Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Get to know Komaza Care
I'd like to introduce you to Rene, owner and founder of Komaza Care hair products.
Komaza is a line of products designed for and mostly marketed to people with African American (or "ethnic") hair, but like Donna Marie, Caucasians have fallen in love with them, too. The Komaza line is free of sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, and silicones, which of course, makes it a big friend to those who are CG ("Curly Girl"). I must confess up front that I have never tried this line, and yes, I'm as shocked as you are by that oversight! But I've been reading the many raves on the discussion boards at NaturallyCurly.com and I know that this line has lots of fans. I also know that Rene, similar to Marsha at Curl Junkie, is as committed to providing high quality products as she is to delivering attentive, responsive customer service.
Rene started her company because she was fed up with the poor quality and synthetic properties of the products that were available for ethnic hair. Hair and scalp issues were so common that she vowed to develop products that would encourage growth (by keeping pores and follicles unclogged) and not build up on the hair. Rene is also smart enough to offer samples of her products, so if there's something you're curious about, you can just try it out rather than making a big investment.
Enough of my blathering! Let's talk to Rene.
Jillipoo: Do you formulate your own products? If so, what is your method/process? If not, who does it for you?
Komaza Care Rene: Yes, I formulate my own products. I think about what results I want to achieve for the hair type I am creating the product for. I know that each hair type does well with certain ingredients based on the hair type's structure. Some hair types need ingredients that help the hair absorb more moisture and retain it while some do not.
J: Komaza was started to give people with ethnic hair an alternative to the mineral oil-laden and petroleum-based products that have been a staple for them for years, and that's wonderful! You may have seen my recent post on "natural" products. Do you consider Komaza's ingredients natural, and if so, why? Are there some ingredients that you consider very unique to Komaza? Do you feel that there are any synthetic ingredients that are benign or actually good for hair?
KCR: First, I must say, I agree with your Natural Product post. Komaza Care products are considered natural because they are plant based. But you are right, most plant based product have been altered to make them more compatible and "natural" doesn't always mean that they are not harmful. I wouldn't consider any of the ingredients unique to Komaza -- just the formula is unique. There are so many ingredients that work wonderfully for hair, especially if used in a balanced combination.
J: Your hair care as well as business philosophy speaks as much to lifestyle as regimen -- you encourage people to eat well, be kind to themselves, drink plenty of water. Have you seen first-hand that this approach has positive results?
KCR: Yes, most definitely. I am living proof. I know that it works and this is why I encourage it. I changed my lifestyle because it was necessary. It was a gradual thing but I noticed big changes in my hair, my skin, my figure, and most of all my attitude. Health is beautiful and very important. As long as you are healthy you can do and be anything. We spend years neglecting our health because of time and money but then soon learn that it takes twice as much money and time to recover from those years of neglect. It is always best to do the right thing first.
J: According to your website, product recommendations are made according to curl pattern (2, 3, 4 and their gradations). What made you choose this classification system rather than the classic fine/medium/coarse definition that is taught in beauty schools?
KCR: The reason I did not use the classic fine/medium/ coarse system first because our customer base is very hair savvy. Most of them have hair down to a science and understand that their curl pattern matters just as much as the fullness. Also I use this method to help formulate products. Some of us have a looser curl and may want a product that tightens the curl and vice versa. If we at Komaza know the curl pattern as well as the fullness, then we can better serve you.
J: Komaza means "growth" in Swahili. (Do you speak Swahili, by the way?) Obviously, occlusive substances like mineral oil block pores and hair follicles, preventing growth, whereas oils that are compatible with skin and hair do not produce that reaction. I've heard some curlies say, however, that their hair seems to grow *faster* once they start using your products. What do you say to that?
KCR: I wish I was fluent in Swahili but I am not. I am always happy to hear people are getting great results; however, I think that Komaza products provide hair with the essentials to help it grow to its full potential and proper rate.
J: How involved are you in the day to day operations of your company? Do you have customer contact? What kind of experience should customers have when they deal with Komaza and how do you ensure that that happens?
KCR: I am heavily involved with the day to day operations of Komaza. I love customer interaction and get most of my ideas from listening to what people say they need for their hair. The kind of experience a customer should always get when dealing with Komaza, first, is kind honesty. It is most important that we do what is best for your hair rather than to sell our product. We have had some customers completely turned off by this concept and I can understand why; however, it can not waiver our duty to do the right thing. Secondly, everyone should be treated as family or as an old friend with kindness, compassion and respect. God has blessed us with a wonderful staff here. I always hear from customers informing me how wonderful the staff is and how knowledgeable they are. It makes me proud. All of us are constantly being trained in hair care and we follow a simple motto: Treat every one with kindness and compassion even when you don't feel like it or think they don't deserve it.
Thanks for talking with No-Poo Jillipoo, Rene. What a great attitude you have about life and hair!
(Be sure to check out which products best suit your hair at Komaza Care by using the site's hair typing system!)