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My favorite gadget of CES 2022 is L'Oreal's hair coloring device — and I need it now

L'Oreal Colorsonic
(Image credit: L'Oreal)

When I first saw the L’Oreal Colorsonic, a new high-tech appliance for coloring your hair at home, I thought, “Wow, I really could’ve used that during the pandemic.” 

I quarantined for several months with my mother and my sister. Prior to lockdown, all three of us ladies would get our hair colored by a professional at a salon — nothing intense, just basic blonde highlights for my sister and me and touched-up, dark-red roots for my mom. Still, as it became clear hair salons would remain closed for more than just a few weeks, we had to wrap our heads around coloring our manes at home. 

Was I naive to think using box dye would be a breeze? Absolutely. I fumbled at every step of the at-home hair-coloring process, from picking out the right shade at CVS to mixing the chemicals to applying the dye evenly. We also made a Jackson Pollock painting of the bathroom. 

It’s safe to say that the moment our regular salons reopened, we booked appointments to reverse the blotchy, mismatched mess we made. 

But I think if we had the Colorsonic, our tryst with DIY hair-dyeing could’ve turned into a long-term lifestyle change. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars a year on hair color, plus hours in the salon, we could successfully touch up our hair whenever we want from the comfort of our home.

The ColorSonic looks a lot like a normal hair tool — in fact is reminds me of the Dyson AirWrap with the brush attachment. Instead of styling your hair, the brush oscillates to evenly comb portioned amounts of dye through your locks without the color splattering on your clothes or countertops.

L’Oreal’s Colorsonic collection will include 40 different colors, from reds and blondes and blacks to “daring” colors, as Global Vice President of L'Oreal Technology Incubator Guive Balooch explained in an interview during CES 2022. The appliance and product will be compatible with all hair lengths and curl types, too.

The color comes in airless cartridges, which when inserted into the machine will combine the dye and activator in small portions as needed. That way the product doesn’t go to waste, and if you have short hair, or just want a small root touch up, you could theoretically stretch a single pod over multiple uses. Box dyes don’t offer the same option, since once you mix up the dye and activator, the product is only viable for a limited time.

Most other common questions or uncertainties with at-home hair coloring can be solved in the Colorsonic’s companion app. For some reason I’ll skip reading instructions on a physical box but I’ll follow app guidance like my life depends on it. And the app would’ve told me the right color red my mom needed, then brought me to a place to buy corresponding cartridges online.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until early 2023 to see whether the L’Oreal Colorsonic is as convenient to use and maintain as it claims. The company hasn’t released price information, either. I could make the case for shelling out $550 for the Dyson AirWrap, but the Colorsonic can’t cost more than that, or as much I would spend at the salon over the course of, say, a year. 

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account (opens in new tab), which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.