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

 

 

 

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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

17 month post relaxer check in!

So 17 months ago I decided I was going to grow my hair out and do it without relaxers, I was going to go natural. Over the next 17 months i have become slightly obsessed with my hair, I have tried more styles than I could count, trying to find a style that didn’t require heat and was low maintenance  that I could manage on my own.

In those 17 months I haven’t gone to a hair stylist until last month when I wanted to have my hair straightened for the first time in months. I found that I loved playing with my hair and watching it grow. the different lengths brought different curl patterns some I loved and some I hid. I can remember years like 23 of them longing for straight hair and now when I straighten my hair I long for my big curls, I find myself trying to make my curls bigger.

Now I have found that I can rock the wash and go again. Today on my time hop I came across my wash and go from last year, my wash and go has improved 110% in the last year. I wear my hair in a wash and go most days now, partly because I get the most compliments with it, it is easy and my hair loves it.

Here are the two pictures comparing my wash and go. ..

What do you think?

Also any suggestions on good leave in conditioners that won’t weigh down my curls?

My Wash and Go 1 year ago today!
My Wash and Go 1 year ago today!
Wash and go today!
  Wash and go today!

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

A week in the life of my hair. . .

So its officially been one year and one month since my last relaxer.  I have to say the one year mark was a little underwhelming, I had been looking forward to it for months and then it came and went and nothing special happened. I did decide that I will undergo a no heat challenge until My birthday, which is March 10th so that will be a little over a month. So this week I saw the evolution of the wash-n go.

And now I will share it with you.

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Day one, wash n go. I washed my hair the night before, did a successful Pineapple and wore it down the next day. I sometimes forget how different I look without my glasses and no eye make up.

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I wore my curls for two days an then did a curlformer set! I love my curlformers, this set came out less defined since it was on dry hair but I loved it and I got the most compliments on this style throughout the week.

IMG_0757 IMG_0761 On Valentines Day Ben and I headed up to the Mountains

IMG_0766-1 That night I did two large flat twists to sleep in and took my hair down to this wonderful curly style that unfortunately it only lasted down for a few hours before I put it up into a bun.

IMG_0772However I think I am officially at arm pit length!! That was my first hair goal. . now on to bra strap length by my wedding August here we come!

Next week I am going to try a roller set, I haven’t done one in a few months so we will see how it goes!

Thats all for now! Hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day and have a great Presidents day weekend!

❤ Kelsi Rae

Love Your Curls

Love your curls. What a simple concept really. Teach your children that their natural hair is beautiful and it will perpetuate beauty throughout the world. However that seems to be such a difficult concept even today. We are trying to teach people to love themselves no matter who they are, black, brown, gay, straight, transgender. And yet we still have a commercial about teaching girls to love their curly hair?

For some reason that baffles me, I hope that all of these things are taught and that in future generations everyone feels comfortable and loves themselves in their own skin. However I feel like we still shouldn’t have to teach girls that their curls are beautiful, they should know it! When did straight hair become the height of beauty? There are so many great examples of women with curly hair that are gorgeous but as little girls we still look up to and identify with the straight haired beauties.

I can remember growing up when my mom would not let straighten my hair, (This was the case until I was 18). And I would envy all of my straight haired friends, I was convinced that their hair was magical and that everyday they woke up and didn’t have to do anything in order for it to be amazing. And while as I have grown up. And put my hair through hell trying to make it that magical straight hair that all my friends woke up with everyday.  I have found that they while they do generally have less prep work for their hair than I do. They also think my hair is amazing, just like I do theirs. My straight haired friends  This Hair Envy if you will is what led me to start this blog, and what concerns me today.

I cried when I watched this commercial, because I am still teaching myself to do this. Love my Curls; here I am 23 almost 24 years old trying to love my natural texture again. To wake in the morning, look in the mirror, say “My hair is HUGE,” and smile. Say this with a huge smile on my face because it was exactly what I wanted. I still find myself more often than not saying, ” My hair Is HUGE, and trying to find ways to make it smaller.” After a year of transitioning to my natural hair I am working it out, I just find myself not feeling as pretty when my hair is in its huge state. IMG_0689

This was my first successful Bantu knot out and I just cut all the relaxed ends off of my bangs and now have these curly bangs. This was day one I wore them out and by day two they are pinned up again. . . lets make my hair smaller shall we?

