Workville Member Spotlight: Zahir Dossa, Ph.D of Function of Beauty

By April 11, 2017 No Comments

Launched in December 2015, Function of Beauty recently closed a new $9.5 million Series A funding round led by GGV Capital. Y Combinator followed on in the round, bringing Function of Beauty’s total funding amount to $12 million. But how did this personalized, customized haircare company come together?

Co-Founder and CEO Zahir Dossa, who runs Function of Beauty out of his private office suite at Workville earned his PhD at MIT with a concentration in sustainability. “I established [my first business] The Argan Tree to directly connect a cooperative of 60 women in Morocco producing and manufacturing argan oil with customers who wanted argan oil based products,” says Dossa on the sunny terrace at Workville NYC.

“While it was a successful brand and we were growing rapidly, every time I asked for feedback from customers they all gave different and often conflicting feedback. Based on this, I had the idea starting a shampoo/conditioner line that truly gave everyone the option to completely customize their own beauty products and give each person exactly what he or she wanted out of the products they use.


Using a unique algorithm based on results from each customer’s survey results, Function of Beauty generates over 12 billion shampoo/conditioner combinations and each bottle is individually filled per each individual order.

“It took years of working with cosmetic chemists and utilizing my engineering and development background to get it to where it is today,” Dossa says. “We’re always continuing to make tweaks and improve our formula on a daily basis. We take customer feedback very seriously and adjust when necessary to continue to offer the best product for every single person.”

Working with his team at their Workville NYC office space, Dossa really values the natural light of his office and the common areas. “Natural light is something that’s extremely important to me and my productivity,” he says. “I love all the natural sunlight in our office. And I have long hours, often working late at night or on the weekends, so it’s always great to have a familiar face working alongside me. The Workville team is incredibly supportive, especially with our popup this past November. It is clear they care about us, Function of Beauty, and our success.

And, of course, Dossa and his team like the centrally located, midtown Manhattan office location. “Izakaya Mews is my new favorite discovery for Japanese food,” he says. “Frame is a glorified bodega with any food imaginable, and Parker and Quinn is perfect for after work drinks!”

This summer Function of Beauty will be launching a retail store in SoHo featuring an interactive experience where customers can order their shampoos and conditioners and watch the products be made and filled live in real time.

Function of Beauty is customizing and revolutionizing the haircare industry, and continues to grow in their Workville HQ. 2017 is already shown to be a big year for Dossa and his team.

Congrats, Zahir Dossa! We’re proud of your success and happy to champion you here at Workville!


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