Photo by Phillip Tracy

This smart brush monitors the health of your hair by listening to it

Your very own stylist, and it's even less judgmental.


Published Jan 7, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 6:09 am CDT

Withings, now owned by Nokia (yep, that Nokia), will release a smart hairbrush and accompanying app later this year, so you can finally figure out if all that money spent on treatment products is going to good use.  

The Hair Coach has the appearance of any ordinary brush but with a few tricks up its bristles. It’s loaded with internet of things (IoT) technology—microphones, accelerometers, and air quality sensors—and has haptic feedback built into the handle, and it can sync with your phone using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

We got hands-on with the device at CES and were impressed with its minimalist design—a refreshing break from the in-your-face absurdities found throughout the show floor.

Phillip Tracy

Given Amazon Alexa’s newfound ubiquity, you might be surprised to find out those microphones we mentioned aren’t for voice-guided commands. They are actually used to gather the micro-sounds created when the brush’s bristles move through your hair. The brush can determine if hair is dry, damaged, tangled, or breaking, based on the sounds emanating from your head. All of that data is transferred to an app, created by hair care company Kérastase. It recommends how you should proceed treating your hair to gain the best results, and it will even recommend (its own) products based on the information gathered by the microphones.

Yep, this is what technology is going to be like from now on.

All the other sensors packed inside the brush are used to track your habits, like how long it takes and how many brushes are required to finish your morning ritual. It will even know if you dare brush your hair while it is still wet. 

Withings claims the Hair Coach will run for six months off two AA batteries housed in the handle.

The smart brush is being marketed for women, but it will work for anyone with long hair. Hair Coach goes on sale this fall, and it will cost $200—or about the price of a brush made of boar bristle

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*First Published: Jan 7, 2017, 9:31 am CST