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I get a fair amount of hair questions every day and thought this one might be helpful to some of you out there. :)

Jenny asks:

I have watched your demo videos and notice that you style your hair right after you wash and condition it. However, I usually wash and condition my hair at night. In the mornings if I were to start out with dry clean hair and then wet it so it is soaking wet and then style would the products work the same? Or is it better to wash and condition my hair in the morning before I style? Thank you for your help!

Here's my answer:

Yes, it’s totally fine to just wet it in the morning and then style as usual. You might find you need a bit of leave in conditioner to help with slip but maybe not, depending on your hair. If you want to fully style your hair the night before and sleep with it curly, it’s possible to do, though a bit trickier. :)

The best bet there is to let it finish drying all the way before you go to bed but don’t scrunch it out. Let it stay crunchy when you go to bed. That extra crunch will help preserve the curls overnight as you sleep. If you have a silk or satin pillow case, even better, because they will glide over it more smoothly than cotton and stay intact better. In the morning just scrunch out any lingering crunch and you’re on your way. It won’t look AS perfect as when you style if freshly in the morning but it’s a lot more effective than trying to achieve 2nd day hair. :) I do this sometimes when I’m flying out early the next morning and don’t want to take the time in the morning to do my hair.

If you’ve been following my blog or Facebook page recently, you know I’ve been talking a bit about getting a variation of my Jessicurl logo as a tattoo. I call it the “full body logo lady” for lack of a more creative name. (We really need to name her!)

We have temporary tattoos of her that I wear at events and every time they fade off I get bummed. That’s part of how I know I really want it permanently.

This is what my tattoo will be!! :)

September will mark the 10 year anniversary of Jessicurl, and that is a large part of the reason why I’m deciding to get this tattoo now. Ten years in business is a huge milestone, to be sure, but this image, this woman, means so much more to me than “just” the logo for my company.

She is us. All of us. She is the curly, confident woman we have become through our often challenging and turbulent relationships with our hair. She allows her natural curls to flow, to be, to fly. In short, she Has The Right To Remain Curly.

I for one did not always recognize nor exercise that right and I know many of you didn’t either. The last ten years have meant a lot to me, obviously on a professional level but on a very personal one as well. The fact that I’ve had any role in helping any one of you feel ANYTHING like the woman in my logo is huge to me. The fact that *I* ever feel anything like that woman is huge to me, given how insecure I’ve felt about my hair for so much of my life.

When I think back 20 years to how I felt about my hair at 16, and compare it to how I feel about it now, I have no doubt in my mind that I want that image emblazoned on my body for the rest of my life. :-)

This is where this story gets even cooler. I consider the official anniversary of Jessicurl to be the Tuesday after Labor Day, since that is the day in 2002 that I got my business license. Makes sense, eh? This year, I’ll be up in Canada with my dad and step-mum Wendy.

I decided that I wanted to get the tattoo done during that trip, largely because my dad was one of the first people to encourage me to wear my hair down and curly back when I hated it and used to wear it up all the time. He would say, “But Jess! It’s like a big beautiful lion’s mane!” and I’d say, “THAT’S WHAT I HATE ABOUT IT!!” :-) Also, he embraced HIS right to remain curly long before I did, as he had a LOT of curly hair…ahem…back when he had hair. ;) I also just really wanted to get it as close to our anniversary as possible.

The tattoo parlor I chose is so popular, they only had one 2-hour opening during my trip ... on Tuesday September 4. :-) Yep, the Tuesday after Labor Day, exactly 10 years to the DAY. I’m feeling pretty good about this decision, folks.

