Earth Day, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie HQ, Original Moxie Store, Sale, Sustainable Practices

Honoring the Earth

DSC_0822As you might have noticed, we’re pretty passionate about natural ingredients and green practices.  Dramatic changes in our local climate and shortages in some of the ingredients we commonly use have made us even more keenly aware of how interconnected we as individuals and as a brand are with one another and the environment.  The global is personal and the personal is global.

Image-1 (14)This year, we are celebrating our connections with one another and the Earth, by highlighting Growing Hope, an amazing organization, founded in 2003, that’s working to create change in our community of Southeast Michigan.  Growing Hope’s mission is to create sustainable food systems that positively impact the community and the environment.  That translates to a wide array of programs and initiatives from education and urban farming to managing local Farmers Markets.

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During our Annual Earth Day Sale, starting Friday April 21st, you can help to support this worthy cause with your purchase!  Original Moxie has committed to donate 5% of all sale purchases to Growing Hope.  You can shop with a conscience and save with a 25% discount on purchases of $40 & up at originalmoxie.com with coupon code ED2017 or at our Ypsilanti Store & Salon (no code needed). Sale runs from 4/21 – 4/23 online and is one day only (4/21) for in-store purchases. Learn more at originalmoxie.com/earth-day-sale-details/.

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

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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.

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Hair, Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Sustainable Practices

Sustainable Practices

Sustainable Practices

Here at Original Moxie, we are intimately familiar with the waste that tends to pile up when you make something from scratch.  Because we believe that less is more when it comes to trash, we are doing everything within our power to minimize what we throw away. Whenever possible, we purchase tools and supplies that can be re-used without sacrificing hygiene and quality.  From glass droppers for our essential oils to cotton towels for cleaning up, we strive to minimize the amount of disposable items used to create our products.  All paper, plastic and glass that cannot be re-used is responsibly recycled.

Our containers are, by design, easy to recycle and re-use.  All containers are made of #1/PET or #2/HDPE plastic.  Once you have finished using your products, simply clean them out, remove and discard the labels & lids and deposit the containers in your curbside recycling. Check with your local recycling agency to make sure that these types of containers are accepted!

We realize that our impact on the environment doesn’t stop at our doors.  We recycle or re-use the boxes and packing material that are shipped to us and utilize boxes with a high recycled content to ship our products to you. Our retail customers receive their orders in USPS Priority Mail boxes, which have been awarded Cradle to Cradle Certification℠ for their ecologically-intelligent design. We also offer CarbonFree® Shipping on all orders by partnering with Carbonfund.org to offset our shipping emissions!

For everything that can’t yet be reduced, recycled, or re-used, we offset our carbon footprint by partnering with Carbonfund.org. Carbonfund is working towards a “ZeroCarbon™ world” through innovative and expertly managed programs in climate change education, carbon offsets and reductions, and public outreach.

Hair, Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie

Natural Ingredients

Natural Ingredients

It’s hard nowadays to pin down the meaning of the word “natural” when referring to beauty products. With so much ‘greenwashing’ in advertising the word has lost some of it’s meaning. To us, natural ingredients mean minimally processed and derived from natural sources such as seeds, nuts, and leaves. We like to go from plant to product in as few steps as possible!

We’re committed to using natural ingredients not just because they work, but because they create less of an environmental impact than their chemical counterparts.  Extraction of a botanical oil, for example, uses less fossil fuel and creates far fewer harmful byproducts than the creation of a hydrocarbon-based oil such as paraffin. Natural ingredients also tend to be fully biodegradable and easily composted.  The dried herbs that go into our herbal infusions are collected and turned into our compost heap, which will in turn yield rich, black soil for our gardens.

Part of what makes our products so effective is not only the superior quality of the natural ingredients they contain, but the quantity they contain as well. All of our products are at least 97% natural, with some (such as Twist Mist) being 100% natural. From high potency herbal infusions to rich botanical oils and extracts, our carefully crafted formulas are packed full with ingredients that nourish your hair and scalp from the inside out. Whenever possible we use organic, unrefined ingredients so as to pass on their uniquely beneficial and potent properties. These natural ingredients are as beautiful and fragrant as they are effective.  The minimal processing they undergo gives our products their unique color and scent!

