L’Oreal Launches Smart Hairbrush at CES: A Bargain at $189?

By: Jack Neff

Originally Published on Adage

How much would you pay for a smart hairbrush? L’Oreal is about to find out. Its Kerastase luxury hair-care brand is unveiling a $189 digitally connected brush at CES, injecting tech into a seemingly unlikely age-old product.

The Kerastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings, which will be available to consumers later this year, is billed as the world’s first smart hairbrush, developed in collaboration with L’Oreal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator. It features advanced sensors and product design from Nokia‘s Withings digital-health unit combined with patent-pending signal-analysis algorithms from L’Oreal to score the quality of hair and monitor the effects of various hair-care routines. An accompanying mobile app gives tips on how to brush hair and customized hair product recommendations.

Of course, a standard hairbrush starts under $5 at Walmart, but L’Oreal isn’t blazing new territory on the price front, not by a longshot. There are already $200-and-up handcrafted boar-bristle hairbrushes to be found. But this isn’t just about fancy materials or eye-pleasing design. It’s about the tech, which was enough to win the brush an International CES Innovation Award from TechTimes.com celebrating outstanding product design and engineering in consumer products.

“I’m not going to tell you that around $200 is not a high price for a brush,” said Guive Balooch, global VP of L’Oreal’s Research and Innovation Incubator. But he said hair brushes already on the market range up to $300 or $400 with no sensors or app, and even when the Hair Coach was tested by consumers without sensors, it performed well. “We didn’t want to make a connected brush that people wouldn’t love on its own,” he said.

Smart Hair Tools

The Kerastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings is a smart hairbrush that will sell for $189. Credit: Withings

But then there are the sensors and algorithms, which he said really do make a difference.

Research by L’Oreal scientists finds forceful hair brushing can cause damage, including breakage and split ends. The Hair Coach minimizes these risks using multiple sensors to provide information on the quality of hair and brushing patterns.

The tech includes a microphone that listens to the sound of hair brushing to identify patterns and provide insights on manageability, frizz, dryness, split ends and breakage. It also uses 3-axis load cells to measure force applied when brushing. An accelerometer and gyroscope further analyze brushing patterns and count strokes, providing feedback when brushing is too vigorous. Conductivity sensors on the splash-proof brush determine if the brush is being used on wet or dry hair to provide accurate measurement.

All these sensors feed data via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to the app, which takes into account such weather factors as humidity, temperature, UV radiation and wind. Factoring in how people brush and environmental factors, the app provides a “hair quality score,” data on the effectiveness of brushing habits, personalized tips and Karastase product recommendations.

The smart brush is really more sophisticated than many fitness bands on the market that may sell for only $40 less, with considerably more sensors and more data collected and analyzed, Mr. Balooch noted.

How much difference will all that data make to people? He acknowledged that it’s hard to know until they try it, but he compared it to the My UV Patch that L’Oreal launched last year, where he didn’t know how much difference it would make until it was in widespread use.

“Now we have information on the UV patch where we see over 60% of the users have less sunburn, and more than 35% use more sunscreen and have healthier habits,” Mr. Balooch said. “I hope we have the same thing with the brush where people become aware of the right routines to use, or those who have color-treated hair or straighten their hair use the right treatments after.”

L’Oreal also will use aggregated and anonymized data to aid in product development, he said.

The company’s biggest consumer tech hit to date is probably the Makeup Genius augmented reality app, with more than 20 million people who have used it to virtually try on facial makeup, with the idea later applied to nails.

“Makeup Genius and My UV Patch both look to be transformative technologies,” Mr. Balooch said. “We hope the brush will be the third.”

It’s Pink Friday, huge sale on items from PINK!

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Just in case you missed the memo there is huge sale happening at Victorias Secret. Our favorites are the new bralettes  available in new colors and designs. Pair them with a drapey open neck top and leave some lace peeking through for an effortless look that is sultry and comfortable. Fashion Hauler rates this sale an A+.

Armarium Lets You Wear Luxury on Loan via Your Smart Phone

Armarium Lets You Wear Luxury on Loan via Your Smart Phone

Photo: Armarium

There are a multitude of apps that blend the world of technology and fashion seamlessly. Another one to step into the ring, is Armarium —a new luxury clothing loan app, will finally allow you to kiss the question, “when will I ever wear this again?” goodbye and makes your rounds in couture, runway and the latest accessories without so much as a worry to what use you need to make of them come midnight.  First world probs. 

Comprised of an elite team of fashion insiders, Armarium was officially launched in April 2016 through an invite-only mobile app, e-commerce platform and a New York City showroom. The program includes not only the ability to borrow pieces from their expertly curated lineup of couture, ready-to-wear, and accessories, but also, the option of hiring one of a number of professional stylists to assist with your day-of dressing needs. Dubbed the Style Brigade, some of the talent on Armarium’s retainer includes: Meredith Melling, Valerie Boster, Siobhan Bonnouvrier, Karla Martinez de Salas and Shiona Turini. Because Armarium doesn’t just send you clothes—it provides the look, too, if you want it.

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

10 Reasons To Get A Bob

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Rihanna on Ellen; Photo Courtsey of Kacey K Jewelry

When two of pop culture’s biggest names make the same style choice at the same time, you know something’s afoot.

On Feb. 12, at New York Fashion Week, singer Rihanna debuted her new fashion line, Fenty x Puma, a melding of edgy street style and provocative lace-up looks. After the last model left the catwalk, the designer emerged in an oversize winter hoodie to take a bow, her newly bobbed locks clearly visible. Fast forward to the Grammy Awards three days later as pop princess Taylor Swift swept onto the red carpet with a sleek blond bob, a look that instantly set the Internet ablaze.

