Pinterest launches ‘much needed’ feature that makes hair search results more inclusive

The change has been welcomed by the beauty industry as a ‘game changer’

Hollie Richardson
Monday 23 August 2021 14:32
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In a step towards making its platform more inclusive for users, Pinterest is launching a “much needed” first-of-its-kind hair pattern search tool.

Created with Black, Brown and Latinx people in mind, users – known as Pinners – will be able to refine hair searches by six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald.

Over the coming weeks, Pinners can search for a broad hair term such as ‘summer hairstyles’, ‘glam hair’, or ‘short hair’ and narrow their results by selecting one of the six hair patterns to find hair inspiration that is most relevant to their style and preference.

“This new tool will mark a much needed milestone for racial equity in the world of coding,” said editorial hair stylist and global artistic director of Amika, Naeemah LaFond, who worked with Pinterest to develop the tool.

“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. 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.”

In the past month alone, there were over 120 million searches for hair on Pinterest and over five billion Pins created were related to hair.

Our mission on the Inclusive Product team is to help everyone feel like Pinterest is a place for them,” Annie Ta, head of inclusive product at Pinterest, said in a press statement.

“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.

“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.”

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