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

 

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Rake and Shake on 3C hair!

Now to me that sounds like a new Taylor Swift song or a way to cook chicken!  But alas, its just the latest wash n go method I am trying! And boy do I love it so far!

You may know that for the past two years my hair has been in locs, and a little over a month ago I decided I missed my curls and combed out all but 2 of my lovely locs! I loved watching my locs transform and grow but ultimately they were not the size I would have wanted, ( I did not know very much about how they would mature when I locked my hair) and combing them out has been great!

So ever since I have been searching for wash n go methods that give me defined curls, I really got used to the shake and go styling that locs allowed and I am working to remember but styling natural hair is like! The latest wash n go method I came across was the rake and shake method! I found many many posts detailing how to and results on type 2 and type 3A and 3B hair. Now lets be real I have the hardest time with hair types, mostly because I feel like my hair can be multiple types and you know really why do we need all these labels!

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But annnnyyway, I typically say that my hair is mostly 3C type curls and I really wanted to know if this method would work for me.  I was able to find one video that showed someone with some more culr to their hair successfully completing this method.

That video is here:

And I thought well whats the worst that can happen I have a terrible wash and go and do a twist out on dry hair, (one of my favorite styles right now) So I gave it a shot!

I used just water and Cantu Shea butter Curl activator that you can buy for 6 bucks on amazon, here  ! 

I made sure that my hair was still wet when doing this method if it was starting to dry out at all I re-sprayed with a spray bottle.

Then it was as simple as the following steps:

  1. Split my hair into 6 small sections.
  2. Took one small section down.
  3. Put some curl activator on my hands.
  4. I then simply ran my fingers through my hair 2-3 times.
  5. The last time I made sure to smooth my hair between my fingers and hold onto the ends and not let it drop.
  6. Then I simply made like T. Swift and Shook it out! Before letting it fall!

Now I will be honest the first day I felt like my hair looked a little stiff and had lost some of the volume that I love! But by day 2 I was in love! I am on day 4 now and still loving it! The amount of compliments I have gotten is crazy and people asking, ” did you do something different to your hair?”

I pineapple my hair at night to stretch and maintain the curls but other than that I just spray with a little bit of Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk in the morning for moisture and shake and go, just the style I was looking for!

I have no pictures from day 1- but here are a few from day 4! One texture shot and one regular! What do you think? How would you “label” my hair?

Have you tried this method on type 3 or 4 hair? What were your results?

-Rae

 

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

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

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