Whether you have fine waves or tight coils...
You have the right to remain curly!®


The list of salons that carry Jessicurl contines to grow each week so I thought I'd make you a quick list of some of the recent ones so we could welcome them to the Jessicurl family together! :) They all seem to be very passionate about curls and you know how much we love that around here! :)

In no particular order, please welcome:

Bombshell Salon
2243 N. Tyler Suite 506
Wichita, KS 67205                                                                                                                           (316) 461-0841


Wendy Wolfe, Curly Hair Specialist
1335 E Whitestone Blvd
Building O, Suite 500-B
Cedar Park, Tx 78613
(512) 814-9449

MissNaturalista is located in the Virgin Islands and carries Jessicurl online.

DyeVerCity Salon
122 Old Evans Rd.
Martinez, GA 30907

Tagis Hair Design
5134 Thunder Hill Rd.
Columbia, MD 21045

Class Act Hair Design
194 Bridgeport Rd. East
Waterloo, ON N2J 2K5
Canada                                                                                                                                                                                                      519-725-3794

Gossips Hairstylists Inc.,
3037 Dundas Street West,
Toronto, ON M6P 1Z5

I'd also like to shout out to our good buddy Scott Musgrave for sending most of these curly stylists our way! Scott continues to sing the praises of Jessicurl far and wide and we very much appreciate it! :) If you are lucky enough to live near Cary, NC, please PLEASE go get your hair cut from Scott. He's clearly a curl genius! :)

Some of you have posted pictures of how awesome your curls look using our new Spiralicious Styling Gel and I want to encourage more of that! So, please enter our "Show Me Your Spiralicious Selfie" contest. :)

Here's how it works.

Post a picture of your curls using Spiralicous on either our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page (or all 3!) and hashtag it both #Spiralicious and #Jessicurl. On Tuesday November 12 I'll randomly pick a winner from each of the three platforms to win a free bottle. If you enter through each platform, that means you're entered three times!

Please, no cheating. Only post pics where you actually have Spiralicious in your hair, ok?

Here's mine from today, though clearly I'm exempt from winning. :-)

Wheeeee!!!! I'm super stoked to announce that today is the official launch of Spiralicious, our new firmer hold styling product.



Spiralicious is much thicker than Confident Coils and very gel-like in consistency but does not flake in the hair like many gels can. While it can dry crunchy, that initial crunch scrunches out really easily, leaving the hair very soft to the touch, but the curls hold up all day. No ramen-noodle curls here!

One of the best parts about it is the frizz control. Seriously people, the frizz control on this stuff is NO JOKE! If you currently use Rockin’ Ringlets, you’ll find that the two work together really well. If you don’t find you need a curl enhancer (which is what Rockin’ Ringlets is), Spiralicious will provide you with fabulous hold and frizz control but without giving you “helmet head.” It’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. :)

For the last month it’s been available exclusively at CurlMart.com but as of today you can get it at                     all the places you’d normally buy Jessicurl.*

(*We’re still working in EU certification on this product and hope to have that completed by early 2014.)

The initial reviews on this stuff are AWESOME. Want to read some before you take the plunge and buy it?

Go for it! :)

If yo’ud like to try a free sample, I encourage that too!


I’m really proud of this new product and am thrilled that it has finally hit the market. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it as much as I do. :) So again I say, wheeeeee!!!!!!!

Why don't you head on over and get yourself a bottle, eh? :) 

Well curlies, my new baby, Spiralicious Styling Gel was “born” a week ago today and the reviews are starting to come in. As anticipated, they’re really good! :)


When we did the testing for it, we did so anonymously, so the testers didn’t know what company they were testing for. That was pretty fun. :) I even created a secret Gmail account from which to write the testers and did my best to not say “eh” and end every sentence with a smiley face so that they wouldn’t figure out it was me. :) Apparently it worked. :) (I did reveal who I was once the product was launched though.)


