L’Oreal Paris is breaking barriers and making history by featuring a hijab-wearing woman in a hair campaign.
British beauty blogger Amena Khan donned a pale pink headscarf while standing in front of a bright pink background in the haircare ad.
“Whether or not your hair is on display,” she said in the ad, “doesn’t affect how much you care about it.”
The video for L’Oreal’s new haircare product line, Elvive, features a diverse cast of women with different hairstyles.
“How many brands are doing things like this? Not many,” Khan told Vogue UK last Sunday. “They’re literally putting a girl in a headscarf — whose hair you can’t see — in a hair campaign. Because, what they’re really valuing through the campaign is the voices that we have.”
Khan can add being a model for a mainstream hair campaign to her list of accomplishments. She’s a L’Oreal ambassador, YouTube vlogger, co-founder of Ardere Cosmetics, designer of her own line of headscarves and she juggles all this while being a mother.
“I didn’t start wearing a headscarf until I was in my 20s but, even prior to that, I didn’t see anyone I could relate to in the media. It was always a cause of celebration when you saw a brown face on television!” Khan told Vogue UK. “I think seeing a campaign like this would have given me more of a sense of belonging.”
Since the campaign went live last week, she has received many messages of support on social media.
“Seriously, I think it’s an amazingly enormous leap for a hijabi to be part of something as contrary as a hair commercial (to the majority),” one person posted. “Really, REALLY well done to you, Amena!”
Others are encouraging her to keep empowering women, especially hijabis.
“No one really understands that hijabis have problems with their hair as well,” one person posted. “Just because we cover our hair doesn’t mean we don’t have hair, that’s why we are hiding it or we have hair problems like any other girls that show. So I am glad we have someone representing us.”