We’ve seen technology rapidly advance over the years, but one thing has always remained—it has been a serious pain in the you know what to color match our hair extensions when shopping online. No matter how far we’ve come tech-wise, color match technology has been severely overlooked. But, our wish has finally been granted. Thanks to a revolutionary partnership between Luxy Hair and artificial intelligence company AlgoFace, matching our extensions to our hair color has never been easier.
Launching the first of its kind AI Virtual Hair Color Match Tool, Luxy Hair and AlgoFace have finally taken the guesswork out of shopping for hair extensions online. We wanted to learn more about this tool so we went straight to the source. Below, learn everything there is to know about Luxy Hair’s Virtual Hair Color Match Tool. We even tested it out ourselves to offer a full report on how well the technology worked.
Mane Addicts: Where did the idea for the Artificial Intelligence Color Match Tool come from?
Luxy Hair: The customer is truly the inspiration for all that we do. The purchasing process for hair extensions can be daunting. In addition to an emphasis on best-in-class customer service, we are always looking for ways to simplify and enhance the shopping experience. The AlgoFace Artificial Intelligence Color Match Tool is an excellent example of how technology can elevate and propel a brand experience forward.
MA: What was the process like creating the tool? Give us all the juicy details!
AlgoFace: We began by determining the main pain point of selling hair extensions online, which is that the process of selecting the right color match is completely manual and leads to a high return rate. Using AlgoFace’s core experience in Computer Vision (CV) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), we created a solution that automates this color selection process with high accuracy.
For each brand, we define their available color sets, normally between 30 to 60 shades. Then we build large, diverse, and inclusive data of all colors and label them manually using hair color experts. Our engineering team started the process of developing the machine learning-based solution and testing it on different scenarios until we achieved a high level of accuracy.
MA: How exactly does the color-matching technology work? And how accurate is it?
AF: We have developed supervised machine learning tools that process the uploaded image from the user to do the following tasks:
- Illumination correction to remove the effect of different lighting conditions on the final results
- Hair segmentation in high accuracy
- Classification of the hair color in the image
This enables us to match the color in the photo to the closest color available. The tool is actually able to give more than one suggestion, in a range from the closest match to the furthest. The accuracy is beyond 90% for high-quality images with proper lighting conditions. We hope to improve this level of accuracy even more in the future.
MA: How can someone ensure they get the most accurate results using this tool?
LH: When taking a photo within the tool or uploading your own, ensure that you are facing in front of a window and/or in natural lighting without direct sunlight on you. This will allow you to capture a photo that best represents your hair color.
If you do decide to upload an existing photo, it’s always recommended to avoid photos with filters or editing as they may alter the true color of your hair.
MA: What would you say to those who are skeptical of this technology?
AF: This tool will save the consumer a lot of time as well as significantly decrease the return rate for hair extensions sold online. We are also currently working on phase II of this solution, which will allow the user to virtually try on the suggested extension color on their uploaded photos. They will also be able to virtually try on multiple suggestions to pick the one they like most.
MA: Are there any myths about the tool you’d like to debunk?
AF: We know that people are concerned about their privacy when it comes to AI and it is one of our top priorities as well. This tool has been designed not to store any information or images for any reason.
Our Virtual Color Match Experience
I am someone who has never purchased extensions. Scratch that—I have, but they were brightly colored strands from Claire’s I used back in middle school. What I should say is I’ve never tried legitimate hair extensions. They have always frightened me for some reason. And a large part of that fear stems from trying to color match. I have zero faith in doing it correctly, so I’ve shied away from extensions. So when I heard about the Luxy Hair virtual hair color match tool, it felt as though it were made for me.
After brushing my strands and spritzing in some dry shampoo, I took a number of photos with the tool. Like, more photos than I needed. I kept getting paired with Luxy Hair’s Blonde Balayage shade so that’s what I went with.
The shade matched my dyed strands incredibly well, which was somewhat surprising, even though it shouldn’t have been. The technology knew what it was doing. Though the color matched, getting the extensions to seamlessly blend into my strands wasn’t all that simple.
I knew I should’ve curled my hair, and that was the plan, but I am not good with a curling iron. It requires far too much energy from me than I’m willing to give, so I ended up poorly straightening my locks. The extensions were able to be somewhat blended, though I know I could’ve done a better job. Really, I just wanted a photo to show you all so there you go.
Given that I’m someone who has basically never used extensions because I was too afraid to match my color incorrectly, I found this tool to be incredibly helpful. For those who are already familiar with extensions, this technology makes shopping online that much easier.
Styling error aside, my fear of color matching my extensions has finally been assuaged. Now all I need to figure out is how to expertly curl my hair with the extensions. Stay tuned for that saga!