Hairdresser, salon owner and founder of her own eponymous brand, Tabitha James Kraan (tabithajameskraan. com) is a pioneer of the natural beauty movement. Whilst pregnant with her first child, Tabitha was enlightened to the fact that what she was putting on her body (and dyeing her hair with), would be passed on to her unborn baby. The same rule applied for her salon clients and Tabitha set about finding better, safer ways to work. Passionate about organic and natural haircare, Tabitha is pushing the boundaries with innovative ingredients and high performance products to rival any synthetic brand.
I was born into an ‘organic’ home, when organic just meant growing your own pesticide-free vegetables and rearing livestock – a big change from the 21st century! From a young age all I wanted to be was a hair artist. I fully immersed myself into training with the brightest talents of the time, most notably Vidal Sassoon. I opened my first salon in 1993, setting out to create a place with a city feel that catered for the needs of the entrepreneurs and pioneers living in the Cotswolds. In 1999 the Tabitha James Kraan brand underwent a complete reinvention and I remodelled my practices to reflect my new outlook.
As a professional hairdresser, I identified that most hair and scalp problems are caused by the over-use of synthetic, detergent-based shampoos. I also recognised that hair performs best when using pure natural ingredients – when it is nurtured by nature. I created my capsule range of organic hair care products to address this issue and to introduce a new way to clean and maintain healthy hair and the scalp. We re-wrote the rulebook – by starting each new formulation with 100 percent natural ingredients, we achieved the highest performing and purest formulations possible. The beautiful thing is that as well as keeping us healthier in that process, we can also help protect the planet.
For the last 20 years as a family we have lived an organic life. We would call ourselves ‘conscientious consumers’ as we try to make ethical and sustainable choices – nobody is perfect but we try to achieve 80/20. I care about where our food comes from and how it is produced. Whilst we are not vegan, we enjoy vegan and vegetarian food as well as organic meat and dairy. I also care about where my clothes come from and buy a lot second hand or from sustainable brands. I truly believe that change is in the small things we do – it can feel overwhelming to change everything at once but if you look for a better alternative for items one step at a time then your greener life starts to evolve. There has never been so much choice out there, you really don’t have to compromise on style or living a full life and there are now many British brands to support too.
I believe great hair is founded on three core principles: oil balancing, correct cleansing and moisture layering. The new Clean shampoo and conditioner, which launched in February 2018, has some unusual ingredients (like cabbage plant, which replaces the traditional synthetic quads, which are in every, even natural, conditioner) to create a professional grade, 100 percent natural formulation.
Imagine how many resources we would save if half the population on our beautiful planet would wash their hair one day less each week! Vast amounts of water, electricity, heating sources and less pollution of synthetic materials flushed back into our water systems could be saved. My hair cleanser is designed to allow your tresses to regain a balance of natural oil production. Over time, it will put you back in the driving seat, so you determine when and how often you wash your hair, rather than the other way around.
There is a lot of confusion for the consumer regarding the claims of the natural and organic status of cosmetics, partly because there is no regulation regarding the usage of these words on packaging and in marketing. It is for that reason that we decided to get our brand certified by the Soil Association and Tabitha James Kraan is now a Cosmos Organic certified brand. We also work together with the leading industry experts in assessing and safe-guarding the sustainability of growing certified organic material, to ensure the growing demand and quality, as well as the environment, is protected in the process.