Does your hair have issues? If your waves are falling flat or your curls are confused, it may be time to seek professional help. Join us tonight, Wednesday, May 30th at 6:30 EST, for some intensive hair therapy as we demonstrate an Original Moxie Detox on our model, explain our three unique detox methods, and discuss the difference between DIY and professional. As always, we’ll answer all your questions in real time during the live-stream event on Facebook and Instagram. Watch the magic happen or book your own personal transformation by calling us at 734.340.4022 or scheduling online.
It is a glorious time to be curly! But can all these texture-friendly products and trending curl care methods be too much of a good thing? If you find that your waves or curls start to respond negatively to all this well-meaning attention and, instead of hair nirvana, you find yourself burdened with a simultaneous feeling of dryness and oiliness, dullness, and flaking, chances are, you’ve got a case of the Build Up Blues.
What is build up?
Simply put, build up is a gradual accumulation of products on the hair strands. Accumulated build up doesn’t allow necessary moisture, oils, and other nutrients to penetrate your hair. This results in dry, dull, flat hair.
What causes build up?
- Occlusive Ingredients
If a product contains an excessive amount of occlusive ingredients, which create a strong barrier around the hair shaft, it can be difficult to remove with regular washing. These ingredients are not necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but can become so if used excessively. With the notable exception of heat stylers, which need strong film-formers and occlusive ingredients to protect the hair, products should not contain ingredients that are primarily composed of occlusive agents such as petroleum derivatives, lanolin, or heavy silicones.
- Excessive/Incompatible Products
No matter how great the ingredients, if a product doesn’t moisturize your hair on Day 1, re-applying it throughout the week will not improve the situation. In fact, it will dry your hair out and weigh it down with a coating that remains on the outside of the hair shaft rather than penetrating to the interior of the hair where moisture is needed.
- Hard Water
Well or hard water will deposit minerals on the outside of the hair which block moisture and product from penetrating the hair shaft. Hair that’s been washed with hard water generally feels grainy and waxy but also straw-like and dry.
Although co-washing is viewed by many as a gentle alternative to washing with harsh shampoos, it does not completely remove most leave-ins, gels, and oils. Over time, this will lead to build-up and dryness.
How to Beat Build Up:
- Embrace the Cleanse
Regular cleansing with a sulfate-free shampoo, such as Get Fresh! or Get Clean! will remove excess product from the hair without stripping natural oils.
- Rinse & Repeat
Unless it’s labelled as a ‘leave-in’, conditioners are not designed to be left in the hair. Fully rinse your conditioner out to leave your hair receptive and open to the moisturizing leave-ins that you apply during your styling routine.
- Find the Right Product
Given the amount of products on the market, the search for the right product can be overwhelming. Start by reading labels and prioritizing products that contain high quality ingredients near the top and minimal to no occlusive ingredients. (All of our moisturizers, definers, and sealants check this box). Select a handful of contenders, and then assess their performance on your hair before committing to regular use. If a product is compatible with your hair, it should feel smooth going in, enhance your natural curl or wave pattern, and dry clear and shiny. This basic test is the cornerstone of our Seven Point Assessment, which our Experts perform for free at the Original Moxie Salon. However, you can do your own version of the Seven Point by working methodically and paying close attention to your results.
The majority of your product application should occur on freshly washed and conditioned hair. You should not have to repeat a full product application day after day. The right product combination will keep your hair moisturized and defined until the next Wash Day. If you need to refresh mid-cycle, selectively re-wet, rather than re-styling all of your hair, and defer to gels or oils rather than re-applying your moisturizer.
Even a clarifying shampoo may not be sufficient to remove heavy build up. While DIY methods abound, we strongly recommend leaving this job to the professionals. Many of the at-home treatments to remove build up can wind up further damaging the hair. For chronic or severe build up, we offer three detoxes at our Flagship Salon: a Damage Detox, Moisture Detox, and Scalp Detox. We’ll cover each of these treatments in upcoming blog posts and explain how we determine which one is best for various hair types and conditions.
Concerned that you might have the Build Up Blues? The good news is that there is a cure. Once build up is removed, moisture is allowed to penetrate the hair shaft, the hair becomes softer, curls pop, and frizz abates. Et voila! Happy feeling restored.
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
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”.
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/.
Do 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.
The 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.
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
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:
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.
- 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.
- In the morning, she
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!
Transform Your Hair Care Routine
Four healthy habits that will take your hair from meh to mah-velous!
- Check in with Your Scalp. Is it dry and tight or supple and moisturized? Though many of us forget it’s there, healthy hair starts at the scalp. Your scalp should move easily when gently nudged with your finger tips. Areas of tightness and immobility can spell problems, like hair loss, brittleness, and dryness. Keep your pate happy with regular scalp massage and a moisturizing treatment like Scalp Therapy.
- Practice ‘Just Right’ Cleansing. Not too often, not too harsh, and not too little. Unless you put absolutely no product on your hair, periodic cleansing with a low or no-foam shampoo, like Get Clean! No Foam Shampoo or Get Fresh! Shampoo, is required to remove build up and allow moisture and nutrients to penetrate the hair and scalp. However, no one needs a heavy detergent to accomplish effective cleansing. Any product that contains sulfates and/or produces a vigorous foam is probably taking too much of the good stuff (like your hair’s natural oils) out, leaving hair dry and unbalanced.
- Make Your Conditioner Count. A good conditioner, such as Intense Quench or Featherweight, should do three things: moisturize, strengthen, and balance. To get all three, check for ingredients that draw moisture into the hair (humectants), vegetable-derived proteins that strengthen the hair and a balanced pH (between 4 and 5). It also helps if you get a slippery texture to detangle and smooth along the way. Always rinse out your conditioner in unless it’s specifically designed to be a leave-in. Excess conditioner in the hair can cause fungal disorders on the scalp and inhibit your hair’s natural shine.
- Limit your Leave-ins. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. Whatever your hair type, it’s best to stick to a stripped down styling routine. With Just Right Cleansing and a Conditioner that Counts, you shouldn’t need buckets of styling products to keep your hair nourished, shiny, and well-defined. In fact, less is often more. Too many layers will dull shine and actually dry out your hair by blocking natural oils and nutrients from penetrating the hair. To find your perfect mix of styling products, start with your natural moisture level. Oily to normal generally need hydration and hold, while normal to dry hair types need oil and hydration with less of a focus on hold.