Years before I had a clue about how to manage my hair in its naturally curly state, before the Curly Movement was a thing, Dulce Gomez was leading the way in cutting and styling textured hair. When I met Dulce ‘Cookie’ Gomez at her Ann Arbor salon, Above Ground Hair Studio, I was struggling and unhappy with my hair. That first visit to her salon in the early 2000’s was a turning point in my curly hair journey. As she did with so many, Cookie transformed my attitude and helped me to see my curls as an asset, rather than a defect. It’s no wonder that her eclectic studio became known as one of Ann Arbor’s top salons.
After creating my first prototype products, Cookie agreed to meet with me for a product demo. I realize now how rare it is for a busy salon owner to take the time to meet with a completely unheard of and obscure brand. Her characteristic openness was in full effect, however, and, before I even completed my ‘presentation’ she immediately began smelling, feeling, and applying the products to her own hair. After a short trial period, she brought the line into her salon and, just like that, I had my first salon client.
That was the beginning of a long and fruitful creative collaboration. Cookie and her staff of stylists provided detailed feedback on the products, even helping me to refine them to meet their clients’ needs. Cookie had a very attentive approach to the unique traits of diverse hair types and her clientele ran the gamut from coarse and straight to thick and kinky. She generously opened her salon space for events and photo shoots and was untiring and passionate in her support of Original Moxie. Without her help, the brand would not be what it is today.
This past weekend, the Curly Community lost one of its Greats when Cookie passed away after a long and difficult illness. Her incredible life force and energy continue on, however, through all the lives she touched and changed for the better. You will be sorely missed, Cookie. May your spirit fly free.
With the advent of Fall, pumpkins are all around us. But don’t let it’s ubiquitous holiday presence fool you – the humble pumpkin is actually a health and beauty powerhouse! Numerous studies have shown that Pumpkin Seed Oil, taken internally, can help to reverse the effects of hereditary hair loss by blocking the conversion of testosterone into harmful DHT. It’s also a rich source of zinc, which thickens hair and speeds the growth of hair. Vitamin A, E and K and four fatty acids, round out the nutritional benefits of this botanical beauty.
Applying Pumpkin Seed Oil topically to the hair and skin carries many of the same benefits conferred by ingesting the oil. As outlined in this Harper’s Bazaar article, the oil’s antioxidant and protective properties help to shield and moisturize the hair, adding sheen, fighting frizz, and nourishing the follicles. Many of these activities can be linked to the high levels of phytosterols found in Pumpkin Seed Oil. These organic, plant-based compounds are especially effective at penetrating the skin and hair, working from the inside-out to increase softness and decreasing electro-static charges. Using a moisturizer, like Everyday Leave-in Detangling Conditioner, that contains Pumpkin Seed Oil, helps to condition and nourish the hair over time while imparting immediate improvements in luster and manageability. This multi-purpose product can be used on wet or dry hair to tame frizzies and enhance natural waves and curls.
Celebrate the season by making pumpkin seed oil an essential part of your cold-weather hair regimen!
The Winter of My Discontent
In the Winter of 2007, I was tangled up, literally, in a daily battle with my hair. I had finally succeeded in growing my hair to shoulder length (a major accomplishment) and, after 15 years, had transitioned away from chemical relaxers. I wanted to embrace my curly, thick texture, but my hair felt like straw! I tried everything from Baby Oil and Vaseline to the leading salon products for curly hair to moisturize my porous locks, all to no avail. Around the time this picture was taken, my frustration had morphed into action. My head first plunge into the world of DIY hair products began a two-year journey that would ultimately give rise to Original Moxie. During my early research, I stumbled upon a description of floral waxes that highlighted their rich phospholipid content and ability to penetrate the skin at uniquely high rates. Curious if they could do the same thing for hair as they could for skin, I purchased a small sample and began experimenting.
A Star is Born
This is how my brain, workshop, and notes look when I’m creating. While the chaos is a bit more managed these days, a neat worker I am not.
I had already had some success with Flax Seed Gel, which helped to define my hair without crunch and flaking, but I needed something else to deal with the moisture issue. What if I combined the penetrating and emollient properties of floral wax with the control and definition of a gel? It took a few attempts to get it right. My early efforts, including the one you see here, were too gloppy and coated the hair with a dulling crust. But when I finally got the right balance of gel and emollients, the results were magical. I remember practically jumping for joy after seeing the results in my own hair and gleefully boasting of my success to family and friends. Since that day, I have never waivered from my dedication to this product. It’s what I use every time I style my own hair and, while I still experiment on myself, it’s Shape Shifter I come back to every time.