It’s easy to talk the talk without walking the walk, right?  But when you create every product yourself, you have a very personal stake in whether your ingredients are safe to use.   We don’t want to be in contact with anything toxic, so you can rest assured that our products are safe for you and your family to use.  Though we do use a limited number of chemicals (primarily for emulsification and preservation), we take care to use only those that receive a safety rating of 5 or lower on the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database and to use them in the smallest possible amount.

Essential Oils, Hair, Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Sale

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Essential oils are the truly amazing natural essences extracted from plants and used for a variety of applications, from perfumery to first aid. They may come from any part of the plant, such as the rind of an orange, the flower of a rose, or the bark of a Cinnamon Tree. They connect us in a very direct way with the vitality, power and beauty of nature. The aroma-therapeutic benefits of essential oils are well documented and are known to ease tension, alleviate depression, focus thought, and stimulate energy! Many essential oils also have toning, cleansing, moisturizing, and balancing effects on the scalp. But the main reason we use them is because they smell AMAZING!

Synthetic fragrances, widely used in the cosmetic industry, often contain hundreds of separate ingredients, primarily petroleum derivatives, which include phthalates (a group of chemicals linked to hormone disruption), neurotoxins, allergens and sensitizers. Because fragrance is considered a ‘trade secret,’ companies are not required to list these compounds on their labels. These chemicals not only accumulate in your blood stream, but also in the environment, polluting the water we drink and the food we eat. (To find out even more about synthetic fragrance, you can visit The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website at: http://www.safecosmetics.org).

In Original Moxie products, each essential oil fragrance is lovingly created and designed to complement any natural odor that the unadorned raw materials may contain.  Most essential oils fall into one of ten scent categories: Woody, Edible, Musky, Balsamic, Earthy, Floral, Spicy, Green, Fruity, and Citrus. The essential oil fragrances that we craft for our products span the gamut and include notes from each of the ten scent categories.

Because they come from natural sources, essential oils can vary from batch to batch. Moreover, they continue to mature and develop from the moment they are extracted to the moment we add them to our products.  We embrace this slight variability as a distinctive fingerprint that makes our products even more special and hope that you will too.

What’s your favorite essential oil? We’d love to know!

cruelty free, Hair & Identity, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie

Cruelty Free Products

Moby and Maybelle!

Being beautiful shouldn’t come at the expense of other living beings – it’s as simple as that. We’re committed to a completely Cruelty Free product development process and have been certified by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ Leaping Bunny Program! You can rest assured that our products comply with Leaping Bunny’s exacting standards which ensure that “no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.”

Aside from animal welfare issues, cosmetic animal tests also have scientific limitations whose results may not be relevant to humans. Cosmetic testing not carried out on animals often combine human cell based tests and advanced computer models, whose results take far less than the months and years that outdated animal testing requires. These updated modern techniques to test the safety of cosmetics also have the benefit of not harming others for our beauty.

Above are two of our beloved, always inspiring animal friends – Moby and Maybelle, both rescues from the local Humane Society. Their sweet and joyful personalities remind us every day why we choose to be cruelty free 🙂 Tell us! Why do you choose cruelty free?

Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hair Care, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Sale

Earth Day Sale!

Earth Day Sale! See below for details.

Original Moxie is celebrating Earth Day with one of our largest sales of the year! Friday April 18th – Tuesday April 22nd, get 30% off orders of $30 or more with coupon code EDAYOM14.  For every qualifying order, we will donate $2 to  Leaping Bunny to support Cruelty Free beauty!  The Leaping Bunny Program provides the best assurance that no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.

We’ll be continuing our celebration of all things earthy with a series of posts on how we commit ourselves to cruelty free & eco-friendly practices. Stay tuned!

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 Friday, April 18th – Tuesday, April 22nd.

Hair, Hair Care, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie

Is Your Moisturizer Drying Out Your Hair? Part 2

Last drops of oil being extracted from the earth.

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!

Hair, Hair & Identity

Hair Does Not A Lady Make

Fragrance and beauty blogger Carrie Meredith, author of eyeliner on a cat, shares her thoughts with OM on hair, identity, and “the grass is always greener” syndrome.  Her writing is fresh, her observations keen, and her style fierce.  This inspired aesthete is definitely one to watch!

Carrie_1xHow would you describe your relationship to your hair?  Does it play a significant role in your view of yourself?

