Pinterest is a beauty lover's paradise, rich with images, graphics, and tutorials to inspire and educate the community. But there's always room for improvement, especially when it comes to making sure content is wholly inclusive — and easily accessible. Today, the social media platform unveiled a first-of-its-kind search tool entitled "Hair Pattern," created with BIPOC in mind.
In a statement shared with TZR, the brand explained that there were over 120 million searches relating to hair in the past month alone and among these, 17% of hairstyle trends contain hair pattern keywords including “Coi Leray braids”, “summer box braids” and “afro kinky hairstyle braids”, signaling that there is definitely a need for representation for textured hair.
As of today Pinners can access Pinterest’s new search feature via its app or on its website. To test it out, simply select the search icon and then type in a hair-related query (i.e., fall hairstyles or hair accessory ideas). From there, users select one of six hair patterns (protective, straight, wavy, curly, coily, and bald or shaved). If the feature isn’t showing up for you, it may simply be an issue of updating the app on your phone. The result is a curation of results tailored to their specific style. This feature is bound to be a game-changer for Pinterest users.
This new technology builds on Pinterest’s industry-first inclusive product feature: skin tone ranges that first launched in 2018 and allowed users to narrow their searches down according to their skin tone.
“This new tool will mark a much-needed milestone for racial equity in the world of coding,” says editorial hairstylist and global artistic director of Amika, Naeemah LaFond. “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.”
LaFond was also involved in building and designing the Hair Pattern search tool alongside Pinterest’s Head of Inclusive Product, Annie Ta, and BIPOC content creators.
“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,” says Ta. “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.”