Pinterest’s Latest Inclusive Beauty Feature: Hair Pattern Searches
WWD | August 18, 2021
Pinterest revealed a new computer vision-enabled hair pattern search tool on Tuesday that was created with people of color in mind. The filter for beauty searches distinguishes and sorts results according to six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald. Pinterest said it has detected hair patterns in more than 500 million images in its platform.
The tool is a progression from Pinterest’s skin tone ranges, a beauty search filter that can detect and sort results by skin tones. People who struggle to see themselves in beauty searches may find these search filters helpful. While they may not be a cure for beauty’s inequality problem, they look like steps in the right direction. For now, hair pattern search is a user-driven development, not a means to drive revenue. But that could change over time, just as skin tone ranges now includes shoppable results.
To develop the tool, Annie Ta, the company’s head of inclusive product, told WWD that she consulted with BIPOC creators and “pinners” such as Naeemah LaFond, editorial hairstylist and global artistic director of Amika. “She collaborated with us to help us understand how to define different hair patterns, as well as worked with us to define how people might search for these things on Pinterest,” said Ta. Hair pattern can be a very personal issue for people, she explained, so the company set out to look at how technology can help users find more customizable results.