Pantene Gold Series New Campaign to End Hair Discrimination

Gold Series by Pantene teams up with Black Minds Matter and Project Embrace for the My Hair Won’t be Silenced campaign to help end afro hair discrimination

A new report from Pantene reveals that at least 93% of Black people in the UK have experienced hair discrimination in the form of microaggressions related to their hair texture. Uninvited hair touching was reported as one of the most common types of microaggressions, experienced by nearly half (46%) of Black people. The report went on to say that 52% of Black people state that discrimination against their hair has negatively affected their self-esteem or mental health. And worryingly, only 7% of people without Afro hair were able to identify common microaggressions.

Hair awareness initiatives

Hair has been shown to be key to self-esteem, confidence, and identity, which is why Pantene is on a mission to give more great hair days to everyone. Pantene has set a goal of 50% reduction in hair discrimination in the UK by 2025 with the My Hair Won’t Be Silenced campaign and the Power of Hair Fund. Both campaigns aim to increase awareness of hair discrimination and common microaggressions in the UK to stimulate the long-lasting change required and help end discrimination against Afro hair.

A visual from the My Hair Won’t Be Silenced campaign

We all deserve good hair days

With more than half of those surveyed stating that discrimination against their natural Afro hair has negatively affected their self-esteem or mental health, Pantene has partnered with Black Minds Matter and Project Embrace to highlight the power of hair on mental well-being and self-esteem. The brand has also launched a short film featuring six Black British women talking about their own experiences of microaggressions as well as their personal journeys to embracing and celebrating their hair. Great hair days have been proven to correlate with feeling more productive, creative, less stressed, more socially powerful, more resilient, physically stronger, and more in control*.

The My Hair Won’t Be Silenced video

With only 7% of people without Afro hair able to identify common microaggressions, Pantene will continue to work with Black Minds Matter, Project Embrace, and other partners to drive cultural debate focused on increasing awareness and education around unspoken hair bias. The Power of Hair Fund will support charity partners and community groups who share the common goal to end hair discrimination in the UK. The campaign will include educational resources crafted by experts about microaggressions, the science and beauty of Afro hair and ways to support the mission.

The Truth About Hair Bias: Colourism in Focus

A new article in Huffington Post’s Black Voices discusses ‘hair colourism’ in the natural hair community

Other Key Findings:

  • 53% of people with Afro hair said their natural hair has been judged as unattractive or unprofessional
  • 22% of people with Afro hair have been sent home from school or work because of their hair
  • Over a third (36%) of people with Afro hair have been picked on or name called at school or work because of their hair 
  • 50% of people with Afro hair agree they have changed their natural hair to meet social norms
  • 43% of people with Afro hair have not felt comfortable to wear their hair naturally at a job interview
  • 70% agree they do not feel their hair type is represented in the media / advertising

Pantene launched the Gold Series in the UK in January 2018 after 15 years of research with Black PHD’s and scientists to provide strength and moisture for women with relaxed, natural or transitioning hair. The brand has focused on representing all hair types, including with current brand ambassador, Somalian boxer Ramla Ali, who has been working with Pantene since 2019.  

The Pantene Gold Series for Afro hair

Pantene Ambassador Ramla Ali

Ramla Ali, Boxer and Pantene Ambassador commented, “My personal hair journey has been a real whirlwind; I have memories from school picture day, being made to feel less beautiful than all the other girls with straight hair, and even now hairstylists try and convince me to straighten my natural hair. There are deeply entrenched beliefs in society about what is deemed more beautiful and the small, often unspoken microaggressions that come with this. That’s why I’m so proud to be a Pantene Gold Series ambassador and see this campaign come to life. It’s so important to raise awareness of the issues and ensure that all types of Afro hair are celebrated as beautiful.”

Discrimination and microaggressions against natural Afro hair types continue to be a daily reality. Three ways to help end hair discrimination:

  1. Knowledge is key
  2. Don’t touch hair without consent
  3. Call it out

See more at 

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