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.”

These Smart Wearables Will Make You Want to Put a Ring on it

These Smart Wearables Will Make You Want to Put a Ring on it

Photo courtesy of: Nimb

The world of smart wearables has brought fashion and tech in the kind of coupling we are into in our ever connected world today. It sounds futuristic and cool, a commixture of two sleek worlds that once had nothing to do with each other — but speed up to the present and you’ll find they’re now fully aligned. Everything from fashion shopping sites with their own apps to wearables, including smartwatches and fitness trackers, are the advancement of fashion-tech. Even 94 year old fashion accessory icon Iris Apfel, has welcomed tech in her life with a recent collaboration with wearables line Wise Wear.

When approaching the right smart tech jewelry for you, design is the first to consider. It should go without saying that function without design, is just not “fashion-tech.” Second should be what functions are the most important to you. The premise of wearable technology is to get you the information you need, when you need it, without you having to dig for your phone through the black hole that you call your purse.

The best look is a look of engagement people, and not the one where you’re constantly gazing at your phone in the presence of good company.  That’s where smart rings come into play. Today we spotlight the super powers of the smart ring, which would seem like a match-made in heaven— but of course not all are created equally.

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

Calvin Klein #MyCalvins Fall 2016 Campaign

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Calvin Klein unveiled their Fall 2016 #MyCalvins campaign collection, and it’s one of their most eccentric to date. The brand has been committed to breaking boundaries as they collaborate with many different walks of life. This season’s campaign incorporated influential musicians, models, actors, and even recognizable faces from Social Media platforms, including Frank Ocean, Bella Hadid, Anna Ewers, and Kate Moss. With this season’s #MyCalvins campaign, the brand wanted to focus on emphasizing people with different backgrounds, by incorporating & showcasing each person’s own version of self-identity & individuality. The brand strategically also incorporated young & older well-known icons into the campaign, in an effortless way. The essence behind bringing different people together was to promote diversity & celebrate the qualities that make Calvin Klein a lifestyle brand. Calvin Klein’s fashion direction with this campaign wasn’t to showcase new products, but to really emphasize how people live in their Calvin products.

 

 

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Tyler, the Creator Just Changed the Game During His Fashion Show

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via golfwang.tumblr.com

Tyler, The Creator followed in the footsteps of Kanye West last night when he presented his first fashion show in Los Angeles as part of an event organized by MADE, which explores the intersection between style and music.

Tyler, who is known for his colorful style, offbeat sense of humor, and razor sharp lyrics, made his debut as fashion designer with his line Golf Wang in Los Angeles Last Saturday. “You shouldn’t expect anything because then you’ll be disappointed,”  However, expectations ran pretty high among the legions of fans waiting in line for the doors to open. “Tyler is going to walk down the runway with an alligator,” said one. “I heard it’s going to be a cheetah,” countered another. “I’m sure it’s going to be an experience,” said singer Janelle Monáe from an eclectic front row that included former Disney stars Dylan and Cole Sprouse, hip hop artist YG, and model Kendall Jenner. “I’m looking forward to it.”

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

15 Warm Weather Pieces to Keep Your Cool This Summer

15 Warm Weather Pieces to Keep Your Cool This Summer

 

The heat is on and it’s that time again when those feelings of hating everything in your closet start to reappear. When buying for your summer wardrobe, it’s best to think about what’s airy and easy to throw on. One pieces and dresses are the jam. Throw it on and instant outfit, boom. We’re talking about pieces that can get some major rotation action in your every day styling. On your radar should be a summer sandal, good basic tops for easy pairings, shorts,  and skirts to take you in and out of the office. With our list of new summer fresh duds to get, we guarantee a bunch of OOooo’s and ahhh’s and where did you get that from your best girl buds that keeps you the best dressed in the group. Trust.

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

Gucci Cruise 2017

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Image: Vogue

What can we say about Gucci’s new Cruise 2017 release? Just when we thought creative director, Alessandro Michele couldn’t possibly up the ante on the last successful collection, he just gave it to us and then some. This collection was a hybrid of crazy cat lady with a bit of old school punk Vivienne Westwood circa 1980s. Personal style according to Gucci is similar in the inexplicable extravagance it espouses, which seems to make no sense and so much of it all at once.

