Crochet Braids are my favorite protective style. This was my favorite style while I was transitioning from my relaxed to natural hair. Its one of the best protective styles because it does not require you leaving any of your own hair out. All of your hair is braided and completely protected underneath! My aunt used to put crochet braids in my hair when I was a kid with braided hair. Now days, the best hair to use is loose textured braiding hair. I can literally shake-n-go, which is perfect for a working and always-on-the-go mom!
Crochet Braids with Freetress Bohemian Braid
Crochet Braids with Freetress Water Wave
Crochet Braids with Marley Hair
Crochet Braids with Freetress Deep Twist
Hair Preparation: I start with clean and deep conditioned hair. No straightening is necessary beforehand because I don't want a loose base. I braid my natural hair in cornrows. I usually do 8-10 rows across the front and connect them to 5-6 rows across the back. Just like pictured here from HowToBlackHair.com.
Installation: I prefer to use bulk synthetic hair by Freetress. I have used other brands and have I have been dissappointed with the results. The texture of Freetress's hair allows it to hold in place after weeks of wear. I've used a lot of they're styles. Presto Curl, French Deep, Brazillian Curl, Deep Twist. My all-time favorite hair to use is Freetress Water Wave and Bohemian Braid. I like these types the best because these textures look similar to my natural texture. After weeks of new growth, the Water Wave and Bohemian Braid texture blends seamlessly with your edges, especially if you have installed hair that matches your natural hair color.
Kanekalon, Marley and Human hair can also be used for crochet braids. Kanekalon hair can also be used but it requires daily styling. Kanekalon hair may also require some of your hair to be left out to blend with the straight texture. Marley hair looks great with natural hair, but may require some styling after installation. Check out my Curly Marley Crochet Braid Tutorial! I have never used human hair for crochet braids. I cannot see myself spending a large amount of money on a style I may change after a few weeks.
Maintenance: I moisturize my natural hair underneath by spraying a mixture of glycerin and water on my cornrows. Any moisturizer can be used, I prefer something light with no smell. I do not apply anything to the installed hair, because it is synthetic and requires nothing. If you feel the need to put something on it, I recommend water. Anything else will only weigh your hair down and cause it to get dirty faster. If properly installed, crochet braids can be washed. I suggest a watered down shampoo in a spray bottle. I usually do not shampoo my crochet braids, only my scalp from time to time if necessary. At night, I 'pineapple' my hair with a scarf and tie down the top. This style can last up to 8 weeks with proper care. Maintenance is a must!
Do you where crochet braids as a protective style? What's you favorite hair to install? Any tips?