Pinterest introduces first-of-its-kind hair pattern search for inclusive beauty results


With millions of people coming to Pinterest for hair and beauty inspiration, Pinterest has an opportunity and responsibility to redefine representation online for everyone. Today we’re introducing our 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.

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.** We’ve also seen that top hair searches on Pinterest are personalized - for example, “natural hair twists protective" (15x) and "best haircuts for thick wavy hair" (13x).***

Annie Ta, Head of Inclusive Product at Pinterest

“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.”


Naeemah LaFond, Editorial Hair Stylist and Global Artistic Director of Amika

“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.”

Pinterest’s Inclusive Product team, formed to bring cross-functional thinking to fairness in AI and product development, worked with Pinners and BIPOC creators 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.

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


*Pinterest Internal Data, Global, July 2021

**Total searches during the four week period of 6/21/21 - 7/21/21 containing the word “hair”; Pinterest internal data, global.

***Pinterest internal data, Global, June-July 2021 vs June-July 2020; Global.