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Curly Chronicles: Karen Lynne Knaup

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 09:00 -- Jess

September 4th was Jessicurl's 10 year anniversary so we're celebrating all month long. :) One way is by doing a series Curly Chronicle Blog posts  featuring Jessicurl customers I've come to know and love over the years. :) (Ok, there are several people featured in the series that I've not met in person, but I still love them! :) )

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Lynne when I was in Seattle a few years ago. She came to a curly dinner meet up I organized and was a lot of fun! She totally did NOT dispel my theory that “you rarely meet a shy curly haired person.” :) She was friendly, bubbly and very very passionate about curly hair. :) Thanks for letting me feature you on my blog, Karen Lynne! :)


Karen Lynne Knaup


Your name:  Karen Lynne Knaup 

Number of years using Jessicurl products:  7

Tell me about your curly hair journey. Did you always have curly hair, or like many of us, did it go curly at a certain point in your life? 

My hair has always been curly, but went from looser curls as a child to chaotic, crazy frizz around the 5th grade. 

When you were a kid, let’s say, under the age of 12, how did you feel about your hair? Did you get along with it?  

Oh, heavens.  The age of 12.  Such a crazy time for the life of ANY adolescent, but throw in an unruly mop of untamable frizz, and life can get even crazier.  I would blow it dry with a roll brush trying to straighten it out.  I think at about age 13, I relaxed it a few times with lye relaxer.  This not only burned scabs into my scalp, but the curl came back before the scabs even healed. 

Did that relationship change at all during your adolescent years? 

I fell victim to the WORLD’S WORST HAIRCUT on March 23 of my Sophomore year.  (You know, one of these straight haired stylists who thinks you should just “go with the curl” and cut it short and in layers, only to be horrified to find that it SHRINKS as it dries?)  I had a frizzy corkscrew crew cut--with a tail!   I would not let another stylist even TRIM my hair for another 4 years.  I would wake up at 5 am to start the process:  Take a shower.  Pull my wet hair into a pony tail.  Let it dry being pulled straight.  Iron the bangs straight using a large barrel curling iron. (This was the 80‘s:  pre flat-iron.)  After hair dried (or at least mostly dried) by 7:45, take out the pony tail and use a bandana to hold the whole big mess back away from my face.

If you fought with your curly hair for a portion of your life, at what age/point in your life did you decide to embrace your naturally curly hair? 

In college.  I still hadn’t had a trim, and finally went and interviewed several stylists and finally picked one.  Once I had a fairly good cut, it was certainly better, but I still dreaded the frizz that was unavoidable in the Nebraska humidity.  I REALLY embraced my curls after reading Curly Girl: The Handbook as an adult.  Ironically, I read this book while at a salon getting my hair STRAIGHTENED. (This wasn’t something I’d ever done nor intended to do; the stylist wanted to try out a new flat iron just to see if it worked as good as it had at the show on a model with hair like mine, and begged me to be her Guinea pig.  She gave me the book to read while she straightened my hair.)  After 48 hours with straight hair, I vowed never to curse my curls again.  Armed with new knowledge about my hair, I quit using shampoo and started reading ingredients on the products I used.  I wasn’t happy with my styling products, however, and reading online one day, I came across someone raving about Rocking Ringlets and Confident Coils.  I ordered 8 oz of each and have been a “certified quart gal” ever since! 

How did the people in your life react to that decision? 

Like a recovering alcoholic, I was out to save the (curly haired) world, and told anyone I saw who had curly hair about my new hair care/product finds. Curlies share a bond (and I’m just certain we are more fun).   I would walk up to total strangers and start talking curls, and only once did someone look at me strange. (Turns out, she had a perm.)  I’d always been an extrovert, and loved sharing great finds, so I don’t think those around me even thought it was strange for me.

If you always loved and accepted your curls, is there someone in your life that you feel was helpful in helping you with that? If you had to accept them later in life, is there someone who you feel was helpful in accepting/loving your curls then? 

I think the stylist who I finally allowed to cut my hair after that long hiatus was the first to really ask me questions about my hair and LISTEN to my struggles and what I like about my hair.  She took those things into account, and armed with a good cut, I think I started to accept it.  She’s the only one who cut my hair for the next decade even though we lived all over the US and overseas at one point!  Thanks, Kitty. 

When, and in what context did you first hear of Jessicurl?

I don’t remember exactly, but I know I read about it online, then saw some of the videos Jess put together demonstrating how to use the product.  She was JUST LIKE ME and I felt an instant connection.  I loved that she was so fun and laughed all the time (and the fact that she was very obviously very passionate about curls didn’t hurt)! 

What made you decide to try Jessicurl the first time? 

I loved the videos on the Jessicurl website.  After watching the videos, I felt I knew JUST how to use them when they arrived, and I couldn’t wait to try them!

What did the packaging look like when you first used Jessicurl? How did that affect your opinion of it?  Green bottles. I was so impressed with what was inside, I don’t know the bottles themselves made a huge impression.

Clearly, since you’re being featured on my blog, you liked the products and have continued to use them. :) What was different about them and what made you keep coming back to them?  

They just work!  I started using Rockin’ Ringlets and Confident Coils.  Eventually, I grew to love the Weekly Deep Treatment and Too Shea! as well.  I just love how the products keep your curls soft and help hold their shape without feeling like plastic!  I really spend very little time on my hair, and it looks better than it ever has. 

How has your relationship with your hair changed or evolved during your time using Jessicurl products? 

I have really grown to love my hair.  I love how easy it is to care for.  (I would NEVER have imagined saying that when I was in high school getting up at 5 am for the “routine”!)

Please tell me whatever else you’d like me to know about you and your hair and your experience with it. 

I think current day curly preteens and teens have so much more information that we did growing up, much in part due to awesome gals like Jess.  I will never fight my curls again.  I simply have a “curly” personality!  I am so thankful, not only for the great Jessicurl products, but for the message Jess sends out to the world on behalf of curlies everywhere to love yourself and your curls.  After all, we do “have the right to remain curly”!