Holiday Shopping, Uncategorized

Curly Hair Gift Guide

This holiday season, give the gift of happy hair! As anyone with textured hair will tell, you, unlocking your hair’s potential can be truly life changing.  These fail-safe gift ideas fit every budget and will make you look like a rock star for making someone’s curly dreams come true.

Gift Cards 
Perfect for that special someone for whom it’s challenging to shop.   Also a great ‘experience’ gift, as anyone will tell you whose visited the Original Moxie Salon.  Our gift cards can be purchased in-store for  products or services or online (as an e-card) for products only.  We recommend a $75 price point for services, as this includes our ever-popular Damage and Moisture Detoxes.  A $45 is just fine for a Short Cut (straight to wavy hair above the shoulder) or a Little Sprout Tutorial.  A Product Tutorial can be purchased for $25 and makes the perfect gift for those new to (or just struggling with) their natural texture.


Moxie Minis $5 each
These little babies are tiny giants, packing a concentrated punch for travel or sampling.  Purchase a la carte for $5 each or get one free when you buy three.  They can also be combined in various Gift Sets, ranging from $15 to $28.

Flairosol Spray Bottle $9
This year’s hottest hair accessory is the Flairosol Spray Bottle.  With 360° coverage, a fine, mist-like delivery, and continuous action, this is a must-have tool for Curlies and Wavies alike.

Versatowel™ $25
For the uninitiated, it’s hard to understand all the fuss around how to dry curly and wavy versatowel_allhair.  But trust us, it’s major.  How you dry your hair can be the difference between a good hair day and a bad hair day.  The Original Moxie Versatowel™ not only dries the hair in less time, it also significantly minimizes frizz and gives you stylish cover so that no one has to knows it’s Wash Day! It’s also Certified Fair Trade and made of Organic Cotton, making this the perfect gift for the eco-oriented curlies on your list.

Gift Sets $55 – $62
Our gift sets are curated to fit a wide range of hair types and styling needs.  Smartly packaged in a reusable tote, they make gift giving a breeze and save you 15% over the same products purchased individually. For the fine-haired wavy on your list, the Rise and Shine Gift Set ($55) is a complete styling set, and contains everything from an oil-free moisturizing treatment to a volumizing spray and mousse.  Curly girls will love the Lucky Curl Gift Set ($62), which contains our most popular primer, moisturizer, and defining product in one adorable package.  The Natural Wonder Gift Set ($62) is perfect for naturals with low-porosity, coarse or resistant hair types and contains our texture-friendly moisturizer, styling butter, flake-free styling gel, and sealer.




Ingredients Matter: Why Your Curls Won’t Pop

Do you struggle to achieve that most holy grail of texture, curl definition?  Do you find that, while some products make your hair softer, they don’t necessarily help your curl to ‘pop’?  The good news is this: it’s not your hair and it’s easy to fix.

Check out the label of some of the products in your bathroom and you’ll see that most leave-in conditioners list glycerin right up near the top of the list of ingredients.    Why?  Because glycerin (when mixed with water) is a powerful and inexpensive humectant (an ingredient that attracts moisture to the hair).   Why would that be a bad thing, you ask?  For some hair types it’s a godsend, because that intake of water into the hair swells the hair shaft and lifts the cuticle, thereby activating curl and making the hair appear fuller.  However, for other types, this same action will make hair frizzy and work against, not with, your natural curl pattern by creating less affinity and more friction between the individual strands.

Glycerin Free  Moisturizer

Glycerin Based Moisturizer

So which hair types, you might ask, like glycerin and which do not? Unfortunately, because hair types are so complex, it’s hard to give a definitive answer.  Some hair types will respond well to a simple water-based glycerin mixture, like Oasis Moisture Gel, but not to a cream that contains both a high percentage of glycerin and oil (this describes the majority of curly hair products).  Tight, low porosity curls generally fall into the former category, but definitely benefit from an oil-based oil or butter, like Shape Shifter, Everyday Leave-in, or Lux Locks,  to further enhance definition, sheen, and moisture retention.  High porosity, S-curls generally see more frizz and less definition with any humectant, including Oasis.  Fine, wavy to curly hair, however, thrives on glycerin-based moisturizers.  The bottom line?  Read ingredients and, when in doubt, sample before you commit.  (We offer Moxie Minis so that you can try before you buy).  Curls are not one-size-fits-all, so if a moisturizer for ‘your hair type’ doesn’t work for you, just leave it behind and move on!


