Please note that while I was given these products free of charge to review, my opinions are entirely my own. The following review is my honest experience after exclusively using my customized shampoo and conditioner from Formulate for just over a month.
I have never gotten compliments on my hair. It was decently healthy looking until I suffered from an eating disorder in middle school, at which point it fell out in clumps and lost any redeeming qualities it once had. Almost ten years later, my hair still has yet to recover. I’m embarrassed by the way my hair looks on a regular basis, and have outlined a bit of what I have struggled with most below. If you can relate to any of these or have hair struggles of your own, I encourage you to keep reading (note that there is a giveaway at the end!).
I still remember the day we learned the names of different hair textures in my high school French class, because I was the only one my classmates described as having hair that was “frisée.” In pictures, I am often the only one with baby hairs shooting out all over the place. Even though I brush my hair every day, various people have asked why I don’t brush my hair before I go out in public. I’ve virtually given up on watching haircare tutorials on YouTube because the tips they often give are to stop coloring, bleaching, or heat-treating your hair – two things I honestly have never done and the third I do maybe five times a year.
When a company called Formulate reached out to me to see if I wanted to try out and review their products, I could not have been more excited. Not only would I get to test new products they were confident would help my hair, but I would get to review them for you in a way I wish more haircare content was created – simple and straightforward. Aside from beginning my own hair journey, the major reason I wanted to work with Formulate was because they shared my view that good haircare starts with a solid foundational knowledge of what you hair needs to look its best. More specifically, they create a custom formula to give your hair everything it needs and nothing that it doesn’t. When you visit their website, you first take what is called the hair wizard to identify what struggles you are having with your hair, what goals you have for your hair, and even what climate your hair is most often exposed to! If you find that your first formula doesn’t work exactly as you had hoped (which could definitely happen if you’re as unfamiliar with hair terminology as me), you can contact Formulate and their chemist will create a new formula for you!
The best part about these products is that they completely have my hair in mind; not just in the ingredients they choose to help address my specific hair needs, but also in the emphasis they put on having all-natural products. Their shampoos and conditioners are sulfate-free, sodium-free, paraben-free, and animal cruelty-free! When you receive your products, they come with a handout detailing what ingredients were added specifically to address the concerns you mentioned when taking the hair wizard, as well as a full ingredients list for your convenience. For those of us who are only 85% confident that we’ve been using shampoo and conditioner correctly our whole lives, they even provide a step-by-step breakdown of how much product to use, where to apply it, and how long to let it sit.
Review & Results
I only wash my hair about 2-3 times per week, so change didn’t happen overnight. Right away, however, I did fall in love with the scent I picked (called At Dawn, which is a citrusy smell) and thought that the lather of the shampoo felt really refreshing. Within a few uses, my scalp started to feel less itchy, which is a huge burden for me during these long Wisconsin winters. I could finally brush my hair without my scalp starting to hurt!
It takes time for your hair to adjust to new products in general and shampoos specifically, since each brand and set of ingredients removes different amounts of oil from your hair. When transitioning to all-natural products like those from Formulate, be sure you give your hair extra time to adjust and wait a few washes before deciding whether the formula is right for you; hair that has previously been treated with sulfates and other chemicals will likely be used to producing more oil and may continue to do so until it accommodates to the new product, which does not strip all of your hair’s natural oils away. Excess oil did weigh my hair down a little bit at first, but eventually, my hair accommodated. The product did leave my hair with a nice shine and stronger, healthier appearance!
I am teaming up with Formulate to give away a free set of customized shampoo and conditioner! To enter, all you need to do is click on the link below and follow the steps to the end. You will even be able to see my answers to the hair wizard before entering your own. It is free and easy to enter. Every single person who enters the giveaway will receive $5 towards a Formulate purchase and free shipping! These products have the potential to improve your hair, and the Formulate staff are readily available along the way to make accommodations when your hair needs or goals change. I highly recommend their products – not because they do one thing well, but because they have the potential to do many things well for people of all hair types. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
UPDATE 2/22: Giveaway now closed.