A few months ago, I started using a custom shampoo and conditioner by a brand called Formulate. Personalized haircare has recently had a surge in popularity so when Formulate reached out to see if I would be willing to try them out in exchange for an honest review, I was more than happy to oblige. I was not paid for this post but was sent free product to test out.
So what exactly is a custom shampoo/conditioner?
Everyone has issues with their hair. Too thin, frizzy, itchy scalp, lacks volume or hydration and so on. Formulate’s website asks you a series of questions to determine the issues you have and what you want to achieve. It also takes your environment into consideration to see if it needs to adjust its formula to compensate for things like humidity. It is completely customizable including the scent’s level of strength.
My Hair Issues
So the problem I’ve had with my hair was its lack of hydration, curl definition, oily roots and itchy/flaky scalp. If I was going to try a custom formula, then I wanted it to address most, if not all of these issues as much as possible. No other product I’ve used in the past had ever addressed all of these.
What have I used in the past?
I’ve been a long time serial product jumper. Meaning, I’ve tried multiple products directed for wavy/curly gals like myself. From drugstore brands to slightly pricier and specialized ones from brands like Ouidad. I have also tried my best to stick to a no/low poo method with products from DevaCurl and that has been the worst for me because I shed and lost so much hair using it. I was never loyal to just one brand because I was always in search for the perfect one. I deep condition my hair once a week and use a dry shampoo every other day during my no shampoo days to keep my very oil roots at bay. I use a curl cream while my hair is damp and air-dry my hair 95% of the time. I also always shower at night and typically sleep with slightly damp hair.
Frizz, oily roots and itchy scalp are my top concerns. Curl definition and hydration were secondary to me since I use a curl cream after I shower and try to deep condition my hair once a week. I wash my hair every other day to prevent shampoo from stripping my hair of moisture. For the most part, my wave/curl is manageable with the use of a texturizing spray used the morning of a no shampoo day but I’ve been needing to use a dry shampoo because my roots tend to get oily and greasy.
Formulate’s products are sulfate and paraben free and if you’re used to regular shampoo, you will notice that these don’t lather as well. I used a scalp brush to help distribute the product and it definitely helped. Formulate also suggests you rinse and repeat and the product should lather better the second time. The conditioner’s consistency was thinner and didn’t feel like typical conditioner which made me wonder if it would be hydrating at all. I stopped using all other products except my curl cream during this time so that any change to my hair can be directly attributed to Formulate. They had a few scent options and I picked one called Burgeon thinking it would smell just like orange blossoms as described but it smelled more like sweet orange creamsicle to me which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not what I expected.
Did it work?
Not immediately and I expected that. Like any new skincare routine, your hair needs time to adjust and for the product to work. I will say the first thing I noticed was how less oilier my roots were which then made me use my dry shampoo less until I stopped needing it altogether. At the two week week mark, Formulate sends you an email requesting feedback about your custom formula. I took advantage of this and was honest in my feedback. I didn’t think the conditioner was hydrating enough. My scalp itched less but I was hoping for it to no longer itch at all. The team at Formulate was responsive and offered to reformulate a new one for me taking my feedback into consideration. I also had them change the scent to one called Verdant which was a floral scent with hints of lilies and eucalyptus.
When I received my new bottle, the first thing I checked was the scent. It was much better than the first. In the shower I noticed the new conditioner was creamier than the first but still less than your typical conditioner. Three weeks into my new formula and my oily scalp is pretty much nonexistent. I wash my hair more often now because of the summer weather since I come home all sweaty and gross. Normally shampooing everyday can be drying for my hair but I haven’t had those issues at all. I will say that my scalp itch has reduced by 80%. Not quite the 100% I was hoping for but not scratching my head until it bleeds is a win for me. No other single shampoo/conditioner combo I’ve used in the past has did this much for me. Please note that these results were through a minimum of 6-8 weeks of continuous use.
Will I continue using it?
Most definitely. I’ll be honest and say I was ready to try the free product then go back to my cheaper shampoo but I can’t imagine going back to my frizzy, greasy and itchy hair. It is slightly more $$ than most shampoo and conditioners but in my opinion very much worth the price. Bad hair days are few and far between. I may not have thought it would work but the results very much speak for themselves.
I’m very happy with my experience using Formulate and they have extended their generosity to one lucky follower. They are giving away one set of custom shampoo and conditioner and you can join by entering through the link below.
Giveaway ends on August 5, 2019. Winner will be sent an email with a coupon code to redeem their own custom set. Non winning entries will be sent a $5 off coupon code.
Giveaway open to US residents only.