Hair care startup, Prose, is looking to disrupt the hair care industry through the use of a proprietary technology and algorithm designed to create formulas unique to a user’s hair needs, lifestyle and geographic location.

The company is the brainchild of Arnaud Plas, who previously led the digital acceleration of L’Oréal USA, and Catherine Taurin, a formula designer, both of whom shared a unified mission of challenging mass-produced professional hair care systems. They brought on Paul Michaux, a digital entrepreneur to oversee marketing, and Nicolas Mussat, an AI technology guru as CTO. To date, the four founders have raised $7 million in funding, which includes capital from Forerunner Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Maveron, ISAI and Red Sea Ventures.

“As beauty consumers become increasingly more demanding, personalization is the best experience a brand could offer and our mission is to make it accessible at a larger scale,” explained Arnaud. “Consumers are no longer okay with a hair care brand that lumps them into a hair-type category, and they don’t want to have to choose between a conditioner that helps with curl definition and one that gives them more volume. Prose takes into account all of the different parameters of hair needs so a customer never has to compromise on her hair.”

The Prose experience begins with a comprehensive consultation with questions that extend far beyond just evaluating one’s hair and scalp needs; inquiries are asked about one’s diet, stress level and even zip code in order to assess the potential impact of one’s environment on their hair and scalp. The customer can also specify their hair goals and choose to have their product made fragrance-free or select one of seven scents, which were developed by famed perfumer Karine Sereni Dubreuil. Upon completion, the technology evaluates 85 data points collected in the quiz to develop a customized formula. More than 50 billion possible combinations are possible, which are mixed with a selection of 76 natural active ingredients that are sourced by Prose’s in-house team of chemists and engineers. The result is a hyper-tailored shampoo, conditioner and mask freshly made-to-order out of the company’s NYC studio.

Consumers can opt to have their salon-quality formula co-created in-person with a hair stylist or online at (with or without virtual assistance). Partnering with a stylist is encouraged as their expertise can help the user correctly answer the questions, ensuring the best possible formulas are created. As stylists are seen as an integral part of the process, the company has built a business model that allows them to be ambassadors while receiving a 50 percent commission on the initial sale and 20 percent for repurchases, without housing any product inventory. Stylists are provided with marketing materials, coaching and education, and customer support to aid in their success. Currently, 16 salons and stylists across New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are utilizing the Prose app (iPad only), and participating salons have seen retail sales multiplied 4x on average since joining the program.

While the company declined to provide specific sales figures, a representative revealed that Prose has seen triple-digit growth month-over-month since its December 2017 launch, with more than 15,000 Prose consultations completed during the last three months. There are plans to execute a multi-prong marketing strategy via press, social media, consumer and trade outreach in order to drive awareness. Additionally, the brand will be investing in sampling via tradeshows and events to spread the word.

Prose’s Shampoos and Conditioners cost $25 to $32 each and Hair Masks cost $38 to $48, depending on the ingredient combinations.