The FINANCIAL — Today, Pantene Canada joins the global ‘Hair Has No Gender’ project, which aims to create awareness on behalf of the LGBTQ2S+ community of the power that hair and emotional support can have in an LGBTQ2S+ person’s self-expression. This is especially important for the transgender and gender non-binary community, for whom hair plays a pivotal role in the transition journey, but who are often discriminated against and misgendered when trying to achieve the hair that best reflects how they feel inside.
As we near the holiday season, it is more important than ever to show true acceptance for those around us. “The holidays are a time when we all look forward to reconnecting with family and friends, yet a Pantene study in the US found 44 per cent of LGBTQ2S+ people feel they can’t come home as their true selves,” says Pantene Senior Brand Director Lisa Reid. “This year, we are calling on everyone to give the gift of allyship, acceptance and support to empower those around them to express their true selves and identities.”
This year’s campaign explores the power of hair to express identity and the power of support from those around you to gain the confidence needed to show the world who you are. This exploration comes to life in a series of films premiering on YouTube today, with trans and non-binary advocates from around the globe sharing their stories of how their respective family’s support has empowered them to be themselves. The series takes the unique approach of recreating a family portrait and hearing how these photographs can be a symbol of love and acceptance.
Pantene Canada is partnering with trans artist Vivek Shraya and her father, Mohan Bilgi, to share a unique Canadian perspective, joining other global ambassadors: Spanish Angela Ponce, Italian/Brazilian Lea T, British Travis Alabanza, and Swedish Johanna and their families. In a dedicated film, Vivek shares how her relationship with her father and her hair has changed over the years as her identity has evolved. Together, they explore the various forms of acceptance.
“Doing this with my dad feels special because it gives us something documented of our relationship and how it’s changed over the years. We didn’t get to spend much time together when I was growing up because he was working hard to provide for us, so we don’t have many photos together,” says Canadian ambassador Vivek Shraya. “I’m so glad we’re able to connect now, as adults, and be part of this incredible project together.”
Pantene is also continuing its support and collaboration with Canadian organization Dresscode Project(DCP), which was founded by Toronto hair stylist Kristin Rankin. With the ultimate goal of expanding the DCP accredited salon network globally, Pantene is working with Kristin to support and facilitate inclusivity training to hair stylists to make their salons more gender-affirming spaces for LGBTQ2S+ clients, so that everyone can have a positive hair journey.
“We chose to partner with Pantene because they were the first hair care company to step up and say ‘we want to do better and be better,’” says Kristin Rankin. “I am so excited that we are extending our global partnership beyond 2021; we are in this together and for the long-run. Together, step by step we will create more great hair days and hair experiences for all.”
Pantene’s long-term commitment to create great hair days for everyone extends beyond product science – because hair’s impact is more than just physical, it has a profound impact on emotional wellbeing and self-expression. Pantene believes that everyone should be allowed to express their own journeys in an honest and open way.