It’s no secret that when we look at a person, we do tend to notice their hair. Short or long, thin or lustrous, curly or straight – hair also plays a big part in how we perceive ourselves too. With more & more haircare brands & products being launched, it’s becoming harder to choose what to use. Many hairdressers admit to knowing how to cut and style, but not necessarily how to help clients look after their hair and scalp health in-between appointments. That’s why, when I got a chance to talk to Diane Read and Damon Thomas, friends and co-founders of Mo Mi by Modern Minerals, I took advantage of an opportunity to learn from Damon as a hairdresser, who is equally passionate about haircare. Below are the snippets of our various conversations, as well as insights and tips on the best way to put Mo Mi by Modern Minerals haircare to your own best personal use.
Diane and Damon met in Vancouver, when a mutual friend suggested they go out for lunch. From then on, no matter what happened in life or how much distance was between them (Diane is US-based, Damon lives in Canada), they’ve stayed close.
For Damon “fashion has always been a passion” and he thinks that “hair is certainly one of our most important accessories. It says so much about who we are or who we want to be”, so becoming a hairstylist was a natural path for him, but serendipity played a part too. When one of Damon’s friends was opening a salon a few years back, he went to help her during the grand opening, greeting guests & answering the phones. In the course of just a few hours he realised how thoroughly he was enjoying it all, seeing the difference they were making.
When Diane told Damon that she wanted to create a clean, cruelty-free hair line that was also high performance, he was so excited about the project, he practically begged her to let him be a part of it. Diane kindly accepted to offer and the partnership continues to flourish, enhanced by the synergy of two passionate professionals, who bring their individual talents & strengths to the creative table.
When Diane & Damon launched their first first collection of four hair-styling products, they wanted to make them truly special. In the past Modern Minerals had collaborated with Katie Hess, founder of Lotuswei, to create a special lip gloss & eye shadow, so it only made sense to incorporate this special infusion (note: a combination of essences of Blush Rose Quartz (energy, self-nourishment) & Korean Pink Lotus Flower (helps you bloom into your purest self ) into Mo Mi by Modern Minerals haircare. Damon didn’t think anyone could love their products more than he did, but he is thrilled every time someone tells him how much they love or enjoy using them.
What It Does: featherlight dew & hydration. Can be misted on face & body for luminosity. For hair: can be used on dry or wet. Refreshes your hairstyle, whether you have straight, bouncy or curly hair. Adds moisture.Mo Mi by Modern Minerals
Interestingly, both Damon & I have very fine hair with a tendency to a dry scalp. Something that can easily flair up due to stress, poor sleep or using the wrong kind of haircare. According to Damon, all of Mo Mi haircare products work well on this hair type & having tried quite a few of them I whole-heartedly agree.
Top tip from Damon: I love the Hydrating Mist, however I suggest using it lightly to avoid weighing down fine hair. Mist near the mid shafts to the ends for a boost of hydration for dry hair or just simply for the beautiful scent. I also use this as a body moisturizer, it smells so good!
This is a product that bewitches your senses after a single use – mist it over your face, in the morning, when you are getting ready to face the day, taking deeper breaths. Or when you bring a day to a close – in both instances you will feel uplifted & serene, as if caressed by the unseen positively charged fingertips. Use it on the hair and add not only some moisture to your locks, but its fragrant notes will help uplift the mood. Once you try it yourself, you will know exactly what I mean when I say that it stands quite apart from what your normally spray onto your hair. Suffice to say, you can also share it with your daughters, like I do with mine, when she wants to feel a little more grown-up, as we brush her hair.
Mo Mi by Modern Minerals Styling Jelly, 100ml or travel-size, 30ml
What It Does: allows you to style hair, while maintaining movement, flexibility & reduction in frizzinessI am strong, flexible & go with the flow
According to Damon, this Styling Jelly “is universally useful when your hair is up or down. You only need a small amount. Pump a dime-sized amount in your hands, then start applying from the ends of the hair up. You can add just a light touch to smooth down any baby hairs that may be sticking up. If you regularly blow-dry your hair, the jelly will help keep the hair less “slippery” when you are forming your bun or pony-tail. It will also keep the hair from going flat, when left loose. If you ever create curls or light waves, it is great to keep curls smooth, while keeping your hair feeling soft with just the right amount of hold”.
This hair jelly blends hydrating organic olive oil with clarifying apple cider vinegar, which is good for highlighted or coloured hair, as it helps maintain the colour without the brassiness between appointments with the colourist. I also found that it helps my hair look more glossy when I keep it in a bun and it remains in place even after working out or being active. It doesn’t contribute to hair becoming greasier between shampoos, nor makes hair sticky after you brush it out. The flowery scent with grounding notes of lemongrass, green tea, sage, lavender, Roman chamomile only adds to the pleasure of applying this product to the hair & then wearing it as an invisible veil over it.
