Curly Hair Care, Hair Care, Hydrophil Detox, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Scalp Issues, Treatments

Detox This!

Damage Detox Before and AfterDoes 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.

Uncategorized

The Wash & Go Deconstructed

Hair healthy?  Check!  Products on point?  Check!*   Congratulations, you are ready to move on to Process, the third ‘P’ in our 5 P’s of Mastering the Wash & Go.  Follow these guidelines and you’re only steps away from earning your PhD (Perfect Hair Day) in the Art of the Wash & Go.

  1.  Start with freshly washed, detangled hair.  When your  hair is wet, cleansed, and free of build up, it is most receptive to moisture.  If you wash your hair and still feel that there is build up (indicated by a waxy feeling, flaking, etc), you may need to do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse or other safe clarifying treatment.
  2. Work on wet hair.  And we mean wet, not damp.  Keep a mister close by so that you can add more moisture as needed. We love the Flairosol Mister for it’s continuous spray, ease of action, and sleek design.
  3. Apply product in small sections.  The tighter your curl pattern and the thicker your hair, the smaller the section.  If in doubt, go with about a 1″ section.  Use clips to make sure you don’t lose track of your spot.
  4. Start with moisturizer.  Once you determine which moisturizer is the best fit for you (see our previous post), apply that product before anything else touches your hair.  This will get your curl to ‘pop’. Make sure you can easily rake your fingers through from scalp to ends.  If you hit snarls or tangles, gently loosen them.
  5. Create a curl ‘cast’ with a defining product.  For most this will be a gel, like Just Gel, defining serum, like Hold Up, or, in the case of coarse, resistant hair, a very sticky butter, like Emollience.    And, yes, you do need some sort of cast-creating product if you want your Wash & Go to last for more than a few days.
  6. Ribbon Your Hair.    This is perhaps the most obscure, but also the most important step.  Applying your defining product is the moment to ensure that your curl families (or ribbons) are grouped in their natural formations.  Smooth through the 1″ section in vertical subsections with two fingers.  You’ll see the ribbons appear like strings on a harp as in the picture above.  Simply smooth the defining product through each ribbon from root to tip.
  7. Dry carefully.  You have options, depending on your lifestyle and hair type.  T-Shirt Towel material (such as the new Moxie Versa-towel, coming soon to our website and available in store) is best, as it dries without frizzing the hair.  You can also air dry, diffuse dry (with medium settings) or hood dry (best).
  8. Do not Disturb!  Whatever you do, do not mess with your curls until they are fully dry!  This includes sleeping.  If you must go to bed before your hair is dry, ensure that your hair is protected with a satin bonnet.

You’re done!   Now it’s just about keeping your awesome curls alive with the last 2 P’s:  Practice and Protection.   Remember, Rome was not built in a day.  Becoming a Wash & Go Pro takes time.  If you have less-than perfect results on your first attempts, learn from your mistakes and move on.  As far as Protection, treat your hair like a delicate thread that tangles easily.  Protect it from friction with non-snagging materials like satin, and use techniques like pineappling to supplement your night-time routine.  You got this!

*If not, you can read our previous two posts to get those steps done.

Uncategorized

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!

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

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!

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

 

 

Hair, Hair & Identity, Original Moxie, Original Roots Tour, Rachel

Original Roots Tour: Ohio Recap

ORT Ohio - Rachel's Family

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.

ORT Ohio Rachel Applies Product

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!

ORT Yellow Springs Street Fair

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

Hair, Hair Care, Original Moxie

How to Avoid Helmet Hair

How to Prevent Helmet Hair

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!

Hair, Hair & Identity, Hair Care, Original Moxie, Original Roots Tour, Rachel

Original Roots Tour: Baltimore Recap

Myra & Angela at La Paix Herb FarmOur first expedition for our Original Roots Tour has now come to an end. Our whirlwind adventure was invigorating; we’re excited for more. We started off the DMV leg of our trip by visiting Myra and her apprentice Angela of La Paix Herb Farm, shown above.Rachel demonstrating at Oasis SalonWe were lucky enough to attend a Curly Hair Artistry symposium at Oasis Hair Salon. Above is Original Moxie founder Rachel demonstrating the best amount of product to use.

Photos with Rachel at the Meet & GreetWe were also lucky enough to meet several OM fans, such as Kahlilia, at our meet & greet! Getting the chance to mingle with fans and hear their experiences was priceless.

Group shot at FiddleheadsOur final stop in the DMV area was at Fiddleheads Salon in DC. It was super wonderful to meet and work with such wonderful ladies!

Watch this space for more from our tour!