It’s Not You! It’s Your Product.

Does this sound familiar?  You watched ALL the Youtube demos, read ALL the blogs, and followed ALL the instructions, but your Wash & Go is still a fail?  The good news is that it’s not you, it’s your product.  Despite the glut of ‘curl friendly’ products on the market, finding the ones that work for you can be a very time consuming and expensive process.  Your hair, like you, is unique.  Assuming that all curly hair is the same or even that all ‘4C’ hair is the same is about as accurate as saying that all hair is the same.  Clearly, it’s just not true.  Just because your favorite Youtuber has hair that looks like yours doesn’t mean that her holy grail products will work for you.

But don’t get discouraged by failure.  Just because you haven’t yet mastered the Wash & Go of your dreams, doesn’t mean it’s out of reach.  You just need products that actually fit your hair type.  Any Natural, regardless of curl pattern, can rock a Wash & Go.  And, believe it or not, finding your perfect match is more a matter of science than luck.  Following this simple method, you can hone in on your core products AND achieve the curls of your dreams without losing your mind or busting your budget.

  1. Find your Perfect Moisturizer
    While a good gel or sealant may be a useful tool in your wash-and-go routine, the key to popping the curl is honing in on the right moisturizer.   As in most things, it’s best to work methodically, not impulsively.  Buying a product off the shelf without doing your research is like trying to find your dream house by throwing a dart at the map. You might get lucky, but the odds are against you.   If you can first target your neighborhood, your chances of success improve exponentially.  So what type of moisture ‘neighborhood’ should you live in?   Normal to oily hair needs a lightly moisturizing definer, such as Sweet Poof or Mane Tame,  that relies on proteins to rather than a full fledged moisturizer. Normal to dry hair can vary in compatibility and may prefer a highly humectant, water-based moisturizer, like Oasis Moisture Gel, or crave a creamy combination of oil and water, such as Everyday Leave-in.  Dry, thick hair inevitably needs a rich and possibly layered combination of butters, oils and water.  You’ll know when you see the right fit.  Your curl shape will be consistent, your hair will feel silky and smooth, and your individual curls will separate easily into defined clusters.
  2. Create a Curl Cast
    Now that your curl is defined and moisturized, lock in that shape and seal out frizz with a compatible defining product.  We use Hold Up Defining Serum for most of our clients, from high to low porosity, when we need a very strong hold.  Just Gel Styling Concentrate is preferable for those that prefer a softer feel or have more flake-prone hair.  Always apply the gel or serum of your choice immediately after the moisturizer, keeping hair wet while you work.  While moisturizer can be raked through the hair in 1″ to 4″ sections, we recommend ‘ribboning’ the defining product by smoothing it along each individual curl family.  (We’ve demonstrated this technique in a number of videos, but you can check it out here for a quick overview).  Coarse, resistant hair types that tend to feel hard even without a gel should skip this step and move on to Step 3 as a film forming gel will provide limited benefit while making the hair feel even harder and more brittle.
  3. Seal It In
    For most, this step is an optional finishing step as defining products can usually sufficiently seal the cuticle for Wash & Go’s that will naturally expire in a week or less.  On the other hand, it may be essential if your hair is incompatible with gels and/or has a coarser texture.  Our preferred sealant for very thick hair is Emollience, which is sticky enough to group and hold coarse hairs in a unified curl, providing a flexible cast, moisture, and shine in one step.  For finer hair types, this step can either be skipped altogether or performed with a lighter oil, such as Twist Mist or Hair Bling.

And the good news is, if you do it right, you shouldn’t need to continually re-moisturize your hair throughout the week.  When you have products that fit, they do the job on Wash Day and keep your curls moisturized, shiny and defined until the next one rolls around!


Prepare for Wash & Go Success

Make no mistake, you CAN achieve a phenomenal curly style without heat or manipulation (a.k.a. a ‘Wash & Go’) regardless of your texture.  However, in order to rock the Wash & Go of your dreams, you must take stock of your hair as it is.   Is your hair dry?  Do you have areas that do not curl due to heat styling or a relaxer?  Does the shape of your cut lend itself to a curly style?  Perhaps your hair has been texturized or thinned, leading to all-over frizz and lack of definition?  These are all things that we see very frequently with clients that are frustrated by their attempts to wear a Wash & Go.

