kate l'oreal


I have been dying my hair since I was 14. I particularly remember one horrific haircut that was a shaved V at the back with a weird bob-like thing at the front. The front was bleached blonde (obviously) and the back V was dyed burgundy.


I blame the 80’s.


My mum, God rest her soul, knew the best way to deal with this horrific haircut would be to say, “Well, as long as you like it love”, knowing that would drive me crazy. It worked. I wanted her to say she hated it! But she never did, bless her.


I’ve experimented with all sorts of colours over the years, and settled on a copper colour for the last five years or so. I think being a redhead suits my personality and because I have red running through my natural blonde hair anyway (yes, I’m a natural blonde!), it has never looked like it was too unnatural.


Now we are in the full swing of autumn, I decided to change it up a little and dye it a little darker. Because I’ve been living in rented houses for the last couple of years, I take my hair dye to my hairdresser for him to do, to avoid the whole ‘murder scene’ look at home. It’s pretty economical, it only takes an hour and it means that at least the dye is applied properly. Top tip for you there.


So yesterday I dyed it the colour you can see in the photo above.


I’ve switched from Superdrug’s own brand to L’Oreal, and was really impressed. It’s called ‘Intense Copper Auburn’ and I would say it did exactly what it promised. There is also a small oil capsule included that you mix with the dye, which has left my hair feeling really soft.


Anyway, there is a reason I’m telling you all of this, and that’s because, as you do, I posted a photo to Instagram when I came out of the hairdressers and L’Oreal got in touch!


I know right?


They said they loved my photo and would really like to share it across their social platforms and print media. How awesome is that?! (Very.)


Except … they would want this photo for free.


That would mean they would have all rights to it, to do with it whatever they chose, with no recourse allowed from me.


Now I know it’s only a selfie and I should be flattered they liked the photo I took, especially as I was make-up free and it was just a natural photo, but it doesn’t really sit well with me that a big company like that want something for nothing. I mean I don’t blame them trying it, and I’m sure lots of (perhaps younger?) women would be flattered at the attention and immediately say yes to L’Oreal.


But I didn’t. I messaged them and said how lovely it was to be chosen but that I would need a fee to be involved for me to give permission for my photo to be used.


Not that I have to explain myself, especially not here, but I think this whole experience is just indicative of how far I’ve come in my personal life and how I now appreciate my worth.




That hasn’t been an easy journey and being in an abusive relationship (yes, I realise that’s the first time I’ve said that out loud),, really knocks your confidence so I was pretty proud of myself today that I didn’t just roll over, lap up the attention and agree to whatever their request was.


Wouldn’t it be nice if a big company like L’Oreal came round and said, “Yes Kate, you are most definitely worth it, and here is £X to recompense you for the photo” … but I won’t hold my breath.


But I do take comfort from knowing that I at least asked for what I wanted. Something that hasn’t always been easy to do, so today is a good day.


What would you have done?
kate sutton


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