Today, ahead of CES 2022, the world’s premier consumer technology conference, the L’Oréal Group unveiled its latest beauty tech innovation to reinvent the entire haircoloration category: Colorsonic, a lightweight, handheld device that uses an innovative, mess-free process to mix haircolor and apply it evenly, delivering consistent haircolor results for consumers at home, and Coloright, an AI-connected haircolor system for salon stylists that uses Virtual Try-on to project desired shades, and an algorithm that leads to an on-demand, customized haircolor with more than 1,500 custom shades possibilities.
L’Oréal has the longest haircoloration heritage in the industry as it invented the world’s first safe, synthetic haircolor formulation more than 100 years ago – creating what is now a $10 billion dollar industry. Today, a century later, the company once again reveals its haircoloration leadership by transforming the industry with two breakthrough innovations powered by cutting-edge technology alongside the most precise formulation.
“Our century-long, deep experience and leadership in haircoloration has allowed our researchers, data scientists and Tech engineers to completely revisit and reinvent the haircoloring experience for both: at home with Colorsonic, a unique user-designed re-usable device allowing a precise vibrant result of haircoloration, and for hair stylists with Coloright, the most personalized and advanced experience in hair salons to achieve desired haircolor results anywhere in the world. L’Oréal’s BeautyTech leadership allows us to push the boundaries of tech multiplied by science for breakthroughs in more personalized, inclusive and sustainable beauty experiences” said Barbara Lavernos, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, in Charge of Research, Innovation and Technology.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the temporary closure of many salons, the at-home haircolor business grew by 6%. During this time, consumers experienced the challenges of an at-home haircoloring process that has remained virtually unchanged for decades, namely the messiness of hair dye and the difficulty of applying haircolor to hard-to-reach places.
Developed in response to these consumer needs and refined over a five-year period, Colorsonic uses a custom mixer mechanism to combine a precise amount of developer and formula to create a haircolor. The device then dispenses the right dose of haircolor and applies it to the hair via an oscillating nozzle of bristles as they move in a zigzag pattern to evenly distribute it on the hair. In five steps, the consumer can:
- Select a haircolor out of 40 shades on the Colorsonic The ammonia-free haircolor kit is conveniently shipped directly to homes.
- Load color cartridge into device for on-demand color mixing. The color and developer are kept separate until the device is turned on, a critical component to preserving the color and keeping it fresh.
- Brush device from roots to ends for uniform color application. The oscillating nozzle—tested rigorously to prevent leaking, over saturation, and dripping—moves 300 times per minute to effectively cover hair quickly. An attachment is also included for those with long hair (shoulder length or longer).
- Wait 30 minutes. Then rinse, style, and go.
- Remove cartridge from device and store the remaining color, for easy touch-ups anytime. The cartridge system allows Colorsonic to store the remaining color for touch-ups and gray coverage.
“After years of research and development, we are thrilled to unveil technologies ahead of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show that modernize the experience for millions of people worldwide who color their hair at home and in the salon,“ said Guive Balooch, Global Head of Research and Innovation’s Tech Incubator at L’Oréal. “We aim to leverage science and technology to solve age-old problems for consumers, and Colorsonic is a great example of the power of innovating for consumers by innovating with consumers.”
The unveiling of Colorsonic is a continuation of L’Oréal’s commitment to delivering exceptional personalized beauty experiences rooted in sustainability. Features that reflect this commitment include:
- Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic: Colorsonic is a reusable device with a recyclable formula cartridge that uses less plastic per application than home box haircolor.
- Reusable Gloves: Existing at-home haircolor includes single-use gloves in every box. Colorsonic replaces single-use gloves with gloves that can be reused up to 10 times and are high-performing in protection.
- Reduced Shipping Packaging: The Colorsonic device and color cartridges are shipped in certified recyclable paper mailers.
L’Oréal plans to launch Colorsonic to consumers in the U.S. beginning in early 2023.
I have over 10 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.