French cosmetics giant L'Oréal’s Kérastase hair care brand has unwrapped new smart hairbrush tech that’s designed to help people brush more effectively.
Developed in collaboration with French consumer electronic company Withings, the Hair Coach product was introduced at the CES technology event in Las Vegas. Featuring a wealth of high-tech elements, including a microphone, the Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings – to give it its full title – collects hair data, then transmits it to a smartphone app for further analysis.
18 months in development, the Hair Coach debuted in style, winning 2017’s International CES Innovation Award. This award, according to L’Oréal’s smart hairbrush launch press release, ‘celebrates outstanding product design and engineering in new consumer technology products.’
“Technology is transforming consumers’ daily beauty routines, and smart devices have huge potential to impact how we care for our hair and skin”, explained L’Oréal Research and Innovation Technology Incubator Global Vice President, Guive Balooch. “By using connected technologies to upgrade the hairbrush - something the average consumer uses every day - Withings and Kérastase have reinvented what a person’s relationship with their hair can look like and are showing how connected devices can revolutionize the beauty industry.”
Smart Brush Sensors
Prior to starting work on the Hair Coach, L’Oréal had discovered that vigorous hair brushing could result in split ends, breakage and other hair damage. The Hair Coach mitigates the chance of such events happening thanks to the array of sensors that it features. These smart brush sensors supply hair quality and brushing pattern data. Among them are:
- A microphone that can tell how hair is being brushed from the sounds it makes
- 3-axis load cells that take hair and scalp pressure readings
- A gyroscope and an accelerometer whose roles include additional brushing pattern assessments
- Conductivity sensors that establish whether it’s wet or dry hair that’s being brushed. The Hair Coach itself, incidentally, is water-resistant but not 100 per cent waterproof and power comes from disposable batteries, the Hair Coach not being mains-chargeable.
The sensors work in conjunction with a specialised app, data being sent to it via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The app factors-in the temperature, the humidity level and other values that can affect hair quality to give users an overall score, a brushing effectiveness rating, individually-tailored hints and product recommendations related to the Kérastase range. The Hair Coach is compatible with a range of hair types and it gets to work as soon as brushing’s initiated.
“For more than 50 years, Kérastase has pioneered luxury hair care that’s at the forefront of scientific research”, commented Kérastase’s General Manager, Vincent Nida. “Our customers see their hair as intimate expressions of their identities, and we are always looking to provide them with high quality tools and technologies that make their hair as beautiful as possible. With the Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings’ personalized data and real-time product recommendations, we are bringing new insights to customers’ homes for an even more bespoke hair care experience.”
Retailing at a shade below $200, the Hair Coach will be on sale from summer 2017 onwards.
Main image copyright/courtesy L’Oréal
Text-embedded image used solely for representational purposes