Pinterest makes beauty searches inclusive with new hair pattern tool

Pinners can choose from 6 hair types to personalise their searches via the social media platform

Beauty inspiration platform Pinterest is making its search engine tool more inclusive with a new hair pattern option.

Pinners will be able to select from six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald, in an effort to make their searches more relevant.

To select the tool, users can search for a broad hair term, such as ‘summer hairstyles' or ‘short hair’ and narrow their results by selecting one of the six hair patterns.

Pinterest’s latest development, which it claims is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ tool, builds on the social media platform’s skin tone feature, which allows users to explore the site by their skin tone.

This technology initially rolled out in the US in 2018, before launching for UK customers in the summer of 2019.

And personalised searches is something Pinterest claims is more popular among beauty customers than ever before.

Among the top 500 trends, 17% of hairstyle trends contain hair pattern keywords, including ‘Coi Leray braids’ and ‘afro kinky hairstyles braids’.

Meanwhile, searches for ‘natural hair twists protective’ were up 15 times compared with the same period in 2020; and searches for ‘best haircuts for thick wavy hair’ increased 13 times during the same period.

“This new tool will mark a much needed milestone for racial equity in the world of coding,” said Naeemah LaFond, Global Artistic Director of beauty brand Amika, who helped to design 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.”

Pinterest also worked with BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of colour) creators to build the technology.

The next big thing in hair

Among the trends Pinterest predicts will take the hair care category by storm include ‘skunk hair’.

Also known as two-toned colour, Pinners are said to be taking inspiration from Narcissa Malfoy’s hair look in the Harry Potter films.

Meanwhile, ‘short pixie bobs’, popularised in the 1950s are seeing a revival, as searches for ‘Alice Cullen hair’, a character of the popular Twilight series, based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, skyrocket.

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