This is one of those creations that continues to bring me joy, particularly when I see others experience that ‘OMG!’ moment for themselves. The most common reaction is something like ‘I didn’t know my hair could look like this!’. Seeing the natural beauty in your own hair is truly awe inspiring, particularly after a lifetime of struggle. There is an alchemy that happens when the right ingredients come together just so. Add to that the transformative power of an effective moisturizer and it’s truly magical.
Whether you’re wavy or tightly coiled, the way in which you apply your moisturizer can make all the difference between a so-so or fabulous hair day. Most of us know that we should apply product in sections in order to achieve even distribution and results. But how do you determine the ‘right’ size for your section? The next time you style your hair, try this simple method and, we promise, you’ll be amazed at the results:
- Section off the crown of your hair, leaving the lower layer all the way around the base of your head exposed.
- From that lower layer of hair, create one more section, leaving the front-most portion by your ear loose and separated from the rest of your hair.
- If needed, spritz this section with water, even if you just stepped out of the shower. Before you apply your moisturizer, your hair should be saturated with water, but not sopping wet. Keep it that way by misting as needed as you work your way through the sections.
- Rake a nourishing moisturizer, like Shape Shifter Re-forming Creme, through that large, loose section. Your moisturizer should melt into your hair, giving you a feeling of ‘oneness’ between hair and product. Anything less means your moisturizer is not penetrating into your hair shaft and cannot plump, pop, and set the curl. You know you’ve applied enough of the right moisturizer when you start to see the hair grouping together in families or ‘ribbons’.
- Apply a defining product, like Hold Up Defining Serum, to that same section. This will lock in and set your natural texture.
- Now here’s the important part: working in much smaller sections of no more than 1″ at a time, rake the product through again and, as those ribbons appear within that smaller section, take each one, wrap it one time around your index finger and pull through, smoothing all the way down to the end of the ribbon. The individual ribbons should be very small – no more than 1/8″ in width. Give it a small flick/tug before releasing to set the wave or curl. If you see the hair start to lose definition right away, your ribbon is probably too large. Separate it further until the ribbon stays together on its own.
- Repeat this throughout your hair, working around the perimiter in a crown pattern until all of your hair has been ribboned and defined.
- Either air dry or use a hood dryer to set. Do not use a diffuser, as this will disturb the ribboned curls and create frizz.
Because this method meets your texture where it lives, rather than clumping it in overly large groupings, the definition is much more long-lasting. You’re also training your hair to form into it’s natural growth pattern, which means definition occurs more naturally each time you do it. For the volume-challenged, this also maximizes lift and fullness. Try it for yourself (or schedule your own, personal demo at our shop in Ypsilanti)! We promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you have tightly-coiled hair, you are intimately familiar with the phenomenon of ‘shrinkage’. Some embrace shrinkage as natural side-effect of a moisturized, healthy spiral-shaped curl. However, for others, it is extremely frustrating, particularly when you are trying to grow out your hair. Original Moxie Production and Operations Manager, Jacoba Williamson, herself a Coily Girl, has developed her own damage-free stretching method that works so well, we want to share it with the world. Here’s her personal anti-shrinkage Rx:
Detangled Damp Hair
After washing with Get Clean! No-foam Shampoo and conditioning and finger-detangling with Intense Quench Deep
Conditioner, Jacoba moisturizes with Lux Locks Styling & Shine. This not only keeps her hair from drying out (and shrinking up) too quickly, it also helps to keep her hair moisturized until her next wash day. She then applies Everyday Leave-in, to provide extra moisture and definition. She will sometimes add in a bit of Hold Up Defining Serum to get a stronger, longer-lasting set.
- When her hair is approximately 80% dry, she pulls her hair in two sections as shown, with the top and
sides pulled back and the lower layers pulled down. Pulling the top layers back, rather than up, as in the ‘pineapple’ method, helps to add more length and stretch. Jacoba uses a cotton scrunchy to fix the sections into place. Do not wrap the scrunchy around the section of hair – that will lead to a visible indentation in the hair. Instead, simply slide the scrunchy over the section of hair and allow it to remain somewhat loose.
Pinning the Bangs Back
- Finally, she pins up the bangs, tucking them back towards the base of the top section. As she explains “I found this made a big difference in the front. It helped keep the curl pattern there and disguise any other bits underneath that may have a little too much stretching.”
- She allows her hair to fully dry – this is generally an overnight process. The style looks nice as it’s drying, which is an added bonus given the lengthy dry time.
