This is the ingredients label on Kinky Curly Knot Today
Organic mango fruit extract, organic slippery elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemon grass, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrances Q1. Where is the water? If you have read previous instalments on the law of product labelling, you will have heard me harp on about why water should almost always be the first ingredient in a hair shampoo or hair conditioner. I am very perplexed as to how this apparently water based moisturiser has no water, when water can often constitute 80% or more in such a product and should be the first listed ingredient. Q2. What if you (Jc) are wrong and this product is just concentrated and has little water? Honestly, you should hope that I am right and the water has been omitted. Why? Cetyl alcohol and behentrimonium methosulfate are solid pellets that need to be dissolved. If that list as printed is correct then this is not a water based conditioner but an alcohol rich one with phenoxyethanol as the only possible solvent on the list (To be clear, I think that water has been omitted and phenoxyethanol is a preservative). Q3: But the Kinky Curly Website says their products do not contain alcohol or silicones
Sorry, this statement is not truthful - phenoxyethanol which is declared on the label IS an alcohol. Perfectly legitimate as a preservative and sometimes used as a solvent but most definitely an alcohol. Q4. But it has so many organic and natural ingredients I don't think so (my opinion). I am totally against listings of herbal extracts in water at the top of the list. This is often because only small amounts are used (do note that if large amounts were used, the colour of the product would end up more along a brown or green colour - similar to the colour of bark/leaf). This product is white so my theory is that those herbal extracts have a very minor role on the hair but a major role on you as the consumer. Q5: So what really is in the bottle? In my honest opinion, I sincerely doubt that we have the full ingredient list. I am fairly certain that water has been omitted and additionally, I also think that oil may also have been omitted from this list. Here is the breakdown of the declared ingredients:
What is it?
How much would typically be found in a hair product?
|Organic mango fruit extract, organic slippery elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemon grass,||Herbal Extract (Normally drop a few herbs in water or oil or alcohol as the solvent, wait for a few minutes/hours, sieve out the herbs, use the water to make the product)||Generally less than 1%|
|Cetyl alcohol||Emollient (softens hair), Thickener (makes conditioner more gloopy instead of it being overly liquid)||Around 5%|
|Behentrimonium methosulfate||Surfactant (Smooths down cuticle, reduces static, softens hair)||Around 5%|
|citric acid, phenoxyethanol||Both act as preservatives - citric acid is a weak fruit derived acid that stops products going rancid, also adjusts pH slightly and phenoxyethanol is an alcohol which can also be a solvent.||Depends on the formula - can be effective from as little as 0.1% but sometimes much more is added to improve shelf life or kill more microbes|
|Natural fragrances||Could really be anything! Manufacturers are not required to define what the fragrance is||Should not be much (under 1%) but can be e.g when some manufacturers use fragrance to disguise other ingredients|
So if you total up the percentages of expected amounts of the declared products - you get to around 12%. If you even decide to be generous and make it 20 or even 30%....what is the undeclared 70-80%?
The thing I fail to understand is that kinky curly knot today is by all accounts a very much loved product by many naturals, why does the manufacturer feel inclined to have a very poor and even possibly misleading label?