Haircare companies have long created lines of products to address the particular needs of your hair, whether it's curly, color-treated or chemically straightened. A line of beauty salons have taken that concept further with the creation of a device designed to look inside your hair to see what you really need.
Today Henkel Beauty Care announced its creation of the Schwarzkopf Professional SalonLab, a system in which a handheld, Bluetooth-connected device analyzes your strands. The SalonLab device then talks to an app, which comes up with a customized shampoo formula.
The hair analyzer is about the size of a phone and you run it through your hair from root to tip. It contains near-infrared and visible light sensors to measure inner hair quality, moisture level and true hair color. The company said the hair analyzer will work with a variety of hair textures and colors.
A stylist clamps the analyzer onto the roots and tips of your hair, and the app gives you a score out of 100 for moisture level and overall hair health. A Bluetooth-enabled machine connected to the app then creates a sample-size custom shampoo on the spot that's supposed to address your hair's needs. And while you wait for the shampoo, you can use the app's augmented reality feature to try on different hair colors that are superimposed on your real hair.
The analyzer isn't meant to replace the expertise of stylists. Instead, the tech provides the experts with more information to take care of your hair, said Marie-Eve Schroeder, chief marketing officer at Henkel Beauty Care.
"A good and trained hairdresser can tell if hair is damaged, but they could never look into the hair," she said.
The SalonLab system will be available for customers in Schwarzkopf Professional hair salons in the United States and Europe in 2018. Consultations are free, but there are costs associated with hair care.
Update, Jan. 17 at 8:53 a.m. PST: Adds more detail about how the analyzer works.