Bespoke hair colours? Korean regulators mull over customised hair dye machines

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

South Korea’s MFDS is reviewing the use of a machine that customises hair dyes for individuals. [Getty Images]
South Korea’s MFDS is reviewing the use of a machine that customises hair dyes for individuals. [Getty Images]

Related tags Hair care Regulation Hair dye Korea LG H&H

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) is reviewing the use of a machine that customises hair dyes for individuals.

The MFDS said on December 15, 2023, that it had visited fast-moving consumer goods company LG Household and Health Care (LG H&H) to learn more about its automated hair dye customisation machine.

LG H&H was scheduled to launch this machine domestically on December 15.

According to the MFDS, the visit was arranged to gather industry opinions on "Regulatory Innovation 2.0 Task 43: Customised Evaluation of Automatic Device Hair Dye Preparations for the Purchase of Various Products".

Currently, the evaluation process for functional cosmetics involves assigning one colour per product for usage, capacity, efficacy, and effects.

However, with the introduction of automatic mixing machines, there is a need for a more rationalised evaluation procedure for the various colours of hair dye preparations that can be produced using these automated devices.

The discussion emphasised the importance of establishing an evaluation plan for functional cosmetics linked with automatic mixing machines and introducing an evaluation system categorised by different types of products.

It was suggested that the MFDS publish a draft for functional cosmetics linked with automatic mixing machines, which would introduce an evaluation system for functional cosmetics by product category.

Park Yoonju, director of the MFDS Evaluation Institute highlighted her support for innovations among K-beauty companies.

I hope the introduction of new technology utilising automatic mixing machines and regulatory support from the MFDS will lead to the swift market release of diverse hair dye preparations, expanding consumer choices.”
Park expressed that the MFDS would continue to do its best to support K-beauty on the global stage.

“The MFDS will continue to actively strive to foster global competitiveness in the domestic cosmetics industry based on regulatory science expertise and facilitating smooth exports,” ​said Park Yoonju, director, MFDS Evaluation Institute.

The master mixer

In 2021, LG H&H worked with long-time partner Farouk Systems to develop The LG CHI Colour Master Factory, a digitally controlled colour customisation system.

Farouk Systems is a US-based company that specialises in manufacturing high-quality professional hair care products, including brands CHI and BioSilk. It was founded in 1986 by Dr. Farouk Shami.

According to the firm, it can make 30,000 recommended formulations with the possibility to create unlimited colour formulations with “exact precision to make stylists' artistry come to life”.

It claims that the LG CHI Color Master Factory can dispense colour formulations in under two minutes.

Furthermore, the device is environmentally friendly as it can achieve a 30% reduction in waste as it houses 12 recyclable cylinders that replace the colour bottles, tubes and boxes normally needed to customise a wide range of colours.

It is equipped with built-in sensors and a scale, ensuring precise formulation. Additionally, it can tracked dispensed colours for inventory management.

The LG CHI Color Master Factory also has a client management system that will store clients' formulas and photos for their next appointment.

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