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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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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Olivia Pope’s Hair is Scandalous!

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So let’s start by saying I LOVE Olivia Pope, I am a full on Shonda Rimes addict, and if you don’t know Shonda is the genius who has created, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, all of which I love!

Even though I can’t watch the shows until Friday because I don’t have TV I fully subscribe to the TGIT (Thank God its Thursday) that ABC puts out. I love her, I love Olivia Pope, I love Kerry Washington.

And if you are as hooked on Scandal as I am then you know that in the recent weeks Olivia has been under fire for the affair with Fitz, something that was bound to happen eventually and has left Olivia wallowing in her apartment drinking wine.

But what I care about here is her hair, yes her hair, ok I have been upset about her hair before, when she was kidnapped for weeks her hair stayed nicely straight maybe it got some frizz here or there but you know there was no major kink coming out, still mostly composed and relaxed,

Now that she is under fire, there are pictures of a younger, more wild Pope, she is out partying, drinking in college with her friends, she is a freshman as Georgetown and guess what, there is her natural hair! She finally has some curls, maybe a little kink here or there!

Now come on, she is wallowing in her house, a bottle of wine in her hand and her hair is perfectly put together, perfectly straight hair, but when she isn’t supposed to be professional her hair can be in its natural state . . .because well you know natural hair is not professional.

Ok so this is a little thing, this had nothing to do with the episode and I actually liked the episode but it is just another way to see that when people see me in my beautiful braids they see “beautiful black woman” they do not see “professional” Its a little thing yes.. . but little things add up!

❤ 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!

Length Check Lifestyle

So it has officially been 16 months since my last relaxer, and 14 since my last real hair cut, I have since trimmed off most of my relaxed ends, but that was done at home too. Since becoming a DIY’er I forgot how much I love to have someone else do my hair. So this week with the last of my birthday money, I splurged, I went out and go a conditioning treatment and style from a hair salon. Now while I cannot see myself spending that kind of money for something I can do at home often it sure was nice to have someone else deal with my hair for awhile.

So here is the update . .

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We are getting somewhere,  I started using my tattoo as a measurement months ago and I finally covered the second star on my tattoo a major accomplishment, 15 months ago I was just about neck length and so when I start to think I am not making progress I look back and make myself see the progress

IMG_1517My bra is covering the second star in the 1st picture but that is probably a good 2 and a 1/2 inches of growth in order to cover it.

This week it reminded me how much I love the versatility of my natural hair, it can go from this

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To this

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In well with some hardship and 4 hours of straightening. . . ( or only 1 and a half by a professional)

This week has made me the most happy that I made the decision to go natural, when the hairdresser said. . your hair is really healthy! She didn’t make any comments about my “self cut” and she wanted to know all about my DIY braids and protective styles.

Before starting this journey everytime I would go to the hair salon they would comment on the damage of my hair or the uneven ends or something. . I was expecting the uneven ends comment since I have been freely chopping off my straight locks for a few months now, but no she was impressed with the state of my hair, she could tell it hadn’t been cut in a while but that was the only comment she made.

So onward and upward we go, as the fro continues to grow where it will stop, we never know. ..

❤ Kelsi Rae

What is up with my hair?

So for a hair blog I feel like I have been neglecting to tell you about my hair for awhile now! Well it is still there, it has not been chopped off or harmed in any way. I have also not done any new protective styles, for oh a few months now

I think when the last twists only lasted about a week I decided it was time to take a break from them for awhile. And to be honest I have been loving my hair lately. I have been rocking the wash and go most of the time like it ain’t no bodies business.

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I tried my first fishtail braid a couple of weeks ago and I loved it! It is actually a super easy braid, and that is coming from someone who still hasn’t mastered how to to a frenchbraid on myself yet. It is easy it holds all my hair out of my face and looks much more complicated than it is. And as an added bonus that just means that my hair is finally long enough to do braids like this as a style.

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Wash and go 1,2 and 3! The second two pictures come from the same day, it was the day Mr. and I signed on our first house together and picked out his tux for the wedding!  Very exciting day! And my hair was large and wonderful! I love the volume and body that each wash and go brings and I can normally get two to three days of wear out of it.

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This is a twist out on a three day old wash and go! Mr. suprised me with a concert of one of my favorite bands this night, i loved him for it and I loved my hair and shirt that night! Really we were just rocking it that evening!

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This picture has nothing to do with my hair, except for the fact that I rocked a messy bun that day, my hair is very insignificant in this picture! But I love it!  I was feeling sassy and wanted to show up my nails and my ring! because really who doesn’t. But I thought this was a fun way to do just that.

So there it is. . my hair for the last month. I am getting the itch to straighten it and check the length so maybe at next wash day we will see how we are coming. Three more months till my hair’s big day. .. my wedding, so I guess there is more to that day than my hair. But just barely right?!

❤ Kelsi Rae

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

Photo Funday!

Today is all about the pictures of my hair. . I love when I have a good hair week and I want to show it off.

So I had two goals since January, not to straighten my hair until after my birthday my birthday was Tuesday and I made that goal. The second goal was to leave a protective style in for all of March. . well that fell quite short. I took it out after a week and a half. But you know 50%! But here is my week in review. . I blow dried my hair with cool air this week for a stretched “large” look as a I call it.

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This is my current love. . my ever growing bun. this time is was too big to fit in the picture. . .

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This is about the point I remembered why I don’t blow dry my hair. . my arms were tired, I was an hour in, my hair was still way to wet. And I wasn’t even half way done.

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And there is the a la “large” hair!

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Then I decided to rock the high school look for awhile! Given in high school my hair was 100% natural and I rarely blowdried my hair, but I rocked an afro puff, before I even knew the name about 90% of my high school career.

This is the hair do that lead to an infant and more recently my grown fiancé trying to nap on my hair.. .

I must say it is very comfortable!

SO that is my week. Even with the living large lifestyle i have had going on I am very happy with it.I love my buns and have been wearing one most days to keep my hair off my shoulders. Now that I am officially arm pit length I am trying to keep my hair up at work as much as possible in order to reach bra strap length by my wedding!

Length retention is the name of the game!

❤ 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