Pantene brings ‘Hair Has No Gender’ project to Canada

Procter & Gamble brand Pantene has brought its “Hair Has No Gender” project to Canada. The campaign is about giving transgender and non-binary people the confidence to express who they truly are, and showing how the love and support of their family—and feeling good about their hair—can increase that confidence.

“Pantene launched the project so that we can amplify the voices of transgender and non-binary community, share the importance of hair as part of the transition journey, and help them bring out their inner identity,” said Lisa Reid, Pantene senior brand director for Canada.

Giving people confidence is one of Pantene’s core brand pillars. “What we believe is that confidence really comes from inner self-esteem and being able to express your true identity,” she said.

The focal point of the campaign, which launched in Europe last year, is a series of videos showing transgender people sharing a family photo from before they transitioned. Each then reflects on how the support of their family was important in transitioning, and how their hair was a powerful statement of true self-expression.

“The film series takes a unique approach to recreating a family portrait from our storytellers’ past, and hearing about how those pictures can be symbols of love and acceptance,” said Reid.

A two-and-a-half minute film featuring five different LGBTQ2S+ people, including Canadian trans artist Vivek Shraya, launched Friday, with individual videos to follow.

The campaign was timed to launch for the holidays because it’s an important time for reconnecting with family and friends. According to P&G, a U.S. study conducted for the Pantene brand last year found that 44% of LGBTQ2S+ people feel they can’t go home as their true selves.

In her video, which comes out on Monday, Shraya talks about how her relationship with her father and her hair has changed as her identity has evolved over the years. “Doing this with my dad feels special because it gives us something documented of our relationship and how it’s changed over the years,” she said. “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… I’m so glad we’re able to connect now, as adults, and be part of this incredible project together.”

Pantene also supports the Dresscode Project, which was founded by Toronto hair stylist Kristin Rankin to facilitate inclusivity training to hair stylists to provide more gender-affirming spaces for LGBTQ2S+ clients.

“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,'” said Rankin in the release. “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.”

David Brown