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

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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What is up with my hair?

The past few months have been some of the busiest of my life, with graduating from grad school to teaching summer school, then to getting married and going on our honeymoon now starting my first year as a teacher with my own classroom.And I have to admit that during that time my hair took the backseat, I became the wash and go queen, which actually works for my hair for the most part. But then this last month, I straightened my hair for the wedding, the first exposure to heat since May, it was beautiful and exactly what I wanted but it hurt my hair since the stylist didn’t apply proper protectant for my type of hair. Then there was Mexico… my hair became so brittle and dry from the choline, and salt water and over all neglect it suffered that weak, so much so that when we returned my hair was put into a semi-permanant bun state because it was in such sorry condition.

So it is time, with life getting back into a more normal routine, my hair needs some love and the first act of love I gave it was Marley Twists.

I have done them before but they never quite turned out like I had imagined so this time I followed How To Black Hair’s tutorial for each step of the way, with one exception, she used 8 pieces of marley hair for each twist and I only used 4. The video can be found here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHNYCmMZ6Eg 

And the results were fantastic. IMG_2523

I used 6 packs of AFRI- Napturally  Reggae twisthair in 3 different colors. I used 4, 1B/33 and this one T1B/BUG for a little pop of color. FullSizeRender 23This added a red/pink ombre to the bottom of the twists, I love it.

This twists turned out thicker than I had done in the past and I like it, they are light weight and cleaner.

So now I begin the rehab process from a summer of fun. weddings, life, and overall hair neglect. Lets get back to it!

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❤ 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

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

A style with lasting power!

I installed my crochet braids just about a month ago now, I was hoping to find a style that was easy, versatile and also something I would rock for my engagement pictures, which are tomorrow! (YAY) This style did not disappoint, I have not lost my love for these braids over this month.

I will admit I have become pretty free with the scissors, every couple of days I go through and snip away the tangles that develop in the hair, as a result I now have a few layers throughout but it keeps the hair from becoming a big matted mess.

I do not brush the hair, after seeing the result even serious finger detangling has on the hair, let me tell you, it is not a good result, they just become loose and more tangled and I end up even more scissor happy then I was before. So I decided not to even try it with a brush or a comb. And so far I have been happy with my non- combed hair.

I do have some leave out hair around my nap that I finger comb in order to maintain. I also moisturize my hair in the braids every couple days with Cantu Shea Moisturizer, and coconut oil. I have also found that applying small amounts of both of these to the braid hair helps keep it shiny as well.

I clean both my hair in braids and the braid hair with an apple cider vinegar mix, as you are aware, I LOVE apple cider vinegar. It works miracles for my hair, and it is holding up to that reputation once again, I leaves my scalp feeling refreshed and helps give the curls some bounce. I am going to attempt a full wash day soon, after my engagement pictures, I don’t want to mess up a good thing before I have to.

But over all I am more than pleased with this hair, I was nervous when I bought it because I had never tried this brand before but I will buy it again. It has become more frizzy over time, But I actually feel that gives it a more natural look, I have gotten many comments saying, wow you have grown your hair out, or your hair looks great! So it must look fairly natural! I also think the new growth in my braids has made it appear more natural.

I hope to keep rocking this style for a few more weeks before I take down for a full wash day and reinstall. I am hoping to keep my hair protected over winter to have as long of natural hair as possible before the wedding.

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Have a wonderful weekend! Boy am I ready for it!

Love your do and grow that fro!

❤ Kelsi Rae

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

Revitalize and Refresh . . . Oh and take care of those nasty tangles!

