I had a friend In secondary school who within four years of making her hair had this mane of long natural hair that just made me cringe with envy. Looking back now, I think the secret was protective styling.
Protective styling is putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away to protect them from the atmosphere and for people like me, from myself. I’ve got serious hand in hair syndrome. Now its not just about putting your hair away in extensions and making it disappear for a while to reappear later with magical length. While this might work for some people, you might just end up looking like the old woman in Ralia the sugar girl. Remember her? Haha! I did strike a chord! 😀 If you have no idea of what i’m talking about, i’m sorry ..Too bad they don’t make kids read them again 😦 Now back to hair! What i’m trying to illustrate is you ending up with more damage than you started with. This can be due to over manipulation, neglect of your real hair underneath, leaving extensions in for too long, wrong styling, too much tension on edges. I’ve gone wrong with this myself. I washed my hair on a Saturday and on impulse decided to fix in a weave that same day without stretching my hair. I was weeping in my mind with the way the stylist was weaving my hair so tight. I complained ,they loosened, replaited and it was still the same. Only to blame it on the texture of my hair. They fixed the weave on and hair was fine. I even forgot all about my hair for a month. After loosening the weave, I could literally see my brain. It was just too sad.
This brings me to a very special protective style Harmattan pushed me to try. Crochet braids!!! In my opinion, this is my first protective style that really is a protective style.
Crochet braids is a protective style where you have your natural hair in cornrows and use a latch hook or bobby pin to put in any hair extensions you want to use. It took about 4-5 hours to install although there were times I did other things too. To make crochet braids, all you need is the extension you would like to use. I used Noble natural braids that I once used for kinky twists in 2014. It cost 1200 naira then and I got it at mushin market. I didn’t have the pack anymore to take a picture of it. It comes in already separated strands and most people use it to make faux dreads.
HOW DID I DO IT?
On already straightened hair with thread, I made my hair into 2 step cornrows. 10 at the front and 5 at the back and I plaited the ends into each other so I had only one braid at the end. Then I sew it with a cornrow.
I cut each strand of the noble braid into 2 because I didn’t want it to be too long. I also separated each strand into two to maximise the quantity of two and a half packs I had and to reduce the fullness. I made use of a big bobby pin because I initially tried a smaller one and it was difficult .With the bobby pin opened widely, I inserted half a length of the braid into the bobby pin and put the curved end of the pin and braid into the cornrow. When I had the braid at either side of the cornrow, I removed the pin. Then I made a knot with the braid ( I really hope this makes sense) .Just in case you do not understand, AB has a tutorial on the the kink and i and I hope it helps. I combed the hair out and tried curling it with perm rods but it didn’t come out so good and I just hated the hair. The curl didn’t last 2 days because I combed it out. I was so annoyed with the hair that I almost loosened it. But I had spent so much time doing it I decided the hair won’t conquer me. So I set out to discover ways to style it and eventually fell in love. It had the same texture with my hair! This made maintenance easy. I would mist with Luster’s S curl “no drip”moisturiser and comb with a wide tooth comb and style. The downside to it is It got tangled easily and shed like crazy bt I tried to manage the problem by putting it in twists at night. Many nights I just slept off without twists.
The best thing about crochet is I had access to my hair and scalp so I moisturised every 2 days by spraying water, cantu shea butter leave in, and Coconut oil from my spray bottle lightly and applied Jamaican black castor oil to my stubborn edges. The styles started with ponytail and scarf initially.
Then I pinned up into different styles, sometimes I put it all in a scarf. This hair does get you all the attention. Most people thought it was my hair except the highlights confused them and It had the same texture with my hair.
The take down was also easy. I cut the braids at the point of the knots and it took about 45 minutes in all.
I would definitely try this style again. Although with a different extension.
Scarves for lazy days
You can do Crochet braids yourself or get it done in a Salon. These are Salons I know that do it.
-Tunmise Natural hair Salon @ 14b ogunlana drive, Alhaji Masha roundabout, opp the taxi park, Surulere Lagos 08039138342
-Savvy and Chic hair and beauty hub @ 34A Awolowo road, Ikoyi, Lagos.08090613325
There are definitely others who do too, you could add names and numbers of salons who crochet in the comments box and i’ll update the list.
What do you think of the style. A No or a Yes for you? Have you ever had crotchet braids? Did you like it and would you do it again? We’d love to know.