L’Oreal Supports Data-Driven Hair Care

Alarice Rajagopal
Senior Editor
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Kerastase, in partnership with Withings, announced the Kerastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings — the world’s first-ever "smart" hairbrush.

Developed in collaboration with L’Oreal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator, the brush features Withings’ advanced sensors and product design along with L’Oreal’s patent-pending signal analysis algorithms to score the quality of hair and monitor the effects of different hair care routines. An accompanying mobile app provides additional insights and customized product recommendations to help people better care for their hair. 

“Technology is transforming consumers’ daily beauty routines, and smart devices have huge potential to impact how we care for our hair and skin,” said Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oreal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator. “By using connected technologies to upgrade the hairbrush — something the average consumer uses every day — Withings and Kerastase have reinvented what a person’s relationship with their hair can look like and are showing how connected devices can revolutionize the beauty industry.”

The brush earned an International CES Innovation Award, which celebrates outstanding product design and engineering in new consumer technology products.

According to a report published by L’Oreal scientists*, forceful hair brushing causes hair damage, including breakage and split ends. The Kerastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings minimizes these risks, taking advantage of multiple sensors that provide information on the quality of hair and brushing patterns. These include: 

● A microphone that listens to the sound of hair brushing to identify patterns, providing insights into manageability, frizziness, dryness, split ends and breakage.  

● Three-axis load cells that measure the force applied to the hair and the scalp when brushing. 

● An accelerometer and a gyroscope which help further analyze brushing patterns and count brush strokes, with haptic feedback signaling if brushing is too vigorous.

● Conductivity sensors to determine if the brush is being used on dry or wet hair in order to provide an accurate hair measurement. The brush itself is splash proof.

These sensors feed data automatically via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to a dedicated mobile app, which then takes into account weather factors like humidity, temperature, UV and wind, which also impact hair’s manageability and quality. By tracking the way a person brushes and factoring in aspects of daily life, the smart brush app provides valuable information including a hair quality score, data on the effectiveness of brushing habits, personalized tips and Kerastase product recommendations. 

The high-quality. battery-powered brush works with a variety of hair types and the simple act of brushing begins the data collection process. 

The hairbrush is a three-way collaboration between Kerastase, Withings and L’Oreal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator. The incubator — a lab dedicated to meeting the needs of beauty consumers through disruptive technology innovations — oversaw all brush testing and developed the signal analysis algorithms that power the device.

Withings developed the hardware, including the brush’s combination of smart sensors, and spearheaded the mobile app UX. L’Oreal-owned Kerastase provided its expertise in professional hair care on the development and design of the brush along with digital and personalized content and recommendations in the app. 

Retailing for under $200, the brush will be available mid-2017 at select Kerastase hair salons and the brand’s website, and through Withings’ online sales and distribution channels. 

L’Oreal ranks 15th on CGT's list of Top 100 Consumer Goods Companies for 2016.

*Luengo, G.; Galliano, A.; Dubief, C. (2014), Aqueous Lubrication in Cosmetics. Hackensack, New Jersey: World Scientific Publishing.