L’Oréal Paris Elvive has made history by casting a hijab-wearing model in a major haircare campaign for the very first time.
Teaming up with a group of British ambassadors and influencers, the new campaign for L’Oréal features a diverse cast of men and women including model Neelam Gill, Dougie Pointer from McFly, and blogger Megan Ellaby.
But, in a bid to explore the unique relationship each of us have with our hair, it is L’Oréal’s casting of Amena Khan, a British beauty blogger who wears a hijab, that has really cemented the campaign’s place in history.
A mother, model, blogger, Youtuber and co-founder of Ardere Cosmetics, Khan’s latest achievement makes major strides in the representation of Muslim women within the beauty industry.
“How many brands are doing things like this? Not many,” Khan said in a powerful interview with Vogue.
“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.”
In the campaign, which was shot by photographer Rankin, Khan wears a pink headscarf and complementary shade on her lips.
By starring in the history-making project, the influencer also hopes to correct a common misconception about Muslim women’s relationship with their hair.
“You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don’t show their hair don’t look after it? Hair is a big part of self-care,” she added.
“For me, my hair is an extension of my femininity. I love styling my hair, I love putting products in it, and I love it to smell nice. It’s an expression of who I am.”
A move that follows model Halima Aden becoming the first hijab-wearing woman to make the cover of Vogue, a shift to embrace male beauty ambassadors and more inclusive foundation ranges from the likes of Fenty Beauty, it’s clear that diversity is gradually becoming more of a priority to fashion and beauty brands.
“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,“ Adrien Koskas, L’Oréal Paris UK general manager, said in a statement.
“We want to create campaigns that deeply connect with our consumers through spokespeople that inject sincerity, emotion and personality.”