Rae with the Loc’d hair!

 

I have always loved doing my hair, okay that is not true I have loved doing my hair for about 6 years. Since I decided one day to chop off all my hair and go natural. One day I had shoulder length relaxed hair and one big chop later and I was rocking a teeny afro an I loved it! Since then I have found so many ways to do my hair, but that was really the last time I let anyone else do my hair. I never found anyone I trusted with my natural hair and to be honest I didn’t even really know where to start looking. So instead of searching and potentially letting someone else mess up my hair my hair became my hobby I studied and learned how to do my hair. I had never had an example of how to do my natural hair I was raised by my single white mother in a very small town. So I learned I became a youtube student and I practiced on myself. I would spend my weekends doing my hair, marley twists, crochet braids of all kinds, box braids, twist outs and braid outs galore. I loved it all, I learned so much and slowly became more comfortable with my natural hair. All of that learning was leading me here a few years ago I put in faux locs and I was instantly in love. I loved the way they framed my face I loved how they hung down and yet still showed off my natural texture. So I started researching real dreadlocks. How to start them and maintain them? What were the benefits and drawbacks that came with them. So I thought I  was ready to jump in, I started a set of locs myself using the instant loc method. But I truly didn’t have the knowledge or will power to start them correctly. I had no true grid and I didn’t understand how they locks would grow and mature over time. I ended up combing them out before they fully matured. But I never stopped wanting to dive into this journey.

So here we are again, locking my hair. I decided to have my hair professionally locked this time I was able to get the size and grid pattern I truly wanted and understand how my lock will mature overtime.

But even as I was sitting in the chair for what seemed like an eternity, I missed the freedom that came with doing my own hair. So I am ready to learn about the process of maintaining my starter locs on my own. I can’t wait to share this journey, the ups and downs the frizz and the crazy teenage stage but overall I can’t wait to invest in my hair and dive into the loc’d life!

-Rae

 

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. . .

IMG_1517

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

 

 

 

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