So I have had my crochet braids in for about two weeks now, and for the most part I have been loving them. I still haven’t changed my routine of wearing my hair in a low bun everyday but, when I wake up I can shake my hair and go. And it has maintained the straight look since I blow dried it so over all I am happy with the hair. However it definitely gets some pretty bad tangles. So yesterday I took the time to comb it out. So I applied some detangler and she butter moisturizer and started by finger combing the tangles and even just snipping some out with my good ole scissors. I was pretty liberal with the scissors because really  I have TOO much hair on my head right now! I did not realize how much volume this hair would have when I first installed it. So I finger combed, snipped and then took my wide tooth comb and started at the bottom and worked up! In the end I applied more moisturizer and put my hair into 6 two strand twists, twisted them up and put those six in two buns. IMG_0052 IMG_0053

I then went to boxing class like this and went and watched the walking dead with friends, before I went to sleep I made the two buns into one and was ready to go. Then in the morning all I did was take this twists down and my hair was ready to go. It had a slight curl but still maintained the blow out look I wanted. It didn’t gain all of the volume back which is good for me since I was not rocking that volume while I was teaching. I even liked it so much I left my hair down for the day.

IMG_0056 I was worried the tangles would cause me to take this style down before I want to. I hope to keep this style for about 4 weeks at least. So at 2 weeks I think I can do it.

If you have any tips for maintaining this crochet braids style let me know!

I hope you are having a wonderful week

Love your do and Grow that Fro

❤ Kelsi Rae

Do whatever you want. . . Oh I did

The Journey from this. . . IMG_0006

to this. . . IMG_0020

So I had decided I wanted crochet braids. so I came home and my roommate braided my hair, in simple cornrows straight back, we connected the two center braids about halfway back so that I could wear a side part of down the middle. So then I took my Marley hair and began installing it, this was a fairly easy process once I began, probably the most simple protective style that I have tried yet. And since I have no previous hair experience and YouTube is my instructor, simple is good.

However I did not realize that with this type of hair less is definitely more and I ended up being too generous with the hair throughout my head. . I ended up only using about 2 packs of hair, but I think that 1 to 1 and half packs should be my limit in the future. I loved the texture of the hair but was not a fan of the pure fact that it was HUGE! I couldnt even get it all in my hand to put it up, and since this took be till way past my bedtime to complete ( in total I think it still only took 3 hours, braids included) I wore my hair all pinned up around my head the next day to teaching. So back to the drawing board, aka YouTube I went, how can I control these tresses?? The answer I seemed to get was to curl it. . . so when I got home I set back to work .

I did a combination of styles of curlers and curled all of this hair and then dipped them in boiling water to “seal” the hair.. . this must be a process I am doing wrong because with both my sengalese twists and this style I havent’ been able to do it. . . the result came out like this. . . IMG_0008 Not bad. . but not the look I was going for.

So I wore it like this for two days and then tried once again to master the curl method. . IMG_0015 Result . .. Oh and did I mention I got engaged last week?? So I had been promising friends that when I got engaged I would rock a Feyonce shirt for my girl Beyonce so here it is. .. I absolutely loved my hair in this picture, unfortunately the look did not even last the day and by that night I was back to a poofy mess.

After 4 days I was about ready to give up on this style and just call it a day. Simplicity was not worth the hassle that this hair was causing me, I had spend three nights doing my hair instead of lesson planning. . . something that is not unusual but this time it was not for fun reasons.

So then with a heavy heart I started looking into straightening marley hair, the girls on youtube were helpful once again and said that Marley hair actually takes heat fairly well and with a good moisturizer and the proper time, you can do a blow out on Marley Hair, http://youtu.be/Ln31O1Ld_Ug , following this video I blow dried my hair and the result was finally something I LOVE! And the bonus . .. It has been about 4 days and It is still holding up. I wear it in a bun at night which gives it  a slight curl pattern that I love and the size is much more managable!  So crochet braids are here to stay. Next time I will probably not go through all of these steps. but who knows. .. knowing me I will probably attempt the curls again. ( Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a new result?)

IMG_0020 Here is the final result. this picure was taken 2 days after I blow dried it and I am still loving it. I am testing it out to see if I want to wear my hair this way for our engagement pictures. If anyone has any good suggestions for hair styles let me know.

Also if anyone has the key to the curl method, you would save me if you shared! Maybe then I would be successful and not burn my hands.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Have a great start to your week tomorrow

Love your do and grow that fro

❤ Kelsi Rae