Every time I visit a hair store I'm taken back by the isles of ethnic hair care products. So many of them are designed for starting dreadlocks in black hair textures. For a long time I had thought that my hair was different and that's why it didn't respond well the the products I tried. Now I think most of those products are just not as effective as they could be. They must sell well though so who am I to judge right? The Knatty Dread product line is made by myself and my partner. We both have dreadlocks and we share an understanding of dreadlocks and the challenges of African hair textures. Maybe it was just a blessing or maybe we were uniquely qualified to create these products. I tend to believe both and hope you share my assessment after you've had a chance to try these products for yourself.
I believe making dreadlocks is like baking a cake. Great dreadlocks require approximately equal parts of the following:
- Mental State: Knowledge of the process and the Will to see it though.
- Tools: The tools and products used to create them.
- Hair: The natural hair Jah gave you.
I'm going to be depending on you to provide the Will and the Hair. With your permission I'll be happy to provide the rest. This section will provide tips and information on the locking process and explain how the products benefit this process.
Natural Products for Natural Hair. It just makes sense.
I insist on using the most natural ingredients possible in all of my products. There are some things the most people do not know regarding natural cosmetics and I can not be sure that what I say isn't mistaken unless we clarify these things here. The first is the official definition of natural. If I were to simply claim that my products were "all natural" it might be assumed that there as a simple and clear definition of natural and that my products met it's standards. In reality there is no definition or standard by which a cosmetic is natural. So when a company makes this claim without explanation it is meaningless.
While natural cosmetics do not have a standardized definition most agree that things found in nature are natural. They are in a completely natural state until we do something to them. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately depending on your perspective, ingredients found in nature are all cleaned, purified and put in a stable state before they are used in cosmetics. This is why, when you open a jar of mango butter lip balm that has resided on a store shelf you do not find it spoiled or rancid. Another welcome benefit is that we don't find bugs or bacteria in it. These benefits do come at a price however. No cosmetic that contains water (and must therefore contain anti-microbials) can meet our popularly held definition of natural. Let me repeat that. No cosmetic containing water can make the claim that it is completely natural. They have all been tampered with, it's just a matter of how much. Even water itself, can no longer be considered an all natural ingredient after it's put though a host of processes between the time it's pulled out of the stream and the time it arrives in your all natural cucumber-melon facial cleanser. Many of the wonderful, sustainable soy products we enjoy today simply don't occur naturally. Is this reason to avoid them? Surely not. Many times the best products are far removed from natural. Because we can't simply say "Everything Natural is Good" and "Everything that's not Natural is bad", we need to review each ingredient on it's own merits. We need to embrace the ones that are good and discard the ones that are bad for us or our environment. Sometimes it is a matter of processing. I would much prefer an unbleached product over one that was needlessly bleached. The unbleached product has more vitamins and less environmental impact. Sometimes we choose a highly processed ingredient because of it's benefits. Such is the case with Vitamin E. It's not natural by the standard definition but it provides an important benefit.
With this in mind my product philosophy is simple. Find the most effective ingredients that processed as little as possible and research them to death to make sure there is nothing negative about them. This can take weeks for a single ingredient. When I say that my products are natural I'm telling you they are hand crafted with the highest quality butters and oils, each chosen because is was the least processed, most effective ingredient available. You may note that price is not one of the determining factors. When I know what the best ingredients are then I shop prices, not the other way around. That's why you don't see ingredients like petroleum in these products. It's also why the price of these products is a little higher. There are plenty of cheap products out there, you may have tried some of them yourself. My customers come back because they recognize the benefits that superior ingredients provide and they insist on providing the best for their dreadlocks.