So, I know, tattoos aren’t for everybody, and that’s cool. I already have two so I know I’m ok with them. And for all of the reasons stated above, I KNOW I’m going to love this one. In fact, I’m kind of counting down the days until I have it! :)

*Oh – since I know you’ll ask. I’ve decided it will go on my upper arm/deltoid area because I want it to be visible. :) My hair covers up my upper back/shoulders, I already have one on my ankle that I hardly ever see because I wear boots all the time, and I really just don’t want it on my inner wrist, as has been suggested. So, there you have it. If you’ve provided input that you don’t like that spot, well, please don’t feel I’m ignoring you. :) This is the spot that I’m personally most comfortable with. :)

I just got back from Richmond and have a longer blog post planned with pictures and more details about the trip, but for now, here's a quick video to show you the hair cut I got at Imago! :-) Also - I have a pretty important question for you in this video... ;-)

You sure made it clear that you loved Ryan's Stuff Curlies Say video when we featured him in our Contest/Scavenger Hunt/Quiz/Game-Thingie, so it seemed only fair to invite him back to announce the winners! :)

We love teaming up with Ryan for these videos, so please, post in the comments if you have any ideas for what you'd like to see from him in the future! And don't forget to scrunch! :)

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to travel to great cities and go to super fun curly hair events and meet YOU – all the awesome curlies! :)

On Monday I’m headed to Virginia and have quite the lineup of activities planned. I’ve never been to Virginia so it’s always fun to go to a new state. :)

The main event is Saturday July 28 and is called Return Of The Curls.

I’m VERY excited about this event. Keenya Kelly is the head organizer (though I know she has a killer team working with her) and her enthusiasm was so contagious that I just knew I had to be there. :)

It’s an all-day multi-cultural event dedicated to curly hair. There will be workshops, demos (including one by me) and the whole thing culminates in a super fun fashion show that night! I might be most excited about that part, as I get to walk the runway. Please-oh-please don’t let me trip! :) If you’re in or near Richmond, you HAVE to come to this!

I’m also super stoked to get to spend some time with the team at Imago Salon. Imago is a curl-specific salon that has been selling Jessicurl for years but I’ve never had the chance to meet them – until now! Mary-Jo has won countless awards for her cutting and styling prowess so I’m most excited that on Friday she’ll be cutting MY hair! (And boy do I need it – especially if I’m going to walk that runway on Saturday!)

I’ll be hanging out at Imago doing an informal meet and greet/open house/Q&A on Thursday July 26 from 3:00pm until 6:00 and then again all day Friday the 27th from 9:00 – 4:00. Mary Jo will be cutting my hair around 1:00 on Friday if you want to come by for that, but regardless, come by, say hi, ask any questions you may have and just share the curl love!

If you’re doing the math, you might be going, ‘Ok, Jess. You said you’re leaving MONDAY but you don’t have anything scheduled until THURSDAY? Are you riding your BIKE to Virginia for cryin’ out loud?”

Well, no. That’s kinda far. First off, I live WAY the heck up here on the North Coast of California and getting back there takes a full day, so this time I’m “saving time” by taking the red-eye. :) So I’m actually leaving Monday night.

When I get to Richmond on Tuesday I’m heading out into the country to hang out on the river with a friend before heading back to Richmond on Thursday for the Imago party. Neat, eh? I get to be both Country Mouse AND City Mouse in the SAME trip! I’m super stoked for that.

So, again, if you’re in the Richmond area, I hope you can make it to one of these events. If not, know that I’ll be taking lots of pictures and maybe a few videos so I’ll be keeping you posted of just how much fun it is. :) For now, I must keep adding to my packing list…

The other day I posted the first in what will be a series of blogs that were inspired by a question asked by a Jessicurl customer.

Dustin wrote, “Can you tell us about the ups and down of starting a business from scratch and some of the things that surprised you? BTW, I met you at the Mountain View Farmer's Market about 10 years ago!”

It was a great question and as Jessicurl is swiftly approaching our 10 year anniversary in September, it seemed like great timing as well. (In fact, that farmer’s market Dustin mentions occurred during the first six months I was in business!)

The thing is, I could go on for DAYS answering this question, telling stories and providing anecdotes. It could end up the War and Peace of blog posts. :) So I figured it made more sense to parse it out into a series of posts that would allow me to better address certain aspects of her question. You can read my first installment here. 

