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.
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!
Humectants have the all-important property of attracting water to the hair – essential for keeping our strands moisturized! They work a lot like magnets, literally attracting water molecules toward the hair and skin via a process called hydrogen bonding.
There’s a wealth of information (and misinformation) surrounding when, where, and how to properly moisturize and hydrate your hair. Original Moxie’s philosophy is that humectants should always be applied to damp or wet hair. Just as you’d apply moisturizer while your skin is still moist from the shower, it’s key to apply humectants to your hair when it’s already wet. When humectants are used in this way they bond with the water on the hair’s surface (or ‘cuticle’) and help it to penetrate into the cortex, where moisture is stored. To assist water in reaching the cortex, we recommend smoothing a humectant downwards along the hair shaft as it’s applied. This technique is known as ‘filling’ and is the first step in ‘Proactive Hydration’ – a hair care approach pioneered by Original Moxie. By filling the hair shaft with water when it’s wet, it achieves an optimal level of moisture during the setting and styling process. Because hair is already fully hydrated (and therefore less prone to humidity-induced frizz) Proactive Hydration reduces concerns over dew point and humidity.
Original Moxie’s humectant ‘par excellence’ is Oasis Moisture Gel, is an intensively hydrating treatment which contains five types of humectants: Glycerin, Sodium Lactate, Aloe Vera, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, and Panthenol. Because it’s lightweight, oil-free, and sublimely slippery, it slides easily through all hair types and works as a primer for all subsequent styling products.
‘Sealing’–the second step in the Proactive Hydration process–further eliminates frizz and locks moisture inside the hair shaft. Sealing can be achieved with the use of mildly acidic agents, natural proteins, botanical oils and plant-derived waxes. This step works by laying down the scales of the hair cuticle and by forming a water-repellant film on the outside of the hair shaft. As with the filling process, sealants should be smoothed downwards along the hair shaft and applied when the hair is still wet. Which type of sealant will work best for you is largely a factor of your natural moisture level. Dry hair types should look for oils and waxes, such as those found in Twist Mist or Hair Bling. Normal to oily types should seek out protein-based sealants like Mane Tame, which has a low pH and a high percentage of natural proteins.
Want to boost your humectant power even more? Try some Original Moxie stylers such as Sweet Poof or Lux Locks, which add moisture and enhance curl via their powerful humectant properties.
Petroleum derivatives, like mineral oil and liquid paraffin, are another controversial topic in the world of hair care – particularly in natural hair communities! On the surface petroleum derivatives seem like a workable solution to fighting frizz and dryness. After all they’re occlusive, have the ability to enhance curl formation, and are wallet friendly. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side of petroleum derivatives. They’re easy to quickly ‘overdo’ because they’re often high in the ingredient list, difficult to remove from the hair, and offer no nourishing or restorative benefits. Apart from lacking nutritive properties, they create tacky buildup that attracts dirt and dust, dulling the hair as well as blocking nutrients from penetrating. Additionally, petroleum derived ingredients are a nonrenewable resource. Because we’re committed to using green, sustainable practices whenever possible that’s quite a large drawback.
The use of petroleum derivatives creates a cycle of dependency that encourages and exacerbates dryness. Because of their tendency to create build up, petroleum derivatives require more frequent washing which can lead to moisture-induced stress (aka hygral fatigue). This causes loss of protein, natural and artificial color fading, split ends, and breakage. In turn, this creates more frizz driving the need for more frizz fighting.
Essentially petroleum derivatives create a very temporary fix for frizz while offering none of the nourishing benefits that plant derived oils do. Correctly used silicones as well as botanically derived oils are a much better choice of occlusives as they not only create a barrier around the hair shaft but do so in a way that is easy to remove. The added plus of botanically derived oils are the many beneficial components they contain like antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids – all essential for maintaining healthy hair.
Although there are some small benefits to petroleum derived ingredients the drawbacks render those benefits negligible. If you’re interested in healthy, frizz free hair petroleum derivatives are not for you. Plant derived oils, and products that contain them, give you wonderful frizz fighting power while also feeding your hair with the good things it needs.
Looking for Original Moxie products with amazing moisturizing, sealing, frizz fighting power? Try Emollience or Twist Mist!
Looking for an Original Moxie routine that helps to banish the winter ‘blahs’? Try this:
1) Treat with Emollience Pre-treatment, which penetrates the cuticle to restore your hair’s lipid balance.
2) Cleanse with Get Fresh and Get Clean, sulfate-free shampoos which contain gentle surfactants which are effective at removing silicones but won’t strip hair of it’s natural oils.
3) Deep condition with Intense Quench, containing a rich blend of natural oils, butters and humecetants, and a small percentage of silicone.
4) Moisturize with Everyday Leave-in, another miracle product that features silicone in a supporting role.
5) Seal with Twist Mist or Hair Bling, both of which are 100% natural and silicone free.