Pantene’s protein-rich, strand-softening products have always been beloved among Black women. So last July, when the brand launched an online casting call to find four African American women to appear in their 2010 ad campaigns, the response was overwhelming! “We looked for women with healthy, beautiful hair and amazing personalities who truly love Pantene,” said Tippi Shorter, celebrity hairstylist and casting call judge.
In April, the winners—Tasia, a pre-med student; Shea, an entrepreneur; Brooke, a program manager; and Simone, an aspiring model—all flew to New York City to shoot their advertising campaigns, and ESSENCE.com beauty editor Tia Williams tagged along! Here, the four glossy-haired, dynamic women chat about all things hair…
“I grew out my relaxer two years ago,” said 24-year-old Tasia Spencer, a 2nd degree Biology student at University of Louisville. “Being natural is so freeing. It’s the hair God created!”
Tasia has the maintenance of her natural curls down to a science. “After I condition my hair, I put it in two-strand twists, or I blow it out if I want it to be really huge,” she said. “I swear by Pantene’s Relaxed & Natural line, and I’m really big on products with essential oils or organic ingredients.”
“I entered Pantene’s contest at the ESSENCE Music Festival last year,” said 20-year-old Simone Delahoussaye, a New Orleans native and student at Clark Atlanta University. “I saw posters for the contest, so I submitted my pictures and got a call a couple weeks later. I started screaming when I found out!”
Diligent about caring for her relaxed hair, Simone visits the salon every two weeks. In between visits, she’s all about the Pantene ProV Color Hair Solutions Color Preserve Smooth Conditioner to keep her auburn strands looking glossy, healthy and bright.
“For years, everyone said they loved my hair,” said 28-year-old Brooke Martin, a program manager and fashion designer from Chicago. “So my friends made me submit my picture and put my hair to good use!”
“When I went away to Morgan State, I couldn’t afford the salon, and Pantene products were the only ones I found that gave me professional-feeling results,” said Brooke. “Ever since then, I’ve done my own hair. I let it air dry, and then use a Maxi Glide flatiron to get it straight.”
“I’ve always gotten a lot of compliments on my hair,” said Shea Pegues, a 35-year-old inventor and entrepreneur from Michigan. “I keep my hair routine simple: I wash once a week using Pantene Relaxed & Natural products, and I wrap it every night.” To Shea, the best part about traveling to New York with Pantene was the shoot. “I loved meeting all of the girls,” she said. “They’re all so intelligent and have such great things going for them!”
The winners of the Pantene online casting call will star in several advertising campaigns this year. Tasia and Brooke will appear in Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural ads, while Shea and Simone will star in a campaign for Pantene’s newest collection, Pro-V Hair Solutions (left), a line of products customized for Fine, Medium-Thick, Curly, and Color-Treated hair.