The good news is, that while some take longer to correct than others, you can fix all of these common pitfalls.

  1. Dryness can be addressed by pre-treating the hair with Emollience and using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, such as Get Clean & Intense Quench Deep Conditioner.   The products you use and the frequency with which you wash your hair is everything when it comes to moisture retention, a key component of a healthy Wash & Go.  For extreme dryness or hair that is naturally resistant or coarse, we recommend a Moisture Detox (available exclusively at the Original Moxie Salon).DSC00915
  2. Damage can be offset by a number of measures, depending on your priorities.  For those seeking to minimize any loss of length, we suggest a Damage Detox (also available at the Original Moxie Salon) , which radically moisturizes and rebuilds damaged hair, enhancing shine, curl definition, and manageability.  Removing the damage with a trim is the most comprehensive and fastest way to bypass split ends and inconsistent curl patterns.   If you choose this option, make sure you go for a Curly Cut, rather than having your hair cut from a straightened state, as this will only introduce new damage into your already stressed hair.
  3. Texturizing can be the most difficult issue to correct, depending on how frequently or severely the hair has been thinned.   Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common  challenges that we encounter. When the hair is razor cut or thinned with notched shears, it separates and weakens the natural curl groupings or ‘families,’ creating instant frizz where the individual, thinned hairs fly away from the group.  When this process is repeated, the issue becomes worse as the curl groupings become increasingly thin and frayed.  The only way to correct this issue is with regular trims or a big chop.  Using a strong gel, such as Hold Up Defining Serum,  can help to artificially ‘glue’ the fly aways down, but this is just a temporary solution.
  4. Shape is all important in feeling confident with your natural texture.  A great shape can get you through a day with less-than-perfect definition and provide structure to the natural disconnect and variability of curly hair.  If you plan to wear your hair primarily in its curly state, we highly recommend getting a Curly Cut to ensure that the shape works with your natural curl pattern, density, and head shape.  Our method goes a step further to ensure that your natural curl groupings are cut as a unit to enhance and reinforce your texture.moxie cut_web

Moral of the story?  Get the fundamentals in place to get he most out of your Wash & Go!


Mastering the Wash & Go

DSC00900Having highly textured hair presents its own unique challenges and rewards.  While there are seemingly endless options for fun, versatile styles, the Wash & Go is an essential foundation for most curly routines.  Believe it or not, there really are no hair types that can’t wear a Wash & Go.  It’s just a matter of knowing how to achieve the best results for your hair type.  Cracking that code can be the difference between a successful natural hair journey and a long, difficult ride on the struggle bus.

If you’re in the latter category, not to worry!  All March long, we’ll be sharing tips, answering questions, and featuring examples from all of you.   We’ll cover the ‘4 P’s’ (Prep, Product, Process, & Practice) and finish off the month with a FREE hands-on Wash & Go Hair Clinic (the first of many to come) on Wednesday, March 28th from 6pm – 8pm at the Original Moxie Store & Salon. While tickets for the store event sold out in under an hour, we do have a waitlist and event details available at on our event page.   Don’t live in our area? No problem! Simply join our live-streaming event on Facebook – no RSVP necessary.  See you there!


Evolve Your Wash Day

We love the holidays and all, but, let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of time for self-care.  But, as of today, the kids are back in school, the frenzy of the holidays has passed and at last we can breathe and do important things like wash our hair!  Here are three quick tips to transform your Wash Day from a grind to sublime.

