Up until last year, my preference for hair oils could only be described as primitive. As is the case for many of us of Indian heritage, I am preceded by generations of women who consider their hair to be their crowning glory and pride and joy. My mother and grandmother informed me at a young age that being blessed with a mane of luscious locks was not a lucky genetic occurrence but in fact the result of a conscientious, time honoured ritual of hair oiling and head massage that had been passed down generations. I have very vivid memories of both of them sitting me down on a weekly basis (often under duress) and zealously massaging my scalp with a cheap oil purchased from the local Asian shop as I whined relentlessly about the nauseating scent of said oil. Despite knowing in my heart of hearts (and even at such a young age) that oiling my hair meant silky tresses for life, I hated the whole process with a passion. Looking back now, it’s quite evident to me that that what they used was probably an inexpensive blend of oils of sub par quality and was heavily perfumed to camouflage this fact. This very scent is what scarred me for a long time and I resisted hair oiling for years.
My Hair Story
Over the years, I’ve really put my hair to the test. My relationship with my hair has always been somewhat of a love/hate one. I can’t deny that I love being blessed with abundantly thick tresses but drying my hair is a veritable nightmare and actually drives me insane (It’s usually a 45 minute affair normally resulting in me giving up halfway out of sheer frustration and ending up with half damp hair that’s impossible to style. Until I acquired a Dyson hairdryer that is. It’s an expensive but life changing purchase. But that’s a story, or a blog post for another day). Years of using budget hair dyers damaged my hair, leaving me with straw-like tresses. Let’s not even talk about hair straightening. Remember the mid 2000’s when poker straight hair was a thing? I still cringe at those old photos of myself, sporting that dead straight hairstyle. Then, there is of course my natural hair colour situation. It’s very, very dark. Almost black, think Morticia Addams black which I think makes me looked very washed out. I’ve been experimenting with colouring my hair since I was 12 (I’ve had red, purple…) and I honestly cannot remember a time in my adult life when my hair wasn’t highlighted or bleached in some form or the other. The result of all this is that my hair needs all the help it can get. Despite loathing oiling my hair, I knew I had to do it.
The time tested practice of hair oiling does have a myriad of benefits; it is said to prevent hair fall, to promote growth by stimulating the hair follicles, to prevent breakage, to reduce frizziness, to impart a much coveted shine and is also wonderful stress reliever (get a professional Indian Head massage and you will know exactly what I’m taking about!)
From Basic to Bougie…Discovering Tabitha James Kraan
I only came to truly enjoy my weekly oiling hair ritual when I moved on from cheap-shop bought oils and acquired a more epicurean taste for hair oils, favouring the more highly nutritive blends instead of a singular oil. I owe this newfound love for hedonistic oil blends to Beauty Heroes, a subscription beauty box based in the US which normally features green, indie skincare brands. I was delighted when they chose to feature hair products instead and this marks my love affair with Tabitha James Kraan, especially her Scented Organic Hair Oil. I’ve used it for over a year now and a review of Tabitha James Kraan’s Scented Organic Hair Oil is well overdue. Tabitha is a natural hair stylist, whose salon is nestled in the heart of the Cotswold in the UK. She has 23 years of experience, a penchant for organic clean ingredients and is obsessed with sustainability. She is a self proclaimed hair geek and it’s with much interest that I perused her wonderfully informative website, eager to learn about the 3 principles that she believes are essential for achieving great hair. I learnt why despite having an oily scalp myself, (and no matter how counterintuitive it sounds), oiling would offer me many benefits. A greasy scalp is the result of overproduction of oil by sebaceous glands. Applying oil to the scalp actually reduces this sebaceous gland activity because the body regains the right natural balance. This is what is known as the ‘Law of Similars’. Her Scented Hair Organic Oil is perfect to use for this purpose.
Housed in a beautifully designed bottle, the pump dispenses the exact amount of oil you require when you press it. If you have considerably longer hair, you might require 2 pumps but the idea is is even if you’re doing an intensive oil treatment, there is no need to saturate your hair with oil. This little bottle of joy is a breeze to travel with as the nozzle locks into place, preventing any accidental spills. You might also spot the little amethyst crystal which is really a pretty touch.
Ingredients and Scent
Being accustomed to using singular oils for my hair (coconut or more recently , the trendy argan oil), I was quite intrigued by the blend in Scented Organic Hair oil. The ingredient list is downright swoon-worth, not dissimilar to a list you’d be accustomed to seeing in a lush facial oil serum. I don’t know why I was content in using the most expensive oils for my face (we all know that not all oils are created the same, the price is usually reflective of quality and provenance as well as extraction methods) but wasn’t especially bothered with what I used on my scalp. Your scalp is merely an extension facial skin and so it makes total sense to treat it as meticulously as your face.
Ingredient list: Safflower Seed oil, Rosehip fruit oil, Argan oil, Sea Buckthorn Seed oil, Rose flower oil, Rose Geranium flower oil, Sweet Orange peel oil, Ylang Ylang flower oil, Patchouli leaf oil, Goji Berry fruit extract, Benzoin resin extract, Rosemary extract, Cedar Bark oil, Orange flower oil, Chamomile flower oil, Sunflower seed oil and Vitamin E.
It is naturally perfumed with their evocative and signature scent of amber rose and is not overly floral. It’s a dark moody rose scent and I, for one, would love a perfume smelling like this. It’s something you’d have an urge to wear for a sexy date night with your beau (or belle!). I can see it it appealing to both men and women and it’s definitely a far, far cry from the cheap and artificially perfumed Amla oil I used to use in my younger days.
How I use it and My Experience
Personally, I love this as a weekly intensive hair treatment. The little pot of golden opulence is extremely concentrated and you only require a teeny tiny amount to coat your scalp and hair ends . Sometimes I leave it on for an hour or most frequently overnight. I have found that this ritual over time has kept my hair shiny and soft despite all the abuse I subject my hair to. More importantly, I do feel that it lives up to Tabitha’s claims of balancing sebum production as used consistently, my scalp is less oily and I definitely need to wash it less.
You could use it as a leave-in treatment after washing your hair, in which case only a drop of this wonderful elixir will suffice but I find that this weighs down my hair a little too much for my liking.
The next question that arises I suppose is why not use a cheap, singular oil instead of this fairly pricy oil serum? (it retails for £38 for 30ml). I personally do not use singular oils on my face, preferring oil blends instead as I find that they work synergistically to bring more benefits. I can easily extend this rational to my scalp as well. As I mentioned, not all oils are created equal and I truly believe that when it comes to oils, you’re paying for quality. This is exactly what you get with this.
Scented Organic Hair oil is has been the perfect addition to my hair care arsenal and makes the ritual such a pleasurable experience. I’m prepared to pay the slightly heftier price tag for that any day.
Get it here for £38.
PS: I bought this product myself with my own money and clearly love it!