When someone with spiky box braids walks into a room, it’s hard not to stop and admire the cool endless hairstyle. Although a classic, braided extensions can be difficult to master on your own, and scheduling an appointment with a professional can be a costly all-day endeavor. An alternative to consider if you want the chic look minus the downside? Learn how to crochet braids.
Essentially, protective styling involves pre-braided hair that is purchased and then attached with a locking hook to your natural hair. Probably the most interesting thing about this styling method is that it saves a considerable amount of time, often only taking a few hours. This is compared to traditionally made braids, which require you to braid your natural hair. in purchased bits and can take five to eight hours.
Crochet braids are super easy to do on your own, making them a DIY beauty lover’s dream – and, with the right twist, they’re almost indistinguishable from traditional braids. Plus, there’s more to the crochet method than just braids: you’ll also find passionate twists, locs, and other hairstyles and types designed for crochet. Felicia Leatherwood, celebrity stylist and natural hair expert, notes that crochet braids are also quicker and easier to pull off and allow for great versatility in terms of hair types and textures. Keep scrolling to learn how to crochet braids at home, which just might become your new favorite protective style that will give you freedom of movement for four to six weeks.
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1. Buy your materials
First, you will need to decide on your look and your hair type. The options are many, from synthetic to blends or 100% human wicks. Once you have your extensions, Leatherwood says you can purchase a crochet needle online or at your local beauty or craft store. You can also opt to liven things up a bit with beads or cuffs on your braids.
2. Prepare your natural hair
Leatherwood says to start with clean, well-conditioned hair. You’ll see people use different techniques – including creating individual twists or braids – but the quickest way is to create cornrows that you attach your crochet braids to. If you go this route, Leatherwood recommends using a barrier cream while cornrowing so your hair stays hydrated. Another tip: “Be careful not to braid the hair around the nape and crown of the head too tightly,” she tells Bustle, noting to also pay attention to the strands around the hairline to avoid breakage. . As celebrity trichologist and stylist Dr. Kari Williams once told Bustle, too much tension on the hair follicle can cause the follicle to release your hair strand.
3. Install the braids
Once you have your cornrow base, you will want to feed the crochet needle under the cornrow. Next, attach the loop of the crochet braid to your needle hook and pull it through and under your cornrow. From there, grab the end of your braid and thread it through the loop, pulling it taut and securing it. You will repeat this until your entire head is covered. Leatherwood recommends clicking on some YouTube or TikTok videos to really understand the visual.
4. Take care of your braids until they are removed
If you’ve opted for synthetic hair or a blend, it can tangle and curl quite easily. To get the most out of your style, be sure to cover your crochet braids with a silk or satin bonnet or scarf while you sleep. Also, be careful when using products that are too heavy or oily, as this can lead to buildup. Then, when you take your crochet braids out, Leatherwood tells you to thoroughly shampoo, condition and detangle your natural hair — and you’re good to go until your next ‘do.