Coily Hair, Hair, Hair & Identity, Rachel, Uncategorized

Dreams of our Mothers

Rachel’s Grandmother, Mother, and Great Grandfather.

We are privileged that our customers share their hair stories with us.  A simple email exchange or hair consult often evolves into a highly personal account touching on identity, self-worth, and acceptance.  A common theme in the stories we hear is the link between mothers and daughters.   How mom feels about her own hair plays a pivotal role in how daughters feel about their texture.  Whether the hair types are similar or totally different, the influence is still there.

This Mother’s Day, we’re thinking a lot about ‘hairitage’ and the connections that shape us as both mothers and daughters.   Original Moxie Founder, Rachel, share’s her experience:

Rachel and Mom – Early 70’s.

“Curly hair runs in my family on my Mother’s side.  Though both my Grandmother and Great Grandfather easily embraced their rather unique texture, curly hair became less fashionable during my mother’s generation in the 1950’s and 60’s.   My Grandma accepted her curls but didn’t do much with them other than wearing a short, sculpted shape and brushing it out.  There certainly wasn’t any special knowledge or knack that got passed on to my mother.  After a brief heyday for afros in the 1970’s, my mom relaxed and straightened her hair through through most of my childhood.   Having never learned what products or techniques to use to maintain her curls,  she did what she felt she had to to keep it looking nice.

Rachel Age 6 After Cutting Her ‘Bangs’.

Despite my mother’s moral support and love,  I took an early dislike to my own curls starting around the age of 5 or 6.  Unlike my mother and grandmother, I did not accept my hair and, in fact, grew to despise it as a mark of everything that was wrong with me as a human being.  If only I had straight, smooth hair!  I would be pretty, boys would like me, and I would fit in. That’s how it seemed to my childhood, and later teen, brain.    My campaign of ‘self-improvement’ began with chopping off my hair to create ‘bangs’ that went to the middle of my head and continued through my twenties when I would religiously relax, flat-iron, and dye my hair to make it something – anything! – other than what it was.

 

Rachel’s Daughter – Age 6 after giving herself a trim.

Fast forward to my early forties, when I had finally embraced my texture and even gone on to create a business around it. All my pride came crashing down when my adopted daughter gave herself the same cut at the same age!  Like me, she too really hated her hair and wanted it to ‘hang down’.  Unlike me, her early hair life was all about weave, braids, and beads.  In her foster home, your hair wasn’t done if it was worn out or curly.  She was already showing signs of traction alopecia around her hairline by the age of 4.  With the best of intentions, I quickly transitioned her to curly-only looks, not wanting to accept that she did not see herself as beautiful in her natural state.  Her impromptu haircut was a low point in that journey (though I soon heard from other mothers that there’s just something about that age with scissors and hair!).  I despaired that she would, like me, be in her thirties before she fully accepted her natural texture.

To my surprise, in 2nd Grade, she finally became proud of her hair and now boasts of how many people want to touch it because it looks so cool.  What turned the tide?  I couldn’t tell you. Hopefully, all my determined de-programming and curl love paid off.  I think it was also acceptance on the part of her peers and open verbal appreciation by other adult role models.

My take-away from the experience is that the old cliche about it taking a village is really true.  The mother-daughter relationship is key because that sets the stage for our early perceptions of beauty and self-perception.  But we all need to collectively mother one another by modeling self-love and providing positive feedback and encouragement.”

What is your ‘hairitage’?  Did your mother play a central role in how you feel about your hair?  We’d love to hear from you!

Earth Day, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie HQ, Original Moxie Store, Sale, Sustainable Practices

Honoring the Earth

DSC_0822As you might have noticed, we’re pretty passionate about natural ingredients and green practices.  Dramatic changes in our local climate and shortages in some of the ingredients we commonly use have made us even more keenly aware of how interconnected we as individuals and as a brand are with one another and the environment.  The global is personal and the personal is global.

Image-1 (14)This year, we are celebrating our connections with one another and the Earth, by highlighting Growing Hope, an amazing organization, founded in 2003, that’s working to create change in our community of Southeast Michigan.  Growing Hope’s mission is to create sustainable food systems that positively impact the community and the environment.  That translates to a wide array of programs and initiatives from education and urban farming to managing local Farmers Markets.

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During our Annual Earth Day Sale, starting Friday April 21st, you can help to support this worthy cause with your purchase!  Original Moxie has committed to donate 5% of all sale purchases to Growing Hope.  You can shop with a conscience and save with a 25% discount on purchases of $40 & up at originalmoxie.com with coupon code ED2017 or at our Ypsilanti Store & Salon (no code needed). Sale runs from 4/21 – 4/23 online and is one day only (4/21) for in-store purchases. Learn more at originalmoxie.com/earth-day-sale-details/.

