Achieving crisp, clean parts can be a challenge for anyone. That’s exactly why a Black mechanical engineer developed a filter to help. Konnie Wells, who goes by @Krysanthum on TikTok, went viral for creating a filter that helps the “part-deficient” achieve a straight middle part. She also created another filter for braid parts that helped her during her first attempt with triangle parts.
Wells came up with a lining tool within the filter. Once the user applies the filter to their part, they will see a pink or green line. The pink line and a checkmark in the corner indicate you’ve successfully created the middle part. However, if your part isn’t straight, you see a green line and an “x.” It is the same process for your braid parts as well.
21Ninety spoke with the developer about changing the Black hair space and tech game.
Interview With Middle Part Filter Creator Konnie Wells
21Ninety: How did you get into mechanical engineering.
Konnie Wells: I was in a school program in my last semester of my senior year of high school. The program teacher Victoria, had her brother & his friend come talk about engineering. There I learned about the National Society of Black Engineers. [I] graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) in 2020. I’m an engineer and a creative outside of work hours.
21N: Social media users responded well to your new filter. Especially Black women learning to do their own hair. How important was creating these filters for the hair and tech industry?
KW: It was very important. As an engineer, you’re always thinking of ways to improve processes. I do hair on the weekends, and it’s so time-consuming, and it’s frustrating that more tools aren’t made specifically for us. Why are we using a thread rack for braid hair? Isn’t there a better solution? So I’ve been working to create hair tools that are efficient and ergonomic for folks doing hair.
With the filter, we can use it to assist with creating quicker, more accurate braid parts. That will reduce prep time for both beginners and experienced folks. Also, AR technology is pretty fresh, so this could be a great way to help get more Black folks involved in its applications.
21N: How long did it take to create these filters?
KW: I’ve had the braid filter in my head for like the last year, so it took me a weekend to create these and maybe more than 2-3 days to make the improved version of it. The middle part filter just kinda happened during the process of making the braid filter.
21N: Is there anything people would be surprised about around the development process of the filter or how things have gone since releasing it?
KW: I had just learned to create filters a week before creating these two filters. I learned how to make filters to create the Beyoncé Bee helmet filter. Since the filters have been released, they’ve been viewed over 140,000,000 times. It’s crazy the impact it’s made.
21N: Are more hair filters in the work?
KW: Yes, the medium and big braid filters are done, but I’m waiting to release them until my IP is protected. We’re also working on options for cornrows, hair lining, beard lining, loc parting, eyebrows, etc. And incorporating this tech into an app and smart mirrors.
This article has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.