‘Beautiful hair’ doesn’t mean ‘white hair’.
But, searching the term and being met with stock images of people who all look the same – sends a message that excludes diverse hair types from the standard of beauty.
For ethnic minorities searching for hair inspiration online, it can be hard to find images that reflect you – and are authentic to how you look.
Pinterest, the virtual pin board design tool, is now bridging this gap with their first hair pattern search function, which has been created with Black, brown and Latinx people in mind.
They say the tool will ’empower’ Pinterest users, because ‘ultimately, you can’t be inspired if you don’t feel represented’.
So now, when people search for a trend, such as ‘summer hairstyles’, they can then narrow down their search results by selecting on of the six hair patterns on their filtering options.
This way people can find images that resonate with them and are simply more relevant.
Using ‘vision-powdered detection’ technology, images can be categorised into the following options: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald.
It’s hoped this will make the user experience more inclusive and bring diversity to the top of search results, depending on how they’re filtered.
The move is one of many in an inclusivity drive from Pinterest, which has also recently launched more skin tone range options, an AR try-on function, the introduction of pronouns and banning of weight loss adds.
In the last month alone, the platform found there were more than 120 million searches for ‘hair’, and more than five billion posts related to hair.
When looking at different hair types, 17% of the top 500 trends included hair pattern terms, such as ‘coi leray braids’, ‘summer box braids’ and ‘afro kinky hairstyles braids’.
All of these terms are being searched for more – sometimes even hundreds of times more – than they were just a month ago.
The current hair trends people are searching for include ‘curly hair with fringe bangs’ and ‘purple hair colour ideas’, the latter of which could look very different on straight blonde hair compared with kinky brunette hair.
Now, people can still look to these trends for ideas, but find results that feel real to their own hair texture.
Thanks to the tool, showcases of these cuts and colour styles on differing hair types can be accessed much easier.
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