Dove, Open Source Afro Hair Library partner on Code my Crown initiative

Dove and Open Source Afro Hair Library are launching a free guide for coding textured hair and protective styles in video games.
Gisselle Gaitan
Online Editor

Dove and Open Source Afro Hair Library are launching a free guide for coding textured hair and protective styles in video games. 

Code my Crown, which is created by Black artists, is an instructional guide for coders and developers to use to code more diverse and true-to-life depictions of Black hairstyles in 3D to ensure representation in the virtual world of gaming. 

“In the real world, there is an incredible variety of Black hairstyles. But this is rarely reflected in the gaming world. When Black hair is absent from the games we play or are consistently low-quality, it communicates that Black players and our culture are an afterthought, that our stories aren’t worth telling,” said A.M. Darke, lead Code my Crown contributor and founder of the Open Source Afro Hair Library. “How else can we explain the ubiquity of matted Cornrows, bald patches instead of parts, giant disco ‘Fros, and the messy, Unstyled Locs? Why is a common Fade or Twist Out rarely an option?” 

[Read more: Dove amplifies Latina voices with #MyHairAMiModo campaign featuring Bomba Estéreo]

dove code my crown teaser

After learning that 74% of developers want to play a role in promoting better representation of textured hair in video games by learning how to code textured tresses, Dove and Open Source Afro Hair Library enlisted a team of Black 3D artists, animators, programmers, and academics – from around the world and across the Black diaspora – to develop 15 original hair sculpts that can lay the foundation for hundreds of virtual hair possibilities. 

“Out of hundreds of possible hairstyles to choose from in the video games I play most often, only a handful are textured hairstyles. It feels great to play an active role in a cause that I truly believe in. I am personally grateful to the many talented artists that have selflessly shared their knowledge before me,” said Isaac Olander, lead Code my Crown developer, 3D artist and character modeling and digital sculpting expert. “Their generosity has shaped my artistic journey and it feels incredibly rewarding to give back to our artistic community with this guide, by sharing my knowledge of 3D, as well as my personal experiences.” 

As a co-founder of the Crown Coalition, Dove has been working to Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair by supporting the passage of the Crown Act since 2019. While the Crown Act legislation specifically protects against race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and K-12 public and charter schools, Dove is proud to expand the wider Crown mission by also advocating for real impact in the virtual world. Dove continues to educate and empower game developers to create more diverse, inclusive representations of girls and women in games as part of ongoing Dove Real Virtual Beauty initiatives, the brand stated. 

[Read more: Sally Beauty signs exclusive retail partnership with XMondo Color]


“At Dove, we believe every single person should see their beauty represented in the world around them – this is no different for the virtual world. The importance of accurately and respectfully depicting textured hair in video games cannot be overstated, and we are proud to play a small part in taking action to set a new standard for diversity and representation in video games,” said Leandro Barreto, senior vice president, global Dove masterbrand. “There is more to be done to ensure Black gamers see themselves in the games they play, but we can’t do it alone.  We are calling on gaming developers and industry leaders to join us to help make virtual beauty a reality with Code My Crown.”  

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