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.
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!
The Winter of My Discontent
In the Winter of 2007, I was tangled up, literally, in a daily battle with my hair. I had finally succeeded in growing my hair to shoulder length (a major accomplishment) and, after 15 years, had transitioned away from chemical relaxers. I wanted to embrace my curly, thick texture, but my hair felt like straw! I tried everything from Baby Oil and Vaseline to the leading salon products for curly hair to moisturize my porous locks, all to no avail. Around the time this picture was taken, my frustration had morphed into action. My head first plunge into the world of DIY hair products began a two-year journey that would ultimately give rise to Original Moxie. During my early research, I stumbled upon a description of floral waxes that highlighted their rich phospholipid content and ability to penetrate the skin at uniquely high rates. Curious if they could do the same thing for hair as they could for skin, I purchased a small sample and began experimenting.
A Star is Born
This is how my brain, workshop, and notes look when I’m creating. While the chaos is a bit more managed these days, a neat worker I am not.
I had already had some success with Flax Seed Gel, which helped to define my hair without crunch and flaking, but I needed something else to deal with the moisture issue. What if I combined the penetrating and emollient properties of floral wax with the control and definition of a gel? It took a few attempts to get it right. My early efforts, including the one you see here, were too gloppy and coated the hair with a dulling crust. But when I finally got the right balance of gel and emollients, the results were magical. I remember practically jumping for joy after seeing the results in my own hair and gleefully boasting of my success to family and friends. Since that day, I have never waivered from my dedication to this product. It’s what I use every time I style my own hair and, while I still experiment on myself, it’s Shape Shifter I come back to every time.
This is one of those creations that continues to bring me joy, particularly when I see others experience that ‘OMG!’ moment for themselves. The most common reaction is something like ‘I didn’t know my hair could look like this!’. Seeing the natural beauty in your own hair is truly awe inspiring, particularly after a lifetime of struggle. There is an alchemy that happens when the right ingredients come together just so. Add to that the transformative power of an effective moisturizer and it’s truly magical.
Spring has sprung, the sun is out and we’re celebrating with one of our largest sales of the year! This Earth Day, Wednesday April 22nd – Saturday April, 25th, get 30% off orders of $30 or more with coupon code OMEARTH15. You can feel good about treating yourself by supporting a brand where every day is Earth Day. Our commitment is year-round with healthy, cruelty-free products, natural ingredients and green practices!
Be sure to keep an eye on our blog to learn more about our ongoing quest to make our products as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible!
Coupon code for use on retail orders only. Gift sets and kits are excluded. No rain checks, no cash value, limit one per customer. Valid Wednesday, April 22nd – Saturday, April 25th.
Big news, folks: we opened a flagship store right here in our hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan! The store is all we hoped for: spacious, centrally-located, and beautiful. As part of our extended Grand Opening, we are very excited to welcome to the store one of the region’s top Curly Hair Artists: Melissa Stites of There Once Was a Curl! A leader and innovator in the curly hair community, Melissa is active in the international Curly Hair Artistry Group , an international community of stylists that “work with Waves, Curls and Muli-Cultural Hair by applying art, methods/techniques and business skills”*.
Melissa will be at the Original Moxie Store on Tuesday, January 27th from 10am to 8pm to offer her expert dry cuts and styling. The fee for her service is $55. To schedule an appointment, please email Melissa at email@example.com. You can also find out more information by calling our store at 734.480.8096 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Source: The Curly Hair Artistry Group Facebook Page
As we celebrate the Grand Opening of Original Moxie’s storefront at 306-C N. River St. Ypsilanti, MI in Historic Depot Town! The event will occur Saturday, December 13th from 11am – 3pm. See our new HQ, mix and mingle with our team, enjoy light refreshments and sample our natural hair care products. We’ll also be offering complementary chair massages & makeup consultations throughout the day. Free parking is available in our parking lot and on the street.
But wait! There’s more! Our event is part of the Depot Town Holiday Open House, so you can make a day of it while you enjoy store discounts, holiday cheer and a visit from Santa!
