Not even hairbrushes are safe from the so-called Internet of Things. Today L'Oreal-owned Kérastase announced a new brush dubbed Hair Coach that collects and analyzes grooming patterns to recommend the right products and techniques.
L'Oreal worked with wearable brand Withings to create the brush, which pushes data to a mobile app that users download to track their grooming. Each brush contains a tiny microphone that records the sound of brushing to detect if hair is dry, frizzy or prone to breaking. Built-in sensors then determine if someone is brushing hair when it's dry or wet while a gyroscope and accelerometer count the average number of brush strokes and measure the force used to brush hair.
The styling tool uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology to deliver all of that data to the app. The app then breaks down beauty habits using algorithms developed by L'Oreal to show consumers a chart of their routines and give tips on improving the health of their hair. For example, someone brushing too hard might get a message recommending softer strokes. Or the app may suggest that consumers brush more if the amount of strokes is too low.
Each user is also given a score between one and 100 that assesses the quality of their hair. In addition to the data collected from the brush, the app also pulls in local weather information to recommend Kérastase products. Consumers can then click the product recommendation links and shop from Kérastase's website.
"By using connected technologies to upgrade the hairbrush—something the average consumer uses every day—Withings and Kérastase have reinvented what a person's relationship with their hair can look like and are showing how connected devices can revolutionize the beauty industry," said Guive Balooch, global vp of L'Oréal's Research and Innovation Technology Incubator, in a statement.
The brush will be sold later this year through Kérastase salons, the brand's website and Withings' ecommerce site for less than $200, although L'Oreal has not named a more specific price.