Summer Hair Survival Guide

Summertiiiime and the living is easy!  Unfortunately, all that easy living can be hard on your hair.  Sun, travel, pool, and surf can all wreak havoc on unprotected strands.  Here are a few tips to help you survive (and even thrive) in style:

  • Cover Up
    A simple, but highly effective solution.  Swim caps, hats, scarves, wigs, and wraps (like the Original Moxie Hair Wrap or Versatowel)  all provide complete protection from sun, wind, humidity and wayward twigs.  Bonus:  they let you switch up your look in seconds!
    PRO’s:  100% effective, adaptable, accessible to all hair types.
    CON’s: Potentially hot and sweaty.  May stretch, flatten or otherwise alter your hair style.
  • Hydrate
    Just like your body, your hair loses water at a higher rate in hot, dry weather.  Make sure you keep it hydrated with plenty of deep conditioning and leave-ins that effectively boost your hair’s moisture content.  Intense Quench Deep Conditioner and Oasis Moisture Gel are our stand out favorites in both categories.
    PRO’s:  Helps build overall hair health.
    CON’s: Takes consistency and patience.  Results build over time.
  • Protect
    Take advantage of protective products to seal prevent moisture loss and damage from harmful chemicals such as chlorine (we’ll cover swimming in more detail in a future post).  Our two all-time faves are Happy Endings Shine & Repair Serum and Emollience Pre-treatment, both of which create a protective barrier that seals in moisture and shields against damage.
    PRO’s:  Won’t mess up your ‘do’ and adds shine and luster to the hair.
    CON’s: Isn’t 100% foolproof as a stand-alone.  Works best in combination with other protective measures.
  • Detox
    Despite our best efforts, bad things often happen to good hair.  This is especially true when traveling.  Hard water is a common pitfall that’s difficult to avoid, unless you can completely abstain from washing your hair during travel.  If you notice your hair falling flat or feeling rough after a trip, a detox may be in order.  Our exclusive Moisture and Damage Detoxes remove minerals and re-moisturize parched hair in a single treatment.  Both are available exclusively at the Original Moxie Salon.
    PRO’s:  Dramatically improves the health of the hair and enhances the effectiveness of your regular products.  (Translation:  your hair looks better with less product. Win/Win!).
    CON’s:  Needs to be done by a professional and, unlike protective products,  can’t travel with you wherever you go.  
Curly Hair Care, Hair Care, Hydrophil Detox, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Scalp Issues, Treatments

Detox This!

Damage Detox Before and AfterDoes your hair have issues? If your waves are falling flat or your curls are confused, it may be time to seek professional help. Join us tonight, Wednesday, May 30th at 6:30 EST, for some intensive hair therapy as we demonstrate an Original Moxie Detox on our model, explain our three unique detox methods, and discuss the difference between DIY and professional. As always, we’ll answer all your questions in real time during the live-stream event on Facebook and Instagram. Watch the magic happen or book your own personal transformation by calling us at 734.340.4022 or scheduling online.

Curly Hair Care, Hair, Hair Care, Moisturizers, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Care, Natural Ingredients, Original Moxie, Original Moxie HQ, Original Moxie Store, Scalp Issues, Treatments, Uncategorized

Beating the Build Up Blues

It is a glorious time to be curly!  But can all these texture-friendly products and trending curl care methods be too much of a good thing?  If you find  that your waves or curls start to respond negatively to all this well-meaning attention and, instead of hair nirvana, you find yourself burdened with a simultaneous feeling of dryness and oiliness, dullness, and flaking,  chances are, you’ve got a case of the Build Up Blues.

What is build up? 

Simply put, build up is a gradual accumulation of products on the hair strands. Accumulated build up doesn’t allow necessary moisture, oils, and other nutrients to penetrate your hair. This results in dry, dull, flat hair.

What causes build up? 

