Formulate is a custom shampoo and conditioner company that has you work with a chemist to create your own perfect shampoo and conditioner. Your hair, your goals. Formulate is the world’s first personal formulation chemistry service. I’ve recently had the chance to work with Formulate in order to try their product free of charge in exchange for this review.
Formulate uses ingredients that are based on peer-reviewed scientific studies and are paraben, sulfate, and cruelty free as well as being cold-mixed. Once you join Formulate you can continually work with your chemist over time to alter your formula if your preferences or hair goals change. One thing I really love about Formulate is that I can log into my account at any time and see the formulas for both my shampoo and conditioner.
When you enter Formulate’s website you will be asked to answer some questions about yourself and then you will be matched with a personal chemist. So far I have really been impressed with both my chemist and my technician. Formulate states that they want to help you reach your hair and scalp goals, and has multiple areas from which you can choose those goals. Up to 5 different goals can be chosen. I had several goals in mind, but the ones I ultimately chose were anti-frizz, lengthen, strengthen, color protection (I dye my hair), and glossy. In addition to hair goals you will be able to choose the scent of your products. There are 10 different scents to choose from currently and you can also choose the level of strength of your scent – light, medium or strong!
I have found through using the shampoo and conditioner that I have had to adjust my expectations of use. The shampoo doesn’t lather up as much as store-bought shampoos seem to in my hair on the first wash, but I have to be careful not to use too much in the second washing or it lathers too much. This has shown me just how great it cleans my hair and scalp. I’m not even sure I need the second wash, but old habits die hard, right? The conditioner is very different from any other conditioner I’ve used in the past as well. This conditioner is a melt, and I found that in my trial uses I used way too much. The standard amount of conditioner ended up being far, far too much. Through trial and error and messaging with my technician, I came to realize that the cold-pressed melt that Formulate uses doesn’t require a ton of product, and I now only need a fraction of the conditioner I used in the past.
I’ve been using Formulate for several weeks now, and here is how I’m faring so far. I have tried 2 different scents. First I chose Cool Coconut. I loved the scent but my 4-year-old poured the remainder into the bath for bubbles, so I had to get a new one. Super sad day! I decided that if I was going to go again, I’d try another scent and allowed my technician to surprise me. She chose Serenity, which is a lovely blend of Lavendar and Chamomile. Perhaps she thought I needed something to help me relax after the first debacle! I loved the scent but I had chosen light for both options. I decided to tweak my formula just a little, and when I did I upped the scent factor to Medium. I don’t typically like really strong smells so I started out light. But I liked the scent so much that I stepped it up in hopes that it would remain in my hair more strongly!
Formulate offers their shampoo and conditioner sets in three sizes. You can order them in a 4oz., 8 oz. or 14 oz. size. I started with an 8 oz. set because I wanted enough to use it for awhile for my review, but not so much that if I decided to change my formula I would feel wasteful not using the rest. And while I did change my formula, I will use the rest of what I have before I start with the new set. I’m happy with it so far and don’t want to be wasteful.
So far the pros of using Formulate are that my hair definitely looks fuller. For reference, I have fine hair that is about 4-5 inches below my shoulders. It is wavy and frizzy naturally. Fullness wasn’t even one of my hair goals, and yet, here I am! Even my husband, who isn’t bad but doesn’t always notice when I’ve made a change, commented on my hair and said it looked like it had more body. It’s definitely shinier than it has been in the past as well. But I think my favorite thing about this experience has been that it really seems to clean my hair and scalp better than anything I’ve ever used. In the past I got one good hair day, and that was the day I washed it. On day two I would need dry shampoo, and even then it wouldn’t be any good down and I’d need to pull it up. But now I get two awesome hair days without the oil I used to struggle with, and even on day three I don’t always need dry shampoo and I can pull it back without it appearing greasy! This is an absolute first for me.
In all I would give Formulate a 10/10 as far as product quality, customer service and value. While Formulate costs a little more than I might have paid in the past for my products, the quality far outweighs them. Not only that, but I use far less product than I needed in the past – especially for conditioner. And it’s also saved me from continuously trying new things in order to find the right thing. I’ve been washing my hair for 43 years and it took me until now to find something I really love.
Want to win your own 8 oz. set? Enter my giveaway here for a chance! Click below to enter the giveaway, and even if you don’t win, you will get $5 off!