Stretching & Drying
- In the morning, she
Fully Stretched Hair
removes the scrunchy and fluffs her hair with her fingers. And, just like magic, she has an extra three full inches of length and a completely different shape to her hair! To maintain this look for as long as two weeks, Jacoba re-sections her hair at night in the same manner. In the morning, she showers with hair still up. She’ll sometimes spritz a bit of Twist Mist in for extra shine before she takes it all down. Within a half hour the hair starts to relax from the root and falls naturally, without any hint of the pinned-up style. Repeating the procedure over time, adds even more length to her look and helps to preserve her curl definition. For those of us who value our time as much as our hair, easy techniques like this one are a lifesaver. Ready, stretch, GO!
The temperature is dropping and the nights are longer, but the excitement and fun of the holiday season is building! This year, we are thankful for many things. In the past 12 months, we’ve opened our first storefront location and launched our brand at Sephora. So we’re celebrating with extra moxie during this year’s annual Black Friday Sale! In addtion to a 30% discount in our online store, we’re offering two new ‘secret’ ways to save on the products you love best. Read on to find out how!
Boost Your Savings with a Sephora Shout Out
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Make an Original Moxie purchase from Sephora byThursday, December 31st, 2015 and get a $5 credit at originalmoxie.com. Here’s how:
1) Purchase an Original item from Sephora.com or from your local Sephora store.
2) Send a screenshot of your receipt or other proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org with Sephora Shout Out in your Subject line. (You can also post your screenshot to Instagram and tag it with #sephorashoutout. Please note, however, that we need your email address in order to apply your credit).
3) We’ll add a $5 store credit to your originalmoxie.com account within 24 hours. Don’t have an account? Don’t worry, we’ll create one for you.
Best of all,your store credit can be used just like any other form of payment and can be combined with our Black Friday discount to supercharge your savings! Pretty cool, huh?
Share the Love
This one goes out to our local fans! Bring a friend to our our storefront location in Ypsilanti, Michigan during our Black Friday Sale on Friday, November 27th or Monday, November 30th and, in addition to your 30% discount, we’ll gift you with a voucher for a Complimentary Natural Hair Consultation ($45 value). It will be a festive atmosphere in the shop as we fill orders and ring in the holiday season with refreshments, music, and cheer, so stop by and enjoy the fun! Please note that our store hours are 10am to 7pm on Monday and Friday. We are not open on weekends.
Everyone’s Hair Tells a Story! What’s Yours? At Original Moxie we understand that each person’s hair is unique and believe that understanding is the key to embracing your own special beauty. Come share your ‘hair story’ with us and choose from one of the following services that we now offer in our Ypsilanti shop.
Stop by anytime for personal advice on which products will bring out the best in your hair. If you like, our experts will guide you in testing out the products in our store to see whether they are right for your hair. (Approx. 5 min.)
Curious as to your hair type and styling needs? We’ll perform a seven-point analysis of your scalp and hair, including density, texture, elasticity, and porosity. Based on our assessment, our experts will recommend products and styling tips that suit your unique hair type profile. (Approx. 15 min.)
Premium Services *
*By Appointment Only. Call 734.340.4022 or email email@example.com to schedule your service today!
Diagnostic Hair Exam…………………………………………………………$25
Using our ProScopeHR2, we’ll incorporate high magnification imaging of the hair and scalp into our Seven Point Assessment. The ProScope will allow us to gather specific data, including damage to the cuticle, and establish a baseline against which you can track future changes in your hair and scalp. Digital copies of your exam results, along with a detailed hair care regimen, will be provided to you at no additional charge. (Approx. 30 min.)
Full Service Hair Consultation ………….…………..……………………… $45
Meet with one of our hair care experts to receive a Seven Point Assessment culminating in a start-to-finish tutorial for heat-free styling and a customized product regimen built just for you! (Approx. 1 hr.)
Full Service Protective Style Consultation …………………………….….$65
Our natural hair expert will begin with a Seven Point Assessment and, using the knowledge gained from that process, show you how to achieve a basic protective style, such as twists, braids, or coils using our luxurious natural hair care products. (Approx. 1.5 hr.)
Spring has sprung, the sun is out and we’re celebrating with one of our largest sales of the year! This Earth Day, Wednesday April 22nd – Saturday April, 25th, get 30% off orders of $30 or more with coupon code OMEARTH15. You can feel good about treating yourself by supporting a brand where every day is Earth Day. Our commitment is year-round with healthy, cruelty-free products, natural ingredients and green practices!
Be sure to keep an eye on our blog to learn more about our ongoing quest to make our products as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible!
Coupon code for use on retail orders only. Gift sets and kits are excluded. No rain checks, no cash value, limit one per customer. Valid Wednesday, April 22nd – Saturday, April 25th.