silicone is what made my shampoo detangling a hassle-free process.
I opted-in to the silicone for the conditioner as well. The conditioner felt creamy in my hands, but I didn't expect much. Conditioners can feel great in your palms, but leave much to be desired when applied to my curls. I love a product that proves me wrong, and the slip of the purple-hued conditioner made me do a double-take. I used nine pumps. The creamy conditioner gilded right onto each section of my hair—even the crown of my head. The curls on the crown of my head are my problem children, but detangling was a breeze.
Ingredients: Customizable with active ingredients
Since Prose's offerings are customizable, each product's components will be made specifically for your hair concerns. I found their use of actives like hyaluronic acid, fermented rice water, and plant collagen pretty unique. A few of these might be in the products I currently use, but I've never seen them called out as key ingredients. The Prose website says that each product contains between three and five active ingredients.
Prose products are formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils, and GMOs. However, they do offer their products with what they call professional silicones. If silicones are a hard no for you, don't you worry, you can request your products are formulated without them. If you're curious about all of the ingredients they source for their products, you can see them along with their EWG scores here.
The Scent: Smelled like a spa day
I enjoy scented products. I do prefer them not to be synthetic or too strong. Prose offers quite a few different scents and an option to opt-out of any fragrance in your products. I selected Botanica as its 100% natural option. The hints of eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary stand out in the best way. As someone working to manage chronic anxiety having this scent in the shower was a sensory experience that felt spa-like.
The Packaging: Customized label
One thing that stands out to me about Prose is its packaging. Opening the box and seeing a label with my name, my specific hair concerns, and even my zip code was pretty cool. Please note that their bottles do come with pumps. However, I accidentally threw mine out because I didn't read the little label on the packaging, letting me know my pump was safely tucked away in the same cardboard as my shampoo.
The Results: Hydrated my coily curls
As a natural girl, I know my hair is moisturized post-washday when my curls are defined without any additional product.
As you can see in my after photo, there is shrinkage. However, my curls are poppin'.
If I'd added my leave-in and curl cream right after my conditioner in the shower on soaking-wet curls (this is recommended for naturals with low porosity hair), that shrinkage would have been non-existent. The reason for that is my hair was hydrated from just the shampoo and conditioner.
The Value: A good value depending on your needs
The Prose Shampoo and Conditioner retail for around $25 each. I think for personalized hair care, that is a pretty good value, considering much of what we buy and use on our hair regularly is in the same price range without the personalized touch. While I think the personalization makes the shampoo worth taking a second look, since my hair is natural and dense, I would run through the conditioner very quickly. That would make the investment pretty costly for me over time.
Similar Products: Other customizable lines with varying options
Function of Beauty Custom Shampoo & Conditioner ($50): Function of Beauty offers fully customizable hair products that are sulfate, paraben,cruelty-free, and vegan. Their formulas can be made silicone-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free. With their service, you will complete an online hair profile to determine the best formulation for your hair goals. The price will vary between $30 and $50 depending on which products you choose.
Strands The Starter Set ($50): The Strands The Starter Set does things a little differently than other customizable haircare lines. First, you'll request a kit that will then be shipped to you. Next, you collect a few strands of hair, mail them back to their lab, and from there, you will get a fully customized hair care routine along with an analysis of your hair.
My experience with Prose's Shampoo and Conditioner exceeded my expectations. The personalization process was concise and straightforward. Not to mention, the products smelled like a spa day, and the slip of both the shampoo and conditioner didn't disappoint. I would add the conditioner to my routine if it came in a larger size at a price point I thought was reasonable. The scented conditioner is truly a sensory experience that leaves my dryness-prone 4c hair hydrated and smelling wonderful.
- Product Name Shampoo and Conditioner
- Product Brand Prose
- Price $25 each
- Weight 8.5 oz.
- Ingredients Ingredients are specific to the formula you customize