Herbal Essences is aiming to make haircare easier for vision-impaired people, by expanding its use of tactile markings on packaging.
The Procter & Gamble-owned beauty giant unveiled a tactile bottle design last year to make it easier for vision-impaired consumers to distinguish between the shampoo and conditioner products in its bio:renew line via touch. Now, it has announced that the concept will be extended to all of its shampoos and conditioners, with the packaging rolling out from January 2020. The bottles feature different indentations to help users identify products, with shampoo bottles featuring raised stripes and the conditioner bottle marked with raised circles.
"A universal tactile marking seems like such a small thing, and yet as a blind woman it’s the little things that make such a big difference in my life," said Sumaira "Sam" Latif, P&G’s Accessibility Leader, who is herself blind and who spearheaded the initiative. "I’m excited to broaden the positive impact this has had for the vision-impaired community and deliver on our mission to help everyone experience the positive power of nature every day."
The brand is also launching a new Alexa skill that lets consumers ask questions regarding its products and ingredients, and get personal recommendations. It has teamed up with the ‘Be My Eyes’ app, a free service that connects vision-impaired people with sighted volunteers via a live video call, to offer blind users assistance via Herbal Essences experts, on issues ranging from shopping in-store to getting ready at home or answering hair care-related questions.
"We get a lot of questions through the app about people’s appearance — do my clothes match, does my makeup look right, do I have any fly-aways?" said Will Butler, VP Community, Be My Eyes. "It’s great when we can have experts from a specific, in-demand field, like hair care, to provide an elevated level of service for our community."
Online assistance will also come in the form of inspiring content produced by the brand with the blind YouTube lifestyle vlogger Molly Burke, which will focus on overcoming daily beauty challenges as a visually impaired person. "I’m excited to work with Herbal Essences to co-create content that will benefit my community and drive toward greater inclusivity and accessibility for all," says Molly. "I know one of the most difficult things for me as a beauty and lifestyle creator has been finding products with cognizant packaging and designing a routine that works for me. I hope this content will serve as a helping hand for those who are figuring that out."