Yes, the bob is back—this time with bangs and with six fresh variations that suggest the ultrashort cut might flatter anyone. Think model Katie Moore’s razor-sharp red, snipped into a wedge-like shape by backstage hairstylist Guido Palau at Alexander Wang. Peyton Knight, too, took the Palau plunge, exchanging her lash-skimming fringe for a twee set of baby bangs.

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Winter Beauty Tips & Tricks

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Winter Skin Woes

We’ve got only twenty days left until the official start of Winter, but the way the weather is, we’re pretty much already here. It’s unseasonably chilly at Fashion Hauler headquarters in California. If the end of November is any indication, next month will be filled with dry air, lots of wind, and temperatures well below the typical 60 degrees that are the hallmark of Winter in California. The change of seasons can be very stressful on your skin, especially when going from warmer summer months to cold, windy drier winters. This transition most commonly makes your skin look dull and older than its years, but it can also spur flare-ups of skin conditions such as acne and eczema. One of the biggest mistakes people make with the change of seasons is they neglect adjust their skin care routine, if they are even sticking to one in the first place. The good news is that there are simple changes you can make to prevent the stress of cold weather from affecting your skin. We’re already noticing that this cold air is wreaking havoc on our skin (not to mention the limitations to our wardrobes).Decreased temperatures mean a drop in humidity levels, taking moisture not only out of the air, but also out of your skin. While staples like a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water are crucial for healthy skin, making a few skincare changes and adopting a handful of new habits can help manage the discomfort of Dry Skin Season and keep your skin feeling silky smooth year round. If you’re like us and you’re suffering from cracked lips and dry skin, don’t worry we’ve got you covered, by rounding up our favorite products that’ll help you survive Winter!

Read more after the jump.

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Faux Fur // Real Style

Faux Real

Shrimps FW 15

Last year statement faux fur coats and jackets emerged as a major trend of the fall/winter season and this year won’t be any different. As the temperatures start to droop and your head to your closet for something to keep you warm, consider faking it till you make it. That’s right, we’re talking faux fur. Whatever your moral standings on the real deal, no one can deny that faux fur is one of the most luxe ways to keep warm and stay stylish during these upcoming chilly months. Once deemed tacky, there’s been a definite switch in the general consensus towards utilizing alternative fibers to the lush aesthetic of the real thing, as both designers and consumers become more conscious of the impact their fashion has on the environment. No longer is faux fur just a cheaper option in comparison either; faux furs have seen an uptick recently at the high-end of the market. In January, Stella McCartney–who is famously anti-animal cruelty and wrestled with the idea of even creating designs that mimicked fur–presented her pre-fall collection entirely made up of luxe modacrylic fur coats, vests, and stoles. Modacrylic has been gaining traction as a high-quality and convincingly real fur alternative and seems to be the go-to for luxury designers looking for a plush substitute. Dries Van Noten also worked with fake fur for fall, as did Hussein Chalayan, Julien David, Julie de Libran for Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, and Kate Spade among others. Then there’s British label Shrimps,launched in 2013 by Hannah Weiland, which until fall 2015 had only offered fake fur coats, but now offers quirky matching accessories like fur poof keychains, clutches, and stoles, many of them in bright colors with three stripes. Faux fur allows for designers to be more experimental with their color palettes and combinations in ways unseen and unutilized with furs made from animals.  Despite its appeal however, real fur isn’t necessarily the most ethical option, particularly for those of us who happen to love our animal friends. As luck would have it, the faux fur trend is on the rise again, because brands understand our desire to wear fur for the aesthetic appeal, and many have created a variety of fashionable options that succeed in keeping wardrobes chic without the added guilt factor.


READ MORE INSIDE & SEE OUR TOP PICKS FOR THIS TREND!

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Grommet is the New Stud

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We’re spotting a new trend that you mettle with this season: the grommet. Typically, when one thinks of a grommet, industrial hardware pieces quickly come to mind. Usually in fashion, grommets are only used as fasteners on bag or on lace-up pieces (like those cute peek-a-boo bodysuits that have been cropping up everywhere ever since Givenchy showcased one in their SS14 show). While grommets are really just that, we see them being utilized in new ways in the design realm. We’ve already seen studs have their shining moment, adorning everything from footwear to jewelry, handbags to eyewear, even in housewares. But today it is all about the grommet. These little, metal grommet rings have been showing up with increasing frequency everywhere, adding high-glam shine to Tom Ford’s super-sexy stiletto boot or lending 10 Crosby by Derek Lam’s slouch-tastic tees an industrial edge. We also spotted these metal grommet rings in collections including Mugler, Marc Jacobs, Zimmerman, Herve Leger, Diesel Black Gold. Even designer Anthony Vaccarello incorporated the hardware into his pieces, but with a new play on the original shape (stars, anyone?). While Vaccarello designed star-shaped grommets, other designers played with the sizing and the placement on their garments. Herve Leger ornamented a pair of fishnet tights with small grommet embellishments down the front and center, adding a bit of flair to average leggings. The outerwear pieces at Marc were also covered with the silver grommet rings in varying sizes, further confirming that Fall 2015 is ready to embrace these metal embellishments.  Grommets have been spotted not only on the runways and in the streets. For those of you who tend to gravitate towards industrial details, unique hardware and appreciate a more rough and tough aesthetic, we’ve selected a variety of shoppable products especially for you.

 

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