As you all know, I LOVE crochet braids–they are my absolute favorite protective style!
I’ve worn crochet braids the most throughout my transition, so my techniques are evolving. I decided to do an update to both my cornrow pattern and how to make pre-braided strands last a while. As you’ll remember, I typically only wear pre-braided crochet braids for only 3 – 4 weeks because the new growth is obviously visible. But since these packs of hair are more expensive than bulk hair, I wanted to find a way to extend their wear.
The number one downside to crochet braids is a poorly-planned cornrow pattern. I work out a lot and if I’m wearing this style in particular (because it’s long), I like to throw my hair into a high ponytail or bun. I can’t do that with the cornrow pattern I typically use without the cornrows themselves actually showing in the back.
To allow that and not see a bunch of tacked up ends, I cornrow straight back only halfway, then clip the ends out of the way as I start on the bottom half. For the bottom half, I start one cornrow at the nape and braid, snaking its way up to meet the hair in the middle of my head (or my crown). Basically, you want it to look like a winding “S” making it’s way up from your neck to the middle of your head. Then join the ends in the middle and tack the ends at the crown as opposed to the bottom. That way, your ends are hidden and if you want to pull your hair up into a ponytail, it looks natural.
To extend the life of these braids, it dawned on me to simply add more strands to the front as the new growth grew in. Of course, this means that you shouldn’t use all the strands during installation. As the cornrow loosens and/or new growth grows in, add in strands to tighten the edges and look fresh (just not too tight).
Maintenance of pre-braided hair is so much easier to maintain than bulk hair. However, if you use the combo hair as I do here, you’ll have to employ some maintenance techniques for the loose part of the hair.