Questions? Call 734.480.8096 or Email email@example.com
Hard to believe it’s already the holiday season, isn’t it?! We have a lot to be grateful for this year, with the launch of our new storefront (coming in December). So this year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale is a celebration of our customers, who make it possible for us to do what we do!
Our 2014 Black Friday Sale takes place at originalmoxie.com and runs from 12AM on Friday, November 28th through Monday, December 1st. Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of our Black Friday/Cyber Monday savings:
- Use coupon code OMBF2014 to receive 30% off orders of $30 or more.* Enter the coupon in the Coupon Code box at the bottom left of the checkout page.
- All orders, regardless of the total, will automatically receive an exclusive $5 coupon for use on a future purchase plus two free samples
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Have a wonderful holiday and a safe and peaceful weekend.
A Note to Our Customers: Family is important to us here at Original Moxie, and we will be spending the holiday with our respective loved ones. Please allow us extra time to respond to any customer service issues. But be assured that we will respond in a timely manner as soon as we are able. Thank you for your understanding!
*Coupon Code can only be used once per customer & cannot be combined with other codes. Coupon Code cannot be used towards the purchase of Gift Sets & Kits. Regular retail price for these items reflects discounts already taken off the individual purchase price for each item included in the kit. While supplies last. No Rain Checks. Sale offer is restricted to retail customers only. Wholesale orders that apply the Black Friday Coupon Code will be voided.
L to R: Original Moxie’s founder’s grandmother, mother, & great grandfather.
Our second expedition for our Original Roots Tour was to Yellow Springs, Ohio! This was an important stop in many ways! The roots of Rachel’s hair (and by extension, Original Moxie) spring from Yellow Springs. Rachel’s grandmother Martha Porter, nee Mcconaughey, lived in Yellow Springs for much of her life and was her oldest living relative who also carried the curly hair gene. Yellow Springs also has a long history of racial diversity, dating back to the mid-nineteenth century*. Though Rachel’s curls came by way of her Irish ancestry, her tight curls were nothing unusual in this integrated tight-knit community.
Our first stop was at the Yellow Springs Senior Center where we had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful women. Rachel began with a talk on how to care for mature hair. We then moved on to hair demos and rousing conversations on how hair our changes as we age. Above is Rachel demonstrating the magnificent volumizing properties of Sweet Poof. Stay tuned for more from this talk!
Our final stop in Ohio was at the semi-annual Yellow Springs Street Fair. From our booth we were able to hear from new and old fans alike! In addition to the engaging conversations, we had hair demos as well as an essential oil scent station. All in all, a great way to start our summer!
*”A History of Racial Diversity”, Diane Chiddister, Yellow Springs News, February 4, 2010
Cruising on a bike is one of the premier summertime activities. Staying safe while keeping your hair top notch, however, is another thing altogether. Luckily with the right techniques and products, looking good after breaking a sweat was never so easy! Just keep in mind these few things:
Choose an appropriate hairstyle. Braids, twists, and chignons are great styles for all hair types since the heat of the helmet will help your hair keep whatever shape you put it in. Try pulling them to the side or doing multiples to vary the curls and waves. You can also apply your favorite moisturizer for a nice deep-conditioning treatment.
Use the right products. For fine or thin hair that gets flattened be sure to use a volumizing hair spray, like Sweet Poof. For thicker hair or curlier hair a curl cream or moisturizer such as Lux Locks, Mane Tame, or Shape Shifter will do, just be sure to follow it with a fixative such as Hold Up or a finishing oil to lock in the moisture. [Please note: damp hair and helmets do not mix! While all of the products mentioned above should be applied to hair when damp, your hair should be completely dry before donning a helmet. The goal is to lock in your style before you compress it with a helmet].
Fight friction with a protective wrap. To help prevent damage and breakage from friction wear a scarf, sleep cap, or hair wrap under your helmet. Bonus points for silk or satin!
Refresh and voila! Once the helmet comes off and the braids, twists, and chignons are out, just refresh with a little product as needed. Sweet Poof, Shape Shifter, and Twist Mist are all great!