This Device Analyzes Hair With Augmented Reality Technology

It should come as no surprise, given the never-ending options lining any haircare aisle, that one product does not suit all. Creams, gels, spritzes, aerosols, shampoos, conditioners, masks, heat protectors, mousses, detanglers, rejuvenators… The list of products out there is seemingly endless. The human hair is a complex thing with complicated needs, and there is no shortage of products on the market to care for its myriad demands.

But how to determine, exactly, just what the hair needs? And how to choose the right brand and treatment for our own individual tresses? Well, Schwarzkopf Professional has a breakthrough new method of identifying exactly what the hair requires — no guesswork involved.

The SalonLab Analyzer is a handheld device designed to measure inner hair conditions, moisture levels, and current hair colour. Using near-infrared and visible light sensors, this device sends data to a corresponding app that assists a hairdresser with the analysis, displaying a client’s individual diagnostic results via state-of-the-art augmented reality technology. This includes a live 3D preview, allowing for data-driven hair insights to merge with a hairdresser’s professional experience and opinion to assess exactly the right course of action for a client’s needs. Hair type (is it fine or thick?) and scalp condition (oily or dry?) both come into consideration; by accessing information about hair history and true base colour, stylists are able to more accurately achieve a desired hair colour. And, as an added bonus, there are no surprises for the client; the app allows clients to virtually “try on” a new colour for a thorough and informed consultation. Want to go blonde, but not sure if you can pull it off? Dreaming of becoming a redhead? This app lets you do your due diligence before you take the plunge!

The innovation doesn’t end with this clever device. Data from the app can be practically analyzed and sent to a second device: the SalonLab Customizer. Using a proprietary manufacturing process, this machine formulates and dispenses a custom, salon-sized portion with a personalized label via an integrated printer; the product is specifically designed on the spot to accommodate the needs of an individual client’s hair. Hundreds of combinations, ingredients, and fragrances are mixed and matched on demand, complete with properties like anti-aging, moisturizing, volumizing, and more.

This technology turned heads (no pun intended) earlier this year at CES 2018, where it earned an Innovation Award, an honour specifically given for outstanding product design and engineering in new consumer technology products. Not only are these innovative new products poised to offer new insight into hair health and maintenance, but they also promise to upend the beauty industry as we know it.

“With the launch of the Schwarzkopf SalonLab digital ecosystem, we are redefining the way both hairdressers and their clients are experiencing beauty in the hair salon,” says Dr. Nils Daecke, head of digital marketing at Henkel Beauty Care, Schwarzkopf’s umbrella company. “At the same time, we are laying the foundation for disruptive, data-driven business models, which build upon consumer insights and hair properties.”

Is Schwarzkopf pioneering the salons of the future? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, we’re looking forward to testing this new technology as soon as it’s market ready!


Photos via Schwarzkopf Professional SalonLab