Technology and beauty are relatively new areas at CES. L’Oréal on Monday, ahead of the opening day at the CES 2022 technology conference, unveiled its latest lightweight tech innovations to reinvent the hair-color category. One for consumers, and the other for professional hair stylists.
“The hair color category hasn’t seen an innovation outside of formula for over 100 years,” said Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s technology incubator. “We co-created it with more than 400 consumers over three years. We checked everything, from design to technology.”
Seven years in the making, Colorsonic uses a mess-free process to mix hair color, so consumers at home can apply it evenly. Coloright, an artificial intelligence (AI) connected hair color system is for salon stylists that allow their clients to try on a desired shade virtually. An algorithm built into a digital experience lets consumers try any one of 1,5000 custom shades.
The “mass retail brand” product will hit the shelves in early 2023. “We’re still working on the go-to-market strategy,” he said. “This is the first product we have that will go directly to consumers through mass distribution.”
The channels—online to offline—includes direct-to-consumers through ecommerce, as well as places consumers buy hair-box color like Walmart, and Target. In the next six months, Balooch said the company will determine pricing.
L’Oréal uses anonymous data from the AI-connected device that helps the company’s research and development department to improve the technology, algorithm, and experiences. With Coloright, the algorithm continuously become smarter with each person’s use.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the temporary closure of many salons, the at-home hair color business grew by 6%. During this time, consumers experienced the challenges of an at-home hair-coloring process that remained virtually unchanged for decades, namely the messiness of hair dye and the difficulty of applying hair color to hard-to-reach places.
The hair-color systems will have a similar go-to-market and marketing strategy as last year’s innovations released through L’Oréal’s incubator. Last year at CES, the company released Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Sur Mesure Powered by Perso, a first-of-its kind at-home device for custom lipstick colors. This product relied heavily on influencers.
And, the L'Oréal Water Saver -- a sustainable haircare system for salons and the home. It was developed with environmental innovation company Gjosa, which can micronize droplets of water.