  • Occlusive Ingredients
    If a product contains an excessive amount of occlusive ingredients, which create a strong barrier around the hair shaft, it can be difficult to remove with regular washing.  These ingredients are not necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but can become so if used excessively.  With the notable exception of heat stylers, which need strong film-formers and occlusive ingredients to protect the hair, products should not contain ingredients that are primarily composed of occlusive agents such as petroleum derivatives, lanolin, or heavy silicones.
  • Excessive/Incompatible Products
    No matter how great the ingredients, if a product doesn’t moisturize your hair on Day 1, re-applying it throughout the week will not improve the situation.  In fact, it will dry your hair out and weigh it down with a coating that remains on the outside of the hair shaft rather than penetrating to the interior of the hair where moisture is needed.
  • Hard Water
    Well or hard water will deposit minerals on the outside of the hair which block moisture and product from penetrating the hair shaft.  Hair that’s been washed with hard water generally feels grainy and waxy but also straw-like and dry.
  • Co-washing
    Although co-washing is viewed by many as a gentle alternative to washing with harsh shampoos, it does not completely remove most leave-ins, gels, and oils.  Over time, this will lead to build-up and dryness.

How to Beat Build Up:

  • Embrace the Cleanse
    Regular cleansing with a sulfate-free shampoo, such as Get Fresh! or Get Clean! will remove excess product from the hair without stripping natural oils.
  • Rinse & Repeat
    Unless it’s labelled as a ‘leave-in’, conditioners are not designed to  be left in the hair.  Fully rinse your conditioner out to leave your hair receptive and open to the moisturizing leave-ins that you apply during your styling routine.
  • Find the Right Product
    Given the amount of products on the market, the search for the right product can  be overwhelming.  Start by reading labels and prioritizing products that contain high quality ingredients near the top and minimal to no occlusive ingredients.  (All of our moisturizers, definers, and sealants check this box).  Select a handful of contenders, and then assess their performance on your hair before committing to regular use.   If a product is compatible with your hair, it should feel smooth going in, enhance your natural curl or wave pattern, and dry clear and shiny.  This basic test is the cornerstone of our Seven Point Assessment, which our Experts perform for free at the Original Moxie Salon.  However, you can do your own version of the Seven Point by working methodically and paying close attention to your results.
  • Simplify
    The majority of your product application should occur on freshly washed and conditioned hair.  You should not have to repeat a full product application day after day.  The right product combination will keep your hair moisturized and defined until the next Wash Day.  If you need to refresh mid-cycle, selectively re-wet, rather than re-styling all of your hair, and defer to gels or oils rather than re-applying your moisturizer.
  • Detox
    Even a clarifying shampoo may not be sufficient to remove heavy build up.  While DIY methods abound, we strongly recommend leaving this job to the professionals.  Many of the at-home treatments to remove build up can wind up further damaging the hair.  For chronic or severe build up, we offer three detoxes at our Flagship Salon: a Damage Detox, Moisture Detox, and Scalp Detox.  We’ll cover each of these treatments in upcoming blog posts and explain how we determine which one is best for various hair types and conditions.

Concerned that you might have the Build Up Blues?  The good news is that there is a cure.  Once build up is removed, moisture is allowed to penetrate the hair shaft, the hair becomes softer, curls pop, and frizz abates.  Et voila!  Happy feeling restored.


It’s Your Earth Day – U can Buy if U Want 2!

Spring has sprung and so has one of our largest sales of the year! This Earth Day (and all weekend long) you can save 30% on purchases of $25 & up. We’re also celebrating the launch of three new products: Sweet Poof Mini, Pop Life Volumizing Mousse, Moxie Versatowel™. Check out the new releases and shop the sale at our online store with coupon code ED2018. You can also experience the savings at our Michigan Store & Salon (no code needed).

You can feel good about treating yourself by supporting a brand where every day is Earth Day. We pride ourselves on our year-round commitment to healthy, cruelty-free products, natural ingredients, and green practices!

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 4/20 – 4/22 online and 4/20 – 4/21 for in-store purchases. Complete details and exclusions are available here.
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 or contact Carolyn McCarthy at 734-355-6993/



The Wash & Go Deconstructed

Hair healthy?  Check!  Products on point?  Check!*   Congratulations, you are ready to move on to Process, the third ‘P’ in our 5 P’s of Mastering the Wash & Go.  Follow these guidelines and you’re only steps away from earning your PhD (Perfect Hair Day) in the Art of the Wash & Go.

