The Revolution of the Crochet Braids

Hello beauts!

It’s me again! Yes, the one is that hardly ever here. But you love me all the same… you know you do.

How many of you have tried crochet braids at least once? Now, how many of you have gone back to crochet braids again and again and again? How many of you, like me, are flaunting your crochet braids right now?!

Pretty much everyone, right? I mean, if you did not put your hands up, my question to you this fine morning is: whatchu waiting for?!

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The first time I heard or learnt about crochet braids was from my friend, Ify, back when we were in undergrad. As a veteran in the natural hair movement, she was way ahead of me in knowing what innovative protective styles were out there and so she taught me how to hook her up with crochet braids. I remember thinking it was weird but I went with it anyway. Fast forward to summer of 2015. Every client that has booked to have me play with their hair between May and now have all come to get crochet braids done!

I currently have on Senegalese twists which was done with the pre-twisted twists and I fail to see why I should go back to getting my hair braided the traditional way.

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Pros

  1. Quick install. Seriously, those African women that braid hair in Harlem can have you in and out in an hour! It usually takes me anywhere from 2 – 2hrs 30mins to install crochet braids for a client, including styling time.
  2. Edges Friendly. If you are like me and wake every morning wondering who battered your edges and what they could possibly have received in exchange, then crochet braids might just be your hero. With the way my edges are currently set up, I do not have to touch them at all with the crochet braids.
  3. Weave Aesthetic. If it looks like a weave and moves like a weave, then it must be a weave. Wrong! Crochet braids, when done right, can be very deceptive. It can even look like your hair!
  4. Versatility. Senegalese twists, marley twists, bob braids, short curls, ‘fro, long waves, synthetic, natural curls, straight, you name it. They can all be crocheted!

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Cons

  1. Price. For some reason, the association of commercial hair braiders met and decided that they would slap a heavy price on crochet braids. I don’t get it. Like this is one of the quickest and least labour intensive hairstyles in the market and somehow, it costs more than or the same as getting braids or twists installed? It really does irk me to hear how much people are charging for crochet braids.
  2. It’s addictive. But hey! That doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
  3. Compared with braids, it is harder to wash these. Just because you have to wash between cornrows, it might not be as easy as washing hair in regular braids. However, it is definitely doable.
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Source: Pinterest

I am definitely a crusader for this uprising. What do you think about crochet braids? Yay or Nay? Here-to-stay or soon-to-be-old-news? Talk to me and let me know!

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P.S.: My Nazuri curls wig just arrived!!! I already love her and cannot wait to have so much fun with her. I will definitely be letting you know all about my adventures with this wig.

Remember: Till October 12, you get 10% off your Nazuri Curls when you use our special code- KINKANDI. They ship worldwide!

Stay positive this week!

MeeMee

xx

 

Crochet Braids & More- The Kink and I Salon Is Open For Business!!

Hey guys!

How’s it going on this beautiful Tuesday? *resists the urge to make that joke about the club going up* AB here! 🙂

My experience with crochet braids was just with kinky braiding hair. I say “was” because the ministry is moving forward. Crochet braids are a painless, very convenient way to put in extensions and this month, I got the chance to style curly extensions with the crochet braiding method, twice.

Here in Nigeria, we can flex with braids and twists as often as we want (God sparing our edges) because it’s like what, 3k to get your hair done. 3k is not money to be thrown away, but when you think about our sisters in the diaspora paying $120 to do Havana twists, you’d admit that we have it really good. One of the perks of living at home. 🙂 $120 at the present street rate is 25,200 naira! *clutches chest*

During the break, my cousin in the obodos wanted to go get crochet braids done. I had never tried crochet braiding with curly extensions, and I didn’t ask but I knew it would cost my cousin some amount I wouldn’t like to get her hair done… so I  just felt yo, I can do this. So I offered to make her hair, and she accepted.

I’m not sure I mentioned that it was my first time going curly lol oh wait, I did. I can’t cornrow, so my aunt did the cornrows, and I crocheted the extensions with a bobby pin, as I normally would. See my Picture Tutorial here, I’ve been told it is helpful 🙂

The results were good, not perfect (to my eyes, say 8/10) but apparently nice enough because my sister (who is very particular about detail) really liked my cousin’s hair so she took out her weave so I could do hers before I went back to Lagos. By this time I had moved base to MeeMee’s, so we both did my sister’s hair. MeeMee braided her hair into cornrows, and then we installed the curly extensions, at the same time.

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LOL see her very serious face

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Cornrow pattern: basically all back, with two horizontal braids at the nape. No extensions were used for these cornrows 🙂

We were a little funky on the side for the parting. Not sure why.

Left Side

MeeMee used a latch hook, and I used a bobby pin. Crochet braiding curly hair is a little different from kinky braiding hair because when you secure the loop or knot with kinky hair, it stays. So with the curly hair, we just did the loop twice and moved on. It wasn’t a tight knot but it was definitely well anchored.

When we finished, my sister didn’t like the spacing, she thought the parting too wide. To fix this, we crocheted hair to the “brush”. By “brush, I mean the sides, or base of the cornrows. We had enough “brush” to work with because the cornrows were fat & not too tight. We were very careful here, because one of the points of crochet braiding is to give your hair a break from pulling like with weaves and I was worried that crocheting onto the “brush” would be damaging, but it wasn’t. So far so good. 🙂

She loved her hair, and so did we! Here was the outcome:

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Well blended 🙂

I posted this picture on Instagram & Facebook and got questions about the extensions. For my cousin and my sister, the extensions used were: Freetress Bohemian Curl (or was it Freetress Bohemian Braid), about $5-6 a pack, 4 packs per head.The hair came in singles, not wefted.

You could use less if full hair is not your speed. There’s a listing for this hair on OLX Lagos here– I cannot verify, you transact at your own risk. O.O

I have to say this though:

This hair is prone to tangling anyhow, so the wearer has to take care to detangle well. I love the curls and would love to try them on myself, but I did not buy the hair to bring back home with me because though pretty, it’s just easily tangled synthetic curly hair. My sister has worn it for two weeks now, it still looks great but she’s already dealing with matting & tangling.

Two weeks on, you can see she has already been detangling

Two weeks in, you can see she has already started fighting detangling. Still on fleek though!

I don’t know for sure, but I have a good feeling that I will find a nice cheap synthetic weave with similar curls if I enter the market. When you find one, cut the hair off from the weft, and install as you please with the crochet braiding method. Simple as that. No need to stress yourself searching. 🙂

An extra tip: See Nekisha’s helpful guide for maintaining synthetic curly crochet braids over at Black Zulu!

We’re Open!

That’s not all. The Kink and I salon really is open for business, just not in Lagos.

Our MeeMee is a salon trained braider and stylist. After doing hair for free for many years, she has finally set up shop, over at Style Seat. If you’re in the NYC Area and are willing to go to Harlem to get your braids, kinky twists, Havana twists and even crochet braids, just go over to styleseat.com/thekinkandi to set up an appointment. When you get there, you’ll see that she’s charging a lot lower than the typical braiding appointment in the city. Take advantage of her good conscience while you can! On a good day, jollof rice may be included because she’s nice like that! Don’t say I said so sha ( ._.)

Okay guys. What do you think of the look? Have you ever tried going curly with crochet braids? What’s your favourite cheapey curly synthetic weave? How do you manage easily tangled curls? Let’s talk about it!

Love,

AB,

xx

P.S. More About Crochet Braids, over here