So I know you the majority of you guys said that you wanted me to cut my hair when I asked you what hairstyle I should do next, but I’m just still not ready! But don’t fret, I definitely will be cutting it before September because it’s on my 25 Before 25 Bucket List. In the meantime, I decided to try out crochet braids and I’m here to tell y’all all about it!
The Hair Prep
When I decided to get crochet braids, I knew I’d use some Havana hair from Fingercomber that was stuffed away in a bag in my closet from my two havana twist sets in 2013. I also knew the hair was smelly and visibly dirty so I’d have to wash it. On Saturday, I brought the hair out of the bag, and still in its sections from the twist takedown, immersed it in my bathtub with a glob of Coco Curls Shampoo and just a drop of conditioner. After swishing the hair around vigorously, I rinsed it out and laid it out to dry overnight.
I also knew that I wanted to pre-dip my hair to make it less complicated to bend my head full of rods over a coffee mug. I didn’t event realize it was a thing until I was browsing YouTube for crochet braid videos. So on Sunday, I rolled up a whole bunch of hair and dipped it in hot water and allowed it to dry overnight.
On Monday morning, I headed to Brooklyn to see my friend Saniyyah (you might remember her from my Carol’s Daughter event last year) who just achieved her dream of becoming a licensed cosmetologist! Saniyyah detangled my hair (and bless her heart because I haven’t paid it much mind since I wore the Fingercomber wig), shampooed and conditioned it with Aveda products, and sat me under the steamer for a nice treatment. After rinsing me all out, she blew out my hair and trimmed my ends for my seasonal trim. My hair was looking kinda sparse before the trim but I don’t even care anymore since I’m cutting it soon anyway.
Saniyyah then braided my hair in about 12-15 cornrows straight back, and used the latch hook to secure the ends of the cornrows underneath one another, rather than sewing them up or bobby pinning. Finally, it was time to crochet the hair pieces in, but I had to separate them because they were too large – leaving me with some intact curls but a lot of frizzy pieces. Watch the video below for the final look.
I made quite a few mistakes in this process of getting crochet braids. First, I had no idea how much hair I was supposed to use, and ended up prepping roughly 3 packs of Havana hair (which is the equivalent of 6 or so packs of marley hair), when in reality, I needed only 1/3 that amount. Because I prepped so much hair, I rolled and dipped sections that were entirely too large, without first brushing them out, meaning that I had to pull them apart 2-3 times during the install to get smaller sections. This left me with a batch of mostly frizzy hair that had to be cut much shorter than the look I was going for to look presentable. I definitely commend Saniyyah for being able to shape my hair though, because otherwise I would be wearing a turban every day. I plan to wear my hair as is until Christmas, when I’ll go ahead and brush it out and curl it again – hopefully, correctly this time. I might try to add a few more pieces in the back because I’d also like to twist the hair up in havana twists close to the middle of January. Of course I’ll let you guys know when I change something and if you have any suggestions feel free to share!
What are your tips and tricks for crochet braids? If you haven’t gotten them yet, does my experience make you more or less interested in the style?
Amma and Joanna, I know you two have had em so y’all better leave comments to help educate the rest of us! 😀