The newest device from L’Oreal makes coloring your hair a breeze
While you might not expect it, L’Oreal has been a regular at CES for the past few years, showcasing everything from portable UV and pH sensors to an AI-powered skin care device. This year, the company is back with another invention, the Colorsonic – a device designed to make hair coloring at home much more convenient.
The Colorsonic doesn’t look too far removed from other hair styling gadgets. The upper half has a nozzle with bristles, while the lower half contains a cartridge with a “precise mixture of developer and formula”. The device works by dosing the right amount of hair color and then oscillating the bristles over 300 times per minute at a specific angle to apply the color evenly. Basically the idea behind the device is that you can just turn it on, brush through your hair, and get a perfect color. (Though L’Oreal says those with darker hair colors still need to be bleached beforehand; the Colorsonic just does the coloring process.)
If you’ve never given in to the urge to dye your own hair, let’s just say there’s a reason colorists exist. Experience has shown that this is a messy process that can lead to blotchy hair color and stubborn stains all over the bathroom. In the meantime, it can easily cost hundreds of dollars to do this in the salon. If the Colorsonic can deliver on the promise of easy hair coloring at home, that’s a big step forward.
“It’s been almost the same for over a century,” says Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator, referring to the history of hair dye. Although L’Oreal is currently the largest cosmetics company in the world, it started with the founder developing the first commercial chemical hair dye. However, the process has not changed much since then.
According to Balooch, the Colorsonic took several years to develop – four to five of them were spent making the oxidative formula compatible with the device itself. Balooch says Colorsonic was tested on over 400 people in the US and internationally, all with different hair types and lengths. The device won’t be limited in color choices either, and there are plans to include “daring” colors as well, with more to be added over time. As an added bonus, L’Oreal says each cartridge uses 54 percent less plastic than typical home dye kits.
While this is the consumer side of things, L’Oreal also plans to add a new Coloright system to the salons. The Coloright system looks like a high-tech stand and includes a virtual try-on for 1,500 shades as well as a hair analysis in which you can measure the hair color and its porosity. Salon visitors could then create a profile within the Coloright system in order to receive the correct hair color in each participating salon.
“The salon is about not being scared when I move from France to the US and I want my hair color to be the right mix,” says Balooch.
As a rule, L’Oreal announces one year in advance when Colorsonic and Coloright will be available. Coloright is already in a few salons in France and is slated to roll out in full towards the end of 2022 or early 2023. In the meantime, Colorsonic will be launched under the L’Oreal Paris brand. Pricing is still a work in progress and cartridges are sold separately. However, Balooch says it will be “an accessible product, something you could buy from a Target”. It will first hit the market in smaller test batches in late 2022, with a large-scale rollout in early 2023.