Natural Hair Chit Chat: Feeling Myself with Crochet Braids.

So the last time we had a chit chat, I said I would try out something different from my usual, because my usual had become a bit too much (but I’m kinda back on it as I write this). Even more so when I realized that bit about me, that I can be so vanilla – I needed a little pistachio and chocolate ripple in my hair life. And so I went for the crocheted braid look, which was way off my regular style. I had toyed around the idea of doing it as a DIY project on my hair, so much that I had even bought the crochet needle. I mean, you know how us naturalista’s are all about being creative and hands on. Then I thought again, what type of crazy is this I am on? Because crochet braiding is a piece of work – the plaiting, the crocheting, I wasn’t ready. So I called up my friend who’s a super star in installing them. You can give her a shout when you want some – crochetbyrayelle – and she’s pretty affordable too, and does house calls.

crochet braids, protective style

Step 1: Washed, deep conditioned, oiled and straightened my hair, because I knew it was going to be braided for a while, and I needed to start out with a clean and moisturized scalp and hair.

Step 2: She plaited me some cornrows – with smaller cornrows in the front, joined to slightly bigger cornrows at the back, because I didn’t want the crochet braids to be too much on my head. So the spread was a big determinant. Also, ensure the cornrows are done loosely for comfort while being crocheted.

crochet braids, protective style
Front
crochet braids, protective style
Back

Step 3: She laced the hair (Reggae Braids) through the cornrow with the crochet needle. I used Reggae braids (2 packets), because they have a soft texture and they look almost natural and are already combed out. So we don’t have to spend time separating them or combing them out.

crochet braids, protective style

Step 4: She then put a knot in the braid to attach it to the cornrow. We styled it to have a side sweep (is that what they call it? No). Ensure that the braids are distributed and installed properly so that they don’t look shabby or unleveled – though it inevitable, when it happens, the stylist will do some snipping and leveling.

Step 5: To give the hair some curl definition of sorts, we braided the hair and dipped it in hot water then undid them. I honestly didn’t have the time for flexi rods or curl formers – and even I didn’t have them in the first place. So we worked with the quick fix.

crochet braids, protective style

Step 6: We then applied some Cantu Shea Butter – Leave-in Conditioner to soften them some more, and some Cantu Shea Butter – Oil Sheen to keep it looking healthy and shiny.

What I loved about the Crochet braids;

  • It got me the ‘your hair has grown’ compliment. Though I was careful not to play along too much because it was a temporary style and my hair is nothing close to that length – and I wasn’t ready to deal with the ‘you cut your hair again?’ q’s.
  • It was easy to maintain. I would just finger detangle it in the morning. Apply some oil on my scalp, some leave-in conditioner on the hair as I finger detangle it, and spray some oil sheen to give it that shine.
  • I constantly had the va-va-voom Diana Ross’ish look, mature too, which I struggle to get with my normal look (baby face problems). Always felt diva’ish walking into a room, especially when the hair was open #BigHurrDontCurr. Is that what people feel when they’re in weaves? It’s an addictive feel, I could do it again just to feel that way again.
  • Your hair is protected because it’s in cornrows and it’s easy to oil the scalp because the way the crocheting is done leaves room for that.
  • It’s easy to style. Although I didn’t explore many styles for fear of the lines being seen or it spacing funnily, if you know what I mean. So, I was big on the French braid and the side sweep style.
  • They’re so light on the head that most of the time I would forget that I have them on. I had even acquired this habit of flipping back my hair…lol.

crochet braids, protective style

What I didn’t like about the Crochet Braids;
Yeah, I had those moments where I was like, ‘this hair though!’ However, the pro’s definitely outweighed the con’s, because I enjoyed having that big hair on my head.

  • It tangles and frizzes easily, especially when you tie it up at night, in the morning it’s a big mess. And you have to take a moment to pamper it, with the leave-in conditioner while finger detangling and the oil sheen to give it that fresh and shiny look.
  • It shed! Jeez, a lot. I felt like I had a pet in the house, because the whole house had strands of hair. It gets to me, so I had to keep picking and sweeping after pampering my hair every damn time.
  • It retains smells – like for instance if someone is smoking next to you, it will absorb the smoke smell, and you need to air it or spray it. It also absorbs the oil smells, of course like all hair, but because it’s big hair and it’s synthetic, it feels overwhelming. So you have to air your hair every chance you get – it made me wish I could wash it. But I wasn’t ready for the mess that comes with washing it.
  • Because it’s synthetic hair, it gets really hot in there, it doesn’t aerate. There’s day I was out and dancing and I just kept fluffing my hair because it was just storing all the heat and it was uncomfortable.
  • Undoing it was such a challenge at first. That was before I learnt that I can cut the crochet braid right above the knot and then just undo the line and it slides out.

To be honest, it’s a protective style that had me really feeling myself – and always beautiful, and always ready for a pic. There was no bad hair day, at least after I’ve given it a little TLC (tender love and care), a little detangling here, a little patting there and we’re good to go. How was your experience when you crocheted? I’d recommend it, and I will definitely braid it again when I want to feel myself in that way some more – hehe!

Have a beautiful weekend ahead fellow Snipper!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*