What the hell are crochet braids? I am glad you asked. As the name suggests, crochet braids are hair extensions that are literally crocheted into your own hair (braided into cornrows) with a latch hook tool.
This type of hairstyle has been popular in the black hair community since the '90s. But today’s version is done more creatively--from the type of hair used to installation techniques to styling.
Crochet Braid Pros
- The application process is far quicker than that of a traditional sew-in, box braids, or even twists.
- There is a minimal stress to your scalp because all you’re doing is looping on synthetic hair onto your already braided hair--no pressure or pulling required, which makes this a great protective style.
- It looks unbelievably realistic. Like, “I grew this since I was a baby” realistic.
Sign me up! Well actually, sign up my sister, Sarah. She asked me to do this for her after work one day, and as part of my sisterly duties, I had to hook a sister up. Literally.
What You'll Need
- 3 packs of braiding hair of your choice. For Sarah, we went with a synthetic deep twist pattern
- 1 Latch Hook
- 1 pair of scissors (if you choose to cut length)
STEP 1: Braid pattern
The braid pattern is equally important as the installation of the hair. The way you braid your hair will determine how the style will fall. For Sarah, we braided her hair into cornrows, which is the best foundation for crochet braids to lie on. But since she wanted a side part, we laid her braids as such, a swooping diagonal at the front of her head for the side-parting effect she was looking for. The back of her head was braided vertically. She has about 12 cornrows in her hair.
NOTE: Make sure that the braids aren’t too thick, big, or bulky and that they lay flat. The flatter they lay, the more natural the hairstyle will look.
STEP 2: Braiding hair
Straight out of the packaging, this hair is about 22 inches. In order to obtain a more realistic length, as well as some volume, I folded the hair in half and cut it with a pair of scissors.
Now that we have our cornrows in place, our tools in hand, and our hair at a manageable length, it’s time to do some easy handiwork.
STEP 3: Installation
Begin by taking your latch hook in your hand.
With the latch open, slide it underneath the braid.
Take the hair and fold it to your desired length.
For example: If you want short hair, keep the ends even. If you prefer the hair a little longer, separate the ends where one side is longer than the other.
For Sarah’s style: I looped the hair into one-third to get the long length she wanted. But for her bangs in particular, I folded the hair evenly. By doing these different lengths, I was able to achieve a layered look in the end. You will have a visual of what I’m referring to and see the end result in just a few more steps.
Loop the hair onto the hook.
IMPORTANT: CLOSE THE LATCH SECURELY.
Reverse and slide the hair back underneath the braid.
Remove the hook. Take two fingers to create an opening at the loop.
Feed the ends of the hairs through the hole. Now, twist the loop and feed the ends in the loop once again.
Pull and secure.
Separate the hair into two parts.
Tie the hair, pull, and secure tightly.
Here is the completed row for this small section, with the knots lying right next to one another.
Repeat these steps until the full head is complete.
For Sarah, this took me about three hours, but I could have finished it in about two-and-a-half. I blame Shonda Rhimes. It was “Shonday” aka Thursday aka “TGIT” aka Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder aka I got sidetracked at times.
Here’s the end result from three different angles.
- Have you tried crochet braids before?
- If not, have I convinced you to try this gorgeous style for the fall?
- What are your TGIT plans tonight?