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beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet my Holy Grail hair care: Original Moxie

I believe that there's a little bit of magic in the air when something is presented to you that patently defies logic (at least my version of logic). I am ultra-low maintenance when it comes to my very long dark hair. I don't use heat styling tools at all, including a hairdryer, and I only color it once every 6 months or so. I also cut my own bangs. My styling products have historically been limited to a dab of glossing cream.

The Original Moxie natural hair care line offers many options for every type of hair and scalp condition. When I browsed the website for the first time,I was clicking around and reading for an hour. I was initially overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available, but I quickly became intrigued by the myriad  possibilities. I checked out their 3D Diagnostic System,, developed to help you figure out which products are best for you. It measures 3 specific qualities of hair: Density (fine to thick), Dryness (oily to dry) and Degree of Curl (straight to kinky). The sub-collections are also color-coded to denote which hair types would most benefit for each product. I have to admit that I was a bit relieved when founder Rachel Blistein wanted to know all about my hair and its history in order to provide me with a personalized regimen recommendation. I felt like I was being given special treatment, but the company will do this for anyone who requests it. My hair and scalp assessment came back as borderline on practically everything, which actually gives me more options than someone with very specific needs.  By the time Rachel and I had completed our consultation via email and I received my samples and regimen plan, I was really quite eager to get started. I had high hopes that this independently owned, natural line of hair products might allow me to dispense with the rather disappointing brands I was using until recently. Well, you might be interested to know that I really went for it and have been having way too much fun experimenting and enjoying the results that I forgot how much I used to hate washing my hair.

Scent Matters
One of the coolest things about Original Moxie is that Rachel Blistein was so inspired by Mandy Aftel's natural fragrances and methods described in her book Essence and Alchemy, that she wanted to incorporate some of her own natural deliciousness into her hair products. The scents of the products vary widely, from Moroccan mint tea to turbinado sugar with a hint of cinnamon to lemon custard. I appreciate the thought that went into these mild scents, because to me, there is a lot of value in engaging the sense of smell while in the process of caring for hair (and skin as well). The scents are not so strong that I can't still identify some of the raw ingredients used, because I love the smell of those too!

Experimentation Ensues
Armed with a slew of travel sized products, plenty of information and customized tips, I started to experiment. At first, I tried to follow a specific order and combination of products, but eventually I realized that the beauty of Original Moxie lies in the fact that each product can be used for multiple things. By mixing and matching to suit the exact needs of my hair that day, I can achieve hair perfection: clean, conditioned and styled to maximize what's naturally mine, and without the horrors of synthetic compounds that take forever to rinse out and make my hair several pounds heavier.

That brings me to my first Original Moxie miracle: the physical weight of my hair has changed. After using the products for about a week, I noticed that my hair had become much lighter and I found that it air-dried in half the time it used to. Let me tell you, I'm already accustomed to this gravity-defying hoodoo and won't be giving it up any time soon. Here's the recipe I use to get bouncy, shiny hair with my natural waves enhanced and no evidence of the dry scraggly ends I have because I've waited too long to get my hair cut: Whenever I use this group of products together, I wake up in the morning, run my Widu wooden paddle brush through my hair and just stare slack-jawed at it. It's a total "whoa" moment every time.

Get Clean Shampoo (non-foaming! removes what you don't want and doesn't strip hair of moisture. I always did want to try a creamy hair cleanser like Wen, until I looked at the ingredients list. Luckily, this one is packed with good-for-your-hair stuff. It takes a little getting used to, but I always keep one thing in mind: when I rinse out Get Clean Shampoo, I can immediately tell that it has done its job. It lives up to its name!)
Featherweight Conditioner (very light rinse-out product, very emollient for its light weight, and it works extremely well with the non-foaming Get Clean Shampoo)
Sweet Poof Volumizing Spray (I spray this from roots to tips to add texture and volume. I reach for my Sweet Poof every single day because it's a very versatile product. It never gets sticky or causes build-up on the hair or scalp. It's very un-hairspraylike and THE must-have product to use when you need texture in a flash, and is especially helpful in creating the perfect ponytail, braid, bun or updo. Your style will last all day without feeling crunchy or greasy. All of a sudden I'm on a tare trying to find gorgeous little hair accessories just for times like this)
Mane Tame Weightless Frizz Control (a tiny dollop of this lotion smooths hair cuticles and strengthens strands. It's a necessity for me whether I want to enhance waves or for straight styles. Another indispensable styling gem)
Oasis Moisture Gel (I use this to add extra moisture on my ends only, but it can also be used as a leave-in conditioner on entire head. It's also the perfect product for slicking hair back - into a ponytail or without one  if you have shorter hair)

One of the first things I did when I got my Original Moxie products was pre-treat my hair and scalp, because I knew I needed intense hair and scalp healing and moisturizing. I'm kind of addicted to the scent of both of these products, and now I use them in tandem once a week. My normally sensitive and dry scalp is in perfect working order, and now my hair will never have the chance to be dry or lackluster ever again. Here's how I pre-treat:

Emollience (I massage this rich balm into my scalp for about 5 minutes to get some circulation going, then run it down to my ends at night for an overnight treatment)
Scalp Therapy (the next morning, I apply this extremely soothing and refreshing minty liquid on my scalp, massage for a few minutes, leave it on for an hour, then shampoo and condition as usual)

