Loooong time no blog! I’m so sorry I’ve been m.i.a. but work and life have kept me wrapped up and away from my laptop (that not-so-conveniently broke down this weekend). I’ve been trying out a few new things with my tresses, finding new staples, straightening it, tucking it away in protective styles, bunning it (my hair is finally long enough for me to do easy loop buns, whoop!), loving twist outs, and just maintaining the health of my hair while I’ve been gone.
My favorite protective style I tried while away was crochet braids. Yes after months of going back and forth about trying crochet braids, I fiiiinally did it! Honestly I hated the whole process up until I woke up the next morning, shaped it a bit more and headed out the door. Here’s how my first install went.
I used 2.5 packs of Jamaican Bounce 26″ hair, number 4. It took forever to decided on what hair to used because I was pretty out of my depth having only worked with marley hair.
I prepped my hair by deep conditioning on dry hair (I’d just taken down marley twists), with Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner for 30 minutes under my Hot Head Conditioning cap. Next I co-washed with True Cleansing Co-Wash Conditioner (following the simple, moisturizing routine I adopted in August). After wrapping my hair in a towel for 10 minutes, I applied True Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner to my hair in sections and braided my hair straight back. I’ll forever to thankful to my mother for letting in her for weeks while I learned to cornrow when I was in high school. It’s been years since I’ve cornrowed my hair and I was glad to find out I hadn’t forgotten how.
I did 9 braids in the front and combined them to do 6 braids in the back. I crossed the braids in the back to each side (at my nape) and pinned my hair down like crazy with bobby pins to keep it secure. Starting in the back, I slowly hooked the crochet hair through my braids using this crochet needle that I purchased on Amazon.
Being my first time, I was so nervous I was somehow screwing up and because I wasn’t accustomed to using the crochet hook so it was slow goings while I fumbled with the hook a lot. The first install took 3 hours and about 20 minutes to cut and shape the hair to my liking. To make my part look more natural, I used the “invisible knot method” instead of the normal pull-through-the-loop method.
The first install held up pretty well despite the fact that I didn’t use my satin bonnet not once during the week. The hair did frizz up but I took care of that problem by simply snipping out the frizzy sections in the morning. The first install only lasted a week because I wanted fresh curls for my birthday. Being the crazy lady I am, I got home Thursday evening, took out all the hair, undid my cornrows, washed and deep conditioned my hair, moisturized and braided my hair back up and reinstalled the crochet hair. Needless to say I. was. beat. But I was determined!
I changed the braid pattern for the second install to do a side part. This braid pattern definitely made my hair feel less bulky and it took strain off my edges.
With my braids done and the ends tucked away and pinned down by bobby pins, I used my handy dandy crochet cook and 2.5 packs for Jamaican Bounce crochet hair, color: number 4. I should’ve used the “invisible knot method” to make my part here look more natural but I was so tired I forgot all about it and then I didn’t feel like undoing those sections to re-do them. I didn’t mind that you could see my parts so eh, it was no biggie to me.
This second time around I DID use my satin bonnet and the hair did not tangle up as much. I still had to snip out a few bits of frizz but nothing compared to the first install.
Crochet braids are an easy, fun protective style and although I LOVED my results, it’s definitely not a style I plan do regularly. It takes far much longer to install than I care for and since I prefer to take out my hair weekly to wash and deep condition, weekly crochet braid installs are just a no for me.