Anyway, I wanted to share with you some of the reviews people have been posting online via Facebook, Twitter, and on CurlMart.com so you can see what customers are saying in their own words. Spiralicious is available exclusively at CurlMart.com for the rest of October and after that will be found at Jessicurl.com and everywhere else Jessicurl is sold.


If you’d like a free sample, you can snag one from us here. Now, on to the customer comments…

“My hair is LOVING Spiralicious!! Lots of definition and no frizz, even in these southern CA east winds!” – Mary, as posted on the Jessicurl Facebook page, along with this accompanying picture.


“I have really long, fine and super super super thick 3a/3b hair. I participated in the testing of this product before it was revealed. I still have product left in my teeny tiny test tube after several months (that is with waist length hair almost), and I am still using it. On my hair, this product goes forever! I knew that as soon as it was revealed I would buy it, so I did THAT DAY. Now I'm dying for it to get here. You should try this product, I am so picky, and I just love it. The consistency is really neat and not super sticky, sort of like a lotion but stronger. This is only the second styling product in two years that has made the cut for being a regular part of my hair care regimen. I use it by itself without having to layer. Try this...no, I am NOT being paid to say this!! ;) I just like to help out my fellow curlies!” – via CurlMart.com


“Love this gel. Great consistency! Just the right amount of hold.” – Via CurlMart.com


“I used this product for the first time today and all I can say is WOW! I love it. It has great hold, lots of volume. I used it alone today to see how it works by itself and I don't think I need any other products with it.” – Via CurlMart.com


I love my hair, lots of defined curls!!” – CurlyKimmyStar, via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, along with this awesome picture.


So far so good w/ Jessicurl Spiralicious gel. Same results as I get w/2 products & less frizz in trouble spots.” – Carrie, via Twitter.


Perhaps the most powerful comment comes from Beverly Neeland, owner and stylist at Hello Curls in Sacramento, CA. She writes, “Working on a picture and post soon! Loving loving loving it so far. Used in 4b, 3c, 3a, 2c curls with stunning results!”


Those are some pretty powerful testimonials! :) You can get your own bottle or post your review here.



Woooo HOOOO! It's not every day we launch a new product, so I'm SUPER stoked to tell you that after months of anticipation, Spiralicious is now available! :)

You'll find it exclusively at www.CurlMart.com for the rest of this month. Starting November 1, you'll be able to get it at Jessicurl.com and the other fine stores, salons and sites that carry Jessicurl. We're currently working on EU certification for it and should have it availalbe throughout Europe in early 2014.


For a while now, our customers have been asking us to provide them with a stronger hold styling product. If we had to rate our current styling line up, Gelebration Spray and Rockin’ Ringlets would be light hold, and Confident Coils would be medium. That definitely leaves room in the category for a firmer hold styling product and we hear you that you’ve been filling that need elsewhere.

Well, you don’t have to anymore, Jessicurl fans! After months of testing, we’re super excited to introduce Spiralicious Styling Gel, the thicker, stronger hold styler for you’ve been asking for.

Jessicurl customers have been involved in the creation of this gel from the very beginning, as testers during the formulation process all the way up to naming the product itself! That’s right, through our “Name Jess’s New Baby Contest”, L. Rassmusen suggested the name Spiralicious and named this stuff! Jessicurl customers truly are involved every step of the way when it comes to launching a new product. :)

Spiralicious is much thicker than Confident Coils and very gel-like in consistency but does not flake in the hair like many gels can. While it can dry crunchy, that initial crunch scrunches out really easily, leaving the hair very soft to the touch, but the curls hold up all day. No ramen-noodle curls here!

