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Pinterest hair pattern search redefines inclusive beauty

By Chris Dawson August 18, 2021 - 3:50 pm

With millions of people coming to Pinterest for hair and beauty inspiration, Pinterest know that they have both the opportunity and the responsibility to redefine representation online for everyone. Today they’re introducing their latest advancement in inclusive beauty search with the rollout of hair pattern search, a first-of-its-kind technology, created with Black, Brown and Latinx Pinners in mind, that empowers users to search for hair inspiration across hair types.

Pinterest Hair Pattern Search SCARFWhy does this matter to you? Well if you’re selling anything to do with hair and makeup, you want your products put in front of the right audience and there’s no point showing Black, Brown and Latinx Pinners products suitable for blonde hair and the same goes for everything from makeup to accessories.

What’s even more exciting is that there has been a huge gap in the market for hair and makeup for Black, Brown and Latinx shoppers and, if you stock these products, Pinterest just made it easy to get them in front of the audience you want to market to… Think about the woman with coily hair looking for inspiration for her wedding day – don’t you want to market to her just as much as the blonde haired bride to be?

Hair Pattern Search: Protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald

Through computer vision-powered object detection, hair pattern search enables Pinners 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 like “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. Pinterest has detected a hair pattern (e.g. coily, curly, protective) in over 500 million images on our platform.

This new technology builds on Pinterest’s industry-first inclusive product feature skin tone ranges first launched in 2018. It not only marks a major step forward for inclusivity in tech, but also responds to the millions of Pinners who are looking for an easier way to find the most relevant hair inspiration for them. In the past month alone, there were over 120 million searches for hair and over 5 billion Pins were created related to hair on Pinterest. Pinterest have also seen that top hair searches on Pinterest are personalised – for example, “natural hair twists protective” (15x) and “best haircuts for thick wavy hair” (13x).

Annie Ta, Head of Inclusive Product, Pinterest talks hair pattern search“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. 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.”
– Annie Ta, Head of Inclusive Product, Pinterest

Pinterest’s Inclusive Product team, formed to bring cross-functional thinking to fairness in AI and product development, worked with BIPOC creators and Pinners like Editorial Hair Stylist and Global Artistic Director of Amika, Naeemah LaFond to help build and design the product. A champion for diverse hair representation, LaFond advised on the overall user experience and language used in the product.

“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. 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.”
– Naeemah LaFond, Editorial Hair Stylist and Global Artistic Director, Amika

Hair pattern search is available in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada,Australia and New Zealand and on iOS and Android and will roll out to international markets over the coming months.

  • Steve Tilston
    2 months ago

    I didn’t know that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were guest editing Tamebay today… that’s some nice woke (I mean work)

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