If you’ve been rocking your naturally curly hair, you know your curls can be a bit high-maintenance. Without proper care, they’re likely to throw a tangle tantrum. Fortunately, there’s a way you can take a break from your natural curls without giving up your natural look:
Enter crochet braids.
Rocked by beauties like Solange Knowles and Keke Palmer, crochet braids make a big statement whether you’re heading to work or a night out. Even better? They’re great braids for curly hair and are easy to maintain. In our curly girl’s guide, we’ll explore the world of crochet braids, including how they differ from other types of braided looks and where you can go to make this unique style your own. Whether you are searching for the best hair braiding San Diego, Atlanta, or Houston offers, look no further than StyleSeat to find a qualified stylist that can help you achieve your look of choice.
What is Crochet Hair Braiding?
Crochet hair braiding, also called latch hook braiding, is a method of adding extensions to hair that was popularized in the ‘90s. And like fanny packs, baby tees, and scrunchies, crochet braids are making a comeback — but with a slightly different look.
Thanks to the natural hair movement, crochet braids now use textured extensions to create a more natural end result, which makes it easy to pass off crochet braids as authentic hair. Regardless of whether you want to change up your look with a straight style, waves, ringlets, loose curls, braids, or twists, crochet braids can make it happen.
How Are Crochet Braids Done?
First, your natural hair has to be braided into cornrows. Next, each hair extension is looped under a cornrow. Because there are different kinds of synthetic hair extensions for the crochet braid, you have various looks to choose from, such as crochet curls, Marley hair, Kanekalon hair, goddess locs, Jamaican bounce hair, jumbo braid, etc. And if you don’t have enough extensions, you could also incorporate yarn braids, soft locs, or faux locs.
What Makes Crochet Braids Different from Other Braided Styles?
You may be surprised to learn that the “braid” in crochet braids doesn’t actually refer to the style you end up with. Unlike other types of hair braids, crochet braids can be used to achieve a variety of looks, from tousled curls to Senegalese twists.
So why the misnomer?
The “braid” in crochet braids isn’t arbitrary — it actually refers to the braids you need in your natural hair to start.
To achieve crochet braids, you must first cornrow your hair. Then, extensions are applied to the cornrows with a crochet technique. This is different from the sewing technique that’s used to apply a weave. With crochet braids, a latch hook (which looks similar to a crochet needle) is used to loop loose hair beneath the cornrows. Then, knots are made to secure the hair in place.
Why Choose Crochet Braids?
Aside from the fun of trying out various hairstyles, the crochet braids hairstyle offers several benefits for both you and your hair.
In fact, many women, including hair inspirations Rihanna, Solange, and Issa Rae, are choosing crochet hairstyles over other types of Black braided hairstyles because they’re:
- Protective – Excessive styling with hot tools, overuse of weaves and relaxers, and harsh chemical dyes can lead to damaged hair and thinning edges. With crochet braids, you can rock your dream look without any complaints from your natural hair. In fact, crochet braids protect your natural hair from the elements while still allowing your scalp to breathe. For this reason, the crochet braid hairstyle is known as a protective hairstyle.
- Quickly applied – Unlike box braids, which can take around five to six hours to install, crochet braids typically only require a two and a half-hour session. That means you’ll have more time to show off your new look and snap a few glamour shots for Instagram after you leave the salon.
- Easy to maintain – With proper care, crochet braids can last as long as eight weeks, requiring minimal maintenance on your end.
- Inexpensive – Because crochet braids require less hair than box braids, they’re often more affordable. Style and savings? Yes, and yes.
How to Achieve Crochet Braids
Whether your hair is natural, relaxed, pressed, or transitioning, you can enhance your natural beauty with crochet braids.
Not sure which type of crochet braid style to choose?
Don’t worry. There are plenty of options to choose from. Check out our 10 favorite types of crochet braids to find the look that most inspires you.
#1 Twist Out
Voluminous and soft, twist-out crochet braids are perfect for any occasion. To add your own unique twist to your twists, choose boldly colored hair — we love a deep amethyst, a sultry indigo, or a fiery red. Alternatively, to maintain your natural look, consider going with a warm honey-ombre.
#2 Faux Dreadlocks
If you’re not ready to commit to locking your hair, you can use crochet faux locs such as soft locs to try out the style temporarily.
#3 Box Braids
Want box braids without having to spend hours in a salon chair? With the crochet technique, your stylist can use pre-made box braids to achieve this classic look in significantly less time (and for a substantially lower cost).