Most of the time, especially during the day, I don’t think about my hair very much because it’s up in a ponytail or a headband while I’m working. When I wash it and style it, I have fun with it. Until a few days ago, my hair was obscenely long, and I just decided to cut it myself. I took off about six inches, and I feel so much better! It’s still long, but I feel more like myself because I don’t have to struggle with it anymore. My hair is a source of happiness for me, much like other aspects of beauty, like skin care and cosmetics.

What do you love most about your hair?

It’s thick, wavy and black, and it plays up my pale skin and dark eyes and eyebrows.

How big of a role does your hair play in the aesthetic sensibility and persona?  Did you shape your hair to fit your style or did your hair shape your style?

Neither. My hair is my personal style, which is also evident when I have no clothes on at all. My story is told through my tattoos and scars, and the few pieces of jewelry that I never take off. Hair is not permanent and is a glorious way to express oneself, and I enjoy the natural state of hair and also caring for it naturally—that’s a part of who I am too.

Your hair is fairly long at the moment, but have you ever worn your hair extremely short?  Do you feel more attractive when it is one way or the other?

Oh yes! I’ve had extremely close cropped hair, and I loved it. I often think that I’d like to do that again, but the upkeep is too expensive. I couldn’t even be bothered to go get a trim in a year—I just cut it myself. I’m not attached to my hair in a sentimental way like some women are— I could lose it all tomorrow and not be very upset. I’m currently suffering from “the grass is greener” syndrome. Actually, I think I was born with that syndrome!

How did you feel about your hair when you were growing up?  Was there a particular moment (or moments) when you recall your perception of your hair and yourself changing?

When I think about my hair as I was growing up, I remember my mother trying to get all the tangles out of my hair, and how I’d cry and cry. It upset her that it hurt me so much, but I was just so prone to tangles! Unfortunately, I still am. If I’m working on a bunch of tough tangles, I will still cry! It was my first lesson in life that sometimes you have to suffer for beauty. You don’t have to like it, though!

Does your hair make you feel more or less confident when you meet new people?  Do you feel that it stands out as a signifier of who you are?

I think my hair adds to my social confidence.  I don’t feel like I need to wear much makeup—just a bold matte lip, and a riot of wavy tresses takes over from there. I’m in  the process of growing out my bangs- and I’ve had those Bettie Page bangs for years—probably more than 10 years. People are so used to seeing me with them, and I’m curious how quickly they’ll notice the change. I have a vision of my hair in mind, and I really want to try life without bangs again!

What issues (if any) do you continue to grapple with when it comes to your hair as it relates to your overall appearance and sense of self?

Well, I mentioned the bangs- how they had become such a well-known signature for me—strangers would approach me and tell me how much I looked just like Bettie Page, or Pauly Perrette or Dita Von Teese…. anyone famous you can think of with bangs.  I do not look like these women. They are all stunning, and I don’t have anything close to what you could deem self-esteem issues, but what those words translated to in my head was “your bangs are outshining your entire face.” After all those years of hearing about it, I realized that I resented it, hence the desire to be rid of them. I unknowingly put myself in a box because of my bangs.

You are a very scent-oriented individual with a sensitive, sophisticated palette.  Hair is such a sensual part of the body, and infusing it with fragrance is such an ancient tradition. Given your attunement to fragrance do you find that you are swayed to like or dislike a product based on its aroma?

Emphatically YES! I hate (equally emphatically) fake, perfumey scented hair products. There is a wave of super high-end fragrance sprays meant specifically for hair, and that’s actually pretty cool, but really frivolous. I get off on the natural scent and individual qualities of ingredients, no matter how weird it may smell to others. I feel the same way about the skincare products I use. If they are fragranced with natural essences or have no added fragrance, I am more attracted to them and I want to use them more. It’s a huge part of why I look forward to using my hair and skin care products so much. Natural, quality ingredients are very sexy.

What are your favorite Original Moxie products and how do they fit within your beauty and aroma rituals?

