L’Oréal, Withings and Kérastase just announced a smart hairbrush

Despite ample photographic evidence to the contrary, I learned to brush my hair at the age of six. Still, there’s always room for improvement, and more importantly there are always more implausible ways for companies to innovate, so here’s the world’s first smart hairbrush – the strangest thing yet to come out of CES 2017.

It’s the slightly malnourished brainchild of L’Oréal, Withings and Kérastase, and the latest old-as-the-hills product to be unnecessarily dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century where everything needs a micro-USB port. See also Samsung’s smart belt and that weird wine bottle that provides extraneous information to accompany your drink. Nothing is safe from the Internet of Things, no matter how unnecessary.

Anyway, the Kérastase Hair Coach will supposedly offer the kind of feedback you’d typically get from a professional salon thanks to a bunch of built-in sensors. It will go on sale later in the year for less than $200 (~£160), so what do you get for your money?

First of all, there’s a microphone built in. This is supposed to listen as you brush to pick up aural signs of dryness, frizziness or split ends. There’s also three-axis load cells to tell you if you’re using too much force to brush your hair, while conductivity sensors can tell if your hair is wet or dry. Finally, the device includes an accelerometer and gyroscope to count the number of brush strokes and provide haptic feedback to urge you to slow down if you’re being too rough for your precious follicles.

All these sensors come together, and connect to an app that not only provides feedback on your technique, but also offers tips and gives you an overall “hair quality score” based not just on the data, but on the temperature, UV index and humidity of your environment. I suppose that beats asking random strangers to rate your hair out of ten.

If, for whatever reason, this sounds like the kind of product you need in your life, then look out for it in mid-2017. You can pre-register your interest on the Withings site.

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