CES always yields divisive new products, and this year's "smart hairbrush" might have you asking, "Are you serious, tech companies? Why do we even need this?" But as someone who struggled for years to repair damaged hair and learn how to take care of it, this product seems perfectly logical to me. My hair may be a thing of glory today, but it wasn't always. Growing up, I always wanted long hair.
L'Oreal has been gently getting into the technology game, first by partnering with Dr. John Rogers on a skin damage-tracking tattoo. Now, the cosmetics giant has hooked up with Withings to develop a smart hairbrush that's designed to keep your scalp at its best. The Kérastase Hair Coach, as it's called, was apparently inspired by people's apparent propensity to brush their hair too forcefully, causing long-term damage. In order to combat this, Withings used its engineering know-how to cram the brush with tech. That includes a microphone that can listen to the sound of your hair to offer insights on frizziness.
You could be brushing your hair all wrong -- at least according to L'Oreal's new smart hairbrush. Called the Kératase Hair Coach, the brush uses an array of sensors and an app to "coach" users into brushing their hair more efficiently. The Wi-Fi enabled hairbrush is powered by Withings, and connects to your phone so you can track data it collects. The battery-powered brush is equipped with five sensors: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a conductivity sensor, load cells and a microphone. The accelerometer and gyroscope detect motion (which direction you are brushing your hair); the conductivity sensor tracks whether your hair is wet or has product in it; and the load cells detect how forcefully you brush.
Those of us blessed/cursed with an abundance of hair know the struggle caring for it: finding the right products and a hairbrush that won't break. French health technology company Withings, best known for its analog-style activity trackers and fancy Bluetooth scales, just partnered with L'Oreal-owned hair company Kérastase to take hair care to the next level with an internet-connected hairbrush that is actually much cooler than it sounds. Yes, it does seem like the internet of things has gone off the rails, but for hair obsessives (and yes, that is a real demographic), the Kérastase Hair Coach powered by Withings could be a game-changer. The brush connects to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you don't need your phone by your side in the bathroom as you groom yourself. "The last thing we want to do is turn a simple device into a complex device," said Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings during an interview at CES.