We probably think that we have a pretty good idea of what healthy hair looks like: strong, shiny and swishy, right? But what if you could actually measure your hair’s true health, on the inside, and use these results to tailor your hair care routine?

That’s the idea behind an innovative piece of technology from Schwarzkopf called the SalonLab Smart Analyzer, currently available in about 20 Schwarzkopf salons around the UK. It features a near-infrared scanner that measures damage deep inside the hair from factors such as heat styling and colouring to show the true strength of the hair as a percentage.

This device measures the hair's inner strength

This is paired with an in-depth consultation to prescribe a bespoke hair treatment in the salon, along with recommended home care products, with the idea being that, over time and if you follow the advice, you should see this score improve at your next appointment.

To try this new service out for myself, I headed to Haug London Haus in London, a boutique salon co-owned by Philipp Haug, who was the lead hairdresser at this year’s BAFTA TV awards and styled the hair of stars such as Jill Scott, Rosie Jones and David Tennant in the lead up to the event and on the night.

After a thorough consultation form, which asked me to select my hair and scalp type and history, as well as what I was hoping to gain from the treatment that day, Philipp took a section of hair from the back of my head – where the hair is longest and therefore oldest – and gently pressed the device (which looks a bit like a mini straightening iron) on the hair in three places: near the roots, at the mid-lengths at at the ends.

After a few seconds, my score was revealed on the screen – and I have to admit that I was a little shocked.

My hair is long, highlighted and regularly blow dried, but I’d also thought that it was in fairly decent condition; no noticeable split ends, frizz or breakage. However, the machine showed that my hair’s health score was a measly 59% – ‘very damaged, with significant oxidative damage’, the screen told me.

This programme revealed Laura's true hair health

Fortunately, Philipp reassured me that this number wasn’t actually that bad for someone with long, coloured hair like me (the ends which could be up to six years old), yet was confident that this figure could easily be improved.

Philipp then began my bespoke salon treatment, as prescribed by the app. It started with a hair wash with a regular shampoo followed by a second cleanse with Schwarzkopf Professional’s bond-building Fibre Clinix Shampoo.

Next, two ‘booster’ shots were added into a hair mask base for fine hair, specially selected from five options: for me, it was ‘Volumize’ and ‘Fortify’. This was massaged into my hair before relaxing with a hot towel on my head for a few minutes.

The app then prescribed a bespoke treatment for Laura

My appointment finished with a bouncy blow dry and messy wave tonged in – and I could really notice a difference afterwards. My hair looked lustrous and shiny – something that’s hard to achieve with blonde highlighted hair – and definitely felt stronger, without feeling weighed down. Schwarzkoft claims these results can last up to 60 washes.

I’ll be following up with the at-home Schwarzkopf Fibre Clinix hair care products that were recommended for me – Volumize Shampoo, £12.30, Volumize Conditioner, Bonding Light Oil, £18.71, and Fortify Multi-Repair Lotion, £16.77 – and I can’t wait to see if my score has improved by my next appointment.

Laura loved the results

Another hairdresser-approved bond-building treatment that’s worth trying is Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector, £16.43 – it’s a classic for a reason.

A cheaper alternative could be the L’Oréal Paris Bond Repair range – and you can currently pick up a four-piece bundle for a fraction of its usual price.

By Editor