Crochet braids may be a hairstyle, but the style derives from the art technique known as crocheting. This art technique began in the 16th century to create various household items and clothing.
The term crochet is French for “small hook,” as a small hook known as a crochet hook is an essential tool for the art form.
Although the style and art form are different, they are very similar in their concept. The person who can be credited with this hairstyle discovery is unknown.
The crochet hairstyle known today was first known as the Latch Hook technique in the early 1990s. The modern-day style made a comeback in 2010.
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What Are Crochet Braids?
How to: crochet braids for beginners ( step-by-step) small size
Crochet braids are like sew-in weaves but with noticeable differences. While both involve cornrowing the base of the scalp, they differ in the installation methods and type of hair used.
Crochet braids may be the hairstyle's name, but the name is more telling of the technique used to install the hair. The act of crochet braiding is the addition of extensions in a looping motion.
A stylist uses bulk, loose extensions to install crochet braids and loops the extensions into the cornrow using a crochet hook.
How to do Crochet Braids?
Crochet braids have become quite a phenomenon in recent years. This widely popular trend is everything clients are looking for – an inexpensive, natural-looking, low-maintenance hairstyle that can be worn at any time of the year.
Achieving crochet braids is relatively simple if you have the proper base and a good grasp of the technique.
1. Prep your hair
You'll want to wash, condition, and moisturize your hair before having your crochet braids installed. Depending on your hair's density, you may also want to blow dry your hair for a flatter braiding pattern.
2. Choose a braiding pattern
Deciding on the right braiding pattern for the look you wish to achieve is very important. The majority of people will choose a straight back pattern with your cornrows being braided to the back of your scalp.
Although depending on the part you would like, you may select a different design. Once you've decided on a pattern, braid your hair down in the chosen pattern and secure the ends of your braids by connecting them.
You can sew them flat to your cornrows for security and flatness.
3. Install the hair
Now you'll want to have your hair of choice and your crochet hook front and center. You'll need to open your hook latch and place it around the extension hair to install the hair.
If you're using loose hair, then put it in the middle of the piece. If you're using a pre-looped braid or twist, place it directly on the loop. Close the latch once you've positioned it.
4. Pulll the hook under the cornrow
Now take the hook and pull it underneath the cornrow and stop when you have a decent loop formed or you have slid the pre-loop entirely through.
5. Remove the hook and take the hair on the opposite side of the loop.
Pull It through the loop loosely. Before tightening, twist the loop and then pull the ends through again.
You can choose to do this a second time for security. When you feel it's secure enough, tighten the loop. You'll repeat this process throughout the entire head until all the underneath braiding pattern is covered.
Crochet braids can be done with loose hair or with pre-twisted or pre-braided hair. Another way of installing crochet braids is the single crochet method, which can be done for braids or twists.
With this method, you will part your hair as you usually would for braids or twists, but make sure to braid your hair or secure it with a rubber band at the base. This is typically done with pre-braided or pre-twisted hair, but you can use loose hair as well.
You'll take your crochet hair and follow steps 4-5; however, you'll be taking the hook underneath the base of your sectioned braid or rubber band. If the air is loose, you'll braid or twist your hair as usual.
If it is pre-braided or pre-twisted, you can weave your hair throughout the braid or twist to make sure it is concealed within to achieve single crochet in braids or twists.
Crochet braids do not take long to install. Prepping and installation time typically takes an average of 3-4 hours. Take-down time averages about half of the installation time.
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Are Crochet Braids Versatile?
Crochet braids can be very versatile. With the type of extensions used, clients can wear curly or wavy styles.
How Long Do Crochet Braids Last?
With proper care, crochet braids can last up to 8 weeks.
Who Are Crochet Braids Suitable For?
Crochet braids are suitable for all hair types, but coarser hair types may hold up the style more easily. Sensitive scalps may experience some discomfit with the tension and manipulation involved with the installation of the hairstyle.
When to Wear Crochet Braids?
Crochet braids can be worn year-round.
Pros and Cons of Crochet Braids
- Crochet braids are a faster way to achieve other loved protective styles. Perhaps you like the look of sew-ins, braids, and twists but lack time to complete these hairstyles. Crochet braids cut the installation time of these hairstyles in half.
- Crochet braids are inexpensive. Sew-ins can be expensive with human hair extensions. At the same time, braids and twists can be costly with the installation prices. Crochet braids are useful if you're in a pinch financially but still want to recreate these styles. The style averages $100.
- Crochet braids make moisturizing and washing your hair underneath difficult. If you like to wash your hair while it is in a protective style, crochet braids will make getting to your hair more difficult. Also, this style is usually done with synthetic hair, which could be disturbed by cleansing.
- Crochet braids can be very bulky and unnatural in appearance. They are a great option to quickly recreate your favorite protective styles, but the hairstyle can look less natural than receiving the original hairstyle.