One of the best parts about it is the frizz control. Seriously people, the frizz control on this stuff is NO JOKE! If you currently use Rockin’ Ringlets, you’ll find that the two work together really well. If you don’t find you need a curl enhancer (which is what Rockin’ Ringlets is), Spiralicious will provide you with fabulous hold and frizz control but without giving you “helmet head.” It’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. :)


So what are you waiting for?? Head on over to CurlMart and get yourself a bottle. It IS my new baby, after all. :-)



Ha ha, bet you did a double take there, eh curlies? :) You know I think of my products as my "children", and I'm happy, no THRILLED, to announce we're adding to the Jessicurl family! :-)

For a while now, you have been asking us to provide you with a stronger hold styling product. If we had to rate our current styling line up, Gelebration Spray and Rockin’ Ringlets would be light hold, and Confident Coils would be medium. That definitely leaves room in the category for a stronger hold styling product and we hear you that you’ve been filling that need elsewhere. Well, you don’t have to anymore, Jessicurl fans! After months of testing, we’re super excited to offer you a thicker, stronger hold styler for those of you who need it.

This new product is much thicker than Confident Coils and very gel-y in consistency but does not flake in the hair like many gels can. While it can dry crunchy, that initial crunch scrunches out really easily, leaving the hair very soft to the touch, but the curls hold up all day. No ramen-noodle curls here!

One of the best parts about this product is the frizz control. Seriously people, the frizz control on this stuff is NO JOKE! If you currently use Rockin’ Ringlets, you’ll find that the two work together really well. If you don’t find you need a curl enhancer (which is what Rockin’ Ringlets is), the new product will provide you with fabulous hold and frizz control but without giving you “helmet head.” It’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. :)

The only thing left to do is name this thing! That's where you come in. :) All of our cutest names (Rockin' Ringlets Styling Potion, Confident Coils Styling Solution, Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, to name but a few), have come from contests where YOU got to suggest names. Since those were so successful in the past, we're doing it again. :)


Follow this link to the official Name Jess’s New Baby Contest page.  Submit up to three different suggestions for our new stronger-hold styling product. (But if you only have one, that's fine too. If you have more than 3, fill out the survey twice.) Be sure to read the contest rules, because we will be using the winning name forever. What does the winner get? A $500 gift certificate to Jessicurl.com and world-wide fame! :) This product is awesome. Don't you want to be the one that names it?! Yes, yes you do.


Of course I had to make a video to demonstrate just HOW excited I am about the launch of this new product! :)


Jessicurl "Name Jess' New Baby" Contest.



 Jessicurl wants you to help us name our new firmer hold styling gel.



1. ELIGIBILITY: Open only to legal residents of any one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry.

2. CONTEST PERIOD: You may enter the Contest between 12:00:00 PM (noon) Western Standard Time (“WST”) on September 3, 2013 and 11:59:59 PM WST on September 16, 2013 (“Contest Period”).

3. TO ENTER: To enter the Contest, go http://namejessicurlproduct.questionpro.com (“Web Site”), during the Contest Period, and complete the entry form. BEFORE YOU WILL BE ALLOWED TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY, YOU MUST EXPRESSLY AGREE AND CONSENT TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF SERVICE AND PRIVACY POLICIES OF THE WEB SITE AND THE “NAME THAT GEL” CONTEST. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS, PLEASE DO NOT USE THE WEB SITE OR ENTER THE CONTEST. Follow the on-screen instructions to properly complete and submit your entry form, including up to three product names, for the Contest.  Before completing the Entry, you will be required to agree that you have  read or have had these Official Rules read to you and you are in agreement with these Official Rules. Submissions that do not include all required information and adhere to the Official Rules as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion will be considered void. Once submitted, Submissions will not be returned. Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, remove, delete and/or disqualify any Submission and/or Entrant (as defined in “Additional Requirements” below) it deems inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.


All submissions must be received by during the Contest Period.
The person completing the form and submitting at least one product name will be deemed the entrant (“Entrant”). The Entrant is the one (1) person who owns the email address associated with the entry.  If any group elects to collaborate on a Submission, they are required to designate one (1) person as the agent of the group to enter the Contest, agree to these rules and accept the prize on behalf of the group. Sponsor is not liable for any disputes between collaborators arising under or related to the Contest.

Each individual Entrant is allowed a total of three (3) names with their Entry.  

Each Submission must comply with the Web Site Terms of Service, as well as these Official Rules. In the event of any inconsistency between these Official Rules and the Terms of Service, the terms in these Official Rules shall prevail.

