Artificial intelligence and augmented reality have been harnessed in the YouCam Apps' Smart Mirror to help people 'virtually' try out beauty looks.
The app and Smart Mirror communicate to offer a range of services that allow the user to experiment with a number of different makeup and hair looks - from hairstyles to colour changes. When a selection is made using the app, the user sees themselves with their chosen look in the mirror, in real time.
This futuristic approach is not just fun, it also has a beneficial side-effect: preventing hair loss.
Blogger Electric Runway posted a video to social media demonstrating the innovation at January's CES2019, an annual Consumer Technology exhibition. This shows some of the gadget's possibilities, including a full range of natural, 'unnatural' and ombre hair colours.
With the trend for unnatural hair colours showing no signs of slowing down, the Smart Mirror becomes an even more useful tool. In order to obtain the rainbow colour effect, it is often necessary to lighten or bleach the hair first.
In doing so, the hair's structure is altered, weakening it and making it increasingly porous. In this sensitive state it is easy to for the hair to become further damaged by everyday elements as basic as the weather.
Hair breakage - where strands snap along the shaft - causes the appearance of frazzled, thinning hair. A number of high profile celebrities who regularly bleach their hair, from Lady Gaga and Gabrielle Union to Zayn Malik, have spoken out about having to have their hair cut short or their head shaved in order to deal with the issue.
Broken and damaged hair can usually be restored to health with an appropriate haircare routine - including, for example, a good haircut, intensive conditioning treatments and, if desired, the use of hair growth supporting products such as highly-targeted hair supplements.
What is harder to deal with, and often requires professional intervention, is when Chemical Trauma hair loss occurs. This can happen due to over-bleaching where the solution is, for instance, too strong or left on for too long.
In mild to moderate cases, a consultation with a hair loss specialist should provide the information and appropriate treatment recommendations to help deal with the issue. Where the damage, which is essentially a form of burn, is so extensive that it renders the affected follicles incapable of hair growth, however, the hair loss may be permanent.
Being able to see which colours suit you and take photographs of the exact shade you are looking for, which you can then show to a hairdresser who can guide you through the process, could potentially eliminate the 'trial and error' element to changing your hair colour. Thus, the constant bleaching, dyeing and colour-stripping which can be involved in finding that perfect hue may become a thing of the past.
Something this clever technology does not reveal, however, is the maintenance involved in a new hair colour.
If your hair is already dyed, damaged, bleached or dark, opting for lighter or particularly vibrant shades can be problematic. For instance, rainbow hair colours such as those seen in the video above, require specialist care due to fading. These often need regular colour refreshes and root upkeep - generally involving bleaching - around once per month.
Though there are now many options for colourants with gentle formulations that should not harm or dry out the hair, the bleaching - or lightening using blonde dyes in order to get the desired result from the chosen colour - is what tends to cause the majority of the damage.
People with short hair who have an all-over bleach (as opposed to highlights which give a more natural grow-out), or vivid hair colours requiring the natural hair to be pre-lightened also have more intensive haircare regimens; from fortnightly root bleaching to constant toning to reduce brassiness or colour washing to restore fading, and regular strengthening conditioning treatments to attempt to keep chemically-damaged hair in the best possible state.
Add in the effect of heat styling - even from just your hairdryer - and it is no wonder chemically-treated hair can become parched, brittle and so weak that it starts snapping.
As such, it is important to discuss with your stylist - or research using reputable sources, including having consultations with salon colourists, if you are colouring your hair at home - the aftercare and how long certain colours are likely to last before deciding to make the change. Failure to do so can be costly - not only in financial terms, but also to your hair's health.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.