Bye Bye Locs! (I combed out my locs)

I combed out my dreads! Well most of them anyway, I am still working on about 10-12 of them in the back but my hands are tired and those ones are going to have to stay for a few weeks probably until I am ready to try again.

I started researching this processes way back in January and even combed out two locks in January but I just wasn’t ready to make the commitment to working through all of them! So about a month ago I started really looking into the process again, I knew I wasn’t going to cut them out because retaining my length was very important to me, I was either going to leave my locs in and have the length or comb them out to keep the length but shaving my head was not a choice, this time. I have done it before.

So when I finally made the decision I got to work,  I bought a 12 pack of rat tail combs off amazon, some VO5 condition from the dollar store and set to work. Following the process from LocCrush’s video found here ( here) from when she took down her daughters locs. I started just doing one a night throughout the week and I was SLOOW! It took me over an hour to do each loc. But then Friday night came and I got to work! I got into a groove and disovered that this set of steps worked best for my hair.

  1. Spray the entire loc with water/apple cider vinegar mix, really drench the hair so that it is soaking wet.
  2. Apply a generous amount of conditor to the loc
  3. Start working from the bottom up with the rattail end of the comb.
  4. Keep on working with that end of the rat tail comb,
  5. Try not to break the comb
  6. Apply more water
  7. Apply more conditioner
  8. Keep working your way up.

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I was worried that my hair would all break off and be very short, but as I worked my way up I retained length and my hair felt soft, there were definitely parts that had build up and gunk, I began to regret some of the decisions I made when I started my locks, like interlocking and using hold gel because that hold gel was still in there just holding on, and let me tell you it was GROSS!

I worked from the time I got off work on Friday will about 10pm, then got up Saturday and worked from 9 am till 5 pm. I got through about 80% of my head done, and I was rocking the messy head look, but I was getting more and more excited to see the end result.

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Messy poofy unlocked hair! Making progress

After I got through as many as I could in two days my hands were cramping and my neck was so sore that I decided to stop there for now, I will continue to work through the rest as I go.

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Washed!

 Then I blow dried and straightened what I had done. And my hair has never in my life been this long. I definitely grew up believing the “black hair doesn’t grow” myth and now I just cant stop staring at my hair, taking a million selfies!

I had to cut off some of the bottom and I probably should cut off more but for now I will just enjoy the length and remember what it is like to have unlocked hair. IMG_3879.JPG

-Rae

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Sometimes I think my hair doesn’t grow. . .

Ever since I cut off all my hair and have anxiously been watching it as it grows back. I found the habit of length checks I first found them on Just Grow Already (http://justgrowalready.com/) when I wasn’t sure if I was transitioning or just stretching out my relaxers. The periodic picture check of visible growth helped with the million of other days when my hair felt like it was standing still, or worse the days when it felt like it was creeping back into my head.  So randomly I would stand pull my hair over my shoulders and compare the length of my hair to my tattoo on my back!

Looking something like this. . .

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Then I decided to loc my hair and it really felt like it was creeping back into my head, let me tell you the shrinkage in those first few months of locked life is real! And for the last year and a half I have pretty much felt like I am trying to make up for lost ground, work back to where my hair was before. But then today on my time hop it showed me a picture of my hair in a snapchat selfie exactly a year ago, and I instantly remembered why I loved those length checks! They show you that it is worth it, patience the frustration and all the retwisting was worth it because look . . . IMG_3607.JPG

My hair it grew!

So be patient,  take pictures, keep retwisting, learning the ways that your hair works best, keep it up because it is all worth it!

-Rae

Beautiful in Every Shade!

For years my hair has consumed me. Even before I started my natural hair journey, 2 years ago.. . 2 years has it really been that long?!

I would think about how I could make my hair straighter, more like my friends, why didn’t my hair curl like theirs , why didn’t it grow like theirs? Then I would cut it every month or so, getting shorter and shorter, going red, pink, purple then black, a light brown and then back to red, my hair was my obsession, or my hobby as some might say.

Finally I cut it all off, shaved my head and decided to start fresh, now that wasn’t the beginning of my natural hair journey because over the course of the next year I only lasted with a TWA for about 3 months before I relaxed my hair and had an ultra cute pixie. . no the start of my natural hair journey started about a year later. I simply decided I wasn’t going to relax or cut my hair for 2 months that seemed reasonable at the time.

