Madison Reed Introduces New VR Tool

Prestige hair coloring brand Madison Reed has launched an augmented reality tool that lets consumers virtually try on more than 40 shades via digital devices. Produced in partnership with Perfect Corp., the tool is believed to surpass similar AR technologies in terms of life-like simulation. 

In the tool, a split screen immediately highlights the difference between the user’s current hair color and the new, virtual shade she selects. The screen also has a built-in slider that allows users to toggle between two colors in real time. Accessible through the company’s website (, the tool can be used via smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Consumers can use their device’s camera live or upload a picture. 

“Madison Reed believes in empowering customers in every way imaginable,” said Amy Errett, chief executive officer and founder. “Our goal is to eliminate fear and enable people to choose a new hair color with the confidence of having already witnessed the end result. Women have been begging for this try-on technology, but current solutions just don't hit the mark. Now, an accurate, realistic solution finally exists.”

The parent company of beauty app YouCam Makeup, Perfect Corp. has created award-winning AR and artificial intelligence products. In developing the technology, teams from Madison Reed and YouCam worked closely to integrate a palette of hair colors into a live, virtual try-on tool powered by proprietary AR, AI and color-matching applications. The partnership marks the first time YouCam has taken its in-app, hair color tech and embedded it into a direct-to-consumer website.

“Our continued deep-learning technology has helped capture the unique movement and dimension of individual hair strands in order to display the most true-to-life, virtual hair color try-on imaginable,” said Alice Chang, Perfect’s CEO. “Madison Reed is the first to integrate this unique, live hair color feature into its website shopping experience.” 

Madison Reed is known for its tech innovations, including the first-ever chatbot to analyze selfies and suggest hair color matches. The chatbot’s introduction followed the launch of a smartphone app that uses voice recognition and voice controls, enabling women to follow step-by-step makeup application instructions without having to touch, smudge or stain their cellphones.

Augmented reality continues to gain ground in the women’s beauty market. Other applications include L'Oréal's “Try On,” an AR tool that lets consumers experience more than 300 color cosmetics and Colorista semi-permanent hair color shades directly from the company’s website. 

L’Oréal also partnered with Facebook to develop AR experiences through Facebook Camera products that let consumers “test” the company’s many color cosmetic brands. Both initiatives are driven by ModiFace, the beauty AR specialist that L’Oréal acquired last March.