Styling Adventures: Crochet Braid Extensions

Hey guys!

How is the going going?

On Saturday I typed up a long ass tirade about how Protective styling has been a drag, but now that I think about it today, it’s only February the 17th. Keep calm AB! You drama queen, you. I blame my hormones ( ._.)

Yes, I’ve had some challenges, but things are looking up. At the risk of getting too comfortable or lazy about styling again, I am happy to announce that I may have found my new default style!

See, I was really upset that I had to take out my braids so soon, so I desperately trolled the internet for a magic trick, any secret that would let me braid in peace and ensure my kinks don’t wiggle their way out. And that’s how I found out about the wonder of crocheting!

What is Crochet Braiding?

Crochet Braiding or Crocheting in hair speak is basically a technique of installing extensions (with braiding hair or weave) that requires you to cornrow your hair (you can flat twist too but it may not last as long), and then attach your extensions directly to the cornrows, by braiding. Stay with me now…

It’s like fixing your braids (or weave, but in this case, no thread or glue is needed). Yes. Don’t go, Hang in there.

The benefits?

Less pressure on your hair, it’s much easier to access your scalp and moisturise, and it’s definitely more natural looking! There’ll be more about crocheting on the blog in the near future, because I’m SO ready to go in!!

Right now, I’m wearing hair inspired by Jouelzy. You know “pick and drop”? That’s really what I have on now, only crocheted.

I got my hair done by very talented nashura hair stylist NatMane, but crocheting is actually super easy, you could totally try it on your own! NatMane isn’t resident in my city though *sob, sob*, so the next time I do this, I’ll be doing this myself.

This is usually done with a latch hook, but as we had none, she improvised with a bobby pin, with the aid of this Jouelzy tutorial I showed her. (Jouelzy’s tutorials are the bestest!!) You could also use improvise with a beader, but I’m sure you’re more likely to have a good old bobby pin. 🙂

What you need:

A bobby pin. Yes, just one.

Kinky extensions (I used Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist Braid, the same old ones I used for my Havana twists)

How-To:

Watch this quick Jouelzy tutorial and you’ll be feeling like Superwoman.

And that’s really it, friends. Easy peasy. I didn’t leave any hair out, but you totally can, if you feel like, if your hair is long enough.

As you can now see, this is a very simple style, but it was complicated by one thing- the extensions!

Wahala and Crisis Management

Before then, I didn’t realise that Supreme extensions are so bluddy stiff! I noticed when I was prepping them for my Havana twists but it didn’t really register. SO SO stubborn a material. Ha!

This wasn’t actually the original plan. I planned to have Marley/Havana twists crocheted like fellow wordpresser NaturalHairFanatic has here, but the hair was much too coarse, so stiff and so bulky, we could only crochet one single strand at a time. The end result? Crazy big hair. Which I love, but given the inflexibility of the extensions may have been too much of a burden.

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what would you do with this much hair?

So the only thing left to do was to do skinny loose twists with the crocheted single strands. NatMane had another appointment and I had things to do myself, so we just pulled out some of the braiding hair, and then she styled the rest.

Still. The hair wasn’t ready to be styled as it was.

Oh I forgot to mention that to work with the hair at all, before it was crocheted, NatMane had to spray it with a water and oil mixture to soften it a bit. By the time we were ready to style, the softening effect of the water-oil spritz was already gone. So, she had a bright idea. She attacked the hair in sections with Aloe Vera Gel (Fruit of The Earth), and very firm finger detangling. The hair was weighed down a bit by this and it was pliable enough to style.

Styled by NatMane!
After the battle was won, Styled by NatMane!

In the past week, I have done the gel and finger-detangling thing 3 times and I was left with like a handful each time. I wonder what will be left after 3 more weeks, we’ll see.

Anyhoooo. I’m enjoying my new big hair very much. Getting compliments left, right, centre. X_X LOL. To think that this is a super easy, and relatively cheap look to achieve! No fancy kinky weave from Mongolia or anywhere.

