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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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

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

Have you ever been at a bar and your hair. . . just fell out?

Well neither had I. . . Until last week. Yep I was at a bar just having a drink and the waitress walked up and oh you should have seen her face when she saw one of my braids on the floor. She couldn’t even get the words out of her mouth. I was not that embarrassed but I felt bad that it freaked her out so much, luckily it was a fairly empty bar, so only the waitress and the people I was with noticed the incident. But needless to say, the braids have since come down, after loosing two more in private. 

My braids lasted exactly 4 weeks, which is an accomplishment for the change-a- holic I am. And once I started the take down process I was glad I did not leave them in any longer, my hair was a MESS. It only took me about 30 minutes to get the braids out of my hair, which left me with a not- so bad braid out. photo 1-1 But then the real challenge started, the detangling process.  First, I pre- poo’d with an egg and olive oil mixture for 45 minutes, cowshed using Cantu Shea Complete Condition Co-wash and conditioned using John Frieda Smooth Start for 10 minutes. Then I finger combed all of the tangles out I could, but there was a solid lock starting at the back of my skull and that took some serious work, I finger combed as much of it as I could, then took my wide tooth comb, then my small toothed comb and worked through it, In the end I lost more hair than I would have liked but I would say it was over all a success. photo 2-1 My hair arsenal. . . Johnson’s baby detangled, Cantu Shea butter moisturizer, Its a 10 Keratin spray, John Frieda frizz ease straight fixation( because I thought I was going to straighten my hair) and Coconut oil.  

I stood looking in the mirror after this process was complete thinking, well now what in the world am I going to do with my hair. So I turned to a stand by from www.justgrowalready.com and stretched my new growth with the tension method. ( using cool air) Even though I was using cool air I applied dove heat protectant spray just to be sure. And put my hair in a pony tail for the rest of the day. That night I attempted my first flex rod set on dry hair, and I must say I love it, I think Flexi rods may become my new go to for awhile at least, It left my hair soft and bouncy, I used different sizes so I have different sizes of curl but I think once I perfect the method it will look even better. Flexi rods are much easier to set than traditional rollers, and not comfortable, but bearable to sleep on, which is a win in my book.  So now I am back to trying to keep it simple, to succeed, I am at 30 weeks post relaxer and have probably 3-4 inches of new growth. Still haven’t decided if I am transitioning, or long term stretching. I think if my boyfriend has anything to say about it, relaxer will never touch my head again. And I can’t fault him for loving my big curly hair, can I? 

photo 3 My new growth, plus I think It is a nice texture shot! 

photo 4 The flexi rod set, before much styling. 

Well that’s it for now. Hope everyone had a great week, and wonderful wash day. 

Love your do, and grow that Fro

❤ Kelsi Rae 

It’s a bird, It’s a plane. . . It’s Apple Cider Vinegar!

I had a moment of crisis last week, my week old Senegalese twists started to itch, and when I say itch I mean within an hour I thought I was going to itch through my skull. I was so close to ripping out my combined 7-10 hours of work off my head just to get to my scalp and so that I could stop this itching. 

Instead of destroying my beloved twists I turned to my trusty girls on youtube and found that this is a common problem, and we did have a hero to solve our problems! APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! So I ran out to the store bought a spray bottle and a trusty thing of this supposed super hero. Still skeptical about how this would work and how the smell would linger in my hair. I mixed 30 % apple cider vinegar and 70% water into my spray bottle. I then took each section of my hair and sprayed my scalp with this mixture  until it was drenched. Once my scalp was drenched I took a wash cloth and ran my finger along each part between my twists. It was INSTANT refreshment! After I had cleaned my scalp I went back and cleansed it with water to rinse the vinegar. I felt like a new woman. So I am a believer, Apple Cider Vinegar is my hero. It saved my hair style and my hard work. 

Since then I have gone through this same process twice, about once a week and my scalp has been itch free and happy! I have since become entranced with all the other things my super hero could fix, it turns out that it is more than just a hair hero, you can use it to whiten your teeth, wash your face to solve acne, clean your house with it, get rid of fleas off your pet and even more. I am so far just trying the tried and true scalp cleaning method, and giving the face washing a try, my face has been breaking out lately and I am going to see if this can solve this problem as well. So for any of you out there with dandruff or itchy scalp problems, even relaxed girls, and girls that don’t have their hair in braids, give ACV a try, it is a cheap and all natural solution that I have found to be quite refreshing. 

To end this post I will show off some of my looks from this past week, I went back to grad classes this week after two weeks off so my hair and outfits reflect my teacher style more. 

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Have a wonderful week. 

Love your do and grow that Fro 

❤ Kelsi Rae