The future of professional training for hairstylists has arrived. And it’s virtual.
The project, unveiled at the Fast Company Innovation Festival by L'Oréal's Vice President of Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Rachel Weiss, will roll out to stylists through L'Oréal's "Matrix Academy," an educational program affiliated with its Matrix beauty brand. Instead of traveling across the country for trainings or watching two-dimensional YouTube videos, stylists will have the option to learn new styling techniques with a VR headset.
Creating virtual hair is a huge challenge, according to 8i‘s Linc Gasking. “From our perspective, hair is the hardest possible problem,” Gasking said. “We’re not talking about computer-generated hair. It’s photo-realistic hair that you can see from any angle.”
The L’Oréal VR training program features a stylist and a client, two photo-realistic ‘humans’ in a 360-degree setting. Students wearing VR headsets can assume the stylist’s role and watch the process or technique being taught from any angle. “You can feel like you’re there and learn from someone right in front of you,” Weiss said. “We felt that education was the best use case for us.”
Learn more about L’Oréal’s VR education program at FastCompany.com.