Extra hair styling tip from Damon: “this product has memory for your style. So if it’s already in the hair, by ‘re-moistening’ the hair with the Texture Mist your hair should be as good as the first day. Don’t use to much of the mist though! You just want to dampen it slightly, so that the blow-dry is done in five minutes or so.”
Mo Mi by Modern Minerals Texture Mist, 100ml or travel 30ml size
What It Does: helps create texture for hair styling in a top knot, bun or for bouncy waves & enhancing curls“I am effortless with life’s twists & turns”
This is the product that is a reminder that looking after your hair isn’t a chore, but rather a pleasure. When you mist it on slightly damp hair (I do it after washing and towel-drying it) you can then do any of the following – scrunch/twist/diffuse/blow or air-dry it – that way you will see the flexibility of the product and figure out what work best for your type of hair. You can also mist it on your dry hair or in-between shampoos to refresh the style or texture of the hair, depending on the length, without weighting the hair down. The pleasure of the versatility rediscovered, plus the smell of uplifting freshness after exercise or commute or just exposure to the city living – in one compact glass bottle!
My tip: spray some of the mist over a brush and it can introduce a therapeutic element into your haircare routine, as well as make you hair look more textured.
Damon’s Tips: “the Texture Mist is a favorite for wearing your hair down, when you just want a little extra texture or natural looking hold. You can start by spraying a little and add more as needed, if you want to achieve some extra volume. Next, I may suggest blow-drying the root area, while the head is upside down, or by alternating – pushing the hair to the left side, then the right side, then forward and repeat until dry.
Mo Mi by Modern Minerals Dry Shampoo, full or travel size
What It Does: absorbs oil & adds volume“I am uplifted, refreshed & renewed”
Most of us use dry shampoo to refresh hair after the gym, before the party or when we simply don’t have the time to wash it. But in this case the Dry Shampoo can also help add more volume when the hair looks & feels limp. It also helps get rid of the smell of sweat or smoke without weighing it down. It also has a versatility when it comes to using it – massage a small amount on to clean hair, near the roots & you will notice improvement in the volume – particularly welcome when you have fine or limp hair, or oily roots.
“We go through SO much dry shampoo in the salon because we are constantly using it on clean hair to add volume.”Damon Thomas, Mo Mi co-founder
Unlike mainstream dry shampoos or sprays, this beautifully light powder reminds me of the non-existent magic fairy dust. A combination of two types of clay – green and rose – combined with coconut powder instantly absorb excess oil, while corn starch provides instant thickness and volume for your hair. Coupled with an emotive floral and gem-essence blend, it adds an integral mood-transforming element to your haircare routine and becomes less about masking something and more about enhancing the hair, without overwhelming the scalp with the product that goes on it.
- Twist top slightly to open
- Separate hair into sections (this doesn’t need to be perfect!)
- Sprinkle directly on to scalp, or onto a hairbrush and them comb through scalp
- Massage with fingertips to work the powder into roots of hair and beyond
- Use as much product as needed to achieve desired effect
- For extra volume, apply to hair while flipped upside down
- Finish by smoothing hair with hair brush or hands, and style as desired
As we were all stuck in the quarantine, small things emerged that made us all feel a little bit better. A cup of tea or coffee, the sound of a bird song outside, a favourite song on the radio or just a thorough hair wash, trying to wash the dirt and the worries out of our heads and scalps.
I have been using more natural shampoos over the years with mixed results – some just made my hair look greasy, others were hard to wash out or just didn’t lather for me to feel satisfied with the result. Determined to look and find my exploration continued. When I got a sample of this shampoo, I instantly liked the smell & the creamy texture. Within a week I knew that this one was possibly going to become my own personal holy haircare grail.
It lathered bettered than a traditional shampoo, feeling nurturing on my scalp – as if I applied the mask to my scalp at the same time. And after doing a double wash my hair was not only squeaky clean, but well nourished, as if I already applied conditioner to it. Not surprisingly I was eager to relay my feedback to D & D. Damon agreed with me about the fantastic lather and clean feeling that the shampoo creates, adding that “it’s so important to me for a scalp to feel clean”. Now, having been using this shampoo for weeks I get the same satisfaction after each hair-wash, a testament that my initial sentiments weren’t a fluke.
This hydrating cream shampoo formula was designed specifically to add moisture to dry, frizzy and unmanageable hair through bio-active plant actives and energetics. With regular use the Strengthen & Restore Shampoo strengthens and restores your scalp and hair to a more balanced state, while a lightweight cream formula will help keep hair vibrant and sumptuously soft.