Then 2 months came and went and I decided to go for 6 months, and then in that 6 months I got engaged and decided I wasn’t going to relax or cut my hair till the wedding. (I did trim off the relaxed ends from time to time after about 10 months)

All in all I transitioned for 17 months before cutting almost all of my relaxed ends off. In this time I learned one of the most valuable lessons I have yet to learn in my 24 years. . . BLACK HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL, JUST THE WAY IT IS!

I grew up in an all white town, in an all white family, with all white friends . I loved their hair, to me it screamed versatile, where my hair screamed messy. My mom wouldn’t let me relax my hair until I was 18 but she had no idea what to do with my hair so it was most often in a poof on top of my head. ( A poof I now wish I could pull off again) and that is what I thought natural hair meant, that you were constrained to having an afro (which my younger self was not confident enough to pull off) or wearing your hair up. In a now infamous school picture I took my hair down without telling m mom right before the picture and ended up with a kind of sticking out straight from my head not down and not cute look. All I wanted was to wear my hair down and not up.. my hair loved to reach for the sky!

But over these past two years I discovered more styles for my hair than I ever I wore it in twists, braids, wash and gos, twist outs, I wore it up, down, in a protective style, I changed my hair style and color about every 2 months without damaging a thing and I LOVED IT!. I finally found a way to express myself through my hair . . .all by wearing “Black” styles.

Along the way there was a boy, my now husband who has repeatedly told me how beautiful my black is, he has loved every style every change every kink. He has reminded me over and over again that I am beautiful just the way I am. I tell him all the time that . . .”He loves my hair, , and for that I love him.”

Now I am off to a new journey I have decided to loc my hair in 2016, I started my baby locks on my collar bone length hair and trimmed the ends to start healthy. Time to remind the world again that no matter what natural or relaxed hairstyle I or anyone else chooses, we are professional, we are intelligent, we are beautiful and no standard of professionalism can stop that, it is time to change the standard.

Because no matter what, you are Beautiful in every shade.

 

Welcome to 2016.

❤ Kelsi Rae

 

 

 

Length Check Lifestyle

So it has officially been 16 months since my last relaxer, and 14 since my last real hair cut, I have since trimmed off most of my relaxed ends, but that was done at home too. Since becoming a DIY’er I forgot how much I love to have someone else do my hair. So this week with the last of my birthday money, I splurged, I went out and go a conditioning treatment and style from a hair salon. Now while I cannot see myself spending that kind of money for something I can do at home often it sure was nice to have someone else deal with my hair for awhile.

So here is the update . .

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5/9/15

We are getting somewhere,  I started using my tattoo as a measurement months ago and I finally covered the second star on my tattoo a major accomplishment, 15 months ago I was just about neck length and so when I start to think I am not making progress I look back and make myself see the progress

IMG_1517My bra is covering the second star in the 1st picture but that is probably a good 2 and a 1/2 inches of growth in order to cover it.

This week it reminded me how much I love the versatility of my natural hair, it can go from this

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To this

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In well with some hardship and 4 hours of straightening. . . ( or only 1 and a half by a professional)

This week has made me the most happy that I made the decision to go natural, when the hairdresser said. . your hair is really healthy! She didn’t make any comments about my “self cut” and she wanted to know all about my DIY braids and protective styles.

Before starting this journey everytime I would go to the hair salon they would comment on the damage of my hair or the uneven ends or something. . I was expecting the uneven ends comment since I have been freely chopping off my straight locks for a few months now, but no she was impressed with the state of my hair, she could tell it hadn’t been cut in a while but that was the only comment she made.

So onward and upward we go, as the fro continues to grow where it will stop, we never know. ..

❤ Kelsi Rae

What is up with my hair?

So for a hair blog I feel like I have been neglecting to tell you about my hair for awhile now! Well it is still there, it has not been chopped off or harmed in any way. I have also not done any new protective styles, for oh a few months now

I think when the last twists only lasted about a week I decided it was time to take a break from them for awhile. And to be honest I have been loving my hair lately. I have been rocking the wash and go most of the time like it ain’t no bodies business.

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I tried my first fishtail braid a couple of weeks ago and I loved it! It is actually a super easy braid, and that is coming from someone who still hasn’t mastered how to to a frenchbraid on myself yet. It is easy it holds all my hair out of my face and looks much more complicated than it is. And as an added bonus that just means that my hair is finally long enough to do braids like this as a style.

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Wash and go 1,2 and 3! The second two pictures come from the same day, it was the day Mr. and I signed on our first house together and picked out his tux for the wedding!  Very exciting day! And my hair was large and wonderful! I love the volume and body that each wash and go brings and I can normally get two to three days of wear out of it.