Hair, Natural Hair, Natural Ingredients, Scalp Issues, Treatments

Turmeric – Your Hair’s Best Friend

get-clean_turmericHailed as a powerful immune-booster and anti-inflammatory, Turmeric has gotten a lot of press for it’s health benefits.  But did you know that, applied topically, it also has immense benefits for the skin and scalp?

This golden, earthy-smelling powder is what gives our Get Clean! No-foam Shampoo is beautiful hue as well as many of its key properties.

Dedicated users of this cult favorite have come to appreciate the way in which it balances oil and moisture for all hair types. This is, in part, thanks to Turmeric’s ability to regulate the production of sebum in the scalp.  The active component of the root, Curcumin, possesses  anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antioxidant, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and works effectively to correct scalp conditions from Cicatricial alopecia to dandruff.

Original Moxie Founder, Rachel Blistein, attributes the remission of her her lifelong Seborrheic Dermatitis  to this one product.  So trust us when we say, this is way more than your average no-foam shampoo!  It’s truly turmerific ;-).

Before & After, Coily Hair, Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hydrophil Detox, Moisturizers, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie Store, Softening Treatment, Treatments, Uncategorized

Introducing the Moisture Detox™

Before and After DetoxDo you have hair that is coarse, wiry, or resistant?  Do you struggle to achieve curl definition?  Do heavier oils and butters sit maddeningly on the outside of your hair, either weighing it down or making it feel hard and brittle?  If any of the above sound familiar, you may have low-porosity hair, which can occur in all textures – from tightly coiled to bone straight.  The cause may be due to a variety of factors, from genetics to aging (grey hair tends to have a much more tightly sealed cuticle),  but the solution is always moisture.  Once moisture is allowed to penetrate the hair shaft, the hair becomes softer, curls pop,  frizz abates, and all is right in the world.

But how do you get that stubborn cuticle to open up without the use of harsh chemicals or overly alkaline DIY treatments?  We’re thrilled to introduce our Moisture Detox™, one half of our  Hydrophil™ System,  a unique approach to moisture balancing that not only enhances texture, but which also improves the health of the hair!   Formulated specifically for the needs of low porosity hair, the Moisture Detox™ is a pH-balanced treatment that effectively removes build up,  gently opens the cuticle and infuses the hair shaft with  moisture.    Best of all, the results last for  weeks (4 – 8 on  average*) making this a sustainable and long-term solution to help balance your moisture levels and tame your mane.

greenilliteclayThe star player in this fabulous fusion is Green Illite Clay, derived from ancient marine beds and rich in mineral content. It is strongly adsorptive, which means it functions as a magnet for toxins.  Clay also possesses demonstrated benefits on curl grouping, allowing the individual strands within a curl cluster to more effectively wave or spiral together as a unit.  This produces a noticeable improvement in textural definition and curl formation.

A complementary treatment for high-porosity hair will debut later this Spring to complete our Hydrophil™ System and making this the first comprehensive texture-perfecting salon treatment to  provide long-lasting cosmetic benefits by improving the overall health of the hair.

Currently, this treatment is available exclusively at the Original Moxie Salon in Ypsilanti, Michigan.   If you are interested in learning more about this treatment or want to experience it for yourself, you can schedule a free Seven Point Assessment with one of our experts, who can determine whether this service is right for you.  You can learn more online or by calling us at 734.340.4022.

*Results vary for each individual.

shampoo-bowl

Uncategorized

Goodbye to a Curl Genius

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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.

Uncategorized

Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair Growth

photogrid_1476130407933With 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!

 

Before & After, Behind the Scenes, Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hair & Identity, Hair Care, Moisturizers, Natural Hair Care, Original Moxie, Rachel

Origin(al) Story: Shape Shifter Re-forming Creme

The Winter of My Discontent

In the WinterRachel - Before Shape Shifter 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

shsh_earlyformula

 

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.

rachel_color-preview

 

 

Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hair Care, Moisturizers

Moxie Mixology: Goddess Curls

How to Achieve Goddess Curls

Coily Hair, Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hair Care, Moisturizers, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Care

Ribboning: the Key to Definition & Volume

Ribboning Method

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:

  1. Section off the crown of your hair, leaving the lower layer all the way around the base of your head exposed.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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’.
  5. Apply a defining product, like Hold Up Defining Serum, to that same section.  This will lock in and set your natural texture.
  6. 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.
  7. Repeat this throughout your hair, working around the perimiter in a crown pattern until all of your hair has been ribboned and defined.
  8. 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.

Coily Hair, Curly Hair Care, Hair, Moisturizers, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Care, Uncategorized

The Anti-Shrinkage Method that will Change Your Life!

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:

  1. hairstretching1

    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.

  2. When her hair is approximately 80% dry, she pulls her hair in two sections as shown, with the top and
    Sectioned Hair

    Sectioned Hair

    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

    Pinning the Bangs Back

  3. 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.”
  4. 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

    Stretching & Drying

  5. In the morning, she
    Fully Stretched Hair

    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!