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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Bye Bye Boring Hair!

The other day a coworker who I have worked with for about 8 months  asked my what my hair was like when I interviewed at my current position. See I interviewed in November and didn’t start till January because it was a cross country move, so she did not see my during my interview, when I explained that I had straight hair over my locs, and then proceeded to explain the whole crochet braids process because she had no idea how that was possible, she went . . .

” I cannot picture you with straight hair AT ALL!”

And in that moment I knew one thing. . . my hair had gotten BORING!

Before I moved here I had a new hairstyle every month or so, even when I locked my hair I would install twists and crochet braids I Would get bored and change it up regularly. After I moved here I stopped, now I don’t know if that was because I was just more content with my hair style, or because I live in a REALLY small town now and don’t feel the need to impress anyone, or because of the same small town that I don’t want to have to go through the process of explaining my hair changes to people, or maybe because I would now have to order my hair online. . .

Well anyway I don’t know the reason but for the past 8 months, my hair has been pretty much the same, I had loc extensions and then I took them out but either way my hair was locked, and it just looked like I cut my hair. Nothing crazy there. When she said that it was like I snapped to attention, wait, why am I not changing my hair more often?

So I did.

I bought FreeTress 3x from Amazon, I bought two packs just to be safe and I ended up using about 1 and 1/3 pack if that.Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 3.36.50 PM.png

Now my locs are quite thick now and that was the only problem I have found so far with this install is that the top does not look as natural as it has in the past. the braid is just too bulky to blend in well. Now I think the solution next time will just be to do smaller braids, I only did 5 braids this time, since that is what I would do with my unlocked hair and be fine. Learning the difference in unlocked and locked hair I think I will need to split my top two braids into 4 next time. And I am working on reducing some of the bulkiness around the top but my fear of thinning my own hair is making it so I only do a little at a time!

But over all I am happy with the results and plan to keep them in for a couple of weeks at least, and the coworker ran up to me saying how much they loved it. So there it is, I still got it, the hair envy queen can still change my hair up at my own whim!

All pictures taken in my classroom in front of my lovely filing cabinet.

-Rae

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

 

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

 

 

 

Natural Journey, 2 years!

I haven’t relaxed, majorly cut, or colored my hair in 2 years! That is a major accomplishment for someone who regularly did all of those things before that! I set out to transition and did so for 18 months

I went through a lot of hair styles throughout this journey, I rocked Marley twists, crochet braids, clip in extensions, wash and go’s, flat twists, two strand twists, twist outs, braids and about every other natural hair style I could think of. Most recently I decided to instal faux locs, I have been trying to decide if I wanted locs for a long time, pretty much since the beginning of my journey, I wanted to wait until after I got married,

I got married in August and installed my faux locs in October, three months later and I am more than ever convinced that I want to lock my hair. So here it goes, starting a new journey, true to my self I have scoured the internet, youtube and the locked nation of ladies in order to make my start and I am prepared for the stages of growth I hope. I have investigated palm rolling, interlocking, the pros and cons of product, should I have a loctition, should I start with extensions and I think I am ready to go. . . so let’s see 2016 here we come. . .

Here are a few of my styles over the past two years. . . updates on the locks as they come!

❤ Kelsi Rae

Faux Loc’d and Loaded

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I am trying to pick new glasses from Warby Parker, I love that they let you take them home to try them on for free, I think I am going with the pair on the left. . . what do you guys think?

For about a year now I have been considering loc’ing my hair, I have mostly gone back and forth questioning if I could pull off the locced look and if I could keep my hair in one style for the permanence of the locs. Since school started this year I have consistently had my hair in a protective style, for the past two months it was marley twists, that I love but they we long and I started getting bored with them, so with my left over Marley hair I began looking into the faux loc style, I figured this would let me see if I could pull them off and a trial run to see how I could handle it. And let me just say I LOVE THEM! They are definitely the most natural looking protective style that I have had and I could see myself rocking them for a long time.

They took me about 12 hours to complete over three days, Luckily it was spirit week at school and I got to wear princess Lea buns to school when my hair was the most crazy, half and half style. I moisturized my hair before each twist and washed with Apple Cider Vinegar.

They are only about two inches longer than my natural hair and it is nice to have something so much closer to my natural hair length.

And the best part is that they made me look even more like my halloween costume.. . .

MICHONNE. . . sword and all (Ok the sword was an umbrella, pretty sweet right)

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