So at 23, as a almost completely natural haired women, I am reteaching and reexamine my Hair Envy, I am transferring my envy from the straight haired beauties of the world, because I will never have that hair, no matter how hard I will it to be. And becoming envious of the women in the natural haired world. Even though I may never have hair like those beauties, at least it is more of an attainable goal. And that way when I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror I will be like, ” My hair is HUGE, damn girl, you look good.”

So moving forward, lets teach our daughters that we love our hair, that we love them no matter how big their hair is, who they love or what they want to do when they grow up. Let’s just teach our children; Love.

So thank you Dove, I will: Love My Curls. 

❤ Kelsi Rae 

Photo Friday 2. . . I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

You know you are going natural when you get excited that your hair is getting bigger as opposed to longer.

This week I tried my second curl former set on dry hair, and I think that is the way to go for me. It lets me retain some of my length and over night I was able to achieve the definition of curl that I wanted.

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As you all know this week was Christmas, we headed to my future in-laws for the week. I had hoped to maintain this set over the week, but unfortunately even with my newly bought just for this occasion satin bonnet ( I forgot my trusted satin pillowcase at home) The curls fell by the third day and I was left putting my hair into its usual bun. I tried a flat twist out overnight on christmas and the results were fabulous. So maybe that is the key to maintaining my curl former sets. . a flat twist after over night.

I also was overly excited that my hair is now long enough to do one continuous twist all the way around my head. IMG_0341

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Results of the flat twist.

Now for some photos of my week. As a teacher I got off of work last Friday and will stay off until the 5th of January. YAY! So all of the outings must happen in these two weeks. They started with a roommate lunch date and a trip to zoo lights to wish my friends who are moving to Zambia fare-well.
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Now for my favorite present from christmas.. . given we have not had Christmas with my mom yet. . marriage is all about compromise right? But so far my favorite present are these ornaments from my future mother-in-law. She made us ornaments with pictures of us throughout our relationship and some with our initials K B H. H for my soon to be last name. They are so thoughtful and sweet, I love it.
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I hope your Christmas was blessed with happiness, family and friends and good hair. As a girl going natural I know my wish is always for good hair, I bet some of you can relate.
This is my favorite season of the year, because even if you do not celebrate Christmas there seems to be a cheer in the air.

Now onto thinking about what to do with my hair for new years eve. . . . any suggestions. . .

Love your do and grow that fro. .
❤ Kelsi Rae

Photo Friday. . . #1

Photo on 12-19-14 at 10.25 AM ( The final product, and yes this is in my classroom so there are some lovely sentence stems behind me.)

Why not just upload a ton of pictures one day. . I don’t have a reason so that is exactly what is going to happen. . . So I bought a christmas present for my hair, Curlformers, I have decided to try and keep my hair out of braids for a little while mostly because my students get really confused with my ever changing do, so I tried curlformers which I found extremely easy to install, and sat under the dryer for about an hour, before removing. However I had to do bigger chunks of hair than i would have liked and so my hair was not completely dry when I removed the curlformers. The peices of hair that were dry created perfect spiral curls that I will dream of until I redo this style but overall they came out well and I will definitely be keeping these around. So for the photos right. . .

IMG_0255-1 IMG_0261-1 IMG_0264-1 IMG_0267The progression from curlformer to ready for school, the only difference in the bottom two pictures is that I have put on some eyeliner and added a headband.

It is hard for me to believe my hair is down to my collar bone when straightened and doesn’t even touch my shoulders when curly. .. but hey after seeing pictures of others, that is nothing in the shrinkage world.

So what do you think?

Happy last day of school fellow teachers. .. we are out for winter break for two weeks now and boy do the students need it. We are taking 3-5 grade roller skating today. .. wish me luck!

Love your do and grow your 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

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