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


(Visited 268 time, 1 visit today)

Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

Join the Conversation


  1. I totally know what you mean about asking for what you’re worth. A while back, I appeared in an article for a new paper who paid me for my time. Off the back of that, a couple of TV stations got in touch to ask me to appear on the same topic but acted genuinely affronted when I asked what the fee would be. I declined the opportunity to be on telly because, ultimately, without being paid I stood to gain nothing from it but a fee years ago I’d probably have just gone along for the ride.

    Great post (and your hair does look totally lush).

  2. I love the colour! You look fab and red definitely suits you. Very flattering they got in touch but think if they want to use your image to promote their product, then they really should pay you.

    Can’t have been easy talking about a past relationship, well-done lovely. I think there is a certain peace that comes from knowing what you want, and what you don’t. Never be afraid to say either out loud. Lots of love x

  3. I’d have said no, because they are part owned by Nestle and they are one of the most unethical companies on the planet! Their behaviour does NOT surprise me in the slightest, sadly, but you are right, they should recompense you for using it.

  4. *high 5* to you for knowing your worth.
    I do think it was out of order for them to ask for the photo for free, I suppose it’s to be expected though. Sadly I think I would have just said yes, not even thought about it, and then realised too late. So well done you for not falling in to that trap!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.