L'Oreal, Perfect Corp. Expand AR Hair Tools

Virtual hair color is about to get a serious upgrade.

L’Oreal, intent on maintaining a digital edge among beauty brands, says it is expanding its use of augmented reality to Garnier, so more customers can virtually experiment before purchase.

Rival Perfect Corp. plans to introduce new try-on technology for hair at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show.

L’Oreal’s technology comes from ModiFace, which it bought in 2018. (ModiFace has also developed AR technology for Sephora and Estée Lauder.) Using the camera in their phones, shoppers can see how they’d look in shades from both the Garnier Nutrisse and Olia lines.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Lubomira Rochet, L’Oreal’s chief digital officer, says that 500 Walmart stores will display signs that explain how the try-on app works close to the product. She says that when customers experiment using AR, they are three times more likely to buy the product, and typically dabble in 20 different colors.



Perfect Corp., whose app has been downloaded 800 million times around the world, says its new AI Hair innovation goes even further, expanding beyond a single process shade. It says it incorporates a mix of gradient, shine and color effects, including ombre, duo-chrome and metallic shading. “The real-time hair color try-on instantly recognizes the unique movement of hair to display wildly accurate digital hair color effects,” it says in its announcement.

It also plans to introduce its new AI Foundation Shade Finder and virtual AI Beauty Advisor tools, as well as a custom Acne Spot Scan that uses advanced AI to generate product recommendations.

L’Oreal rolled out its makeup app last year, touting its AI-enabled shade calibration and photo-realistic results. The proprietary technology, which runs on Amazon Web Services and uses Google Lens facial recognition, analyzes information provided by makeup brands as well as images and descriptions on social media. And in June, it expanded the virtual try-ons to Amazon.

L’Oreal is also using ModiFace for skincare. In February, for example, it revealed a digital skin diagnostic. Consumers upload a facial photo, then AI analyzes it, comparing it to 6,000 clinical images from L’Oréal’s evaluation and knowledge studies, conducted with Skin Aging Atlases. The diagnostic draws on information from 4,500 smartphone selfies from Asian, Caucasian and Afro-American women in four different types of light.

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