Oh, my favorites! I’m going to attempt to control my list here, but it will not be easy. My greatest love is Get Clean! Shampoo. It was my first experience with a no-poo product, and it’s just divine. It always surprises me how clean it gets my hair when it really acts like a conditioner as well. It’s slippery, smells wonderful and it’s super-luxe. It’s my secret weapon. I fell in love so hard with it that I felt embarrassed and utterly disappointed by the other shampoos I had, so I tossed them.
My other must-haves:
Intense Quench Conditioner: It’s minty and invigorating, and it leaves my hair incredibly soft and shiny.
Everyday Leave-In Conditioner:  I use this on wet and dry hair… I use it for everything! It’s the most versatile hair product I own.
Shape Shifter Re-Forming Creme: Speaking of versatility, Shape Shifter is right up there too. It’s a defining cream for curls or waves, you can use it prior to a blow-out, on dry hair to get rid of frizz or seal split ends, the list goes on.  Its name is perfect—it allows you to transform your wet hair into anything you desire. It leaves no stiffness or stickiness behind. Brilliant!

Hair, Hair & Identity

It IS Easy Being Green

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Karley today

Blogger Karley Ziegler Mott Finds Beauty Bliss in Conscious Living.
A Certified Aromatherapist with a long professional background as an Esthetician & Make Up Artist, Karley Ziegler Mott discovered make up at age 14 and never looked back. She translated her experience with major lines such as Lancome, Clinique, and Laura Mercier into the development of her own line of skin care which was featured in Martha Stewart Body + Soul magazine.
In addition to her love of beauty products, Karley is also passionately committed to natural, organic living. In 2007 she founded Chic & Green, a blog that allows her to share her love of all things green and beautiful with the world.

We discovered Karley’s blog shortly after launching Original Moxie, and she quickly became one of our biggest and most vocal fans!  As an entrepreneur, beauty product fanatic, mother, and self-proclaimed ‘Liberal Feminist,’ Karley embodies many of the personae of today’s modern woman. Having so much in common with Original Moxie Founder Rachel Blistein, she was the perfect candidate to kick off our series on Hair & Identity.

How would you describe your relationship to your hair? Does it play a significant role in your view of yourself? It does play a role in how I view myself. When my hair cooperates and it looks great, it does make me have more confidence. For example, in that awkward stage I just went through from pixie to bob, I definitely felt more self conscious about my hair.

Karley's Pixie Cut - July 2012

Karley’s Pixie Cut – July 2012

How big of a role does your hair play in how you feel about your appearance? I would have to say it plays a major role. Hair is highly visible. When it looks great, it has an affect on my self esteem.
You are fortunate enough to be able to wear your hair straight or curly.  Do you notice a difference in your attitude or confidence when it is one way or the other? Yes– when I wear it straight and more sleek, I feel super confident, polished, and refined. When I wear it with curls, I feel more carefree, less serious, a little bit more playful.
Image is such a big part of social media.  How has being a public figure via your blog changed the way you feel about your hair?  Do you feel more pressure to look good all the time since launching your blog? I do feel more pressure. A couple years back, I started having people recognize me for my blog, saying, “Hey, you’re the Chic & Green blogger.” I definitely worry more about being put together all the time.
Green living seems to be a core part of who you are as a person.  How does your commitment to using environmentally-friendly products affect how you style and care for your hair?  Do you ever feel that your commitment to natural principals and products comes into conflict with what is convenient or desirable?   No. Fortunately, there are so many wonderful eco-friendly products now. It used to be an issue. I am able to use natural products from head to toe now. This makes me feel great because I no longer have to compromise.
How old were you when you first developed your own unique sense of style?  Is your hair a big part of that style?  I would have to say that I really came into my own in college. I really embraced my own tastes and I think I will always be the blonde with some form of short hair, always wearing earrings and a stack of bracelets, and never without lipstick on. That’s just me.
What do you love most about your hair?  I love how thick it is. I have very thick hair and I love that.

What issues (if any) do you continue to grapple with when it comes to your hair as it relates to your overall appearance and sense of self?  My own personal hair issue is becoming frustrated when it is hot and humid. It gets a bit frizzy and feels heavy–that’s when I go and get a pixie without fully thinking it through 🙂
What are your favorite Original Moxie products?  I absolutely must have Straight Up™! Now that my hair is getting longer and I am flat ironing it again, I am reaching for it every morning.  I also swear by Featherweight™. I love the soft scent and the fact that it leaves my hair feeling silky, but never weighed down.  Sweet Poof is another favorite.  When I want some “oomph” at the roots and crown for a fuller look, this is my go-to styling aid!