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


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!