Each Submission must be the original work of the Entrant produced for this Contest; it may not have been entered in or won previous contests or awards); it may not have been published previously in any medium; it must not infringe any party’s intellectual property or other rights; it must be suitable for display and publication on the product itself, website and in all marketing materials (e.g. may not be obscene or indecent, including but not limited to nudity or profanity); it must not contain obscene or pornographic material, it must not contain defamatory statements (including but not limited to words or symbols that are widely considered offensive to individuals of a certain race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic group), it must not include threats to any person, place, business, group or world peace, it must not invade privacy or other rights of any person, firm or entity, and it must not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations or network standards.

Each Submission must not feature or refer to any hair care products other than JESSICURL and it must not feature or reference any names or third party logos (other than the JESSICURL brand name), including but not limited to third party names, logos or trademarks.

Each Submission must not contain any copyrighted works (other than as owned by the Entrant)

In the event that two different individuals submit the same name, the name submitted first will supersede the later.

All Submissions will be reviewed for content before being published or judged; however, such review does not relieve Entrant from responsibility for compliance with all of the Terms of Service and these Official Rules. Submissions that do not comply in all material respects with the Terms of Services or these Official Rules or that otherwise contain prohibited, or inappropriate content as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified and will not be published or considered for prizes. Sponsor makes the final determination as to which Submissions are eligible to take part in this Contest and be considered for  the Grand Prize (defined below) Certain Submissions may be featured from time to time on the Web Site during the Contest Period and/or in Sponsor’s social media pages and channels, in Sponsor’s sole discretion; being selected as a featured Submission is unrelated to the Judging Criteria and does not guarantee selection as the winner in the Contest.

All Contest Entrants agree to release and indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsor from any and all claims that any commercial, advertising, presentation, Web content or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of Sponsor infringe on the rights of Entrant’s work as contained in any Submission.


Entrants agree that the Sponsor has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this Contest and that all decisions of Sponsor are final and binding. The Contest Winner, by acceptance of the Grand Prize, irrevocably consents to the use of such winner's name, likeness, image, voice, performance (in connection with interviews and other recordings), biographical information, and statements relating to the Contest or Sponsor or its affiliated parties, without further compensation, in all world-wide marketing, promotion, and publicity carried out in perpetuity by any of Sponsor or its affiliated parties in connection with this Contest. Grand Prize Winner further grant to Sponsor the right to use and publish their proper name and state or country of residence online, in print and any other media now known or hereafter devised in connection with this Contest in perpetuity. Prize winners may be required to sign and return, without limitation and to the extent permitted under applicable law, a Publicity Release and Assignment of Rights to Name and any other documentation or instrument that Sponsor and/or its affiliated parties may require.


ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE: The one (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive (1) $500 Jessicurl Gift Certificate.

6. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Finalists will be notified by email within fourteen (14) days of the end of the Contest Period.

7. GENERAL CONDITIONS: All Entrants must have a valid contest entry and e-mail address. Contest Winner is solely responsible for any taxes on their prize if applicable. No substitution of prize is offered, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Prize is non-transferable. Unclaimed prize will not be awarded.  If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including without limitation, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion to cancel, modify or terminate the Contest. Further, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual deemed to be (a) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or any Sponsor or Contest-related Web Site; (b) violating the Official Rules; (c) violating the Web Site terms of service, conditions of use and/or applicable general rules or guidelines; or (d) acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. This Contest is offered only in the United States and is governed by the laws of the state of California. All claims relating in any manner to this Contest or to any Submission must be resolved in the federal or state courts located in Humboldt County, CA.

Please see the Web Site’s privacy policy located at http://www.jessicurl.com/privacy-policy for details of our policy regarding the personal information collected in connection with this Contest.


