Crochet braids are a protective style, created using textured extensions applied to cornrowed hair with a crochet needle.
That’s right—your crocheting quarantine hobby happily meets your hair fixation in this gratifying style crossover. With crochet braiding, extensions are attached to each cornrow using a ‘looping method,’ which allows you to achieve this style in a fraction of the time it would take for traditional braids. Crochet braids are for people looking for a low maintenance protective style. “Whether you are transitioning to natural or simply wanting to allow less wear and tear on your hair, crochet braids are perfect for you,” says African Pride’s Brand Educator, Robin Groover.
How to DIY
To achieve crochet braids, make sure your mane is thoroughly clean, dry, and tangle free. Part the hair with vertical partings from the hairline to the nape area and begin to cornrow (or twist) each section, while securing with a small rubber band or hair pin at the ends. “Use a lightweight oil to protect the strands of the hair while braiding. I recommend African Pride’s Moisture Miracle 5 Essential Oils. It uses a blend of 5 essential oils and Vitamin E to replenish natural nutrients; helping to protect against breakage and promote natural growth,” says Robin.
Once the cornrows are done, comes the fun part – namely, choosing the texture and length of the crotchet extensions. “Start by taking your crochet hook, loop the extension and place it through the braid, then pull down,” she advises. “Then split the hair to the size of the braid or curl desired. Take half of the piece of the curl extension and tie a knot to secure the curl and braid. Repeat the entire length of each cornrow.” By doing this, you can customize your level of fullness.
Crochet braids can usually take anywhere from 2-6 hours, depending on the desired style. “I always recommend using Darling Hair Extensions for braiding or for crotchet styles,” says Robin, who loves how much volume the style affords coupled with its simplicity, which she describes as “truly low maintenance.”
Crochet braids can be kept in for 4 to 6 weeks – this time frame will ensure the hair stays healthy and doesn’t start breaking. Once the braids come out, washing and conditioning are key to avoid compromising the integrity of your locks.
Start with an Oil
Scalp care is also essential when caring for your crochet braids. Always be sure to properly cleanse, condition, and protect the scalp with a lightweight oil. Another way to keep your style looking refreshed is to apply a shine spray sparingly to help eliminate frizz. To complete the look, finish off your style with an edge control product. “I recommend African Pride’s Olive Miracle Super Hold & Smooth Edges. It is a non-greasy edge gel that effortlessly slicks hard to hold edges while providing a long-lasting, nourishing hold,” adds Robin.
Robin’s top tip is to make sure your strands are lubricated with a protective oil before braiding. “I recommend African Pride’s Moisture Miracle 5 Essential Oils. Its blend of 5 essential oils helps to replenish natural nutrients, protect against breakage, and promote natural growth,” she continues.