In honor of National Adoption Month in November, Pantene is launching a new campaign called "Family Is BeautifuLGBTQ" in partnership with Family Equality, a nonprofit that aims to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families. It features stories from different LGBTQ-adoptive parents and the special hair moments they share with their kids.
Over the next year, Pantene will be showcasing the stories of diverse families through a series of videos on its Instagram page, and for every family photo that's posted with the hashtag #BeautifuLGBTQ, the brand will donate $1 to Family Equality, up to $100,000. The purpose of it is to highlight how hair is tied to our sense of self and identity, as well as how it brings people together.
The BeautifuLGBTQ series kicked off with three families, Raymond and Robbi and their daughter Ella, Joyia and Mariana and their daughter Eliza, and Ashley and Ellie and their two daughters Lillie and Daisy.
Ashley and Ellie have four kids in total but for their adopted daughters Daisy, 9, and Lillie 12, hair is how they express themselves individually, while also staying connected. "Our hair-care routine is a little different for everyone; everyone has their own style choices and unique hair requests," Ashley told POPSUGAR. In their house, they have a system where Ellie is in charge of the nighttime wash process and Ashley is in charge of the styling. Not only does this allow for things to function smoothly from day-to-day but it also allows each of them to spend some quality time with their kids.
"There's not always a lot of time to sit individually, so getting that 15 minutes with them and being able to talk about what their day is going to look like and what's going on in school — that's the time I get to hang out with them the most," said Ashley. Ellie added: "I get the one-on-one time with them when they're letting their hair down."
"Our job as parents is to make sure our kids have the opportunity to discover all of the pieces of who they are."
On an even deeper level, Lillie and Daisy's hair routines allow them to tap into another portion of their identity and connect with their birth mom, too. "The girls don't have contact with their birth mom, but they have pictures of her, and she always wore her hair in braids, and Daisy definitely connected with that," said Ashley. "That's a big part of the hairstyle she chooses. Our job as parents is to make sure our kids have the opportunity to discover all of the pieces of who they are and see the unique qualities that make them beautiful, both inside and out."
Whether it's a multiple-step process like wash day or the short moments it takes to pull a ponytail together, hair helps us feel like our most authentic and beautiful selves, while also allowing us to feel connected to the ones we love.