Last year, Blind Motherhood posted a blog about how Herbal Essences created an inclusive bottle design for the vision impaired. Fast forward one year and Herbal Essences chose World Sight Day to announce the expansion of the brand’s push for accessibility in partnership with the Be My Eyes App and an integration with Alexa. Each bottle has specific tactile markings, allowing blind and vision impaired consumers to distinguish its shampoo and conditioner products by touch – stripes for shampoo and circles for conditioner (you can purchase them on Amazon). Herbal Essences is setting a standard for other manufacturers to consider new methods of labeling so that the blind and vision impaired can both shop and use products confidently.
The Woman Behind P&G’s Inclusive Design:
Behind the initiative is creator Sumaira “Sam” Latif, P&G’s Accessibility Leader, who specializes in Inclusive Design. Sam has been with the company for over 18 years and is herself blind. Sam’s unique perspective lit the spark for the idea, which was refined by working with other individuals who are vision impaired. This year, the brand is embracing more solutions identified by Sam to continue to make Herbal Essences more accessible to the vision impaired community beyond the shower. The company’s goal is to not only make showering easier, but also make it easier to learn and shop for the right products independent of vision.
World Sight Day & Be My Eyes:
This World Sight Day, Herbal Essences is offering specialized help on the Be My Eyes App to assist the vision impaired community with their hair care needs and questions. Whether you’re in-store shopping, getting ready at home or wondering how to pick the right product, Herbal Essences has trained operators ready to provide specialized help for hair care questions or even personalized recommendations throughout the day. Herbal Essences is also introducing an Alexa skill that allows consumers to ask questions about Herbal Essences’ products, ingredients and benefits. By 2020, Herbal Essences has committed to including tactile indentations on all shampoo and conditioner bottles to help vision impaired people do their hair, feel beautiful and experience the positive power of nature every day.
Website & Social Inclusion:
Hold on, it gets even better! Not only are they committed to accessibility, but P&G is also striving to implement that standard across the board. Herbal Essences is redesigning their website to be accessible for those who are vision impaired with features designed specifically for using screen readers. The brand’s Instagram page is also currently accessible through Instagram’s Alternative Text feature, which utilizes Apple’s VoiceOver capability to allow users to listen to in-feed image descriptions.
Something for Everyone:
They say variety is the spice of life, so why shouldn’t that apply to shampoo? Since debuting their tactile bottles last year, my family has used nothing but Herbal Essences in our home. My little girls and I are not only looking and smelling fantastic, but we are helping our hair live its best life. Plus, all Herbal Essences products are PETA cruelty-free, which means my guide dog, Frances, also has something to celebrate.
With so many choices of fragrances, each of us seems to have a favorite.
- Herbal Essences Argan Oil Collection helps repair hair for silkiness and shine with an aroma of fizzy citrus, exotic spices and lingering scent of creamy vanilla. The collection includes a shampoo and conditioner. My daughters love this collection! Both Nuala and Aoife have completely different hair types (one pin straight and the other a tussle of curls), yet it makes both their hair shine!
- Herbal Essences Coconut Milk Collection is designed to deeply hydrate hair leaving it soft and silky. This collection includes a shampoo and conditioner that have the aroma of coconut, vanilla and florals.
- Herbal Essences White Grapefruit & Mosa Mint Naked Volume Collection has a balanced, energizing formula to build body and movement. As someone with thin hair, this is my shampoo of choice because it gives me more volume! I also love the sweet minty smell. The collection includes a shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo to keep hair refreshed between washes.
- Herbal Essences Honey & Vitamin B Sulfate-Free Collection is another one of our favorites. The shampoo is silicone and sulfate free and meets the strict standards of EWG verified™. It gently cleanses while improving hydration and leaving your hair soft and smooth. While the conditioner, which is 90% naturally derived, quenches thirsty hair with a blend of conditioning agents to restore natural softness for smooth, nourished hair.
- Herbal Essences Birch Bark Extract Sulfate-Free Collection is great for a gentle cleanse. The shampoo is silicone and sulfate free and meets the strict standards of EWG verified™. It gently cleanses, revitalizes dullness and cares for color treated hair. The conditioner contains a blend of conditioning agents, which restores shine and natural softness to dull, dry hair.
As a blind woman in a busy world, World Sight Day is a time to pause and offer a bit of reflection. We need to be thankful for good vision. We must act to preserve it. Those of us who acquired our sight loss from whatever circumstances live with that realization daily. Blind Motherhood encourages all our friends and followers to visit a local eye care professional and attain a yearly exam.
In addition, it’s important we remember the trailblazers in our world who help make the lives of the blind more inclusive and accessible. People like Sam Latif, companies like P&G and products like Herbal Essences truly are a model of what the rest of the world can do to put the blind and vision impaired community on a level playing field with the rest of society. We should be able to enjoy the ease of reaching for a product that is clearly defined by the manufacturer. Also, as a mother of two daughters, I want my girls to know that I take pride in how I look even while being legally blind. I strive to present the best version of myself each day and Herbal Essences makes doing that so much easier! And for that, I am truly grateful for World Sight Day!
Editor’s Note: This article was sponsored by Herbal Essences, but thoughts and opinions expressed in this piece are unique to Holly Bonner, creator of Blind Motherhood.