L’Oreal has become the first major international brand to cast a woman in a hijab in a hair campaign, explaining that hair care is of interest to everyone, whether you choose to show your hair in public, or not.
Blogger and model Amena Khan, who also worked with the French brand on their 2017 collaboration with The Prince’s Trust, wrote on her Instagram that this was a “game changing” new project.
“You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don’t show their hair don’t look after it,” Khan said in an interview with Vogue magazine.
“The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence.”
Khan, who has chosen to wear a headscarf outside of her home since her twenties, spoke about the importance of hair as a form of self care, not just as a statement you make to other people.
Advertising the Elvive Nutri-Gloss, Khan said: “Lately I’ve had a complex relationship with my hair feeling lacklustre. When I take off my scarf, I want my hair to be more radiant - don’t we all?’”
Adrien Koskas, L’Oréal Paris UK General Manager said: “L’Oréal Paris UK are both proud and excited to be launching such a unique and disruptive campaign for the haircare market, a category which in previous years has been perceived as the cliché of beauty advertising.”
Khan added: “I trusted L’Oréal that they would communicate the message well. If the message is authentic and the voice behind it is authentic, you can’t deny what’s being said.”
Brand ambassador Cheryl, model Neelam Gill, and ex-McFly singer Dougie Poynter, also appear in the new advert, which was aired across the UK this week.
L’Oreal was criticised for its diversity strategy back in September for sacking its first transgender model, Munroe Bergdorf when she attempted to defend her “all white people are racist” comments.
Munroe Bergdorf, who was brought on as the cosmetic company’s ‘face of modern diversity’ and appeared in its recent ‘#allworthit’ campaign with Cheryl Cole and Katie Piper, was dropped days after being hired for making comments that were “at odds” with its values.