Whether you’re a salon pro or an everyday consumer, I think we can all agree that Pinterest has long been the destination of choice for seeking out the latest hair inspo for your next style, cut, or color. But, if you’ve ever tried searching specifically for textured hair ideas on the platform, then you likely know just how difficult it is to find results that don’t only cater to a Eurocentric standard of beauty — well, until now.
Pinterest recently just launched a first-of-its-kind search tool called “Hair Pattern Search” that lets Pinners search for hair inspiration by specific hair types thanks to computer vision-powered object detection. Created with BIPOC in mind, this new feature will allow Pinners to filter any hair-related search by six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight, and shaved/bald. According to a press release from the company, the platform is already estimated to have over 500 images that have already been tagged with a hair pattern.
“Our mission on the Inclusive Product team is to help everyone feel like Pinterest is a place for them. As a visual discovery platform, we have an opportunity and responsibility to do a better job of increasing representation in the products we build. That’s why we built hair pattern search using computer vision technology to help identify hair patterns in images,” said Annie Ta, Head of Inclusive Product at Pinterest, in the press release. “By doing this, we hope we’re able to use technology for good and make it easier for people, no matter who they are, to find hair inspiration for them on Pinterest.”
Let’s face it, women of color have long been shunned, ignored, and discriminated against for their natural hair textures, so to see them now represented on such a major social platform in this way is pretty remarkable.
“This new tool will mark a much needed milestone for racial equity in the world of coding. Just the simple idea that I don’t have to work twice as hard to find a hairstyle because of my hair type is a game changer,” said Naeemah LaFond, Editorial Hair Stylist and Global Artistic Director at Amika, who played a critical role in bringing this new feature to life . “I’m sure that in the coming years we will find ways to even further improve the process, but I’m excited that with Pinterest we’ve taken one huge step forward.”
As of late, implementing more inclusivity and diversity has been a major focus for Pinterest. For the company, their new Hair Pattern Search is a natural progression from their industry-first product feature, skin tone ranges —a beauty search filter that can sort results by skin tones— that was first introduced in 2018.
Currently, Hair Pattern Search is only available in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand and operates on iOS and Android devices. However, Pinners can expect to see this new feature roll out on the platform’s international sites over the next few months.
To start using Pinterest’s new Hair Pattern Search, be sure to visit pinterest.com. Happy Pinning!