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L’Oréal new showerhead reduces water waste by 70%

L'Oréal's innovative shower head
L’Oréal’s new shower head

L’Oréal is piloting a new showerhead that helps reduce water and energy consumption by almost 70% by combining innovative technology with a feature that dispenses the shampoo directly from the device.

The new showerhead, which is currently being tested at salons in the US and South Africa, aims to revolutionize water waste in the professional haircare industry. At present, a regular salon rinsing shampoo can waste up to 8 liters of water, while the new showerhead only uses 1.5 liters.

“Initial results offer great perspectives for an innovation that visibly reduces the water consumption in our daily hygiene practices,” said Laurent Attal, L’Oréal’s VP of research & innovation. “This breakthrough technology is perfectly in line with our commitments to sustainable innovation.”

According to the group, what makes the new technology so water efficient is that it is a low-flow showerhead, which breaks up the water flow while accelerating the speed of the droplets, ensuring that the water pressure is as effective as other comparable models.

L’Oréal partnered with Swiss startup Gjosa to develop this new technology, while the beauty conglomerate developed the easy-to-rinse shampoo that the device dispenses on its own.

Recently, the beauty giant has upped the ante on sustainable innovation across many geographies and sectors within beauty. In Australia, it is working with manufacturing company Avery Dennison and local waste management company Wasteflex to introduce a recycling scheme for its labels.

For more insights into how L’Oréal is approaching innovation through the lens of technology, listen to our Innovators by TheCurrent podcast episode featuring Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Tech Incubator.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick technology

5 beauty brands experimenting with customization

Schwarzkopf SalonLab Analyzer
Schwarzkopf SalonLab Analyzer

While thousands of new beauty products hit the shelves every year, 2018 is proving to be the year that customization is really taking hold, incorporating skincare, hair products and cosmetics.

For customers, having bespoke products created just for them to address their individual concerns is becoming more important. As a result, personalization of beauty products is an area where brands seem set to invest.

Here are five examples of those experimenting in the space.

Skinceuticals D.O.S.E laboratory
Skinceuticals DOSE
Skinceuticals DOSE

Debuted at SXSW, L’Oréal’s D.O.S.E acts as a mini skincare laboratory creating custom-made serums. Developed for L’Oréal-owned brand, Skinceuticals, the experience starts with a one-to-one consultation with a professional who can advise on which skincare ingredients would be most beneficial. The information is then transferred to the D.O.S.E machine, which creates the serum in a matter of minutes. This just one of the ways L’Oréal is tapping into customization in the beauty industry – they’ve also launched the L’Oréal Professionel’s Style My Hair app, which suggests real-time hair colour services, and the Le Teint Particulier Unique custom foundation for Lancôme.

Toun28’s subscription skincare
Toun28
Toun28

Korean skincare brand Toun28 is also tackling customization in skincare. The subscription service delivers fresh, organic skincare products to its customers each month wrapped in recyclable paper. While the process is started with an in-person consultation, the bespoke products are created using facial analysis. Once a 28-day cycle is complete, the company also uses its own algorithm to predict the customers needs and keep delivering new product.

Schwarzkopf’s custom hair analysis

It’s not just skincare where advances in customized beauty are being made; Schwarzkopf launched a handheld device during CES that analyzes hair condition and color, and then provides personalized recommendations of products and hair care services. The SalonLab Analyzer uses near infrared spectroscopy and a multi-channel color scanner. While it isn’t intended to replace the expertise of a hair stylist, the technology arms them with the information they need to take the best care of a customer’s hair both in the salon and in between appointments.

Wella Professionals’ Colour DJ
Wella Colour DJ
Wella Colour DJ

Wella Professionals is also exploring customization for hair – it has launched Colour DJ to create an ultra-personalized hair gloss service. Customers have a one-to-one consultation with a stylist and then using a digital application, the Colour DJ device is programmed to create the perfect mask – right down to color intensity, level of care needed and even what scent it should have. The products can be used in the salon and at home so customers are able to maintain their desired color consistently.

Bare Minerals’ Made-2-Fit foundation
Bare Minerals Match-2-Fit
Bare Minerals Match-2-Fit

Customization is also big news for makeup brands. Shiseido-owned Bare Minerals introduced the Made-2-Fit Fresh Faced Foundation, which can be created in bespoke shades to cater to all skin tones. Fronted by an app, powered by MATCHco, it asks users a series of questions to determine an exact color match. Sophisticated technology is then used find the ideal foundation shade that can be delivered to them within 72 hours. As it’s estimated that 94% women are using the wrong shade of foundation, customizable options are proving increasingly relevant and sought after, as demonstrated by numerous other brands including the aforementioned Lancôme, as well as the likes of Sephora.

Want to hear more about the role of customization and tech in the beauty industry? Listen to our podcast with Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Tech Incubator.

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Editor's pick technology

More on that VR experience in the WAH Nails ‘Salon of the Future’

The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer
The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer

London-born nail art boutique, WAH Nails, is offering customers a VR experience in its new Soho salon in a push to engage even further with its hip millennial and Gen-Z audience.

Working with creative studio DVTK, the WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer aims to help customers choose from over one thousand nail designs, which is often an overwhelming process.

Inspired by the Snapchat filters that overlay prints through augmented reality, WAH Nails founder, Sharmadean Reid MBE, wanted to develop something that allowed customers to preview nail art before they had them painted on. What they didn’t want to do, however, was merely create an app where you simply overlaid a colour render on a static image.

The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer
The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer

“We want to excite our WAH fans who may never have tried any immersive beauty tech before and we didn’t want to create something gimmicky,” she said. “Virtual reality is an amazing way for us to “gameify” the experience of getting your nails done in a visual language that our Gen-Z customers understand.”

Reid believes that the digital design experience is well suited to the brand’s deeply connected demographic, as many grew up with avatar-based games such as the Sims and, more recently, Kim Kardashian’s app. “I am really excited about the potential of VR in the beauty world and the customer insight we will gain from people using the experience in store,” she added.

For version one of the experience, being tested in-store for the next three months, WAH is using a Samsung Gear VR headset and Leap Motion. Customers must place their hands in front of the headset, and the Leap Motion device will follow them and match their movements within the app in real time. Customers can then select skin colour and play around with nine different designs.

The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer within the brand's new 'Salon of the Future'
The WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer within the brand’s new ‘Salon of the Future’

A future iteration of the experience will allow the customer to print the design on a WAH Nail Printer, order nail polishes online, or send their nail design of choice directly to the nail artist.

The move follows significant investment by beauty brands within the digital and in-store tech space. We recently saw Charlotte Tilbury introduce an augmented reality mirror in its new Westfield London store for instance, while others including Sephora through to L’Oréal, Lancôme, Rimmel and Covergirl are also using AR for make-up try-ons via an app.