Recall: April 2020. The pandemic had just begun to settle in, and the quarantined population was beginning to miss some of its creature comforts.
Religious salon-goers were turning to at-home color kits for the first time in their lives, and the results were uh, less than fantastic. In the nearly two years since, they haven’t gotten much better. Enter: the Colorsonic, a hair dye magic wand that debuted at CES 2022.
The Colorsonic is a handheld device from L’Oreal that aims to make the at-home hair coloring process less messy and more consistent. The wand-like device uses recyclable cartridges of dye and developer inserted into the handle, which it then mixes and distributes to the oscillating nozzle. Users simply brush the Colorsonic over their hair like they would any comb, and the dye is deposited onto their tresses, which is later rinsed out. Any remaining dye can be saved for future touch ups.
“If you went to the supermarket in the 1960s, you would see box color kits that look very similar to what we’ve seen in 2021,” Guive Balooch, Global Head of Research and Innovation’s Tech Incubator at L’Oreal, told Mashable. “We wanted to solve some of those age-old consumer needs around hair color. At home, what we see is that consumers think it’s messy to color hair at home, it takes a lot of time, [people are] nervous to do it at home. So we tried to invent something using technology that could enhance the formula and help people apply it better.”
To pick the perfect color for a specific hair history, the Colorsonic will also pair with a digital questionnaire and recommendation service, which asks for details like hair length, existing color, and gray coverage. Once a user chooses their color and appropriate amount, it ships directly to their home, paired with reusable gloves.
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While the pandemic has become more a part of everyday life, the demand for DIY beauty hasn’t waned. “L’Oreal started with hair color 110 years ago, and we hope now with technology we can bring it into the future and make people’s lives easier, especially these days when everyone is trying to get more and more services at home,” siad Balooch.
For those looking to return to the salon experience, L’Oreal also launched the Coloright, an AI-based diagnostic tool that scans hair for porosity, gray percentage, and other advanced elements that hair professionals can use to properly color hair.
After scanning, the device determines a custom dye “recipe” to achieve the desired look, and the user can also virtually try-on the color with a connected iPad. The Coloright diagnostic tool can be paired with an additional device to actually create the color recipe, or salon professionals can choose to use their own supplies to achieve the look.
The two new hair tech products are expected to launch to consumers in 2023, and L’Oreal did not provide pricing information for either product.
These latest debuts come after a history of innovative beauty tech from L’Oreal, which consistently launches both personal use beauty tech products and professional tools. At CES 2020, L’Oreal introduced the Perso, a personalized skincare dispenser and analyzer that also went on to power the Rouge Sur Mesure device for custom lipstick. At CES 2021, a sustainable showerhead for salons called the Watersaver made its arrival.
Looking forward, Balooch expects to continue expanding L’Oreal’s roster of beauty tech devices. The company is looking to focus on wellness in beauty by incorporating research on how hormones, environmental factors, sleep, and nutrition may affect skincare. In addition, it is exploring how tech can be used for makeup application, hoping to help more people create the beauty looks they desire despite their individual skill levels.