  • Pre-treat
    It’s dry out there, ya’ll.  Even if you’re hair runs oily, you can’t help but notice the tell-tale fly-aways, frizz, and breakage of thirsty hair.  Boost your normal moisturizing routine with an overnight pre-treament.  Pre-treatments, like Emollience,  are traditionally applied to dry (as in not wet) hair so as to allow the oils to penetrate your cuticle without competition from water.  Apply it overnight and cap hair with a satin bonnet the night before you wash.  The key ingredients of  Cupuaçu Butter and  Castor Oil help dry hair hold onto moisture and boost shine while creating a protective barrier around the hair shaft.  If your hair is fine and oil-prone, you may want to skip this oil-based treatment in favor of a scalp massage and overnight treatment with Scalp Therapy, which will hydrate the scalp without weighing the hair down.
  • Skip the Foam
    Less moisture in the air, means less moisture in your hair.  So it makes sense that our hair may not need washing quite as frequently or might benefit from a less-aggressive shampoo, like like Get Clean.  Our no-foam shampoo also doubles as a detangler, particularly if applied in sections.  Because it leaves more of your natural oils intact, you can extend the time between washes and cut back on your leave-ins.
  • Ditch Your Towel
    Every notice those tiny little loops in the fabric of your bath towel?  While they’re great at soaking up water from your bod, they can also cause frizz in wavy and curly hair.  Instead of blotting wet hair with a terry cloth towel, absorb excess moisture with a non-snagging fabric like the organic, knit-cotton of our Moxie Turban Scarves.  These beauties absorb just the right amount of moisture without roughening the cuticle of the hair.  They’re awesome for  the ever-popular ‘plopping*,’ as they can be wrapped around the hair as a super-cute accessory while your hair is drying. Don’t have time to wait around all day while your curls gently dry?  No problemo.  Simply wrap your Turban Scarf up (as in this video tutorial) to accessorize while you dry.
    *’Plopping’ is a method of removing excess moisture from the hair while enhancing curl and minimizing frizz.  You can look it up on Youtube to choose from hundreds of ‘how-to’s’ to learn more.
Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hair Care, Moisturizers, Natural Hair Care, Uncategorized

Winter Ready Hair

It’s the Winter Solstice, the official First day of Winter and high time to take this cold weather thing seriously.  Warm drinks, cute boots, and lots of Netflix are key to keeping your mood up during the long, grey winter in Michigan, where our headquarters are based.  We’ve also got a few helpful tips to keep your locks healthy and happy in all kinds of weather.

  • Wrap it Up
    While it seems silly to some, it really is essential to protect your hair from friction and moisture loss while sleeping and when out of doors.  Those single strand knots at your nape?  Struggles with second or third day hair?  Protective head wear is the answer.  Satin is the best all-around choice and Silk Charmeuse  is a close second.  If you’re a low-maintenance type, a satin pillowcase is the easiest choice.  A satin bonnet is preferable, as this helps to keep your curls in place  and  helps to preserve moisture.  It’s also key to protect your hair from the cold, wind, and dry air of the outdoors with a satin-lined knit cap or scarf.  As an extra treat for dry hair, smooth some Emollience Pre-treatment over your hair before donning your protective scarf, bonnet, or cap.  The heat of your head will help the unique mixture of oils and butters to penetrate into the hair, adding shine, elasticity, and a protective seal in one step.
  • Switch it Up
    For most of us, waiting on your hair to dry before going outside is not possible.  So, while you’re cleaning off your car, your perfect curls and waves are turning into frozen “haircicles”.  Not only can this lead to your hair drying in undesirable ways (e.g. flat on top and puffy on the sides), it can also make your hair more brittle and prone to breakage.  For thicker, tighter curls, a protective style can be the easiest way to extend the time between wash days.  For those with a finer texture and more oil prone hair, use your sleep time to reboot your curls or waves. Lightly mist your hair with water and spritz with Sweet Poof Volumizing Spray.  Then loosely gather your hair in a scrunchie or satin scarf, piling the hair at the top of your head.  Protect the hair with a satin pillowcase or bonnet.  When you wake up, let your hair down, shake it out and scrunch as needed to re-shape.
  • Mist Like You Mean It
    Seasonal shifts can drive many of us to completely change our hair care routine.  Before you switch your moisturizer, try this very simple step and watch your dry hair come alive.  If you normally mist your hair with water (either on wash day or between washes), but find that your hair is drier than usual, try adding a small amount of Featherweight Conditioner to your spray bottle.  We especially love this tip because is about as easy and cheap as it gets but packs a serious punch.  And, with the money you just saved by not purchasing a new moisturizer, you can gift yourself with a super sleek Flairosol Spray Bottle.

