Want to try pink hair with no obligation?
John Paul Mitchell Systems and YouCam Makeup are making hair-color experimentation possible with a new partnership enabling users of the virtual try-on app to douse their manes in shades both wild and realistic on their phones before they take the plunge in real life at salons. The partnership marks YouCam Makeup’s entrance into the hair segment and JPMS’s first foray into the augmented reality field that has beauty enthusiasts digitally slathering themselves with practically every eye shadow and lipstick conceivable.
“It makes hair color a lot of fun,” said Andrea Espinoza-Coto, marketing manager for professional hair color at JPMS. “At times, guests can fear hair color, whether it is a color change or just embarking on a color experience, and this tool helps users become more comfortable with the thought of a color shift.”
Alice Chang, chief executive officer of YouCam Makeup developer Perfect Corp., said, “Paul Mitchell’s trusted and reliable products complement YouCam Makeup’s augmented reality makeover technology, creating a true-to-life hairstyling experience in our virtual salon that helps consumers select the right hair color quickly and easily.”
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YouCam Makeup users will be able to pick from 32 JPMS hair colors, including shades from the existing lines Paul Mitchell The Color, The Color XG and PM Shines as well as from two lines launching in the fall: Pop XG and Demi. The shades were selected to deliver a wide range of options from browns, blondes and reds, to bold blue. To see how they look on, YouCam users can upload photos they’ve already taken or shoot selfies to upload, and immediately apply the colors they’d like to trial.
On a daily basis, 30 million photos are snapped and prettied virtually on YouCam. Across all its apps, YouCam divulged it has amassed 290 million downloads — 185 million for YouCam Makeup alone — with users engaging in around one billion sessions monthly. Roughly 60 percent of YouCam users are ages 18 to 34, and 92 percent of them are female.
Espinoza-Coto envisions YouCam Makeup’s technology encouraging colorists at salons, where professional brand JPMS is distributed, to discuss various shade possibilities with customers who might be on the fence about dying their hair. To get YouCam Makeup users in colorists’ chairs, the brand has incorporated a feature in the app directing them to the nearest salons providing JPMS color services. For hair colorists, JPMS has created online tip cards with instructions on how to produce the shades YouCam Makeup users are testing out.
Literally and figuratively, hair color is a bright spot in the salon industry — and JPMS believes the YouCam Makeup platform and its upcoming hair-color lines can further grow the brand’s salon color offerings. In particular, JPMS developed Pop XG, a collection of 13 electric semipermanent cream shades, to target members of Generation Z, just the sorts of people spending hours and hours per day playing with apps like those from YouCam on their phones, interested in adding pops of color to their locks.
“I see it giving hair color at least a little boost,” said Espinoza-Coto of JPMS’s YouCam Makeup integration. “It might take a bit of time for folks to get used to opening the app and playing with it, but, in my own personal experience sharing it with friends and family, it really makes a difference and invites color changes. I’m excited to see the impact it has, and I do anticipate it will help our business and, more importantly, it will help our hairdressers.”
The hair-color partnership between JPMS and YouCam Makeup is expected to last up to a year. Espinoza-Coto noted the brand plans to inject trend shades into the app regularly and to extend beyond hair color into hair-care products such as shampoos and conditioners. She said, “I think the instant gratification is important, and the commitment-free try-ons are crucial. It is a huge change for us as purchasers that we can try on something for free and then make a purchase decision.”