Sometimes I like my hair a little piecey, beachy, bedroom or however you want to describe it- to me, it's just plain sexy. If I have tousled hair AND my skin is behaving nicely, I am at my best, most confident and happiest. You won't find me wearing any makeup on these days- just sunscreen and a smile. I have found that by layering different moisturizing and texturizing products, it creates long-lasting styles that only look better the next day, and the day after that. This is my killer routine for luscious, hydrated bed-head hair:

Get Fresh Shampoo (this is one of my OMG products. Citrus oils, dead sea salt and wheat protein in a very low-lathering base cleanse the hair and scalp exceptionally well and act as a base for building volume and texture. It's sulfate free, too!)
Intense Quench Conditioner (doubles as a one-step cleansing conditioner. The gorgeous, rich moisture makes my hair deliciously silky, shiny and strong. It rinses clean and easily)
Everyday Leave-in conditioner (a little dab of this goes on before I comb my wet hair. It's a medium-bodied cream, it's slippery and is my favorite thing to use not only on freshly shampooed hair, but also on non-wash days to style my hair. Perfect moisture delivery, light definition)
Straight Up Sleek Control (a light balm that can be used on damp or dry hair- adds lightweight luster and shine and makes it easy to straighten my hair with just a paddle brush once it's dry. I also love it as a nail and cuticle cream, and it smells delicious, like lemon custard pie)
Piece-nik Matte Styling Paste (I use this on my roots for its volumizing properties, and I also work a little bit into small sections of hair to add piecey texture. It's not heavy or gooey, it's water soluble and melts nicely in your hands with body temperature. The texture is indeed matte, but it does not leave my hair looking ashen)
And of course, I use a few spritzes of Sweet Poof for good measure.

Final Evaluation
Well, I will never be able to go back to using regular hair products ever again. If I have to, it will be against my will and out of my control. I love being able to mix and match shampoos and conditioners for day-to-day customization, and it's made an incredible difference in my hair. There is nothing quite as emblematic of a woman's personality and self-expression than her hair, and to be shown so many more options than I thought was possible is exactly what has made it so much fun for me to explore this line. Hair is not just a mass of strands growing out of our heads, it's one of the things we use to signify who we are to the rest of the world. Original Moxie has reminded me of this, and also that taking care of my hair shouldn't be a chore, which it really had become.

It matters to me that the company is cruelty-free, environmentally responsible and that they use natural, healthy (and organic when possible) ingredients in their products. Also of importance to me is that they can offer me all the ultra-modern styling options I could want. Piece by piece, everything I use on my body and in my home is becoming natural/organic and cruelty free. It means more to me than ever, and I'm thrilled that I've found my Holy Grail hair care.

My Favorite Must-Try Products:
Get Clean and Get Fresh Shampoos
Intense Quench and Featherweight Conditioners (yep, both shampoos and both conditioners. Once you mix and match, you can never go back)
Everyday Leave-In Conditioner
Sweet Poof Volumizing Spray
Mane Tame Weightless De-Frizzer
(Hey, that's only 7 products! I'll pretend that I don't need to have absolutely everything, forever and ever)

If you would like to learn more about Original Moxie founder Rachel Blistein's fragrance habits and obsessions, stay tuned... she will be featured in my ongoing series, Perfume Palate, later this week!

Trial sizes of almost all Original Moxie products are available HERE, and full sizes can be found on the website in their respective categories.

[product samples provided by Original Moxie for my consideration. photos courtesy of Original Moxie]


  1. Thanks so much for reporting on your experience with this hair brand, Carrie. It sounds life-changing.

    As someone who's been battling in the hair wars for several decades, it sounds just what I need. I especially love the personalised approach and ability to use the products your own way. I've registered an interest for when they ship internationally.

    May you continue to have happy, healthy hair!

    1. Hey Tara! Thanks for visiting, as always. What country do you live in? I sure hope they add international shipping soon. I see a bucketful of minis in your future. :)

    2. I'm in the UK and they do say that they hope to ship internationally at some point, so fingers crossed I will get my hands on those minis!

  2. I've been meaning to try this line after reading about it on one of my favorite green beauty blogs (Chic and Green daily).. You are so right about the weight of hair- I thought I was imagining things - but with the 'close to natural' hair products I started to use a few years ago, I also found that my hair dried much faster.. I am like you in that I don't do much to my hair- so I appreciate your feedback on these products!

    1. I am glad I'm not alone in my anti-gravity claim! At first I thought I must be imagining things, but after a couple weeks, I knew that it was true. All of the heavy silicone products and invisible synthetic waxes had finally been stripped away and were replaced with natural moisturizing compounds. What a difference!

  3. I am still searching for my perfect hair products. Just when I think I have the magic combo my hormones kick in and I have dry frizz again. I just cut off about 6 inches because it was just awful. I hate throwing things out unless they are really horrible so when I finish up the stuff I have now I may look into this line. My resistant grays don't help either. They are a completely different texture from my natural hair color. Plus I color it. I don't blow dry though.

    1. My day would not be complete without my favorite poodle! I'm right there with you in terms of grays- I'm just starting to get them all over now. I was a bit mystified when I realized that my hair, mid-shaft down, looked healthier and shinier than on my crown. I figured out that it's the texture of my hair changing, partially because of the grays. So, I use different Moxie products for my crown and the rest of my hair so that it looks more uniform. I should probably color my hair more often, too. I'm sure it would look better with even color and texture!

  4. The benefits of these products is that we can mix them and use differently for hair protection and there will be no side effects as they use natural ingredients!!!
    Hair Care