Part of Dustin’s question is, “what surprised you?” I’ve really been spending a lot of time thinking about this over the last few days, as I was jogging yesterday, doing the dishes last night and diffusing my hair this morning. :)

There are lots of ways to interpret this question but the first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that as a result of Jessicurl, I have learned that I am good at public speaking. If you read my first post in this installment, you’ll see I’m quite able to list off all the things I’m NOT good at, so I feel ok in admitting what I am good at. :)

I had absolutely no experience public speaking prior to Jessicurl and honestly, no desire to. It is said that the majority of people fear public speaking more than anything else and while I was never that extreme, it certainly wasn’t something I sought out. The Jessicurl story is compelling, however, and after about 2 years or so, I started getting asked to speak to Rotary clubs, University business classes and various other public forums.

The first few times I did it, yes, I was nervous. Not the kind of nervous where I fainted or anything like that, but I had butterflies, for sure. I knew I’d only keep getting asked though, so I thought to myself, “Ok Jess. You need to get better at this and more comfortable with it. What’s the hardest, most challenging way to do that?”

Answer? Standup comedy.

So I started doing standup comedy (not very well, mind you) as a way to get more comfortable with public speaking in general. And you know what? It totally worked! :) Now I have absolutely no trouble talking to any size group, whether I’m prepared or not.

I can’t emphasize how thankful I am about this. I realize what a fear speaking to groups is for so many people and I feel really fortunate to feel the way I do about it, given what a huge part of my life it is now. When I was sitting on my couch (nearly) 10 years ago taping Rockin’ Ringlets labels on bottles I had NO idea how important that comfort level would be in just a few short years. I still can’t do the bookkeeping and I never will be able to. THAT causes a fear in me that causes dizziness and shortness of breath like nothing else. :)

I’ve included a few short YouTube clips from a keynote address I gave a few months ago at the North Coast Youth Summit. The entire speech was about 20 minutes long so I broke it into 3 more manageable pieces.

The first two are parts of the Jessicurl story you’ve likely heard before, but the third is something new I added for that particular audience of 200 high school kids. It includes a story I’d never told in public, that, while intense, really illustrates what I wanted to drive home to those kids: That sometimes you don’t know the impact you have on people you interact with, so do your best to make sure your impact is positive.

This first segment talks mostly about my teen years and my struggles with my curly hair, including some of the names I was called and the strange tactics I employed to tame it.

Part 2 tells the story of how I created Jessicurl in 2002 and what those early years were like.

Part 3 includes a pretty intense story, the purpose of which was to illustrate to the kids that sometimes you never know the impact that you have on individual people. It's a lesson we should all keep in mind as we go through our lives.

I'm sincerely flattered by this piece about Jessicurl that recently ran in our local newspaper, The Arcata Eye. It's now up online for you to read and follows the whole Jessicurl story - from my hair hatred in high school, right up until present-day. :) I think you'll agree, Kevin Hoover's writing is top-notch in this piece. :)

Today I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to blog about, so I asked my friends on my Jessicurl Facebook page what they wanted to read about. Makes sense, eh? And hey, if you haven’t yet, feel free to check out our Facebook page.

I was expecting hair questions, but Dustin posted this: “Can you tell us about the ups and down of starting a business from scratch and some of the things that surprised you? BTW, I met you at the Mountain View Farmer's Market about 10 years ago!”

This was my very enthusiastic reply.

“Hi Dustin. Sure! I'd be happy to, and WOW, I can't believe you just threw down a reference to that! :) Actually, it would have been Sunnyvale since I never did Mountain View, but I only did it ONCE so that's amazing to reconnect with you again here! Thanks so much for sticking around for 10 years! :) You met me when I was still making my products in my kitchen and taping the labels on the bottles! You are like a piece of Jessicurl history!! :) So cool!! :) I'll get to work on that post right now, thanks so much for the suggestion. :)”

(Yes, ok, I know. I use smiley faces as punctuation marks. I can’t seem to help it and I’m 36 now, so I don’t see it changing any time soon. You know me by now. You know it’s just how I am. :)

I’ll admit that my mind is kind of reeling right now at the enormity of this question. In a mere 2 months, we will be celebrating Jessicurl’s 10 year anniversary, so we are in full-on brainstorming mode on the best ways to commemorate that. It’s also causing me a lot of personal reflection, and Dustin’s question ties in really well with that.

There have been many MANY ups as well as a fair amount of downs. :) I don’t think I can cite them all here in one blog post so I think this might be best handled as a series of blogs I can roll out over the next month or so that allow me to go into more depth on individual aspects.

