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

 

 

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 Care, Scalp Issues, Uncategorized

An Easy Cure for Dandruff

pro_getclean_ingredFor many of us, Winter is a time of all kinds of hair and scalp challenges, from hat hair to weird fungal issues that crop up on the scalp.  The most common ailment, however, is plain ol’ dandruff.  If you suffer from seasonal or year-round dandruff, you know that it often seems to improve after using medicated shampoos, only to resurface in a week or two.

What the big name companies don’t want you to know is that they’re so-called ‘treatments’ may actually be making your scalp condition worse!  That is because most dandruff shampoos are chock full of sulfates and harsh chemicals which irritate the scalp.  They also tend to address the symptoms and not the root cause (pardon the pun) of the problem.  So, while they may get those flakes to disappear for a little while, they are not effectively correcting the imbalance that triggered the dandruff in the first place.

Dandruff is essentially an excess of skin cells on the scalp.  This skin ailment is believed to be due to a pesky, but common, fungus called Malassezia.  The fungus is typically present in the outer layer of healthy skin, but, in about half of the population, it penetrates the hair follicles and causes irritation.  This irritation causes skin cells to shed more rapidly than normal, resulting in the white flakes known as dandruff.

To defeat the fungus, it is essential to maintain a healthy level of sebum (the skin’s natural oils) and a balanced pH on the scalp.  A gentle shampoo that does not over-cleanse the scalp is the first step in breaking the cycle of scalp irritation.  Our Get Clean! No-foam Shampoo is enriched with Neem and Karanja, two very powerful anti-fungal agents, and does not strip the hair’s natural oils.

Step two is a pH balanced conditioner, such as our Featherweight or Intense Quench.  Both restore the scalp and hair to the optimal pH level between 4 and 5, thereby curbing the growth of harmful fungii.

Step three is regular scalp massage with a product such as our Scalp Therapy, which is enriched with a wide array of anti-inflammatory agents and moisturizers.  Scalp massage not only loosens any existing flakes, it also stimulates blood flow, thereby aiding the overall resiliency of the follicles and skin.

 

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

 

 

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.