Enigmatic creative director Michele, put together a fashion show that was a juxtaposition of texture and color. The nerd-chic and vintage-vibes left attendees awestruck. When describing the Westminster Abby fashion show – a first for the industry, Mary Katrantzou said, “It embarrassingly was her first time ever visiting the Westminster Abby.” Michele had been inspired to hold the show there after having a conversation in the Gucci offices one evening. After achieving this vision, his colleague said he should do it at Buckingham palace, and at this point we wouldn’t be surprised if he is given the opportunity to make that happen in the future.

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

Fashion Tech: Courrèges Heats it Up in Outerwear

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Courrèges introduces self-heating outerwear.

 

The heat is on, literally.

We know we’re on the brink of breaking into summer officially, but we still can’t help thinking what’s next in outerwear. During Paris Fashion week back in March, French fashion house Courrèges kicked it up a notch by introducing three coats with self-heating technology. The three color ways came in black, blush pink, and in a houndstooth pattern. For their sophomore collection for Courrèges, design duo Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer introduced these three tailored winter coats, each with an integrated heating system that’s activated by the push of a button, and can be charged with an iPhone cable, according to The New York Times.

“We started to think about the future of fashion, because design needs to work hand in hand with technology if we want fashion to evolve,” Vaillant told luxury e-comm site SSENSE in an interview. “The way we make clothes needs to evolve if we want more comfort and well-being. This transition is possible if technology responds to our primary needs: well-being and comfort.”

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

This H&M Collaboration Will be the Biggest Thing for Print Lovers

kenzo H&M collaboration

Photo: Vogue

Get ready fellow print on print lovers, H&M just announced its latest collaboration and it’s with beloved fashion house Kenzo. The collection will include womenswear, menswear, and accessories — which will be designed by Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (who joined the house in 2011 after founding Opening Ceremony in 2002) in collaboration with the fast fashion brand’s design team. You can anticipate that the collection will feature the house’s trademark dazzling patterns and playful motifs. 

The collection will be available in 250 stores internationally and online starting November 3rd. But you can come to expect that the brand will stage another star-studded show a month before the launch, which we’re sure will rival the ostentatious Balmain x H&M spectacle that happened last October 2015. Judging by the visual eye-candy creativity of Kenzo’s Paris Fashion Week shows, all bets say it will be just as epic as Olivier Rousteing’s New York collab debut.

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

POPSUGAR Set to become the Universal Mobile Shopping Cart of Fashion

Shopstyle Popsugar shopping app

Photo: Shopstyle

 

PopSugar Inc. wants to build a universal shopping cart for fashion-related mobile commerce. This isn’t news if you’re already familiar with using their specialized search engine for women’s apparel and accessories called ShopStyle. ShopStyle, which PopSugar Inc. acquired in 2007, was responsible for driving $1 billion in revenue to its retail partners last year, according to Brian Sugar, PopSugar Inc.’s founder and chief executive.

Already having being launched in April, ShopStyle won’t just redirect shoppers to complete purchases on retailers’ sites. Instead, ShopStyle aims to “tailor” the user taste profile by indicating pictorial brand references of what best identifies with the consumer. Then they enter their credit card information, and make purchases from dozens of retailers directly through the ShopStyle site and app.

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler

20 Must Buys from Zara’s New Spring Collection

20 must spring buys from Zara

 

We all know that we can’t get enough of Zara bringing us the best in fashion forward wears to make us all look current — and most importantly on that babe on a budget tip. All those Gucci silk bombers you’ve been coveting from the S/S 16′ season, well there’s most likely a close version of it waiting for you there. With music festival officially in tow, and outdoor activities on your social activity radar, it’s time to stock up on what you need for the season. Think palazzo pants, A-line skirts, sun hats, strappy sandals, playsuits galore, ruffle crop tops, and floral print everything!

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Editor at Large @ Fashion Hauler