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Pantene’s first British trans model says hair played ‘important role’ in transition

March 3, 2019
Cambelll Kenneford says hair has played an "extremely important role" in transition. (Pantene)

Cambelll Kenneford says hair has played an "extremely important role" in transition. (Pantene)

The first British trans model to feature in a Pantene campaign has shared how her hair played an “extremely important role” in transition.

A recent campaign for Pantene aims to highlight the power of hair by sharing stories on what hair means to women from all walks of life.

One of the women to feature in the campaign is Cambell Kenneford, British transgender model and star of Channel 4’s 2018 documentary series Genderquake.

Speaking to PinkNews, Kenneford said that it was an “honour” to appear in the video campaign, particularly as the first British openly trans model to appear in a campaign for the hair brand. She added that it was especially important to see trans representation in a leading campaign.

“I think it’s great that brands are being more inclusive and including transgender models,” Kenneford said.

Cambell recently appeared on BUILD Series LDN with Genderquake co-star Brooke Moore (@cambellkenneford / Instagram)
Cambell recently appeared on BUILD Series LDN with Genderquake co-star Brooke Moore (@cambellkenneford / Instagram)

“When I was growing up, I cannot think of a single campaign that featured an openly transgender model or woman.

“I think it will mean a lot to transgender children who feel that they are different and have no one to look up to.”

One of the videos sees a selection of models, including Kenneford, partaking in an experiment to see what search terms are suggested when typing ‘my hair makes me feel’ into Google. The results show that the top-searched term was ‘my hair makes me feel ugly’.

Kenneford says hair still plays ‘extremely important role in my transition’

Another video features Kenneford as she shares how hair has had an impact on her growing up and realising her true self.

The model says that hair was a way for her to tell her mum about her transition. “My mum used to always take me to the salon to get my hair cut and I was like “mum, I don’t want to get my hair cut anymore.” That was my way of telling her I no longer wanted to live a male life,” she shares in the video campaign.

“Hair played and still does play an extremely important role in my transition as I use it as a way to express my womanhood and femininity,” Kenneford tells PinkNews.

“When I first started to transition, the first thing I ‘changed’ was my hair.

“I experimented with all kinds of styles. I had blue hair, blonde, brunette, highlighted and I started to grow it to make myself feel more feminine. I got extensions and then from there, I started to live as my true self.”

Sharing the video with her 13k followers on Instagram, people were quick to share praise for her story. “Such a beautiful story,” said one follower.

Pantene has previously won praise for promoting trans-inclusivity

In December 2018, Pantene Philippines was applauded for a campaign to coincide with Trans Awareness Week. The video, which featured beauty queen Kevin Balot, celebrated how “Strength knows no gender”.

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo shared the video with her 1.5 million Twitter followers, saying how it had made her feel emotional.

A screenshot from Pantene Philippines ad "Strength knows no gender"
(Pantene Philippines/Facebook)

P&G (Procter & Gamble), the parent company of Pantene, was last year announced as one of the launch partners for Stonewall’s Trans Allies programme. The commitment aims to bring positive change in workplaces and communities for all trans and non-binary people.

At the time, Loic Tassel, President of P&G Europe, said: “I can think of no better purpose than playing our part in creating a more inclusive world for all people – including the LGBT+ community.

“Eight years ago, we added gender identity and expression to our non-discrimination policies, reinforcing fair treatment for everyone.

“As we understand people can only reach their highest potential when they can work in an environment that values and respects who they are, it is our responsibility to recruit and activate cisgender Allies for transgender employees.”

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