Prose Review: The Only Sulfate and Silicone Free Custom Haircare System
This isn’t the first time I’ve tried out personalized haircare. My first go around was with Function of Beauty, the first ever custom haircare company on the market. Their look was very Instagram-worthy with pastel colors and personalized labels perfect for that shower #shelfie. (You can read my full review of the line here.) I liked Function a lot and in that post I did recommend it. It relaxed my crazy curls, minimized frizz, smelled amaaaaazing, and even helped my hair grow, but I also run into some personal preference problems with the line as well. The biggest being that I didn’t love that the conditioner wasn’t thick like a traditional conditioner, meaning my dry damaged hair was left a bit thirsty. I wasn’t sure if that was due to the specific hair goals I had chosen or that was their consistency of all conditioners regardless of formula. But because I didn’t love the conditioner, when I finished the bottles I had no desire to reorder and to me that is the biggest testament to whether a product is good or not. Since completing my Function of Beauty bottles I’ve not been loyal to any one brand of shampoo or conditioner, and when I recently decided to strip all silicones from my haircare routine my search for the perfect duo became even more tricky.
Prose is the second custom haircare company to hit the market, almost two years after the overwhelming response to Function, but they are no copy-cat. Their hair quiz is far more extensive and evaluates your hair structure, scalp health, lifestyle, environment, hair goals, and most importantly to me, they offer silicone-free formulations (vegan and gluten-free are also options!). When you’ve completed your hair profile, you’re shown all the ingredients inside your formulas. Prose prides themselves on being completely clean, using only safe natural and man-made ingredients that are meticulously tested to deliver results. (Clean and non-toxic beauty is on the rise, but it also can lead to a lot of confusion. Always remember to do your research and not all natural ingredients are good and not all man-made are bad!) One of the coolest features of Prose is their constant innovation. Before you reorder, you’re asked to give feedback and answer a few questions to enhance your next formula, meaning every order is even more customized than before! This is groundbreaking as new seasons, zip codes, or circumstances (i.e. pregnancy, menopause, etc) can change how your hair feels and styles. Just because you have a customized product doesn’t mean reordering the exact same formula you used in winter will perform its best come summer. Thankfully Prose has got you covered no matter where you are in the year. Their made-to-order system creates less waste and their packaging 100% recycled BPA-free PET plastic. Even their shipping materials are recyclable! Prose differentiates from Function of Beauty not only with expertise but also with its aesthetic. The branding and packaging is designed in Paris and showcases that influence with its simple no fuss branding in dark amber apothecary style bottles. I’ll be honest I’m naturally drawn to pastels, but the more time these sit in my shower the more I love the look of them!
My full haircare system included the pre-shampoo mask (used once a week) and a shampoo and conditioner, all specifically formulated without silicones and with ingredients that addressed my hair concerns and goals. (BTW: Not every hair profile will require a pre-shampoo mask.) They recommend using 4-6 pumps of each product, which at first seemed crazy since the bottles are less than 9oz, but after using it I agree that 4-5 pumps is the perfect amount. Sulfates are nowhere in site on the ingredient list, but my hair still felt as clean as a whistle and with enough water added, it lathered up quite well. I was most worried about the conditioner, since my last customized version with Function felt like a slightly thicker shampoo. Thankfully Prose’s had a perfect consistency that had a medium thickness and sufficiently hydrated my hair even without styling products!! Even though you have to use quite a bit of product (due to the lack of sulfates and silicones) I’m 2 months in and have only used 1/3 of each bottle!! The speed that you finish a bottle will depend entirely on your hair length, thickness, and frequency of wash. I have past shoulder length hair, that is fine with medium thickness, and only requires 2-3 washes a week (let’s be honest it’s more like 1-2 because I’m lazy), so even though they recommend to finish the bottles within 3 months I’m confident I’ll get 5-6 months use which makes my wallet very happy. Speaking of wallets I guess I should address the price. Prose is definitely more expensive than Function of Beauty. A shampoo and conditioner duo will run you $50 and another $38 if you buy the pre-shampoo mask (please don’t judge me for spending that much money on products that literally go down the drain!!!!). Function of Beauty offers a variety of sizes, but their most popular 16oz combo sells for $49. You are getting almost twice as much product as Prose, but I whole heartedly believe Prose is still the better product due to their extensive research, innovation, and fantastic results. And when the times comes to reorder, I won’t be skipping out like I did with Function of Beauty.
The reason I reached for Prose in the first place was to address stubborn dandruff. I tried scalp scrubs, detox shampoos, and forewent using ANY styling products in my hair but the dandruff just wouldn’t quit. After some Googling I landed on Prose, whose pre-shampoo masks had been known to help relieve dandruff. A $38 pre-shampoo mask is not what I had in mind, but I was desperate! The mask is a thick cream with a gel-like consistency, which makes it easy to distribute though the hair onto the scalp. To help with the de-dandruffing and overall scalp stimulation I used this silicone scalp brush I bought off Amazon. I now take much longer in the shower than before because I am giving myself the most luxurious head massage outside of a salon. Brett also agrees that it is amazing. If you don’t ever try out Prose, promise me you’ll buy this scalp brush. You really really NEEEEEED it. It’ll be the best $7 you’ve ever spent. Anyways back to the mask, I didn’t have high expectations since I assumed I needed some heavy duty product like Neutrogena’s T-Gel or something abrasive like a scalp scrub, but after I finished showering there wasn’t a flake in sight *insert praise hands emoji.* I’m forever indebted to this pre-shampoo mask and have no plans to discontinue using it. Like I mentioned before, not every recommend haircare system will offer a pre-shampoo mask, but they also have masks that are for other concerns like over-processed/bleached hair which I’ve also heard are life changing and the hero product in the Prose regimen.
Pre-shampoo masks and shampoos and conditioners are not the only products Prose is hoping to tackle. They recently launched customized hair oil! The oil is comprised of 30 unique blends that are all suited for you hair based on your formulation results from the hair quiz. I haven’t yet bit the bullet on it since it’s $48 and I’m currently loving the results I’m seeing with SheaMoisture’s 100% Pure Argan Oil. But knowing myself, I’ll hit add to cart eventually. Overall, I’m extremely impressed with Prose, more than I ever was with Function of Beauty. My hair is soft, smooth, and so much shinier and thanks to the hero product, dandruff free! My next order I might tweak to add ingredients to aid curl definition, since I’ve cut my heat styling almost entirely and forcing myself to love my natural curls. Let’s just say it’s been an interesting 3 weeks with a LOT of hats involved (lol).
Prose offers a referral program to get $10 off your first order, unfortunately I can only post it to FB, so if you are interested in trying out Prose head to the FB page!