Hair As Identity Menu


Pantene: Insensitive Ad? RESPONSE FROM PANTENE

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I sent a letter to Pantene inquiring about the firm’s negative description of African-American hair (see earlier post Here is Pantene’s response sent on 9/12/11 (kudos for a quick response!):

Thanks for contacting Pantene, Tina.

We rely heavily on consumer comments regarding our advertisements, and feedback like yours will help us decide how to approach future advertising efforts. Please be assured I’m letting our marketing team know how you feel.

Thanks again for writing.


Pantene Team

I appreciate the fact that someone responded; however, I am not satisfied with the response. Maturity tells me to wait a few days before responding and then email back requesting more specific follow-up about what happened and steps they will take to prevent such ads going forward. What would you do? Leave it alone or write back? What would YOU say?

  • NW WDC Reader

    Wow, It's really great to read an article and you say "I know that person….., she is talking about me" Yes we have to be reminded that its okay to be natural and our hair really is "our hair." It's mind blowing when you hear women -not just africian american women speaking of their natural hair texture and color as if its a curse. I found the article to be a reminder that its okay to be natural and the chemicals used to perm straighten the hair is abuse. We know when it comes to looking fly, we dont talk about the downside –its all about looking good and keeping it fresh. I went natural about 5 years ago and only wish I had done it sooner. I can wear it straighten or naturally curly. Thank you Tina, for saying it out loud, writing and showing us that its okay for us to be who we are -hair and all.

  • Anonymous

    I have tried countless numbers of hair products growing up. I've had my scalp scorched by hot combs, pulled tight from braids, and bald spots from detangling, and awful haircuts from people who don't know what they're doing with biracial hair. When I was old enough to protest what was being done to my own head, I just threw my hair into a bun on the top of my head. In high school I started using hair gel to tame my curls and I constantly receive comments like, "Can I have your hair?" It's taken me years to figure out what works for me, how I want to present myself, and how my hair fits into the equation. This song by India Arie has given me solace over the years whenever my hair is giving me grief. If you haven't already heard this song, Tina, I think you'll love it. And if you wouldn't mind, please give my Aunt JS a hug for me for introducing me to your blog.

  • topie

    Hi there! I will be sure to give your Aunt JS a big hug when I next see her. Wow! Your story brought back memories! Isn't it funny how we were each enduring a similar internal conflict in the privacy of our homes. When I was a pre-teen / teen, I thought that I was the only one struggling like that. THEN, when I started talking and writing about it I realized that this is a larger societal issue. Kudos to you for having the courage to explore the connection between your hair and self-presentation. I too love India Arie's song and have listened to it from time to time. I'd love to interview her and get her perspective. Great to "meet" you and I hope to hear from you again. Thanks!Tina


    Hi Tina,I found your blog through a comment you made on Curlynikki about advertisements and natural hair. Your insight is so interesting (I'm a sociologist and am slowly developing an interest in marketing/natural hair). I have a blog,, that I encourage you to check out. I document advertisements featuring actors/models with natural hair. I would love to interview you/get your feedback about identity, hair, and beauty standards for my blog. Thanks,Tiffany

  • topie

    Hi Tiffany,Sure, I'd be happy to talk to you. Why don't you friend me on FaceBook and I will inbox you my contact information?Glad that you are enjoying the blog and I'll be sure to check yours out as well.Thanks!Tina

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