The system, which delivers lab-quality diagnostics and color consultation and the ability to dispense personalized hair care products inside the salon, garnered accolades at CES in Las Vegas this week. SalonLab won a 2018 Innovation Award, which celebrates outstanding product design and engineering in new consumer technology products.
In a nutshell, SalonLab’s series of connected devices measures hair condition as well as hair color and provide hyper-personalized products and services. It analyzes hair at the molecular level, empowering the consultation process with data-driven insights and producing on-demand, personalized care solutions, according to Henkel Beauty Care.
The Schwarzkopf Professional SalonLab Analyzer is a hand-held device equipped with near-infrared and visible light sensors that measure inner hair quality, moisture level and true hair color. It can measure various points on the hair from roots to tips, which are then analyzed and processed by a proprietary algorithm developed by Henkel Beauty Care scientists, using a complete digitalized hair model based on thousands of reference measurements. The hair analysis data is then combined with the hairdresser’s assessment to enable a truly complete personalized color and care consultation.
The app connects the digital devices to analysis, consultation and customization, and supports the hairdresser throughout the analysis, displaying the client’s individual hair diagnostic results and enabling a personal color consultation with state-of-the-art augmented reality, according to Schwarzkopf. This enables the client to see what a color will look like on his or her hair before it is applied, enhancing the salon experience and encouraging more daring transformation options.
The app also steers the individual care solution recipe and real-time production via the SalonLab Customizer, which makes customized hair care products on-site based on the gathered data. A proprietary manufacturing process dynamically formulates and produces a custom care solution, allowing for hundreds of different combinations of ingredients and fragrances that are mixed on the spot and dispensed in salon-sized portions or small bottles with a personalized label printed directly from the SalonLab Customizer.
Happi’s editorial team previewed SalonLab in New York in December 2017 and was able to interview company officials as CES got underway:
HAPPI: What has the R&D team most excited with this new technology that will be brought into the salon?
Jordan Katzarov, senior IoT manager, from Henkel R&D: The team is excited to see technology that was only available in our labs so far, now brought to hair salons and their clients. Years of research and know-how of Henkel Beauty Care scientists can now enhance the expertise of the hairdresser with data-driven insights. In addition, we can offer a fully customized hair care product to consumers based on the measured data, fully adapted to the unique needs of each individual’s hair.
HAPPI: On the chemistry side, are there specific ingredients that drive the performance of care of the products?
Katzarov: The formulas are customized for each individual and are based on a blend of mild surfactants for intensive cleaning of the hair. In addition, an individual mix of care phases and active ingredient boosters are added depending on the individual hair needs. The care components include a lamination phase to smooth the cuticle for long-lasting shine and a bonding phase containing magnesium citrate to strengthen the hair from the inside out. The formula can also contain as many as to four different boosters, for example a scalp purity boost phase containing Octiporox which reduces greasiness or a volume boost phase containing guar and adding body and natural bounce to the hair. The ultimate customization comes with your personal choice of four scents.
HAPPI: What was the reaction to the launch at CES by the tech community?
Dr. Nils Daecke, head of digital marketing at Henkel Beauty Care: Many people were impressed to see that we were able to really show something new in a field which is very challenging like beauty and especially hair. We received great feedback like “I was waiting to see something like this for so long.” It was great to see that our ecosystem was liked so much.
The tech community was quite impressed to see such a closed and well interconnected digital ecosystem. Also, they acknowledged that this is something completely new compared to many other product innovations at the CES which are more an evolution of what has already been seen.
In addition, it was seen very positive to see how a 140-year-old chemical company from Germany like Henkel is redefining and disrupting their own business model with data-driven innovations. They would have expected such an innovation from a Silicon Valley tech startup rather than one of the traditional blue chips. But they confirm that this is the right way forward to drive digital transformation.