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

Dear Hair. . . Just Curl Already

Now that’s something I never thought I would say!

 

Growing up my hair was always a source of frustration, whether it was that it wouldn’t lay flat like my friends or that I couldn’t wear my hair down whenever I wanted to. As I grew up my hair became more of a hobby, I would cut it, color it, straighten it, curl it, whatever my heart desired at that moment. And it became pretty damaged as a result.

 

So a little over 4 years now I cut it all off and started again. I had just started looking into natural hairstyles for black women and I wanted to be able to wear all of them so I did a big chop. Then again over the next 3 years my hair became my hobby but in a new fashion. I wore twists, faux locks, braids, I wore wash and go’s, braid outs, puffs, crochet braids anything I could think of and I loved it. I also loved writing about it sharing the different styles whether I loved them or hated them, how long they lasted and the trials of perfecting each one.

But then something happened, in November of 2015 I put in a set of faux locs. . . and fell in love! I left them in far longer than any style I had previously had and when it was time to take them out I went for the real thing.

I locked my hair!

So a year and a half later I love my locs! They are maturing and wonderful. But I could not for the life of me get them to curl!

Starting a couple weeks ago I tried Bantu knots… .nothing.

Then came a twist out. . . after a week in twists my locs barely resembled a curl.

So then came loc knots… I knotted my locs up and rocked a head scarf and short hair for a week, pictured here. IMG_3436.JPG

And waited. . . could I get my locs to curl?

I had seen it done on my countless youtube searches, I knew that locs could curl. But the problem was that mine were always thicker than the ones pictured by the beauties on youtube.

See I only have about 60 locs, compared with people who have hundreds, I have way more hair per loc to force into a curl if I want that to work!

So I waited. . . and took countless snapchat selfies with my cute head wraps. IMG_3424.JPG

Then after 5 days, I decided it was time to take them down, I was going out that night and let’s see if I would have popping curls or if they would fall short again.

Well, here it goes. . .

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Popping curls if I do say so myself!

So I guess patience and finding the right way to work with the hair I have will always be something I am working on when it comes to the hair on my head.

If you have any tips for curling and keeping curls in thick locs I am all ears over here!

I am going to try and post more hair updates here again, just because my hair is locked doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!

-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

Photo Friday. . . Crochet Braids edition

So let me start off by saying I love crochet braids, they are quick and so much fun! This is my third instal and my love for them grows every time. The first time I installed them was with Marley Hair and while this look is wonderful on so many of my favorite youtube vixons, it was a hot mess on me. First I looked like a straight up lionness, not in a good way and then after many trials and even more errors if that is possible I got it to be manageable for a couple of weeks. . . but after so much boiling and curling and straightening the hair felt corse and hard so they didn’t last long.

Then I have done two installs with this hair, Bobbi Boss Deep Pony curls and i love it! This hair is light and mangeable and the whole process from start to finish only took me 3 hours! BOOM!

IMG_1321So soem differences with this instal, I no longer have a roommate to do my cornrows for me and I still have not mastered them on myself, so I did this install on two strand flat twists. I did a slightly different braid pattern for the bang area but mostly just 10-12 braids straight back will do ya.

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My part. .. need I say more? I am pretty happy with this part, my only concern with my last instal was that my part began to separate and looking back on pictures when I had them I was concerned with the look of the part, but overall I like it

FullSizeRender And then there they are, 3 hours on a Thursday night later and I have beautiful bouncy curls! AndI love them! This was one of the styles that I loved all the way untill I removed them andI would have kept them longer if my hair allowed. So hear is to hoping i Love them as much this time!

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This picture is clearly from before I did the instal but I love it! My shirt is from the talent show I did at my school this week, I think I will dedicate a “Proud Teacher” post to it, but for now #Roman’sArmy!

❤ 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

Wash and Going Strong!

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From top to bottom, left to right.

1) Sunday, Day 1 hair. I was rocking this hard core

2) Monday, Day 2 It had grown a little bit

3) Wednesday Day 4. What my hair is still down?

4) Friday Day 5; Rocking a puff!

This week was a hair week to end all weeks!

I did a wash and go which I used to be the Queen of in High School, but haven’t rocked since long before I started my transition. But at 14 months post relaxer I thought I would give it a try, and boy am I glad I did. I got more compliments on my hair in this week than I can ever remember.

So many people said, ‘girl I know you love to change your hair but this way is my favorite.” . .What your favorite? This big hair that just grows out of my head is your favorite?

I couldn’t believe it  I had spent so much time so many years trying to hide my natural texture, I can remember living with my best friends in college and even as roommates I think it was months before they saw my hair before it was done. . .and this is when it was relaxed!

