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Brief Published: 20 Dec 2016

L’Oréal Japan Diagnoses Hair Damage Via Music

Backstage at Yandi S/S 17, New York Fashion Week

L'Oréal Japan’s Research and Innovation Centre has developed new technology that can analyse and reveal hair damage via music.

Hair is scanned from root to tip using a sensor that measures changes in friction, collecting data that is algorithmically converted into sound, and then music.

The extent of hair damage is expressed via musical genre – over-processed and damaged hair will produce lively, rhythmically strident music, while healthy hair will be accompanied by soft, tranquil sounds – before a treatment diagnosis is prescribed.

The addition of sound to a category usually focused on the senses of sight, touch and smell is an interesting new direction, with L’Oréal Japan hoping to inject a sense of fun into the traditional hair salon experience.

Dubbed “Sonification, translating the human hair surface state into sound”, the technology is being touted as an industry first for cosmetics, with L'Oréal Japan winning the “basic research award” at the 29th IFSCC Congress 2016 in Florida, US, in November.

The company has plans to launch the sensor in hair salons in 2017, with scope to diversify into skincare and colour cosmetics in the future.

For more on sensorial wellbeing, see Hospitality’s Tribal Focus: Sleep, Wandering Wellness and Product Rhythms, and for how colour therapy is being used in the beauty industry, see Beauty 360 and Make it Magic.