I’ll say very honestly, right off the bat, it’s a good thing I had no idea what I was getting myself into. :) I’m not saying I wouldn’t have done it, I’m just saying that sometimes, ignorance really is bliss. :)

Starting a business from scratch, overnight, with no experience, is hard. (If you don’t know the background story on how this all got started, you can read about it here.)

The very simple truth is that I didn’t mean to start a business! I was just trying to come up with something that worked for my own hair. Once it became clear that other people weren’t interested in making their own hair products, but would rather buy it from me, all of a sudden my life was totally different.

A lot of people who go into business have the luxury of time and planning. They know in advance what they want to do, they think it out, talk to people, and learn about their target market so that when they officially go into business, they know at least something about…anything. :)

What I knew about was hair. And people. Not websites. Not graphic design. CERTAINLY not bookkeeping. (I still don’t, actually.) So I learned very quickly the importance of doing what I was good at and trying to figure out how to get other people to do what I couldn’t. I was really lucky over the years in that a lot of people saw my potential and helped me out, offering their knowledge and sometimes even professional services, because they knew there was something to this whole “curly hair thing.” :) I’ll go into more specific details about some of those people in future posts.

Let’s go back to that part about what I DID and DO know about – people. Namely, curly haired people. Jessicurl has always been a very customer-driven company. It’s why we have three scent choices and why those choices didn’t get axed when we did our re-branding last year. You appreciate the option, and it’s something that sets us apart. Heck, back in the early early days, I used to custom scent each BOTTLE for people! :) (Please don’t ask for that now though, ok? We can’t really do that anymore. :-)

From the very beginning, I knew this was what I was meant to do. I also knew that if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to keep doing it. So you matter to me. Very much. That’s the first lesson I learned, and one that I will not forget. :)

I’ll do another post in this series later in the week and as the weeks progress. Thanks again Dustin for encouraging me to put my thinking curls on and blog about this topic. :)

I was going to title this post “My Brave Review” then I was like, “Gawd that’s boring, and very much lacking in exclamation marks.” So I changed it. :)

I’ll say out the gate that there was no way I was NOT going to love this movie. So this is not a review at all really, rather, a “These Are The Reasons Why I Loved Brave” post.

First of all, there’s the whole curly red hair thing. :) Truthfully, until you guys started posting on my Facebook and saying Merida reminded you of me, it didn’t even cross my mind. But once it happened so many times, well, I thought, “Why not have some fun with this?”, and got the picture below taken. :) (Have I mentioned that my photographer Terrence McNally rocks? Because he does. Clearly.)

Anyway, yeah, Merida’s hair is amazing. In fact, it took Pixar THREE YEARS to create it. Man. And we thought it took us forever to do OUR hair. ;)

But this movie is about so much more than hair. No, really! :) I love love LOVE that she’s a Princess who goes against the typical Disney Princess thing of “Oh dear, but WHEN will I find my handsome Prince?”

Not this Princess. Quite the opposite! The LAST thing she wants is to get married and settle down – and I for one can totally relate to that part! I literally cheered out loud in the theater when she expressed her sentiments on that subject. ;) In fact, she opts to buck tradition and fight for her OWN hand. Way to go Merida! :)

I always say that Jessicurl’s tagline of You Have The Right To Remain Curly means more than that – that it means you have the right to be yourself. To love yourself. And this movie seems to be saying just that. With a head full of curly red hair at that. :)

So again I say, YAY BRAVE!!!! :)

Normally I wouldn't think people would chose to hear an ad, but if you have curly hair and are a Jessicurl user, I think you'll get a kick out of this one. :) It's one I made for KHUM, the local station where I advertise Jessicurl and also do a radio show on Wednesday nights called Global Grooves. Anybody who was ever teased about their curls will relate to this. :) If you've heard my story, you know it's 100% true. SPEAKING of Global Grooves, if you want to tune in, you can do so tonight from 6-8 Pacific time. Just go to www.KHUM.com and click the Listen Live button at the top of the page. It's 100% live radio, so anything can (and usually does) happen. :) I also happily take listener requests.

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