#4 Knotless Braids
With this knotless braid style, you can switch up your style daily with buns, side braids, high ponytails, and more. This is because knotless crochet braids hide the knots that would otherwise be seen when parting your hair differently. It’s like getting several hairstyles in one!
#5 Marley Crochet Braid
This crochet braid uses Marley hair, which is thicker and more coarse than other synthetic hair, allowing for a lush, kinky look.
#6 Havana Twists
The type of hair extension needed for Havana twist crochet braids are larger in diameter than Marley braids but lie more flat, making them an appealing option for those looking to add length to their hair, as well as volume.
#7 Senegalese Twists
Are you interested in smaller, more delicate braids? Senegalese braids are typically achieved with Kanekalon hair, allowing for a smooth, sleek finish with plenty of natural texture.
Taking a break from your natural curls doesn’t mean you have to lose your curl altogether. With crochet braids, your options for natural curly hairstyles are endless. Try out water waves, tight ringlets, or Jamaican bounce braids.
#9 Short Crochet Braids
For a shorter style, use crochet braids to frame your face with a textured bob or spice up your look with a curly pixie cut.
#10 Straight Crochet Braids
Replace your relaxer with straight crochet braids of any length and any color. To maintain your sleek tresses, simply use a hair straightener when needed.
Maintaining Crochet Braids
While crochet braids can last up to eight weeks, their quality and longevity will depend on how well you take care of them. To ensure your luxurious locks last as long as possible, take a look at our crochet braid maintenance tips:
- Avoid (or limit) washes – Washing crochet braids can loosen the knots and shorten the lifespan of your look. In fact, many women choose to forego hair washes while wearing crochet braids. However, if you want to wash your hair, it’s best to focus on your scalp rather than your applied hair. Limit your washes to once every two weeks with the following approach:
- Dilute shampoo with water in a spray bottle
- Spritz your scalp
- Massage your scalp gently
- If you want, you can also wash your added hair with this diluted shampoo, and condition after (but make sure to do so gently)
- Rinse out the diluted shampoo (and conditioner, if used)
- Spray your scalp with a leave-in conditioner
- Add a moisturizer to your scalp and added hair
- Seal your scalp with an oil
- Dilute shampoo with water in a spray bottle
- Use leave-in conditioners and oils – Leave-in conditioners and oils are two of the best hair products for natural hair. To maintain your natural hair moisture, apply a leave-in conditioner or oil (such as coconut oil) when necessary. Be sure not to over-moisturize your hair—this can lead to product build-up, which prevents your hair from taking in moisture, resulting in dry, brittle locks. Lastly, if you’re just about to install crochet braids, consider booking an appointment for a natural hair treatment. It’s that simple using our online booking app.
- Protect your hair at night – Pineapple your braids, wear a satin bonnet or cover your hair with a scarf at night to minimize the likelihood of frizz in the morning. You can also use these methods to protect your hair in the shower.
- Manage frizz – Even if you’re diligent about covering your hair at night and in the shower, frizz still happens. While some frizz will add to the natural look of your braids, too much frizz can lead to tangled hair and messy styles. To manage your frizz, simply go in with a pair of scissors and delicately clip away any areas of excess frizz that are causing tangles.
Find Your Ideal Look with StyleSeat
If you’re looking to take a break from that high-maintenance curl life and explore a range of new and exciting hairstyles, try the crochet hairstyle. Not only do crochet braids offer versatility, but they also protect your natural hair and can save you time and money. But the trick is finding the right beauty professionals who can transform your hair into the crochet braids of your Pinterest board dreams.
So how do you find a stylist who specializes in crochet hair?
With StyleSeat, you can easily search for qualified stylists and browse top salons in your area and beyond to find the hair service that’s right for you. Simply search crochet braids Washington DC, Charlotte, Chicago, or any nearby city, and book your professional appointment today.
Wherever you are, there’s a stylist out there who will work to understand you, your hair, and the look that will make you feel your most beautiful, inside and out. You’ll find that stylist with help from the pros — StyleSeat!
Unruly. Crochet Braids, Everything You Need to Know. https://un-ruly.com/crochet-braids-everything-you-need-to-know/
Byrdie. Crochet Braids: Everything You Need to Know. https://www.byrdie.com/crochet-braids-400224
Marie Claire. 14 Crochet Hairstyles to Inspire Your Next Protective Look. https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/g25608768/best-crochet-hairstyles/