- L'Oréal Professionnel added an augmented reality (AR) feature to its "Style My Hair" app that lets hairdressers show their customers what to expect from a hair coloring treatment, according to a press release. With technology from tech company Modiface, the app lets customers see a 3-D view of their hair overlaid with shades of blonde, brunette, copper and other colors in real time.
- Modiface's technology detects the user's hair strand by strand to give a more realistic view of what the hair coloring would look like, the release said. The tool is intended to help professional stylists consult their clients on what to expect from a dye job while in the salon.
- Style My Hair is available worldwide on the App Store and will soon launch for Android.
Consumers of beauty products have grown increasingly familiar with how AR can help them shop for and virtually try on everything from eyeshadow to new hairstyles via a smartphone camera. Brands like L'Oréal and Estée Lauder have quickly followed their lead through new app offerings, and are now trying to extend this technology to businesses. With the Style My Hair news, L'Oréal and Modiface are giving professional hair stylists tools to provide better advice and service to customers. Estée Lauder and Perfect last month introduced a mobile training program for "beauty advisers" to view and learn from live makeup demonstrations, further highlighting how companies could soon apply AR and virtual reality for internal and enterprise purposes.
As more consumers look to YouTube and online beauty bloggers for tips and product recommendations, cosmetics brands and those in adjacent categories will continue to beef up their mobile presence in response. Modiface last year helped beauty retailer Sephora develop the "Sephora Virtual Artist" feature in its app. AR software developers Meitu and Perfect Corp. have also partnered with cosmetics brands to provide similar experiences to smartphone customers and beauty professionals.
With tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook continuing to build out their AR development kits, marketers and app developers will have easier access to the technology. It's not a stretch to expect that most brands will eventually incorporate AR into their toolkits to help people experiment with products online and at brick-and-mortar locations.