872 Views |  Like

Why It Matters That L’Oréal Paris Cast a Hijabi Model in a Hair Campaign

Amena Khan, one of the many Muslim beauty influencers taking the industry by storm, is making waves again as she stars in a new video for L’Oréal Paris UK’s Elvive line. The casting is a first for the company, and seemingly for haircare brands as a whole.

“How many brands are doing things like this? Not many,” she told Vogue UK. “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.”

The British beauty star and L’Oréal Glam Squad Ambassador was featured in the brand’s “All Worth It” campaign last year, and currently boasts a YouTube channel with 391,000 subscribers.

“Whether or not your hair is on display, it doesn’t affect how much you care about it,” Khan, who started wearing a hijab in her 20s, says in the latest video.

The shoot itself was apparently also a dream, as Khan posted a video and rundown of the day to her Instagram on Wednesday.

I arrived to a set that was beyond anything I could imagine. With several open studio areas spread across a giant building, the first thing that hit me was the scale of the project. There were colourful sets assembled with multiple people behind the cameras. Amongst the buzzing of constant activity, the crew & @lorealhair team would often smile & say hello, always welcoming. Shoots like this are invariably stressful somewhere along the line, but I didn’t detect a hint of that. In the makeup room, I couldn’t contain my excitement about the project. @karindarnell regaled us with stories about the celeb world (being Riri’s MUA), all the while swiftly working her magic with makeup. We exchanged stories of working & of motherhood. @neelamkg joined us. Being an internationally successful model, I’m always struck by how “real” & humble she is. All 3 of us chatted away about life, triumph & sacrifice. Lunch was great – lots of Vegan options so I was happy. The atmosphere was energised, especially as @ling.kt was on my table. She uplifts everyone around her. I ate quickly as we had some outdoor photography to do. Our beloved weather did the predictable… as we stood at the main door, it started to drizzle. But before I knew it, someone had slipped a robe & slippers on me. There I was, in a van with 5 other people from the team, driving down to the canal in the area. It was surreal but exhilarating. Back at the studio, super friendly @francescajordan did touch ups as it grew closer to my turn. The photographer was the legendary genius, @rankinarchive. A quiet, down to earth man, he was deliberate & thoughtful in every shot. I felt confident, unexpectedly calm & filled with gratitude. Then came the interview. @lillycon, the interviewer, put me at ease quickly. She has the kind of vibe that makes it easy to speak with honesty – to just be yourself. When the long day finished & I was back on the train home, I reflected… not on how awesome this campaign (obviously) is, but more on the kindness I was privileged to have encountered that day (in so many more ways), & the beauty in connection between human beings <3

A post shared by Amena (@amenaofficial) on

The line includes products for everything from boosting colour to nourishing curls. Khan says she uses the pink bottle, which helps add shine.

“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,” she said.

BY 

This article originally appeared on elle.com