You know the way that hair products tend to promise glossy locks with strong roots? Well, ‘it ain’t necessarily so’, as the infamous lyrics from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess go. In fact, after a fascinating chat with Tabitha James-Kraan, founder of the Cotswolds salon and international hair product company of the same name, we’ve discovered that all is not as it seems in the world of beauty and hair care (and yes, even luxury hair care too).
“Hair thrives when it’s nurtured by nature,” says Tabitha James-Kraan, who’ll be speaking about her ethos at the Go! organic Festival in Battersea Park on 8-9 September. “I want to show the world how easy, effective and satisfying it is to lead a natural and organic life, and also that our scalp is an open orifice directly into the bloodstream, hive of hair follicles – so our shampoo is as important to think about as mascara or toothpaste.”
Creating sustainability in the cosmetics industry is at the forefront of the agenda at Tabitha James Kraan Organics – something the company takes very seriously when creating their organic hair care, which is developed to protect the naturally recurring oils and rejuvenate hair and scalp health. Tabitha feels strongly that organic products are more beneficial for the hair. Most shampoos, for example, contain FLEs (of the sodium laurel sulphates family, which are the harsh industrial cleaning materials you might find in industrial floor cleaners).
“To buffer those FLEs,” says Tabitha, “many companies put a lot of silicones in products to make the hair feel better and smooth and coat the hair. Essentially it’s a plastic and rubber mix. There’s no benefit to the hair other than it makes it feel smoother because the other chemicals would have made it feel so rough.”
Not only do silicones play a big part in the chemicals in our rivers and oceans but they also harm the body, which isn’t great at getting rid of the really bad chemicals. Using non-organic shampoos can create a cocktail of toxins that’s not so good. “For me it was important to create something really high performance that also smelt nice felt nice, looked good on my dressing table and in bathroom,” says Tabitha. “My products work in harmony with your body to help it rebalance and calm the overproduction of oil on your scalp.”
So where would you like to see hair care going in the future? Tabitha says: “I’d like it to be cleaner and cleaner. I’ve produced high performance hair care that’s organic and pure, without chemicals, and now sells to 25 countries worldwide. We as an industry contribute terrible toxins into the planet in a bad way – I want to show that it doesn’t have to be this way. We also want to set an example around sustainability to other salons that might not have the same perspective. Ours is a luxury salon that runs on 100% energy from renewable sources, recycles 85% of its waste, uses environmentally friendly cleaning products, is lit by low-energy light bulbs, uses recycled paper and water based inks for our leaflets and recyclable towels (ruling out a washing machine and tumble dryer).”
We may just go and check all our shampoo ingredients before rushing off to Tabitha’s website to get something a little more nourishing…