If you’ve ever attempted to color your hair using a home kit, you get why salons charge an arm and a leg for good color. In an attempt to take the mess out of the process and make the results a little more salon-quality, L’Oréal has created a handheld device that sounds as easy to use as simply combing your hair.
L’Oréal claims its new Colorsonic was developed in response to the ongoing pandemic, in which hair salons around the world have been forced to close or severely limit their capacity in attempts to slow the spread of covid-19. Combine that with millions of people being stuck at home and looking for something to do and the result has been an uptick in sales of DIY hair-coloring kits over the past two years. What hasn’t changed? How messy and hit-or-miss the process of dying your hair at home can be.
The Colorsonic is designed to change that. What looks like a comb with a gigantic handle is actually a handheld dispenser with a nozzle that oscillates back and forth in a zig-zag pattern 300 times per second, which helps ensure even and proper distribution during a self-application.
When you buy a Colorsonic—which unfortunately doesn’t start shipping until 2023—you can buy reusable cartridges online with 40 shades of color to choose from. The cartridge keeps the color and the developer (an oxidant cream that helps the pigments deeply penetrate hair fibers to noticeable alter their color) completely separate until the Colorsonic is activated, at which point they’re mixed in precise amounts to keep both ingredients as fresh and effective as possible.
To use the Colorsonic, you run its oscillating nozzle bristles through the hair from roots to ends and the device will automatically ensure that just the proper amount of coloring is applied to prevent leaking, dripping, and over-saturated results. Thirty minutes later, hair can be rinsed and then styled as normal.
If the hair coloring in the cartridge hasn’t been completely used up, the cartridge can be removed from the Colorsonic and safely stored for doing touchups or reapplications later, as the unused pigments and developer are kept sealed and separate.
Sounds pretty perfect, right? Well, we still don’t know the Colorsonic’s price (or the price of the color cartridges), because the device is still more than a year away from launch, but for those who don’t color their hair often the initial investment may potentially be a more expensive solution than just visiting a salon and leaving the job to a professional. For frequent DIYers, however, L’Oréal also points out that each Colorsonic cartridge “uses less plastic per application than home box haircolor” and comes with gloves that can be used up to 10 times before being discarded. So the cartridges will potentially be more cost-effective, and slightly better for the environment, in addition to helping you avoid a still-raging virus.