Over the years I’ve done just about everything you can do to my hair. I’ve cut it, dyed it, permed it (once, with disastrous results), straightened it, had extensions … you name it, I’ve done it.

Which is why, no doubt, my poor abused scalp has given up the ghost and is revolting with a series of itchy bumps, redden flaky bits and an increase in gray hairs.

But – and my hair stylist is going to kill me – I’ve continued to dye my hair regularly. Why? I hate my natural colour and I really just can’t stop. So, every six weeks or so I grit my teeth, apologise to my scalp, and slap on the hair dye; only to suffer for a week or so afterwards as my head gets so itchy I have to sit on my hands.

I have discovered a series of products to wash my hair with that help my symptoms – turns out I need something with no parabens, no silicones, no fragrance and it has to be PH balanced – but hair dye that’s kind to scalps eluded me.

Until, that is, I was introduced to new-to-Singapore product, Original & Mineral or O&M for short.

Images: Original & Mineral

This Australian series of hair products – covering everything from shampoos and masques to styling products – also produces kind-to-the-scalp hair dyes. Yay!

These hair dyes are completely devoid of ammonia, sulfates, parabens, MIT (whatever that is), phthalates, triclosan and propylene glycol. They work thanks to O&M’s propriety CCT Amonia Free (Clean Colour Technology) concept and are based on using soy as the agent to deliver the colour to your hair.

There are salon-based permanent dyes that come in 93 different shades right up to true black, and there are also the O&M Powder Lighteners – Seaweed, Indigo, Pearl and Blue Pearl – which can lighten your hair up to five levels and are great as highlights.

When I got to try the O&M Permanent Colour at Fox Salon, applied by O&M trainer Chaqa – an amazingly calm and stylish man who’s worked on some of the biggest stars in Europe and is now living a very zen life in Singapore – I was completely blown away.

The utter lack of any pain, itchiness, smell or even the “heavy” feel of having a traditional hair colour applied meant that it didn’t feel like my hair was being coloured at all.

The application and processing – which can take up to 40 minutes or more – only took a very short time; 15 minutes. This is due to a special oil that’s added to the colour formula and aids in “setting” the dye.

I was absolutely amazed when I had not a single irritation the whole time I was getting my hair done; not even the water from the shampooing off the dye bothered my scalp. My hair was also super-shiny directly after the colour was done, but it has continued to be so four weeks later.

On top of all these positive benefits, the colour has also lasted remarkably well. There’s been no fading at all – something that plagues other “all natural” or organic-type hair dyes.

While I did have some slight itchiness about five hours after the application, I put that down to the added treatment that I had at the same time – my scalp really hates any sort of conditioner.

But that was pretty much it; overall I’m an absolute convert to O&M hair colouring.

Thankfully I won’t have to head to the salon every single time I need to dye my hair however, the brand also has these amazing “watercolours” that you buy for home use.

The O&M Watercolour is the world’s first non-ammonia and non-peroxide demi-permanent hair colour, there are 44 shades available. Sure, it’s not going to last as well as the in-salon colour, but the convenience makes up for it. 

And; the package is amazing too. The Watercolours come as a powder in a small glass jar; you just measure out what you need, add hot water, stir and there you go. The minimal packaging is very environmentally-friendly.

O&M also has over-the-counter hair care products that I’ve tried:

  • Maintain the Mane Shampoo for Normal hair, $48 – leaves hair smelling great and very shiny; can be used every day without drying out the hair
  • Hydrate & Conquer Conditioner for coloured or permed hair, $48 – moisturises hair without making it heavy or limp; for very dry hair can be used daily without getting too “greasy”
  • Seven Day Miracle moisture masque, $48 – great for dry or damaged hair, again did no leave any itchiness or sensitivity on the scalp
  • Atonic, thickening spitz, $48 – gave a great amount of volume without weighing down hair or making it limp later in the day; also added a bit of shine 

While O&M is relatively new in Singapore, it’s been around for years in Australia and New Zealand winning awards left, right and centre. O&M available only at a few salons in Singapore; Fox Studio in 111 Somerset, Passion Hair Salon in Palais Renaissance and Purity Salon in Pacific Plaza. The products are only available from Tangs Orchard on Level 2.

If you have even a small tendency towards scalp irritation but you still would love to dye your hair, or if you’re pregnant or keen on being environmentally friendly – O&M packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and the products aren’t tested on animals – it’s worth making the effort to get hold of this brand. Your scalp will thank you.

Original & Mineral hair colours and hair care products are free from ammonia, sulfates, parabens, MIT, phthalates, triclosan and propylene glycol; not tested on animals, use 100 per cent recyclable packaging, are between 90 and 98 per cent naturally based and derived, contain pure active botanicals (natural oils) from plant extracts. 

O&M Permanent hair colour is available from Fox Studio in 111 Somerset, Passion Hair Salon in Palais Renaissance and Purity Salon in Pacific Plaza; prices start from $135 depending on the salon and stylist. O&M Watercolour hair dyes and other hair care products are available from Tangs Orchard on Level 2 and Supernature at Park House on Orchard Boulevard. For more information about O&M products, go to: www.originalmineral.com.