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Virtual Try-on Hair Color Expected to Boost Salon Sales

Commitment phobic hair color clients can virtually road-test colors with app.

Redken and Perfect Corp. Team Up for Virtual Hair-Color Try-ons
The Redken and YouCam Makeup app.

For years, men and women clipped hair color photos out of magazines to show colorists a vision they want to achieve.

That practice is so 2016. It has been supplanted by the option to virtually road-test hair shades.

A new partnership between Redken and Perfect Corp. is expected to drive salon hair color visits and prompt more experimentation that will float to salon’s bottom line. Retail hair color sales, according to IRI data, continue to be in the red (down almost 2 percent for the past 52-week period) opening up opportunities for the salon business to attract a larger client base.

Perfect Corp. partnered with Redken for the launch of more than 75 professional hair color shades through its YouCam Makeup app. Users can virtually try on hundreds of  hair color possibilities to find their desired customizable new hue, and then share their selfie with the colorist during their next salon visit.

Adam Gam, vice president of Perfect Corp., said the hair color app could have as much, if not more, of an impact on business than makeup apps. What’s been crucial in developing a try on for hair, however, is translating the depth, dimension and gradient colors associated with highlighted, ombréd or balayaged heads.

“It was important to us to create an experience that is easy to navigate and that offers the most realistic looks possible. In order to further enhance the try-on feature, we’ve added in custom brush and erase features to allow users to quickly draw in the details on their hair color, in order to garner the full effect of the future finished look,” he said.

The app is expected to not only direct women to salons to bring their virtual hair color to reality, but also encourage experimenting with more hair color services that some had been reticent to try.  “We believe these facets go hand in hand. The more people are able to try, discover and experiment with hair color through the virtual in app try ons, the more likely they are to find a color they love and feel confident committing to in real life.”

The partnership with Redken directs consumers to a Redken Salon finder to book an appointment to recreate the virtual image. Once a desired color has been found, the app will direct the user to a Redken Salon Finder to seamlessly book an appointment and bring the virtual try on to reality.

Last month, Perfect Corp.’s suite of augmented reality apps hit the milestone of being downloaded globally more than 500 million times. The Perfect Corp. roster includes YouCam Makeup, YouCam Perfect, YouCam Fun and YouCam Nails. The features range from selfie makeovers, instant skin diagnostics, one-touch selfie editing and animated fun filters. YouCam works globally with more than 150 brands, including the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., Yves Saint Laurent, L’Oréal Paris, MAC Cosmetics and Macy’s Inc.