Any waiver of any obligation hereunder by Sponsor does not constitute a general waiver of any obligation to Entrants. By accepting a prize, the Contest Winner  agrees, and agrees in writing if requested, that the Submission will be deemed a Work Made For Hire under the Copyright laws of the United States, but if it cannot be so deemed, then the Contest Winner agrees to irrevocably assign and transfer to Sponsor all of his/her right, title and interest in and to his/her Submission, if any, including all but not limited to all copyright and trademark rights which he or she may have, in the United States and worldwide, therein, for consideration in the form of the prize, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged. Finalists hereby waive in favor of Sponsor, all rights of “Droit Moral” or “Moral Rights of Authors” or any similar rights or principles of law that Finalist may now or later have to his/her Submission. Sponsor reserves the right to alter, change or modify a winning Submission, in its sole discretion. Upon request of Sponsor, Contest Winner shall execute and deliver such additional instrument of assignment, as may be solely deemed by Sponsor, reasonably necessary to establish the ownership of record of the right, title and interest in and to the Submission and of the copyrights transferred and “Moral Rights of Authors” waived under these Official Rules. Should Sponsor fail to request the said assignment as stated, that shall not be deemed a waiver of Sponsor’s rights and Sponsor may at a later time request the assignment. Without limiting the foregoing, Sponsor’s rights with respect to the winning Submission include, but are not limited to: (a) the exclusive right to use, publish, display or reproduce the Submission on products, packaging, advertising for purposes of trade and any other lawful purpose; (b) the exclusive right to alter, revise or change the Submission in any way; (c) the exclusive right to secure trademark and copyright registrations and other rights in the Submission anywhere throughout the world; (d) the exclusive right to license, exploit, sell, assign, or otherwise dispose of the Submission or any of the said rights included therein for any purpose which Sponsor may see fit; and (e) any and all subsidiary rights in the Submission.

8. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY AND RELEASE: No liability or responsibility is assumed by the Sponsor resulting from any user’s participation in or attempt to participate in the Contest or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Contest. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the  Sponsor for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Contest: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted e-mail transmissions; inaccessibility of the Web Site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Web Site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Contest. The Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site. Use of Web Site is at user’s own risk. The Sponsor is not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user’s or any other person’s computer equipment resulting from participation in the Contest, use of the Web Site or the download of any information from the Web Site. By participating in the Contest, the Entrant releases Sponsor from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to such Entrant’s participation in the Contest. By accepting a prize in the Contest, winner agrees that the Sponsor shall not be liable for any loss or injury resulting from participation in the Contest, or acceptance or use of any prize.  Sponsor is not liable in the event that any portion of the Contest is cancelled due to weather, fire, strike, acts of war or terrorism, or any other condition beyond their control (a “Force Majeure Event”).

9. WINNERS’ LIST/RULES REQUEST: For the names of the Grand Prize Winner, send your request with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to be received by October 15, 2013 to: Jessicurl Name that Gel Promotion (specify Winners List or Official Rules), 5610 West End Road, Suite 101, Arcata, CA 95521.


Jessicurl, LLC, 5610 West End Road, Suite 101, Arcata CA 95521

Jessicurl, and the Jessicurl Logo are trademarks owned by Jessicurl, LLC. ©2013.

As many of you know, I do a weekly radio show on my local (awesome) station, KHUM. It’s a free-form station not beholden to the likes of Clear Channel or … anyone, actually. The DJs pick what they play and that makes for an amazing variety of tunes.

A few weeks ago I was listening to my buddy Mike, the mid-day DJ (who has won Best DJ in Humboldt County TWO years in a row, BTW) and heard a song with a lyric that literally made me stop what I was doing and look at my phone in amazement. (I stream the station on my phone. I don’t know the last time I owned a “real radio”.)

The line was, “I like the things about me that I once despised.”


OMG, right?!

I immediately texted Mike and said, “Uh… what, pray tell, is this song that is so clearly the anthem for curlies EVERYWHERE?!”

Turns out it was Mavis Staples, and it’s a song from her new album. The song is called I Like The Things About Me, and you can listen here:


The album was released recently and is called One True Vine. Turns out, the song was written by Mavis’ dad, “Pops” Staples. Learning that made me love it even more, since I’m super close to my dad, and I love that this song and message have been passed down through their family, much like I feel like accepting my curls has been passed down from MY dad.

