Hair, Hair & Identity, I'm an Original Project, Uncategorized

I’m an Original – Iris

Iris’ Illustration of Ashilyn

The creative process is all about transformation and,  at its best,  revealing hidden truths.  This month’s subject for the I’m a Original Project uniquely embodies the spirit  of both creativity and change.  Iris,  a young transgender woman,  worked with our team to bring to life her personal avatar, Ashilynn, whom she had created over many years.  Iris’ intimate and specific vision for her portrait brought with it both challenges and opportunities.   The IAO team, consisting of Photographer Carolyn McCarthy, Makeup Artist Heidi Bowden-De Meester, and Original Moxie, worked closely with Iris to build a concept that would both complement her natural beauty while channeling her more fantastical aesthetic.  The result is truly magical.

Extensions being added to Iris’ hair

Working from Iris’ drawings of her character, the team began by crafting a digital image board of possible looks, moods, and styles.  Overlaying these with Iris’ physical attributes, we ultimately focused on a cool palette with dramatic, moody sets and long, flowing lines.

Iris Before

Clip-in and braided extensions were added to Iris’ hair, leaving out her natural hair in the front and bang areas.  A temporary silver color to her natural hair to blend it    with the silvery grey and black extensions.

 

Makeup included face ornamentation to mimic Ashilynn’s under-eye markings and beautiful long lashes.  The wardrobe selected not only flattered Iris’ physique but also mimicked Ashilynn’s flowing and graceful lines.  Staying close to the spirit of her drawing without slavishly attempting to recreate it allowed us to more effectively blend her inner vision with her outer self.

Heidi Bowden De-Meester applying make up.

As with most photo shoots, the process was long and painstaking and involved a fair amount of improvisation (such as the crown Iris is wearing in her portrait, created on the spot by Original Moxie team member Sophie Waggoner).  While we all Through it all, Iris remained calm, providing feedback as to what poses and styling options she preferred.  The final set (shown below) was one she set up and directed almost entirely on her own and became one of the groups’ favorites.

Final set directed by Iris

As a transgender woman, Iris has traveled a difficult path in coming to terms with her identity and in manifesting her inner sense of self with her external appearance.  Bringing her avatar to life with the support of our artistic team allowed her to express herself in an entirely new way.  As she explains:

“I never feel more myself than when I am assuming the persona of one of my characters. When I write them, I do more than simply place words on the page–I immerse myself in their being, and their thoughts become mine. Exploring my characters has shaped so much of who I am today that I could not imagine living without them. I have poured all of my love into them, and now they complete me.  My name is Iris, and I’m an Original.”

For more information on how to book your own transformation visit http://bornoriginal.cmcphotos.com or contact Carolyn McCarthy at 734-355-6993/carolyn@cmcphotos.com.

 

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!

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.
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!

Essential Oils, Hair, Hair & Identity, Hair Care, Original Moxie, Original Roots Tour, Sale

Original Roots Tour: Ohio

Yellow Springs Street Fair Invite

The second leg of our Original Roots Tour will take us to Yellow Springs, Ohio!  This is an important stop in many ways. Original Moxie Founder, Rachel’s family tree (and curly hair) are rooted in the quaint and verdant village of Yellow Springs.

We invite you to come say hello as we host an interactive booth at the Yellow Springs Street Fair being held this Saturday, June 14th from 9AM to 5PM.  You can find us near the corner of Corry St and Xenia Ave, in front of The Winds Cafe.

In addition to special discounts, we’ll be offering styling demos and an essential oil scent  station. We’d love your input as we develop fragrances for the new products we have in the works.  See you there!

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!

Original Moxie, Original Roots Tour

Original Roots Tour: Baltimore

Original Moxie Baltimore Meet & Greet

Our Original Roots tour is kicking off this May! We’ll be visiting the DMV area and would love to meet you all! We’ll be at Willow, a Latin inspired tex-mex cantina in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore. The event will run from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.  We’ll have light refreshments available. Happy hour til 7PM.

The first 50 guests will receive gift bags. As a special bonus, the bags will feature a sneak peak of our brand new product Hold Up™ Defining Serum.  See you there!

Willow location: 811 South Broadway Baltimore, MD 21231

 

 

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 & Identity, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Original Roots Tour, Rachel

Announcing the Original Roots Tour!

Original Moxie's Original Roots Tour

We’re celebrating our 5th year of business with a series of journeys to connect with our roots. This means meeting with you, our customers, who are the inspiration for our problem-solving hair care formulations! We’ll also be visiting growers and spotlighting the natural ingredients that make our products so effective and unique. As we write about and film our adventures, you’ll see us pop up in all kinds of places, getting to know what makes each of us an original.

Our travels will commence with a visit to the East Coast this May, and will last for just over a year so that we’ll have time to visit all parts of the USA, developing meaningful connections along the way. Chime in! Where would you like to see us visit?