So by now you probably have read, seen, or heard through the grapevine that I’m currently rocking crochet braids. What you might not know is that said crochet braids have restored my faith in humanity, I mean my faith in crochet braids, after a harrowing and traumatizing experience with them just a few weeks ago. And by traumatizing, I mean that I spent 15 hours of my life installing crochet braids, nearly burnt myself trying to curl it (to no avail), spent the next 5 days in excruciating pain, and had a sore scalp for an entire week after I had already taken down my hair. I told you it was traumatizing.
That’s why I was incredibly thrilled to hear from Curlkalon, who I’d contacted a few months ago about reviewing their crochet braid hair. I actually got up close and personal with the brand at the Bella Kinks DFW Natural Hair Expo, where celeb stylist Felicia Leatherwood was installing the hair on a model, because my hair coloring station was in the adjacent booth. I was immediately drawn to Curlkalon’s red and blonde ombre hair colors – so it’s only ironic that I’m turning to them after experiencing hair breakage from that exact color and heat styling treatment at the Expo! Anyway, I’ve had them in now for about two weeks and am here to share all the details!
About the Brand
Curlkalon was founded in 2015 by two mothers, Shavone Riggins and Tiffani Gatlin, who “shared the same vision of creating safe, affordable and stress-free products that blended seamlessly with the hair textures of women with virgin hair.” Curlkalon™ Hair Collection “is a protective styling brand that is the first to offer women pre-curled 100% synthetic hair designed to match her natural hair texture. Curlkalon™ Hair offers solutions to women who are looking for low maintenance hair care options, and is a cost-effective alternative to human hair. Curlkalon™ is meant to give every woman beautiful, bouncy and effortless hair that keeps her stylishly confident.”
They currently carry four curls: Toni (cute & coily), Carrie (sweet & sassy), Saniya (fun & flattering), and Kenzie (bold & beautiful). All the curls come in two lengths: 10 inches for pixie looks, and 20 inches for shoulder length/bob looks. They also come in colors 1, 1B, 2, 4, 27, 30, Burgundy, TT27 (two tone 27), TT30, and TTBurgundy.
Installing the Carrie Curl
I received 5 boxes of the Carrie curl in 20 inches for my install – 2 boxes of color 4, 2 boxes of TT30, and 1 box of TT27. I braided my hair down using the recommended braiding pattern – 8 large cornrows with the two middle ones each beginning as two smaller ones. The shipment actually came with a nice instructional card that explains that you should install 10 curls per cornrow, so one box – which comes with 20 curls – should satisfy two cornrows. Since I was doing a layered ombre look, I didn’t really follow this rule, but I placed about 5 curls on the bottom half of each cornrow, and maybe 6 or 7 at the front half. Installing the hair took me 3 hours, including a meal break! Here’s the full tutorial:
Aside from the hairstyle being CAY-UTEE, the next best thing about Curlkalon is that it is incredibly lightweight. I’m able to move around without a headache that other protective styles have caused. I’ve gotten tons of compliments by both melaninated and un-melaninated folks – the latter of which seem to be the most impressed by my perfect Shirley Temple-esque curls. I’ve been able to exercise without worrying about shrinkage or hair flying off my scalp, and at night I just throw on a bonnet!
There are two complaints I’ve had in the two weeks of wearing this style so far. The first is that I got a pretty painful pimple the day after my install. While I can’t completely say it was because of the hair, since it may have also just been a result of me having hair on my forehead which normally doesn’t happen, it was pretty annoying. Secondly is that the hair does get pretty frizzy, both during the install and while wearing. I’ve had one frizz cutting session and will likely have to do one weekly to cut out and badly tangled sections.
Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing my thoughts in another few weeks once the style has “matured,” and I’ll have some more styling and maintenance suggestions!
Would you try Curlkalon’s pre-curled crochet braid hair? Which curl do you like the best?
This post is in partnership with Curlkalon. Thanks for supporting the brands that support my blog!