Every day is a good hair day for Jose Bryce Smith. The founder of luxury clean hair care brand, Original Mineral, talks business, balance, motherhood and the secrets to beautiful, healthy hair.  

Original Mineral was born out of the need of hairdressers…I co-owned a salon in Paddington, Sydney and I was managing it for eight years and so many hairdressers had contracted dermatitis and eczema through using so many chemicals and having their hands in water. I felt that people didn’t understand the long-term health effects of putting chemicals on their hands and on their hair, I was sure there had to be a cleaner way to do it.

Clean is the heart of the O&M brand..we challenged the artificial norms of hair colour…we had the world’s first ammonia free hair colour in 2000 and we have spent 20 years searching for ways to reduce harsh chemicals in hair colour whilst still delivering results.  Let’s be honest, hairdressers need to be able to cover grey hair and blondies need to be blonde, I just thought if we could do it with less chemicals then everyone would choose that

Health has been my number one value and I have always been a lover of life and I just believe that chemical overload is causing disease and haircare and hair colour is my small corner of the planet where I would like to make a difference.

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The world has changed so much … and people are so much more aware of the negative impact of chemicals, and technology has moved on so much that we can get results using clean products, it’s like eating organic food or using non-toxic cleaning products. I always believed that hair colour would become a health choice too and I think people appreciate using clean products that have no smell or fumes and still works.

“I just believe that chemical overload is causing disease and haircare and hair colour is my small corner of the planet where I would like to make a difference.”

Its been a long journey to get where we are now…and I can confidentially say that O&M is the clean alternative that performs as well and if not better than traditional ammonia colour, we tested it on hundreds and hundreds of heads, it took years and years to perfect the formula and there were a lot of challenges.  In 2016 we launched COR colour and that was our third generation and the performance was so good, hairdressers were becoming more concerned with their health and that of their clients and the business exploded.

Good hair I just think comes down to being ok with putting yourself first and self-care…I know for me, if I give myself an hour in the morning to get up, meditate, exercise and do my hair, I am a much nicer, more centred person, better mum and more effective at work … when my hair is good it sets me up for the day. There are so many shortcuts too, O&M Dry Queen, dry shampoo and O&M Desert Dry, dry texture spray are amazing for stretching my hair one more day.

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Hair loss after children is common…because we don’t lose much hair during pregnancy, our hair gets thicker and then goes back to normal after. Using gentle products is a start, doing treatments regularly and using thickening products will help. O&M Atonic has lily pilly which is like a natural collagen for the hair and will help plump it. Eat good hair foods…eggs are amazing and berries and fish feed your hair from the outside in and inside out.

My passion for clean beauty extends to my face and body…I am addicted to Sans Activator 7, it’s a face and body oil, I love the combination of olive and jojoba oil as well as a bunch of vitamins…my face drinks it.  I avoid aluminium deodorants, it’s been linked to cancer in lymph nodes so I use Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste. Makeup, I love Inika or Nude by nature and I use a natural sunscreen, Natural Instinct Face tinted moisturiser. There are so many great clean brands now, the choice is there.

“Eat good hair foods…eggs are amazing and berries and fish feed your hair from the outside in and inside out.”

There are so many great mamas who are running businesses…it’s an immense juggle. I have known Zoe Foster Blake for 20 years, she was one of the first beauty editors to come to our salon when she was at Cosmopolitan and she has done an incredible job with Go To Skincare, as well as being an author and her strategy of online only was ahead of its time… and she did all whilst juggling little children, I love seeing good people do well.  I also really admire Jessica Alba, the Honest Company was a game changer in subscription and non-toxic products. I really admire their standards and philosophy and being a mother of three, I am sure inspired a lot of those choices

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Get really good at outsourcing, it’s actually impossible to do it all and do it well…so have good people around you who can help you. Cleaning, housekeeping, nannie, whatever it is you need, don’t be afraid to outsource those jobs, your time is much more valuably spent in your business and with your kids, being present for them.

The greatest lesson motherhood has taught me is…That time is our most valuable commodity. It goes so fast and that the greatest gift is seeing the world through their eyes so I have learnt to manage my time so I can BE wherever I am.

Advice for other mothers going through a separation…Divorce is tough on children and packing up your bags and moving from one house to another (which is our situation) when you think about it, must be very unsettling.  Being a parent juggling work and looking after them, it’s all an immense amount of pressure. My advice would be, try to BE wherever you are, don’t try and mix one with the other, as soon as I stopped trying to work from my kitchen bench when they were home, everything became much easier.  Now, when I am working, they know that and when I am home, I am there for them.  Make them feel safe, don’t tell them what’s going on for you financially or emotionally, even if it’s bad, let them be kids and when they are older they will tell you they knew you showed up for them in every way. Have meals with them, its psychologically proven that seven meals a week (doesn’t have to always be dinner, it can be any meal) having that at a table across from each other makes them know that this is their home and they are safe. Let them be your greatest motivation.   Tell them you love every day and be strong for them and feel the love you get back, it’s a gift.

How would my children describe me? I asked my eight-year-old son this question!! He said generous, kind, very very spoiling, warm, loves me and good at business.

I believe my morning routine is my investment in myself and a great day … it aligns me.  I wake up early, about 530am and I meditate for 10 minutes and then I do a breathing sequence which takes about five minutes and then I do EFT tapping which is on the acupuncture points and I do six rounds of that and I focus on whatever I need for that day.  That takes about 20 minutes and then I exercise for 45 minutes, either walk, Pilates or interval training.  I am a nicer, more effective person if I start my day well. I also try to do one other thing for myself each day, I love Epsom salt baths, so I might do that at night and I listen to audible and I love infra-red saunas, great for detoxing. I am a massive fan of self-care, you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.

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Favourite Australian family holiday destination is… Byron Bay. My kids love it, it’s so easy, the beaches are so beautiful, great restaurants, we have lots of friends there, it does it for us every time.

I have long been obsessed with … Daphne Guinness. I have always loved clothes and believed that they are like art and she epitomises that, she wears couture like art.

Drink of choice is … Hendricks, soda, cucumber.

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