When we speak of long term protective styles, the first options that come to mind are usually sew-in weaves, wigs, braids and/or twist hairstyles. Crochet braids are a lesser known, but equally great protective style that works wonderfully for natural, relaxed and transitioning hair.
Crochet braids are a styling technique that involves braiding your hair into a cornrow base. Just like with a sew-in, various braiding patterns are used for different looks – straight back, circular and more. After your hair has been braided, loose (bulk) hair is attached to the cornrows using a latch hook, which is how this style got its name – “crochet braids.” You may choose to use either human or synthetic hair but curly textures give the best results because their fullness usually hides the cornrows and attached hair.
There are no chemicals, thread, bonding glue or any other adhesives used to create the style. All of your hair is braided down, making it a full protective style. You are able to wash, condition and moisturize your hair beneath the hair the same way you would with a sew-in weave. Crochet braids generally last about 6-8 weeks with proper care.
Whenever you are ready, the crochet braids are removed by simply unbraiding your hair. If you are interested in seeing exactly how crochet braids are installed, check out this great video tutorial by natural hair vlogger African Export:
One of the advantages to crochet braids is they place less tension on your hair than weaves because no thread or sewing is involved. Also, synthetic hair seems to work well with this style, costing much less than investing in human hair extensions. To remove the style, you simply cut the extensions close to but not through the knot, apply a bit of oil for lubrication, then lightly pull the hair loose from your cornrow. You can see this demonstrated below:
Myself, I have never actually worn crochet braids but Tama of Simply Into My Hair has installed them several times and luckily for you blogged about it each time! Check out all her posts on crochet braids for more information and different styles.
If you have worn crochet braids and have any advice regarding them, please leave a comment below!
Thank you Tama (Simply Into My Hair) and Ashley (FabEllis) for use of your amazing photos, be sure to check out their blogs for additional hair and beauty tips for both relaxed and natural hair respectively!