These New Herbal Essences Bottles Serve an Important Purpose

Oct 12, 2018 at 2:34 p.m. ET
photo of shampoo bottles
Image: Letizia Le Fur/ONOKY/Getty Images.

Oct. 11 was World Sight Day, and in honor of the international "holiday," Herbal Essences made a big announcement: The hair care company will be releasing a series of new bottles designed to help the visually impaired.

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According to Procter & Gamble, the new packaging will have "tactile indentations that... help differentiate the brand’s shampoos from its conditioners... alleviating in-shower confusion." 

The markings will be found on bottom of each bottle and will use a series of universally identifiable shapes (such as dots and lines) instead of braille.

Of course, selecting shampoo and conditioner may seem like an unexciting/unimportant task, at least for those of us with unimpaired sight, but for those with a visual disability, it can be a real pain in the, um, brain.

And speaking of brains, the bottle idea was the brainchild of Sumaira “Sam” Latif, P&G’s special consultant for inclusive design, who has been with the company for nearly two decades — and is also blind. 

“Imagine the daily challenges, like choosing matching clothes in the morning or simply taking a shower after a long day. As a blind person, you must do these things using touch rather than sight. You don’t really know which bottle the shampoo, conditioner, or soap is... you have to get creative. I used to put an elastic band around shampoo or sellotape on conditioner to remind me,” Latif explained. 

However, Latif knew there had to be another way, and according to the press release, she worked with Procter & Gamble to develop what she calls a "universally recognizable tactile feature." 

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Herbal Essences North America Brand Manager Lynn Hicks also said in the statement that this wasn't just the right decision, but that this change will benefit many. “Making our products more accessible can improve the experience for everyone... [and] while we designed this tactile feature specifically for the visually impaired, others, like seniors or kids, will also benefit from this feature" — and that is something we can definitely get behind.

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The new redesigned bottles will be available early next year.

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