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This is a twist out on a three day old wash and go! Mr. suprised me with a concert of one of my favorite bands this night, i loved him for it and I loved my hair and shirt that night! Really we were just rocking it that evening!

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This picture has nothing to do with my hair, except for the fact that I rocked a messy bun that day, my hair is very insignificant in this picture! But I love it!  I was feeling sassy and wanted to show up my nails and my ring! because really who doesn’t. But I thought this was a fun way to do just that.

So there it is. . my hair for the last month. I am getting the itch to straighten it and check the length so maybe at next wash day we will see how we are coming. Three more months till my hair’s big day. .. my wedding, so I guess there is more to that day than my hair. But just barely right?!

❤ Kelsi Rae

Photo Funday!

Today is all about the pictures of my hair. . I love when I have a good hair week and I want to show it off.

So I had two goals since January, not to straighten my hair until after my birthday my birthday was Tuesday and I made that goal. The second goal was to leave a protective style in for all of March. . well that fell quite short. I took it out after a week and a half. But you know 50%! But here is my week in review. . I blow dried my hair with cool air this week for a stretched “large” look as a I call it.

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This is my current love. . my ever growing bun. this time is was too big to fit in the picture. . .

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This is about the point I remembered why I don’t blow dry my hair. . my arms were tired, I was an hour in, my hair was still way to wet. And I wasn’t even half way done.

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And there is the a la “large” hair!

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Then I decided to rock the high school look for awhile! Given in high school my hair was 100% natural and I rarely blowdried my hair, but I rocked an afro puff, before I even knew the name about 90% of my high school career.

This is the hair do that lead to an infant and more recently my grown fiancé trying to nap on my hair.. .

I must say it is very comfortable!

SO that is my week. Even with the living large lifestyle i have had going on I am very happy with it.I love my buns and have been wearing one most days to keep my hair off my shoulders. Now that I am officially arm pit length I am trying to keep my hair up at work as much as possible in order to reach bra strap length by my wedding!

Length retention is the name of the game!

❤ Kelsi Rae

My hair has a mind of its own.

Before we begin, I got my engagement pictures back . .. I will share  one ff my favorites, as a sneak peak!  🙂 IMG_0251-1

So there I was going along loving my crochet braids when I made the terrible decision of passing out after a party with my hair all a mess. I woke up the next morning to a big mat of hair and a few strands falling out. My hair had been braided for two months at this point and the new growth was definitely starting to show ,the ends of my braids at my nap had began to come out leaving some natural hair exposed that was beginning to tangle. So as a result on Saturday morning, after our Hannukah party, before our Christmas party that night, there I was taking down my hair at 10 am.

I had looked up the methods for taking down crochet braids but in my precarious state of my braids I was not comfortable taking scissors near my head. So I simply began taking the braids out from the base hoping the braid hair would fall out as I went. For the most part this was successful but there was some left over holding on even when all the braids were gone. I just jumped in the shower to remove the rest of the hair. After 2 months of only being washed in braids my hair loved the shower. I used shampoo, which I normally don’t because there was some serious build up from the moisturizer I had been applying and then conditioned and deep conditioned.

I t-shirt dried for 30 minutes and then began the detangling process. . the few tangles I mentioned earlier, turned out to be a full on dread at this point and even with soaking them in moisturizer it was difficult to remove. But  successfully detangled my hair in around 45 minutes and placed it in multiple twists as I went to keep it separated.

After this much time in braids I was curious to see my new growth. .. or lack there of( but hopefully not) So I blew out and straightened my hair. I tried blow drying my hair in the twists I used to dentagle my hair and the results we a mixed bag. I feel that in the future I will be able to do this successfully and achieve a nice curled look but for the purposes today I am not sold.But then I went to work straightening my hair, I applied tresseme heat protectant as I went. I have not had this much natural hair in probably 6 years and I forgot what a project it is to straighten. I did not give myself enough time before I had to be somewhere so it was a half assed straightening job but it did the trick.

Length Check time. . conveniently I was wearing the same bra as I was in my August length check so it is easier to see the difference. . there is growth, slowly but surely progress is happening, and that is all I can ask right?

I will leave you with some pictures, From top to bottom, Length Check – 8-10-14, Length Check 12-13-14, bang check 12-13-14. Christmas party selfie!

Length 8-10-14
 August Length 8-10-14
12/13/14
December  12/
Christmas Party
Christmas Party

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