Crochet braids have been around as early as the 1990’s but they are reemerging as new protective style option for naturals. I happen to prefer them over sewn in’s or braid extensions because they are less timely to install, less timely to remove, and my scalp seems to be able to breathe easier without too much itchiness. They are exceptionally versatile, you can do an afro look, curly look, braided and straight hair looks with crochet braids.
You Can Do Them Yourself
With practice crocheting is a relatively easy technique to pick up, if you can tie a shoe string then you will be able to crochet. The first time that I crocheted my hair, it came out pretty okay, but there are two important things I learned during that first install: don’t do too many sections this will make the hair overly thick and the type of hair you use matters!
Types of hair that you can use
I really didn’t like the marley hair that I chose for my first install. For my second install I decided to go with Cuban Twist hair which is one of the highly recommended brands of marley hair and I had much better results. In the picture above you can see my results using different types of hair. You want to go with braiding hair, hair that is not attached to a weft. You can choose a marley hair if you are going for an afro look or something similar to a twist out (you will have to curl the hair to do this or buy it pre-curled). Wavy or curly hair can be used. You can also go for a straight look (this hair tends to shed more). I prefer short to mid length hairstyles so I tend to only use about 2 1/2 packs for longer looks go with 4-5 packs.
For Curly Marley Hair Styles
See this post: 4 of the Best Brands of Marley Hair for Crochet Braids
Pre-Curled Marley Hair
Try Curlkalon !
Aiming for a braided style? Purchase the hair pre-twisted to cut your time in half!
Janet Collection Tantalizing Twist (For Senegalese Twist Style)
Janet Collection Mambo Twists (For Havana Twists Style)
Wavy, beach vacation styles
Straight Hair Look
Supreme New York Braid
How Crochet Braids Are Done
#1 First your real hair is cornrowed. You can do straight back cornrows about 8 to 10 and the style will look just as natural although some prefer to do special braiding patterns that they feel will frame their face to their liking. The ends of your cornrows are tucked away, some people sew the ends to secure them, although for me I haven’t found it necessary (you can simply braid all of the ends together and tuck them away).
#2 You then will add braiding extension hair to your cornrows by using a latch hook tool. With the latch hook closed, place it underneath the braid, then add the hair to the latch hook, close the latch hook and bring it back through to the other side.
#3 Take the hair from the opposite side through the hair that is looped on the other side, if you are not using a kinky textured hair you will want to twist the loop and knot the hair again to make sure it is secure. Start doing this in the back of your hair and work your way to the front.
#4 For the very front pieces you should do the invisible roots method so you do not see knots in the front of your hair and the style will look more natural.
See This: Crochet Braid Tutorial
How Long They Take to Install
On average the style takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete. If you are using hair that is already pre-curled or you do not desire curled hair, the process will be less timely.
Going for that natural twist out look but don’t want the risk of burning yourself during the curling process? Curlkalon is a synthetic pre-curled brand of hair you can buy.
If you would rather pre-curl the hair yourself, use my video to see how it’s done:
On average the style can last a month or longer. If you did a curly look for your crochet braids with a marley braid hair or kanekalon hair it’s best to remove this after a month, because the style isn’t likely to look so hot after you wash it, plus it can cause the hair to shed and become overly heavy. Freetress Bohemian and braided looks on the other hand can withstand washes. This brand is also the more preferable choice if you are going on vacation and plan on getting in and out of the pool. Make sure you care for your real hair by using a moisturizing spray product, I enjoy using Dark and Lovely’s Moisture LOC Spray.