Photo by Aleksandra Bochkareva https://500px.com/leks-a

Curly Hair Care, Hair & Identity, Hair Care, i'm an original, I'm an Original Project

Hair that Inspires Hope

I'm An Original - NancyI’m an Original – Nancy’s Story

Nancy P. is not someone who gives up in the face of daunting odds.   Five years ago, after detecting a lump in her breast, she didn’t accept a dismissive diagnosis that it was ‘just a cyst.’  When, thanks to the Affordable Care Act,  she was finally able to obtain a mammogram and her cancer was diagnosed, she didn’t accept the bleak prognosis that was given to her.   And throughout it all, Nancy was determined not to lose her long,  blonde hair.

From an early age, her hair played an important part of her identity, and keeping it healthy during treatment was an essential part of her strategy to survive and even thrive despite grueling bouts of radiation and chemo.    She discovered Original Moxie in 2013, shortly after her diagnosis, and credits it with helping to keep her hair throughout her treatment.    While she has experienced some dryness and breakage, most of her hair is intact and continuing to grow at a good rate.  Her favorite is the Get Clean! No-foam Shampoo, which is key in helping to keep the hair and scalp moisturized and balanced.

Nancy explains that her mother, a breast cancer survivor, and her son Joe were essential supports during the emotional and physical roller coaster of cancer treatment.  They both affirm that Nancy’s hair is integral to her sense of self and that being able to retain it  helped her to stay positive and motivated.  As she explains, “Even on chemo and other meds, at the end of the day, no one can tell that I’m battling a serious health issue.  My healthy hair shows that cancer does not define who you are or what you look like”.

Nancy with Son Joe

At one of her lowest points, Nancy discovered the Cancer Treatment Center of America, where she is currently receiving treatment.  She says it has “literally saved my life”.  It’s been five years since she first discovered her lump and, while she’s still takes oral chemotherapy medication twice a day, she says that “the results we’ve seen, according to my oncologist, are nothing short of miraculous.”

As part of our I’m an Original Project, celebrating the inspiring ‘hair-stories’ within our Original Moxie community, we gifted Nancy with a professional photo shoot at Pearl Street Studios in Ypsilanti, MI.  The experience was a powerful one for everyone involved, from hair and makeup to Photographer Carolyn McCarthy.  You can see Nancy’s emotional response to her portraits and learn more about her journey in this video.  For more information about the I’m an Original Project, visit https://www.originalmoxie.com/im-an-original/.



Hair, Hair & Identity, Natural Hair, Original Moxie

You’re an Original!


When you think about something of which you’re proud,  whether it’s raising a child or getting a college degree, chances are that it involved pushing your own boundaries and struggling to overcome some pretty significant challenges.  The same can be said of our sense of self-esteem and personal identity.  Often, it’s the very things over which we obsess that are, in reality, the features that make us unique and truly beautiful.  As such a visible signifier of identity, attitude, and self-expression, hair is a common focal point for the struggle to embrace our most authentic selves.

We wanted to explore the connection between hair and identity with a project we’re calling ‘I’m an Original.’ Working with Portrait Photographer Carolyn McCarthy, we are documenting the personal hair journeys of some of the inspiring and amazing individuals whom we serve. Through these intimate and moving narratives, we hope to encourage further understanding and acceptance of one another and ourselves. Each month we’ll feature a new individual as they share with us what makes them an Original.

Charnika, a Detroit-based Youtube Vlogger known as ‘Charyjay’, is our first subject.  She shares some of her personal hair journey in our first video.  We hope you’ll watch, comment, and share what makes you an Original!

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.


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 ;-).