I don’t mean to imply that YOU have ever despised YOUR curls. I just know that a lot of the curlies I talk to did, and now they don’t. And the freedom of that is not to be understated. The confidence that comes from fully accepting ourselves permeates many aspects of our lives and is why our tagline of You Have The Right To Remain Curly is so powerful.

It’s also why this song is so powerful, in my opinion. Music is not just the background to our lives, filling the silence while we answer email or cook dinner. It gets in our soul and reminds us of how we want to be. Of WHO we want to be. Maybe you’re not there yet. But I believe that songs like this with messages like this have the power to move us forward.

I, for one, DO like the things about me that I once despised.

(My hair anyway. We’ll work on the rest of it later. :) )

I’m stoked that this song can serve as a reminder of that. :)


Fair warning, this is going to be a long post. So go grab some tea or a glass of champagne or a bowl of cherries or whatever your thing is.

Ok, ready? Cool. Me too. The reason why this post is long is because the process I’m about to describe is long. :)

People always ask me “What hair color do you use” as if it’s … just that easy. People, people, people, it’s NOT just that easy. :) Not for ME anyway. But I understand that you want to know what I do, so I’m going to tell you, in probably far too great of detail, just what my process is.

Some of you might be like, “Woah woah woah wait, WHAT?! You dye your hair?! But it looks so natural!” Well, first of all, thank you! :) And it looks natural partly because I’m super carful and partly because I have a lot of red in my natural color, and WAS a redhead for a while when I was a baby. :) My natural color is dark blonde with reddish highlights, so going full-on red wasn’t a huge stretch. Here's my high school graduation picture that shows my natural color.


Now, I know, ok? I know that EVERYBODY says that color is the one thing you should leave to the pros. But you know what? I had some “pros” REALLY mess up my color one time. So after that, I don’t let anyone else do it. I did have one successful experience at Imago in Richmond, VA last year, where Jessica did my color and it turned out great. If I lived there, I’d for sure just let her do it. But until I can afford to fly her out to do my hair, I’m on my own. :)


Here's a picture of me and Jess the day after she did my color. :) See? She did great. :)



The thing about my hair is that it is EXTREMELY porous. Not sure what the heck that word means? Well, here’s an awesome article allll about it. :)

In a nutshell, what it means is that my hair SOAKS stuff UP. (It also lets stuff out, like, say, moisture.) I need to use lots of conditioner and my hair just sucks it right up. Same goes for hair color. Except, in the case of hair color, it means it will turn out WAY darker than what it says on the box or whatever I’m looking at to determine what shade to use. Basically, if something says “Medium copper blonde” I can expect it to turn out really dark and close to brown on me. Yeah. It’s like that. It never even ends up close to what it says on the swatch. SO frustrating!

The other downside of having porous hair is that color has a tendency not to go on evenly. This is largely because the ends have been around for a while and the roots are more “virgin”, so the ends are way more porous. As such, they suck up a ton more color and can end up darker than the roots if you’re not careful.

Add in the fact that coloring is drying, thus making hair even MORE porous, and this whole process is just a very long and involved one. :) But I love having my red hair, so I deal with it.

Anyway, on to specifics.

 I actually start the process the day before I do the actual color. I wash twice through with Gentle Lather Shampoo to get it really clean, then condition with Deep Conditioning Treatment. After the shower I comb through about a half-teaspoon of Oil Blend For Softer Hair and leave that in overnight. You’re supposed to dye your hair when there is no product in it, but not FRESHLY washed, so that’s why I start the day before. I don’t consider that little bit of oil to be “product”.  Since I apply it to damp hair, it just soaks right in and I see it as a nice little defense ageist the harsh dye that will come the next day.

