One of the most common questions we get is whether ANTIDOTE is for men or for women? In short, ANTIDOTE Plant Powered Hair Care is genderless. ANTIDOTE is for everyone.
Why? ANTIDOTE is genderless because hair is genderless.
Let’s explain. Hair is hair.
Regardless of your gender, if you have hair, the anatomy of your hair is the same. That means that we’re all capable of good hair days and bad hair days. And sometimes, your hair will seem to have a mind of its own (whether we like it or not).
Gendering hair care takes away from the fact that everyone is unique - a special, one-time-only expression of our genes, our environment, and our culture. And there are so many different ways we express our beauty. All beauty needs to be celebrated – especially when it’s good for you and the planet.
Want great hair? Let go of gender stereotypes, learn your hair and scalp type, and take care of it.
Hair Type. There are many different hair types, but they have nothing to do with gender either. The different types of hair are:
Your hair follicle, not your sex or gender, determines your curl pattern. And this is determined by genetics.
Hair follicles are made up of 2 parts: the papilla and the bulb. The bulb is where the hair strands grow, and the papilla delivers blood supply to the hair follicle so that it can do its job. The hair shaft, aka your hair strand, is made up of three layers:
This is the anatomy of your hair, and it’s the same for all genders.
Learn more about hair follicles in our blog post "The Secret to Hair Growth and Health."
Anyone with hair needs to stay moisturized and protected against sun damage or environmental pollution. Anyone with hair needs to make sure that their hair products don’t contain chemicals that will clog their pores and weaken their hair, making it prone to damage. At the same time, everyone should use natural ingredients that encourage hair growth and a healthy scalp.
Speaking of which, scalps are genderless too!
Even the American Academy of Dermatology says that basic skin-care isn’t tied to sex or gender. It’s tied to skin type.And don’t forget that your scalp is skin.
Just like the rest of your skin, it needs to be exfoliated, moisturized, protected from the sun and fed mineral-rich products that nourish it. Low-grade products give a shiny, clean look to your hair but ultimately disrupt your scalp's self-regulating system.
So if hair is genderless, and skin is genderless, then why are so many beauty products gendered?
Companies use gender to make us buy more products.
Gendered marketing has been extremely effective in selling products, and many companies have taken advantage of this by expanding their product lines and making people feel that they need different products for each person in their family.
Gendered products sell well when the binary of male and female is the standard. The more we listen, learn, and research, we find that the concept of “binary” gender is less and less relevant every day. Making gender binary is an over-simplification that is actually damaging to everyone who relates to the nuances of gender.
Why do so many companies still use gendered marketing? Because companies want us to buy more products. Like you want to sell more hand soap? Convince people that men and women’s hands are so different and they need different hand soap. If successful, every sink in America will have one hand soap for the gals in the family, and another one for the guys.
Seems silly right? Well, we’ve been taught that men and women need different deodorants, shaving implements, and hair care products. How many of you secretly love a product that is targeted to the other gender? You’re not alone!
Marketers tell us that women need beauty products with a softer touch. Deodorants and hair products for women are packaged with light, soft colors and gentle scents like chamomile, rose, and cucumber.
Meanwhile, deodorants and hair products marketed towards men are packaged with dark and strong basic colors, sharp edges, and “tough” sounding descriptors like “sport.”
The marketing behind gendered products play up differences that don’t really exist and our bathrooms are getting filled up with duplicate products that we don’t need. Over time the gendering of products has resulted in a proliferation of assortment. The average Wal-Mart carries 120,000 distinct items.
This approach draws on what we’re taught at a young age: that certain colors, toys, and activities are for girls and others are for boys. And, on that note, there are only two genders and everyone fits into one or the other.
When it comes to gender, ANTIDOTE is for everyone. We want people to use products depending on what their hair and scalp needs, not their gender. Each product targets a specific hair need – like moisture, protein, or protection – and has multiple uses. Instead of traditional gender cues, ANTIDOTE uses natural essential oil scents (or you can go scentless with our Chamomile Shampoo and Conditioner), and simple, straight-forward, black and white labels.
Beauty and self-care are for EVERYONE.
Not just for people who identify as “male” or “female.” All people should love pampering themselves. Everyone deserves to smell nice, feel clean, and have beautiful hair that turns heads.
Genderless products recognize that men are allowed to use beauty products, practice self-care, and indulge in delicious scents and colors. It embraces that men can be soft, introspective, and beautiful.
ANTIDOTE products don’t follow gender norms--instead, they stand for what is best for your hair, your skin, and your environment.
Take, for example, the vanilla pomade that provides a firm hold and a “wet look” to your hairstyle. This fresh, slick look is great for guys and people with short hair. But it also works on long hair to smooth a braid and it can add volume to fine hair.
It has a hint of vanilla and sandalwood. This grounding, calming scent is one that everyone can love.
Our avocado styling cream is lightweight, smoothes frizz, and enhances all curl types. This is a favorite of all genders.
By making space for everyone to see themselves in our products, we’re acknowledging that the world isn’t binary. It’s made up of a spectrum, and everyone on that spectrum deserves quality products that feel good, smell good, and actually work.
We encourage you to challenge gendered beauty marketing trends and the norms that allow them to exist. Try different scents that you’re used to. Guys, buy yourself some flowers. Ladies, experiment with cedarwood oil.
Investigate what you like and ask yourself:
Happy Gay Pride Month to all! June invites us to pause and recognize the contributions of the LGBTQ community, celebrate the beauty in every person, and reflect on the fact that there is still work to do before all Americans are treated equally.
Abigail + David
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