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“The future of hair care” is how Withings describes the Hair Coach, a smart hairbrush designed to help users manage and improve the health of their locks. Designed for those with shoulder length hair or longer, the brush offers unique features.

The Hair Coach is a collaboration between Kerastase, L’Oreal and Withings, combining their respective hair and technology expertise to make it one of the more interesting gadgets at CES this year.

In a sense, it’s a little like a digital stylist that is uniquely personal. By loading it with various sensors amongst the bristles, the brush can count the number of strokes — and gauge the overall health of the hair upon contact. Microphones embedded inside look for sounds while brushing strands, noting whether they are dry, oily or damaged. The bristles are a mix of plastic and boar to treat hair naturally and distribute oils more evenly.

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The accelerometer inside recognizes the difference between brushing the roots at the crown and the ends, reading how well or poorly you’re brushing. If you do it too hard, it will tell you to lay off with haptic feedback in the handle. Should you brush downward or upward? More pressure or less pressure? The Hair Coach is supposed to tell you.

The app, which will be available for both iOS and Android, syncs with the brush via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, collecting all the analytics and data to help you understand your hair’s condition. Suggestions are included to deal with any potential issue or to maintain what is already working for you. Apparently, it will even tap into weather conditions to offer insight on what products to use or avoid before venturing outside. Of course, accuracy does also depend somewhat on the profile you set up to begin with, where details like hair type, washing consistency, dyes and other details can be added to help the brush and app know what to look for.

 

Tips for best practices will be included to offer insight, along with suggesting treatments and products to deal with it. Kerastase will likely keep the latter section exclusive to its own products, except the suggestions would be generalized, so you wouldn’t be required to go with what they offer.

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If there’s been improvement, the app should note that, though it seems some consistent manual input will be ideal to broaden the scope. For example, you can tell the app every time you’ve washed your hair, when you saw a stylist, what products you like to use, and even how often. That information helps the app when assessing what you should do.

Given the length requirements to get the most out of the Hair Coach, it’s aimed at women, though men with long hair can also make use of the product. The type of hair doesn’t matter, and age isn’t a factor, either. The learning curve doesn’t appear to be steep because it’s really only a matter of brushing routinely and gleaning the feedback that comes from that through the app.

Withings says the Hair Coach should be launched later this year. Check out these beauty products available now.

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Editor Cellular/Mobile Technology
I’m a fortunate man in being able to do the fun job of following and reporting on one of the most exciting industries in the world today. In my time covering consumer tech, I’ve written for a number of publications, including the Globe and Mail, Yahoo! Canada, CBC.ca, Canoe, Digital Trends, MobileSyrup, G4 Tech, PC World, Faze and AppStorm. I’ve also appeared on TV as a tech expert for Global, CTV and the Shopping Channel.