Now you might be thinking, “But Jess! Don’t you only use the gentlest color made from crushed up berries and twigs?!” Well, no. I don’t. I did used to use Robert Craig, which IS very gentle, but over time I found that my hair was just getting darker and darker (ie: more brown than red) and that was getting annoying. So I switched back to “regular” hair color. Yep, the drying kind that has ammonia. Good thing my products are so gentle and moisturizing, eh? :-)

Anyway, for the last year and a half or so I’ve been using Ion Color Brilliance. I get it online at Amazon since nobody around me carries it. I use about 75% Light Copper Blonde and 25% Intense Red. That combo gives me the exact shade I want. (I’m so picky. :) ) I HAVE tried so many brands and I really like this brand. Red tends to fade the fastest, but this one really lasts. I’ve been super pleased with it.

Ok, remember, like, 37 hours ago how I was saying that if not done carefully, I can end up with two-tone hair due to the porosity? Well, the way around that is to use protein filler. It, quite literally, fills in the gaps/porosity in the hair and allows the hair color to soak in evenly. I cannot overstate HOW MUCH this trick works. I didn’t used to know about it and am embarrassed to say, I do have some old pictures where the ends of my hair were darker than the roots. So yeah. It works.

So, the next day, after doing the wash/condition/oil situation, I wet down my hair, per the instructions on the protein filler, wring it out, and apply about an ounce or two to my damp hair. I comb that through and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then I blow dry my hair so that I can apply my color to dry hair. This makes for more vibrant results, since there’s no remaining liquid in the hair diluting the color.

THEN it’s time to apply the color. JEEZ, right? It’s been forever and a day since the process got started! (So take note, people. Now you know, if I ever say I can’t go do something with you because I have to stay in and dye my hair? YOU KNOW I MEAN IT! :) )

I use a 20% developer and mix it half and half with the hair dye. Usually it’s about 3oz hair dye and 3oz developer, since I have a lot of hair.

I know you’re supposed to apply it at the roots first, let that sit, then do the rest, but meh, I don’t really do that. I do start at the roots, but I have so much hair and it takes so long to get it all evenly distributed, I just apply it all over my head every time. I make sure to comb it through really well, then leave it on for 40 minutes or so.

I wash it out with Hair Cleansing Cream then do a deep treatment with my Deep Conditioning Treatment and the Hair Therapy Wrap.

The heat of the Hair Therapy Wrap opens the cuticle of the hair to let the conditioner in. Some schools of thought would say that doing this would also let the color OUT, but for me personally, that has never been a problem. I decided I need the added moisture. Your mileage may vary.

I leave that on for as long as I have patience for, ideally an hour, but no less than 30 minutes. I rinse that out and finally, FINALLY am done with the whole situation. If I can help it, I do this when I don’t have plans that night so that once I rinse out the DT I can just put some more Oil Blend For Softer Hair in there and leave it overnight to rest. In an ideal world I could just leave it all in a bun or braid the whole next day too. Sometimes I have that kind of flexibility in my schedule and sometimes I don’t.

OMG you guys, now that I’ve typed that all out, it’s a wonder I ever get around to dying my hair at all, eh? :) Yeesh! :) But skipping any of those steps can result in less than stellar results, and I need my hair to be stellar, so I deal with it. :)

Ha ha ha, how’d you like that headline, eh? :) You know I like to joke around so I had to do it. :)


But in case you hadn’t heard, yep, it’s true. As I mentioned in my last blog post, four weeks ago RIGHT THIS SECOND, I was having my heart repaired. Now that it’s over and I’m totally fine, I’m willing to provide a few more details about what they did and why, since so many people have been asking.


The crazy thing is that they sought to fix two issues during one surgery. Talk about multi tasking, eh? :) And we think we have a hard time replying to email while talking on the phone! :) Ha. :)


One of the issues is that my Mitral Valve was really leaky and needed to be repaired, and the other is that I had Atria Fibrillation, which means my heart rate would go super fast and very erratic. I’d had 5 previous procedures over the last 11 years to try to correct the wacky rhythm but none of them worked.


Over the past year, both of those issues had gotten worse. Sometimes having the leaky mitral valve can contribute to the atrial fibrillation, and sometimes it doesn’t. The group of cardiologists working on me doesn’t seem to know for sure, but that’s neither here nor there. They both had to get fixed.