So now 14 months into my transition that has shown me more sides of my hair than I have ever known, to hear that people think my natural hair is beautiful is so amazing to me!

I think wash and go’s will become a solid part of my routine, now I just have to remember that I need to moisturize even on the days I don’t want to mess up my hair.

I love the ease of a wash and go, I loved applying my favorite leave ins and a little twisted sister 30 second curl spray throughout the week and being ready to go.

My hair is officially long enough to survive the famous pineapple method!! SCORE!

I love my hair.. and I love my curls, but not going to lie I still REALLY love when I straighten my hair as well  . . some things never change.

❤ 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

Hello March, please be damn beautiful!

February has been especially hellish for me! Denver has had record breaking snowfall and I hate the cold! I have been finishing the third quarter of my grad program and it seems to be especially terrible! Last week I had 4 papers due in 4 days. It is also hiring season for the public schools for next year! Luckily I was able to get a job quickly but to add insult to injury from everything else now everyone else gets upset because they have not secured a job for next year yet! So please please God le March be beautiful!

It is March, which means my birthday is in 6 days, I will be 24 years old! What is exciting about 24? I can’t think of a damn thing, except that I have landed my dream job and that I am getting married! These all seem like very adult things to be excited about don’t they?

Well welcome to March, I decided to do a protective style for March, my hair has been whispering at me to big chop or mini big chop, and I just can’t get myself to do it so away the hair went. I went with box braids for this month! They are medium length I like them well enough I hope that will be able to keep them in until the beginning of April, I plan to take them down and reevaluate cutting my hair over spring break, which is the first week of April!

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I ended up cutting some of the length off of the ends because they were just too heavy, now they are choppy and uneven and I think I like it even better that way.

Yesterday, one of my students was having a rough day with behavior! By rough I mean I had to pick him up from the office for group time, he was crying and had apparently pushed another student. This particular student happens to just own my heart! He is one of the 5 black boys at are school and he is one of the 3 that are continually fighting off the Affective Needs center ( which serves students with severe emotional disabilities) There is a high disproportionally to the number of black boys in these programs and I am doing everything I can to make sure this student is not wrongly labeled.

So yesterday he enters my group and asks to look up George Washington, Beethoven, Mozart, Abraham Lincoln and finally George Washington Carver. Now the first 4 I could understand, all fairly well known names in history. But George Washington Carver stumped me. why did my 3rd grade student even know his name, let alone want to look him up. So together we started dong some research, and we cam across this image

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Where there is no vision there is no hope. Now this was a big statement for this student, but we broke it down into student friendly language. We made a deal that whenever he was having a rough day, he would remember to look towards the future, have vision for himself, and that would bring him hope to change whatever is happening. I printed out the image and hung it above my desk. Whenever he is having a hard time he can come in and remember to have hope!

We had to check back in with the principle after group, when she asked him how he was going to turn around his day he turned to her and said, “No Vision, No Hope.”

I don’t think I have ever been more proud!

This is why he owns my heart.

So I had to remind myself, that even though February has been especially hellish, March is here, and spring is coming! I have to look to Mr. Carver and remember. “No Vision, No Hope.”

❤ 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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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again . . . my new favorite style is . . .

IMG_0090 Still crochet braids. . . just with a new curl pattern.

I lasted 3 weeks with the marley hair, but the hair was becoming to matted and just couldnt last any longer.

The final straw was when my boyfriend turned to look at me and instead of his normal “you are beautiful you know that” he said, ” your hair is getting really dread like, like right here is a big clump.” So well up went my hair and off I went to the beauty supply the next day.

While at the beauty supply I just stood in the aisle for probably 20 minutes just staring at the different curl patterns trying to decide do I want stick to what I know, do I want them to be straight or curly or should I go back to twists. After deliberate thought process for about 20 minutes I grabbed one I hadn’t even really considered, Bobbi Boss Deep Pony curl pattern hair in a number 4. And off I went. I got home and installed the hair, it took about 3 hours to remove wash, and re do my hair so overall I would say that is pretty good. Once I was finished I was so happy I went with the rash decision. I love this hair.

It is light and bouncy, I only used about 1 and half packs of hair and it seems to be working great. I love the part line it appears less drastic than with the marley hair and this hair blends with my hair much better.

IMG_0085 While you can still see a few of the knots where I did the crochet pattern in the right direction overall I am super pleased with it.

We will see how long this lasts. . .

This is definetly on the list for my #engagmentphotos though. I am hoping this feeling will last until December 6th.

More updates later.

Tata for now

Love your do and Grow that fro

❤ Kelsi Rae