From Down Under, With Love-------
Australia’s OriginalMineral, which has a stronghold on the hair market down under, started out as most green-leaning brands do: Hairstylist Alan Buki developed contact dermatitis from exposure to the harsh ammonia found in most hair dyes, which almost forced him to abandon his career. After getting introduced to an ammonia-free dye formula while working in London, Buki’s path was clear. Along with his marketing whiz wife, Jose, he brought the technology back to Australia when he opened his first salon, Atlantis Hair, in 2000, and the rest is hair history. A cult product available at a single location spawned a full professional color and styling line that can now be found all across Australia and New Zealand—and starting in 2012, O&M is taking its patented Clean Color Technology (CCT) global. In lieu of paraphenylenediamine (PPD), resorcinol, and ammonia—common irritants found in most permanent hair dyes—OriginalMineral has infused its formulas with a trio of highly active minerals to ensure vibrant color and optimal skin health: Illite helps to deeply penetrate micro pigments so they fully saturate the hair shaft; kaolin guards against fading; and montmorillonite boosts overall scalp condition. Sunflower-seed wax and sweet almond oil serve to add further moisture and shine. And its styling and treatment line isn’t half bad, either. Completely devoid of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and propylene glycol, the 19-piece range features indigenous Australian ingredients, like the cold-pressed certified organic argan and macadamia nut oil in its Frizzy Logic shine serum and the Australian river mint in its Original Detox shampoo—a clarifier that we’ve had the pleasure of trying, which feels like a refreshing body rinse of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap on a warm summer day.
As of now, the Armando Corral Salon in New York’s Meatpacking district is the sole proprietor of the line in the U.S., but after the brand’s official launch in January, we have a feeling that’ll change pretty quickly: We asked one of the education directors on hand at a recent launch event how O&M stacked up against L’Oréal Professionnel’s Inoa, another big ammonia-free coloring line, and the answer came back: “no contest.” A new U.S. e-commerce site is also in the works, but in the meantime, www.adorebeauty.com.au will ship staples like its Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray internationally.