BRITISH BEAUTY BLOGGER Amena Khan has become the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to feature in a mainstream hair campaign.
In the advertisement, she says “Whether or not your hair is on display, doesn’t affect how much you care about it.” In her Instagram post sharing the new ad, she wrote that she has “had a complex relationship with her hair feeling lacklustre” and that she often finds her hair could be a little bit more radiant after she removes her scarf.
Amena spoke to Vogue earlier this week about the new campaign:
How many brands are doing things like this? Not many. They’re literally putting a girl in a headscarf – whose hair you can’t see – in a hair campaign.
You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don’t show their hair don’t look after it? 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 of us our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care.
Although Khan keeps her hair covered when she’s in public, she doesn’t bother with the scarf when she’s at home or spending time with her family. Amena also told Vogue that, like many other people, she loves putting products in her hair and knowing it smells nice.
That expression is for my home life and my loved ones and for me when I look in the mirror, it’s who I am. If I know my hair is greasy but I have a scarf on it, I still feel rubbish all day. Even if it’s covered.
Amena didn’t start wearing a headscarf until she was in her twenties, but even before that she felt extremely underrepresented in the media.
It was always a cause of celebration when you saw a brown face on television.
I always wanted to be somehow in television or in media, but it felt like a pipe dream and that’s why I didn’t pursue it, because I didn’t think there would be anything for me. Which is a shame. I think seeing a campaign like this would have given me more of a sense of belonging.
Some were quick to say that this was “inclusiveness gone mad”.
However, it was explained that women who wear hijabs have particular needs when it comes to hair care.