Being ‘the change you wish to see in the world‘ is not necessarily the motivation for many entrepreneurs. They have vision, courage and are not frightened of doing something that hasn’t been done before, in fact, that’s a large part of any brand’s success: filling a void, establishing a niche.
But how many entrepreneurs use these visionary strengths to create a positive shift in their marketplace of choice?
Performance, the consumer ‘experience’, the aesthetic, the ethics, an accessible price point- it’s very hard to tick ‘yes’ to all that criteria andhave a profitable business. So much simpler to use generic, petrochemical-laden compounds already available, tweak in your own fragrance and packaging and voila-you have your own range!
But truthfully, are those ingredients really the best for the job, should those ingredients really be ingested regularly into the largest organ of your body-the skin?
We agree with the idea that given the option, why use synthetics when natural products work better and are safer for our children, the environment, and us?
We love to celebrate those that tick these boxes. There are so many brands out there whose products ‘work’ because they clean or create shine or look great in your bathroom plus they’re endorsed by ‘beautiful people’ so they must be good right? But the question really is, do many of those products contain cheap ingredients (=less financial outlay) that are more profitable for the brand’s shareholders but less beneficial for you in the long term?
This is why we love John Masters Organic. On a purely girly level, they are one of the best quality ranges of haircare in the world, and for women of color, they are absolutely ideal!
You don’t need me to tell you that having DNA from the African diaspora means that your hair is drier, therefore more brittle, and has a shorter lifespan in general than straight hair and takes way more TLC. John Masters shampoos have none of the (cheap) rough detergents used in all regular shampoos that strip our hair of the oils that are essential to protecting it. Only high-grade oils that really help nourish hair are allowed in. Thandie loves hisLavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner so much so that I gave it angel wings in Photoshop! We also posted on his Deep scalp follicle treatment & volumizer for thinning hair in our ‘Perfect DIY Blowdry’ post.
I’d love to buy his entire range for dry hair but for now, his Dry Hair Nourishment & Defrizzeris never too far from my sad old ends!
Nothing, I repeat nothing, soothes tired ends out like this rich oil full of moisturising jojoba oil, lavender to slow hair loss (also treats eczema and dermatitis on the scalp), rosemary to stimulate hair growth, add volume and shine and finally anti-inflammatory cedarwood, great for an oily scalp and even dandruff.
If you know, please tell me which petrochemicals have these supernatural powers!
Thandie: Did you have personal experiences, which lead you to create your organic line?
JM: Yes my organic line was completely inspired by personal experiences & was simply an extension of my lifestyle. It started in the ’80s. At that time many of my friends were all getting sick with HIV and were turning to alternative treatments but it was too late and not enough information available. This was a big wakeup call for me.
Why wait until you are sick before cleaning up your life. If you are blessed with health I believe it is only common sense to choose healthier options if given a choice. I became fascinated with and started living a more holistic, organic, and at that time alternative lifestyle becoming interested in expanding one’s consciousness, natural healing modulates & organic food and herbs.
It made no sense for me to continue working in a conventional salon handling and breathing toxic chemicals day after day, hence the birth of JMO products, the first professional organic-based haircare line, and my salon in NYC, the first clean air salon in the world. I must add how amazed and humbled I am to see so many salons worldwide follow our lead.
Thandie: What synthetic/chemical ingredients were most difficult to replace with natural alternatives?
JM: Petro-based silicon to control dry, frizzy hair and add shine was a tough ingredient to replace but we did it.
Thandie: Is the term ‘organic’ overused in the beauty industry?
JM: Yes although it is getting better due to consumer awareness. I highly suggest one reads the ingredient list on your product you are considering.
Thandie: How vigilant can you be as a brand owner about your customers’ recycling and packaging- do you try to keep packaging sustainable?
JM: As a brand owner we offer packaging that is recyclable. Our boxes used for skincare are 100% PCW recycled paper, printed with vegetable ink, and 100% compostable. In addition, we only use packing “peanuts” made from cornstarch, which is 100% biodegradable.
Most of our clients I believe are aware of the importance of recycling. The fact they are buying an organic-based product over a conventional, chemically-laden one strongly suggests to me they are aware individuals.
Thandie: I find many of your products excellent for my curly hair. How important is to you to reach a diverse fan base?
JM: It is very important for JMO to offer an organic-based product for all types of hair, skin, & body care needs. It is an on-going process and we are constantly testing new organic raw materials and if approved, to use in new products to target specific hair and skincare needs.
Thandie: What do you find most important when maintaining and improving the health of Afro hair?
JM: Nourishment is key & not over-shampooing.
Thandie: Does your personal philosophy for life reflect in your work ethics and how?
JM: Yes. We have always done our best to be health & eco-conscious, diverse and fair in our relationships with our client base and the entire JMO team.
Thandie: Who or what inspires you in life and work?
JM: Nature, music, and dancing. I love going for walks in nature with my dogs in the woods or jungle, by a stream or down the beach in Costa Rica. At 59 in a few months,
I still love to dance the night away and listening while watching singers perform often bring me to tears.
Thandie: Any future plans we should know about?
JM: New unique organic products & a big surprise soon, which will delight a lot of customers. Stay tuned!
Kay: As I say above I’m so impressed with the Dry Hair Nourishment & Defrizzer. I’m curious about how you create such unique formulas, is there a lot of experimentation on different hair textures in order to get the right ‘recipe’? I ask this because it is so different to other brands!
Great to hear my Dry Hair Nourishment & Defrizzer is working so well for you! This was one of my first products. I created it myself in my kitchen in NYC before I opened a salon and was at the time freelancing out of my studio.
I read a lot of books-no computers back then- & started testing different 100% organic formulations I thought might work on my clients based on my research. It really was fun and that was around 1989.