The TOTALLY SUPER AWEOSME part is that they were able to do this WITHOUT cracking into my sternum. Oh, curlies, you have no idea how thankful I am about THAT! Instead, they did it through 5-6 inch incision directly under my right… um… uh… boob. Ok. I said it. Boob. For some stupid reason I thought it “wouldn’t hurt that much” but I was 100000% wrong. They had to cut through muscle, separate some ribs and, well, cut into my heart, and hell, that’s gonna hurt. So my expectations were rather poorly managed on my part, but STILL. Having my chest bone intact is WAY BETTER, m’kay?


The other CRAZY part is, they did this surgery with my heart NOT BEATING. Ahhhhhhhhh, right?! I knew about that going in and I’ll be honest, it FREAKED me OUT. They used the Heart Lung machine to keep blood pumping, but yeah, they stopped my heart to do this thing. I was like, uh…y’all better get that sucker going back up again after! They did, clearly, so all’s well there. (Here, just to prove it to you, here’s a little video I made today JUST to show you that it’s really truly me writing this blog. :-) )



So they implanted this little device to fix the leak, to put it in very layman’s terms. :) Here’s an example picture.(Note: this is NOT the exact device that I am currently sporting internally. Sorry. :) )



Here’s the Wikki page on the procedure if you want a more complicated explanation.


The other aspect of the surgery was to address the atrial fibrillation. For that they did the Cox Maze procedure where they made a series of little cuts in the atrium to create, for lack of a better term, a “fire wall” of scar tissue. That scar tissue prevents the wacky beats from getting out and creating the atrial fibrillation. As scar tissue can take a while to develop, they can’t declare total success or victory on that part yet, so it can take 3-12 months before they know for sure if that worked. So there’s a wait-and-see aspect to that part but that mitral valve is fixed, NO question.


By now you know that my dad and I are super-duper-tight so he came down from Canada for a few days, so that made it ALMOST fun. I mean, almost. :) We’re a pretty funny duo, even (especially?) in the hospital, and it was great to have him here. Here’s a picture of him entertaining me with feigned worries that he couldn’t hear his heart own beat…



My favorite anecdote from the hospital was when I was still in ICU that first night after surgery. The night nurse came on for the shift change and asked me, “So why did you have this surgery today?” My reply? “Because my heart was f***** up.” Ha. Like, duh right? Why ELSE would I be there? Silly night nurse. :) Luckily he had a good sense of humor. :)


After I got discharged that Saturday (surgery was Wednesday) I had to stay in the Bay Area for 2 weeks, in case of complications and to have follow up visits with all the doctors. I can’t tell you HOW STOKED I was to come home finally!


Here’s a happy/dorky pic from when I was getting discharged. They give you these heart pillows in the hospital and my friend Kristen made me the “I heart my heart” pin. HOW cool is THAT?! :) My hair was just up in a messy bun because, well, I mean, I was in the hospital, come on. :)



Now it’s been 4 weeks and I’m realizing – oh, what, you mean I’m not Wonder Woman like everybody keeps saying? :) Ha. Crazy how heart surgery can kick your butt! The pain in my side has gotten SOOO much better though. Even driving is a lot better. (I have a stick shift, so driving it with my right arm was pretty tricky the first few times I tried.) I still get tired way faster than I’m used to but that will keep getting better every day too. Everything is TOTALLY on track and my surgeon called me “text book.” Can’t get better than that! :)


My good friends Lynn and Andy drove my car home from the Bay Area for me (THANK YOU again for that, guys!) and a few days later I was emailed THIS adorable video. OMG. I have the best friends, of ALL ages. :) If you want a cute little laugh, watch this video. I’m telling you. :)



Speaking of Lynn and Andy, and their super awesome kiddos Ava and Morgan, CHECK OUT the World's Biggest Get Well Card they gave me the day before I left for surgery!! :) I love those guys, OMG. :)



That’s about it. I’m happy to be on the other side and ready to get back to regular life! :)