A synergistic & antioxidant-rich blend of ingredients it gathers strength from various elements, such as:
- From the Branch: Cherry Blossom, Goji Berry, Olive
- From the Forest: Bamboo, Birch, Mushroom
- From the Sea: Wakame, Spirulina
- Roots for strength: Ashwagandha
- Berries to strengthen: Amla Berry
- Roots to restore: Rhodiola
- Berries to restore: Schisandra Berry
The scent is composed of a blend of organic essential oils of Neroli, Sweet Orange and Vanilla
Damon’s Shampooing Tips: “I’ve been hearing from clients who use this shampoo to pre-cleanse and shampoo. I would suggest giving it a try and seeing how it works for you! I would advise different amounts depending on hair type, thickness, oil levels and maybe how many days in between washes. For example, for someone with dry scalp I think shampooing two to three times a week should be enough.”
To say that using this shampoo might feel like an emotional rapture or release is not an understatement. Not only that – for the first time ever when it comes to shampoo, in addition to the bottle that I currently use, I have another one in my beauty cupboard. In case the shampoo is out of stock due to its popularity when I need to re-stock .)
Suitable for all hair types, but particularly helpful if you hair is dry or damaged and requires some extra care. I asked Damon if one needs to use conditioner every time and he replied that he doesn’t think it is absolutely necessary and really depends on how your hair feels without it.
The Conditioner Ritual
- Apply a generous amount to wet palms
- Bring palms together and gently massage into hair from mid-shaft downwards
- Rinse thoroughly
- To further smooth and protect your hair, follow with MO MI Beauty’s Hair Serum
Damon on hair: “I believe that my clients hair needs to be treated with TLC from the time they leave with a new cut or colour, so that it continues to look good and makes them feel good about themselves. Since everyone has such unique hair types and needs, I feel that it is important to understand what they are trying to achieve. Your hair is a reflection of one’s health from the inside out. I think that the healthier we are and the better we care for what we have, the better we will look and feel.”
With my fine hair I have been using this wash-off conditioner weekly, applying from mid-length downwards. As it is a very nourishing creamy formula it works well in the shower, but can equally be used if you are in a bath, reading a book or are a fan of sauna.
Mo Mi by Modern Minerals Daily Protect & Nourish Hair Serum, travel 30ml & classic 118ml coming soon
This silicone-free, oil based hair serum delivers the sensory performance of silicone, but without weighing your hair down. It works for all hair times and is safe for colour-treated hair too. Impressed? You will be, once you incorporate into your hair maintenance routine. Instead of leaving hair feeling heavy and greasy, like a normal hair oil does, this serum offers lightweight protection and nourishment for your strands.
When I asked Damon about his top tip for using this product for my fine hair, he reminded me that I will only need a little of it. I use it on my hair ends, helping protect that from splitting – a double godsend now, when my hair hasn’t been cut since late February. If you have a layered cut normally, Damon recommends using it from mid-shaft of the hair downwards and it can also help with detangling. Just make sure you don’t use or apply it near your roots.
The scent is composed of a blend of organic essential oils:
- Neroli: Calming & relaxing
- Sweet basil: Clarity & repose
- Hinoki: Protective & restorative
I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful their hair serum feels when you apply it to the hair, adding the visual glossiness, as well as brightening the mood with a very sexy scent. A case of haircare enhancing what you have, rather then making you hold your breath, while grunting and bearing. It is also a practical reminder than natural haircare can be as effective compared to mass or luxury haircare formulas from well known brands, while utilising the power of plants, herbs and essences in their more pure form.
Sacha inchi oil: Highly hydrating. Adds lustre to hair. Has nourishing and protective properties for dry and frizzy hair that has been exposed to extreme summer or winter weather conditions. Acts as a detangler, for long thick, voluminous hair. Lightweight enough for short hairstyles
Abyssian oil: Natural conditioning properties increase manageability of the hair, enhancing shine and strengthening hair fibers to reduce breakage
Amla: Admired for centuries for its qualities that protect, strengthen and enhance shine
Hibiscus: Known for enhancing hair’s health & growth
Schisandra Berries: Prized for its reputation as one of nature’s antioxidants, they help protect hair strands from environmental pollutants.
Before I sign off on this post, I thought I would share two more pearls of hair wisdom from Damon, as they are something that we can all relate to & learn from. Just add them to our own mental hair beauty library & put them to good use – your hair will thank you for it!
Damon on hair health: “I believe healthy hair just needs to be maintained with regular haircuts and good products. Supplements can definitely be beneficial though in certain cases. I have guests have tried supplementing and they feel it has improved the condition of their hair. It really depends on a persons needs.”
Damon on hairbrushes: “Goodness, where to start? There are so many brushes for so many different things! I think everyone with long hair needs a good detangling brush, but after that it really depends what style one is trying to create.”
To find out more about all things Mo Mi by Modern Minerals, please go to brand’s website