This is my first attempt at doing crochet braids on my own head! All in all–not a bad turn out (installed on April 20):
I decided that I was going to start taking care of and styling my own hair (reasons articulated in a previous post).
I already know all about the process of installing crochet braids–it’s a rather simple concept: 1. cornrow hair; 2. crochet bulk hair/braided hair through cornrows. Simple right? Not if you don’t know so much as how to cornrow your own hair–which I didn’t. So, my first step was surfing youtube to find a video that could adequately teach me how to cornrow my hair. The best video I came across was created by Breanna Rutter of HowToBlack Hair (below):
Actually, I found the video teaching how to cornrow with extensions first and followed that method for this round (below), but I sure wish I found the video above first, as it would’ve saved me a whole lot of trouble. Though, if you are seasoned at cornrowing your own hair and would like to reinforce your braids with extensions for longer wear, the video below is particularly on point (I just need to work my way up to that):
Since I followed the video for extensions on my first try (crazy, I know!), this is how my cornrows came out:
Not at all close to my roots lol! But hey, it took me a while to get here and I was going to go ahead and work with what I got. So I did.
Below is a step by step tutorial on how to install the crochet braids also by Breanna Rutter of HowToBlackHair:
I used Freetress Water Wave 22 inch bulk hair (about 5 packs). I followed Breanna’s advice and only split the hair twice, though some other youtubers say to split it 3 times. I found that splitting it 3 times definitely creates more frizz in the synthetic hair, which may or may not be the desired look you’re going for. On the upside, splitting 3 times (though more frizzy) tends to look more like a natural curly texture, while splitting twice gives you the look of a really defined braid out or twist out (in my opinion). If I had split the hair three times, I would’ve only used about 3 packs of hair. With each pack costing around $5, it’s a pretty cheap hairstyle to do.
I purchased the hair from BlackHairSpray.com in colors 1B (off black), 4 (dark brown), and 30 (light auburn). I never dye my actual hair, but I wanted some highlights with this style, which is a completely safe way to add a splash of color! [FYI: I totally love blackhairspray.com! They ship the same day if orders are made before 5pm, they have relatively good discounts, and shipping is guaranteed and extremely fast–usually arrives within two days. Before you finalize your purchase, the site will tell you when your shipment will arrive.]
After the installation, I cut the hair into a style that I liked. This hair really lends itself to an angled bob. Side note: learning how to cut and style synthetic hair has helped sharpen my skills in trimming “hair on my head.” I anticipate that once I get excellent at this, I won’t be so afraid to trim my own ends myself.
I wasn’t expecting the style to last more than two weeks with cornrows like these, but it lasted 3 weeks. I could’ve probably squeezed out a fourth week, but decided not to (see why here). I’ve included the progression as the weeks went by below since the hair settles with this style:
About 4 days in:
Going into week 2:
Going into week 3:
The definite unanticipated upside about the outcome at this point was how much more natural it looked. To my surprise (and delight), the new growth aided in the process of making the style look like it was completely my natural hair in a twist out (go figure!). 🙂
Let me know what you liked, disliked, anything you think I should try out, or if my amateur attempts have inspired you as a newbie transitioner/natural to try your own styling and hair care. Sound off below!
Peace, Love, and Live Life Full,