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

 

Frequently Asked Questions: Kinky, Marley, Havana Twists

Hello lovelies!

I hope you’re doing great.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I love my kinky twists. (We both do) The chunkier the better, but Kinky, Marley, Havana, really anything with Kinky extensions is right up my alley. Because I’m asked about my twists a whole lot, more than I can count, I thought I’d just share what I always share, put it in the public domain. 🙂

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  1. Where can I get kinky twists done?

If you’re in the NYC area, holler at our girl MeeMee. She has a good heart and won’t charge you like the braiding places. You can book her on StyleSeat.com/thekinkandi *shameless plug*

As long as you’re in Nigeria, honestly, I think anywhere. Walk down your street for a salon, or if you live in a very residential area, go out to a busier neighbourhood. If all else fails, just go to the market. Yes, I said the market. No AC, probably no fan but you’ll get your twists, and if you price right, for cheap too 🙂

P.S. All the salons on our list of Natural Hair Friendly Salons can hook you up!

  1. Where do YOU get your twists done?

When I got kinky twists in Calabar, I went to Watt Market. Back to base now, in Lagos, I go to Sara’s. This has been my mom’s salon for years now. Sometimes the AC is on, and of course you can watch AfricaMagic lol. The stylists are really great with braiding, and very fast. My last Marley twists took 30 minutes. 5 people on my head because I was early, and I tell you it did not hurt. The most I’ve paid is 3k. Sara’s is on Bola Street in Anthony Village. It’s on the first floor of the building beside King Solomon Hospital, walking distance from the GTBank.

  1. What hair can I use?

There are several brands, I’ve tried just three- Supreme, Noble, and Sublime. Is there any major difference between them? In terms of texture, not quite, but they are at different price points. Supreme Royal Silk Afro-Twist Braid goes from 1300-1700, depending on where you buy. Sublime is 650,700 but you aren’t saving, it is half the size of the Supreme. Noble Afro Twist Braid is also half the price of Supreme, but it’s about the same size. Almost.

  1. Where can I buy the hair?

Your local weave-on place, the market, your salon (check first), and you can also order online from Sizzelle, Olori, The Kinky Apothecary, Tunmise Naturals, and so on. See the Where to Find Directory for their info 🙂

  1. How can I care for my hair in twists or braids?

I shared my regimen for braids here, in this post. Your hair will be happy if you follow it, but to be honest, since I started washing my hair in braids, I’ve become lazy about spritzing. I do it like once a week now, or when I feel my roots and they are dry, but the washing & deep conditioning takes care of most of my moisture needs. And I’ve found that because my hair is locked away, I don’t actually NEED to mix water with leave-in conditioner to spray 3 times a week. Spraying 3 times a week with a water and oil mix, or water and then sealing, works okay. For best results though, follow the original braid care regimen. 😀

With scalp care, I’ve found that prevention is better than cure. Keeping my scalp happy from day 1 is better than letting it flake and then trying to remedy. Once my scalp starts flaking, I start itching to take the hair off. I oil my scalp once a week, and I spritz plain water on the scalp sometimes before I oil. Also, right after my braids are done, or if it’s a weave, after the cornrows but before the sewing, I always oil my scalp with a natural oil or butter. Washing helps too.IMG_4650-0p

  1. To use yarn or kinky braiding hair?

It’s down to personal preference. The only yarn thing I personally object to is yarn wraps/ faux locs in black or brown. Again, it’s personal. 🙂

  1. Salon finishing or nah?

I used to think that immersing kinky twists in hot water took away a little of the Rasta beauty. This I have learnt is not the case. Now I let them dip, so my hair isn’t so stiff. However, what I do not let them do is trim along the length of my twists. You can trim below the point where I don’t think my hair has reached, but before this, no. If you have a good braider, this won’t be necessary. And, kinky hair is perfectly imperfect, so I just roll with it. The rougher it gets, the more I love it.

  1. How can I stretch my hair or prepare it for twists or braids?

Wash well, deep condition and detangle well, moisturise and seal. It’s easier and saves time, to go to the salon with stretched hair. You can stretch it heatlessly by threading, twisting, banding, whatever your method. You can blow dry if you want, but you really do not have to. With sealing, try not to over-do it. Handling greasy hair is not fun for your stylist. And if your hair is still a little damp, don’t worry. Go on and braid. It will not smell.

  1. Now, nobody has asked me this but it’s still good to know 🙂

Hair is not supposed to hurt. This kind of beauty is NOT pain. Accept this as an absolute,unwavering principle. I had 5 people twist my hair the last time and I did not leave with a headache. Don’t let anyone pull your hair too tight, and remember that these beautiful extensions are actually heavy on our hair. When you’re in the styling chair, be assertive, speak up. I handle my hair myself most of the time, so I mentally prepare myself for battle whenever I’m braiding outside my regular salon, Sara’s. Is it an introvert thing, I don’t know… but if I’m not ready to fight, I don’t usually go to the salon.

Also, it helps to show your braider how to handle your kinky hair. I always show them how to finger detangle, and use a wide-toothed comb from ends to roots. I don’t let anyone use a rat tail comb on my kinks.

10. P.S. Your Extensions Could Be Hurting You

Some people break out when they wear synthetic extensions. It’s not an Ajebutter thing. We don’t know much about how these things are made, but the chemicals left on them can sometimes irritate the skin and scalp. Before I got used to braiding a lot, my ears would heat up in protest every time I left my hair down. So, if you’re sensitive, prepare your hair in advance. Put a little Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water, and soak your hair for like 30 minutes. A second rinse is optional. Spread it to dry, kinky braiding hair dries fast.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know about kinky twists, just holler in the comments and I will reply.

Love,

AB,

xx