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!

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

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!

Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hair Care, Hair Typing, Moisturizers, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Scalp Issues

Transform Your Hair in Four Easy Steps!

iStock_000058679762_XXXLargeTransform Your Hair Care Routine

Four healthy habits that will take your hair from meh to mah-velous!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
2015 Holiday Shopping, Hair, Sale

Happy Holidays!

Original Moxie Black Friday 2015 Sale

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 info@originalmoxie.com 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.