  1.  Start with freshly washed, detangled hair.  When your  hair is wet, cleansed, and free of build up, it is most receptive to moisture.  If you wash your hair and still feel that there is build up (indicated by a waxy feeling, flaking, etc), you may need to do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse or other safe clarifying treatment.
  2. Work on wet hair.  And we mean wet, not damp.  Keep a mister close by so that you can add more moisture as needed. We love the Flairosol Mister for it’s continuous spray, ease of action, and sleek design.
  3. Apply product in small sections.  The tighter your curl pattern and the thicker your hair, the smaller the section.  If in doubt, go with about a 1″ section.  Use clips to make sure you don’t lose track of your spot.
  4. Start with moisturizer.  Once you determine which moisturizer is the best fit for you (see our previous post), apply that product before anything else touches your hair.  This will get your curl to ‘pop’. Make sure you can easily rake your fingers through from scalp to ends.  If you hit snarls or tangles, gently loosen them.
  5. Create a curl ‘cast’ with a defining product.  For most this will be a gel, like Just Gel, defining serum, like Hold Up, or, in the case of coarse, resistant hair, a very sticky butter, like Emollience.    And, yes, you do need some sort of cast-creating product if you want your Wash & Go to last for more than a few days.
  6. Ribbon Your Hair.    This is perhaps the most obscure, but also the most important step.  Applying your defining product is the moment to ensure that your curl families (or ribbons) are grouped in their natural formations.  Smooth through the 1″ section in vertical subsections with two fingers.  You’ll see the ribbons appear like strings on a harp as in the picture above.  Simply smooth the defining product through each ribbon from root to tip.
  7. Dry carefully.  You have options, depending on your lifestyle and hair type.  T-Shirt Towel material (such as the new Moxie Versa-towel, coming soon to our website and available in store) is best, as it dries without frizzing the hair.  You can also air dry, diffuse dry (with medium settings) or hood dry (best).
  8. Do not Disturb!  Whatever you do, do not mess with your curls until they are fully dry!  This includes sleeping.  If you must go to bed before your hair is dry, ensure that your hair is protected with a satin bonnet.

You’re done!   Now it’s just about keeping your awesome curls alive with the last 2 P’s:  Practice and Protection.   Remember, Rome was not built in a day.  Becoming a Wash & Go Pro takes time.  If you have less-than perfect results on your first attempts, learn from your mistakes and move on.  As far as Protection, treat your hair like a delicate thread that tangles easily.  Protect it from friction with non-snagging materials like satin, and use techniques like pineappling to supplement your night-time routine.  You got this!

*If not, you can read our previous two posts to get those steps done.


It’s Not You! It’s Your Product.

Does this sound familiar?  You watched ALL the Youtube demos, read ALL the blogs, and followed ALL the instructions, but your Wash & Go is still a fail?  The good news is that it’s not you, it’s your product.  Despite the glut of ‘curl friendly’ products on the market, finding the ones that work for you can be a very time consuming and expensive process.  Your hair, like you, is unique.  Assuming that all curly hair is the same or even that all ‘4C’ hair is the same is about as accurate as saying that all hair is the same.  Clearly, it’s just not true.  Just because your favorite Youtuber has hair that looks like yours doesn’t mean that her holy grail products will work for you.

But don’t get discouraged by failure.  Just because you haven’t yet mastered the Wash & Go of your dreams, doesn’t mean it’s out of reach.  You just need products that actually fit your hair type.  Any Natural, regardless of curl pattern, can rock a Wash & Go.  And, believe it or not, finding your perfect match is more a matter of science than luck.  Following this simple method, you can hone in on your core products AND achieve the curls of your dreams without losing your mind or busting your budget.

