BTC EXCLUSIVE: This Technology Will Change The Way You Do Consultations
A strong consultation is the foundation for a great service…and a loyal client. And now, hairdressers have a way to make their consultations even better, using state-of-the-art technology called SalonLab developed by Schwarzkopf Professional. It’s SO cool—a handheld device scans a client’s hair, allowing you to see INSIDE the hair and create a custom-mixed shampoo individualized for your client. Want more deets? Keep reading!
Schwarzkopf Professional invited BTC exclusively to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a huge conference that exhibits the most innovative, breakthrough technologies to the market. Schwarzkopf Professional debuted SalonLab there (AND this new technology won two awards from CES, which means it really is groundbreaking tech!).
We got to experience SalonLab ourselves, guided by Kim Vō, Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Ambassador and Lesley Jennison, Schwarzkopf Professional Global Color Ambassador, plus International Marketing Director for Schwarzkopf Professional, Isabell Dietz. Here’s how SalonLab works!
FIRST STEP: ANALYZE
The SalonLab Analyzer is a small handheld device that can clip onto your apron.
- What it does: Measures inner hair quality, moisture level and TRUE haircolor.
- How it works: It uses near-infrared light to measure cysteic acid levels in the hair, plus visible light sensors, to provide a scientific hair diagnosis. The readings are analyzed and processed by a propriety algorithm, giving the hairdresser a scientific starting point for their assessment of the client’s hair.
- What happened: To start, Kim analyzed BTC Managing Editor Lauren’s hair and scalp by sight and touch and asked her key questions, such as what her dream hair would feel like. Then, Kim measured Lauren’s hair in two points (though you can analyze up to three points), pressing the device into a small section of hair at her roots, which are her natural shade, and then at her blonde ends. After a few seconds, the readings appeared on a tablet, where Lauren, Kim and Lesley could see Lauren’s hair condition and hair moisture levels.
- Why it’s cool: “We’ve always been able to do naked eye diagnostics by feeling the hair and examining the hair and scalp. Now we have the analyzer…the near-infrared light looking at cysteic acid levels tells us how the hair’s condition is,” Lesley said. The visible light gives us the correct, true color on your head at the moment. This lets us do the ultimate consultation—it empowers us to give a better service.”
SECOND STEP: CONSULT
The tablet not only displayed Lauren’s hair condition and moisture levels—it also let her see what different Schwarzkopf Professional haircolors would look like on her existing haircolor using the SalonLab Consultation App.
- What it does: Supports the hairdresser throughout the analysis, displaying clients’ individual hair diagnostic results and enabling a personal color consultation.
- How it works: Augmented reality technology allows a client to literally see what new haircolor looks like on her hair, in real-time.
- What happened: Kim and Lesley showed Lauren what she would look like with strawberry hair, then with a blonde IGORA ROYAL shade. The hairdresser can save formulas that the client likes for future appointments. The app also allowed Kim and Lesley to show Lauren her individual shampoo recipe, custom-mixed to provide the best solutions for her specific hair.
- Why it’s cool: “This saves my job as a hairdresser,” Kim says. The app displays what Lauren would look like in different Schwarzkopf Professional shades without prelightening, so what would be true to her existing hair. “Usually you pick from a swatch book, but those shades will look different on the actual hair,” Isabell said. “This takes out misunderstandings and disappointments.”
THIRD STEP: CUSTOMIZE
The SalonLab Customizer mixes up a unique shampoo formula specifically for each client. Currently it can make 128 combinations of shampoo, but Isabell says in the future it can also mix an endless variety of conditioners, treatments and even haircolor formulas.
- What it does: Dispenses a custom-blended product into a bottle with a touch of a button, then prints a custom label for the client. It can also dispense salon-sized portions, meaning you can use a client’s custom mix at the backbar during her visit.
- How it works: It uses a proprietary manufacturing process to dynamically formulate and product a custom care solution, based on the consultation and analysis.
- What happened: Kim and Lesley knew Lauren wanted shiny, voluminous hair, and the SalonLab Analyzer revealed her hair lacked moisture at the ends from lightening. Her custom blend included a hefty dose of lamination for shine, plus a moisture boost and volume boost and a small amount of bonding power. Another really cool part? Lauren was able to choose from four different fragrances, making this shampoo SUPER custom to not only her needs, but her desires!
- Why it’s cool: Can you say client loyalty? Lauren wants to know how her “scores” will improve after using her custom shampoo. “You can re-evaluate the hair to see how the boosters and treatments we put inside your custom shampoo are working to improve your hair—the proof is in the pudding,” Lesley said. “Every new client that comes into my salon would automatically get this SalonLab package twice a year so they can see their journey.” Plus, the custom-blended product comes with a barcode individual to each client, so she can reorder her shampoo again and again.
“In the past, we do consultations by touching, bending and twisting the hair—and we make our best judgment,” Kim said. “Now we can see IN the hair. My clients in Beverly Hills? They LIE! They say they don’t have color! Now we can see. We co-created this app as hairdressers so that we can also co-create with our clients. What comes out of this is beautiful customization, which is key right now for your business.”
This new era of salon technology can be experienced in select Western European Schwarzkopf Professional salons in 2018 and in the U.S. in 2019. As far as pricing the SalonLab service and custom products, those decisions will be left up to individual salons. For more information, visit schwarzkopf-professionalusa.com.