Protective Styling Series: The Crochet Braid
If you are anything like me, you planned your winter protective style in March already and have been counting down the weeks until you can finally put your hair to rest.
I literally spent weeks agonising over what style to pick. I went through countless hair websites, blog sites, Instagram pages, and people’s Facebook profiles – yes stalker vibes. The options are endless and yet my immediate go to is some sort of braid style.
As someone who has experienced premature, self-inflicted edge balding (is that an official term?) well that’s what it was, I get very nervous about braiding. However, I found a great solution for my fear. Crochet braiding literally saved my life… yes literally.
THE CROCHET BRAID
I came across an amazing vlogger (Kiitana) and she spurred me on a quest to source crochet braid hair pieces. The great thing about the cornrows you plait to prepare for the crochet braiding is that they do not have to be tight, or even neat for that matter. The crochet hair piece will cover the lines up and if you have a great hair stylist like I do, she can strategically leave the hairline untouched. You can add some edge control gel to neaten up your edges if you want to. It's now possible to have gorgeous braids in a fraction of the time and they are cheaper to install. It's kind of a no-brainer, right?
If you get normal braids done or any long term protective style, prep your hair by washing it, deep conditioning it and sealing in the moisture with a butter such as shea butter or a thick oil like castor oil.
Apply more product than you normally would, paying particular attention to your ends as they are the oldest part of your hair and are prone to breaking. I particularly love the Zarona Shea Butter Hair Cream for this purpose.
Soak the synthetic hair in water mixed with apple cider vinegar. This helps "disinfect" the hair of the chemicals it carries from the factory. These chemicals can cause scalp irritations and burns, so it's really important to cleanse the synthetic hair before braiding.
Do not wear your braids for more than 6 weeks and ensure that you wash your hair bi-weekly at the very least.
- Debra Rioga