  1. Find your Perfect Moisturizer
    While a good gel or sealant may be a useful tool in your wash-and-go routine, the key to popping the curl is honing in on the right moisturizer.   As in most things, it’s best to work methodically, not impulsively.  Buying a product off the shelf without doing your research is like trying to find your dream house by throwing a dart at the map. You might get lucky, but the odds are against you.   If you can first target your neighborhood, your chances of success improve exponentially.  So what type of moisture ‘neighborhood’ should you live in?   Normal to oily hair needs a lightly moisturizing definer, such as Sweet Poof or Mane Tame,  that relies on proteins to rather than a full fledged moisturizer. Normal to dry hair can vary in compatibility and may prefer a highly humectant, water-based moisturizer, like Oasis Moisture Gel, or crave a creamy combination of oil and water, such as Everyday Leave-in.  Dry, thick hair inevitably needs a rich and possibly layered combination of butters, oils and water.  You’ll know when you see the right fit.  Your curl shape will be consistent, your hair will feel silky and smooth, and your individual curls will separate easily into defined clusters.
  2. Create a Curl Cast
    Now that your curl is defined and moisturized, lock in that shape and seal out frizz with a compatible defining product.  We use Hold Up Defining Serum for most of our clients, from high to low porosity, when we need a very strong hold.  Just Gel Styling Concentrate is preferable for those that prefer a softer feel or have more flake-prone hair.  Always apply the gel or serum of your choice immediately after the moisturizer, keeping hair wet while you work.  While moisturizer can be raked through the hair in 1″ to 4″ sections, we recommend ‘ribboning’ the defining product by smoothing it along each individual curl family.  (We’ve demonstrated this technique in a number of videos, but you can check it out here for a quick overview).  Coarse, resistant hair types that tend to feel hard even without a gel should skip this step and move on to Step 3 as a film forming gel will provide limited benefit while making the hair feel even harder and more brittle.
  3. Seal It In
    For most, this step is an optional finishing step as defining products can usually sufficiently seal the cuticle for Wash & Go’s that will naturally expire in a week or less.  On the other hand, it may be essential if your hair is incompatible with gels and/or has a coarser texture.  Our preferred sealant for very thick hair is Emollience, which is sticky enough to group and hold coarse hairs in a unified curl, providing a flexible cast, moisture, and shine in one step.  For finer hair types, this step can either be skipped altogether or performed with a lighter oil, such as Twist Mist or Hair Bling.

And the good news is, if you do it right, you shouldn’t need to continually re-moisturize your hair throughout the week.  When you have products that fit, they do the job on Wash Day and keep your curls moisturized, shiny and defined until the next one rolls around!


Prepare for Wash & Go Success

Make no mistake, you CAN achieve a phenomenal curly style without heat or manipulation (a.k.a. a ‘Wash & Go’) regardless of your texture.  However, in order to rock the Wash & Go of your dreams, you must take stock of your hair as it is.   Is your hair dry?  Do you have areas that do not curl due to heat styling or a relaxer?  Does the shape of your cut lend itself to a curly style?  Perhaps your hair has been texturized or thinned, leading to all-over frizz and lack of definition?  These are all things that we see very frequently with clients that are frustrated by their attempts to wear a Wash & Go.

The good news is, that while some take longer to correct than others, you can fix all of these common pitfalls.

  1. Dryness can be addressed by pre-treating the hair with Emollience and using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, such as Get Clean & Intense Quench Deep Conditioner.   The products you use and the frequency with which you wash your hair is everything when it comes to moisture retention, a key component of a healthy Wash & Go.  For extreme dryness or hair that is naturally resistant or coarse, we recommend a Moisture Detox (available exclusively at the Original Moxie Salon).DSC00915
  2. Damage can be offset by a number of measures, depending on your priorities.  For those seeking to minimize any loss of length, we suggest a Damage Detox (also available at the Original Moxie Salon) , which radically moisturizes and rebuilds damaged hair, enhancing shine, curl definition, and manageability.  Removing the damage with a trim is the most comprehensive and fastest way to bypass split ends and inconsistent curl patterns.   If you choose this option, make sure you go for a Curly Cut, rather than having your hair cut from a straightened state, as this will only introduce new damage into your already stressed hair.
  3. Texturizing can be the most difficult issue to correct, depending on how frequently or severely the hair has been thinned.   Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common  challenges that we encounter. When the hair is razor cut or thinned with notched shears, it separates and weakens the natural curl groupings or ‘families,’ creating instant frizz where the individual, thinned hairs fly away from the group.  When this process is repeated, the issue becomes worse as the curl groupings become increasingly thin and frayed.  The only way to correct this issue is with regular trims or a big chop.  Using a strong gel, such as Hold Up Defining Serum,  can help to artificially ‘glue’ the fly aways down, but this is just a temporary solution.
  4. Shape is all important in feeling confident with your natural texture.  A great shape can get you through a day with less-than-perfect definition and provide structure to the natural disconnect and variability of curly hair.  If you plan to wear your hair primarily in its curly state, we highly recommend getting a Curly Cut to ensure that the shape works with your natural curl pattern, density, and head shape.  Our method goes a step further to ensure that your natural curl groupings are cut as a unit to enhance and reinforce your texture.moxie cut_web

Moral of the story?  Get the fundamentals in place to get he most out of your Wash & Go!