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On my way to a wedding on Valentine's Day
On my way to a wedding on Valentine’s Day
Is this an updo? Southern bun, work-formal and stuff
Is this an updo? Southern bun, work-formal and stuff

And I love how it blends in perfectly with my own hair!

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No need to struggle with Edge Control or anything. Love it!!

If you’re going to do this, to save you the stress, I strongly advise you find softer kinky extensions than Supreme Royal Silk. I hear Noble Dreadlock is softer, but I’m yet to try. If you’ve tried and tested any brands of soft kinky braiding hair, please be a darling and leave me a comment, tell me!

Okay luvvies! That’s all for now.

Till next post,

Love,

AB

Xx

P.S. If you’re in Abuja and you want your hair styled, make a date with NatMane at Lumo Naturals Salon. Tweet her: @NaturalMane. Contact deets for Lumo Naturals are in the Where To Find Directory. For more of NatMane’s handiwork, see this post, and also visit her blog Deepbrown & Kinks!!

22 Replies to “Styling Adventures: Crochet Braid Extensions”

  1. Your hair looks great. I wish I could say Im going back to this salon (because I really like the way they’ve been doing my hair) but I don’t think I will. Okay—- I just moved back to Nigeria in October 2014 from the states where I have lived almost all my life. I do my own hair. I’ve been doing hair since I was very little. Weaves, braids, twists, faux locs– you name it, I can do it! (or will attempt to with the help of YouTube ;p) I do other peoples hair as well and get paid to do so. Im no stranger to hair styling but I am fairly new to hair care. I had been transitioning for 4 years and just big chopped June 2014. I’ve only ever been to the salon in the states maybe 3 times in my life because 1. its expensive and 2. why would I pay someone to do something I can probably do better myself? Since I’ve been more careful about my hair, you can only imagine how excited I was to come back to Nigeria and find out that there are a lot of hair salons that now cater to only natural hair AND THEY ARE AFFORDABLE! I did a bit of research and stumbled upon Lumo Naturals. Since I found out about them in December 2014, I have been to the salon 3 times. Here’s my problem– Like I said before, I really did like the way my hair was cared for by two stylists (Esther and Blessing) but on 2/3 occasions I have been there and their “Madam” was there, she has never said anything to me. The first time she came and I was there, she greeted the other 2 customers that were in the shop but did not greet me. Now, I never thought much about it because I was actually on the phone at the time she came in but soon ended the conversation. The second time this happened (which was last week) the shop was full with about 5-6 other customers. She greeted everyone, even engaged in conversations about their hair asking questions such as how long had they been natural? what products they use? what they are trying to achieve with their natural hair regimen? etc. and said absolutely nothing to me. Not even a common hello or welcome. In actuality it seems really petty, but it comes off as extremely rude especially as a business owner. Because I’m able to do my own hair, I have very little tolerance for anything that I consider sub par– whether its the customer service or actual product. I guess it’s just like going to a restaurant where you love the food but hate the service. The sad part about this is this really simply petty act will now deter me from going there again. I will look for another natural hair salon in Abuja. Any suggestions?

    1. Hey Adanna, thanks 🙂
      You have more options in Abuja, see them on our Where to Find Natural Hair Salons page here.
      I forwarded your comment to Farida last night. She will get in touch with you soon (that is, if she hasn’t already) to make it right.
      x

      1. Thank you for the list. I received a friendly message from Farida apologizing for the encounters and assuring me it was unintentional. I really do appreciate the fact that she was able to reach out to me about the situation. I will be returning to get my hair done there soon. 🙂

  2. Hii, any tips on crotchet braids with expression extensions? I don’t know how the front would turn out to be, if it would look natural or not . Any advice would be much appreciated! And thanks for the tutorial, I’ve been trying to find out how to use bobby pins for the braids. Keep up the good work!

    1. Heyy, I tried it on someone else once and it wasn’t working out. You could see YouTube for some inspiration. Depending on the colour and technique you use, you could have it come out as natural as a weave. I haven’t tried again since the first day so I can’t speak on it. Please see YouTube for inspo x

  3. I first read about this from NaijaHairCanGrow and I’ve been so so busy I’ve not been able to book an appointment. I definitely would love to try it out.

  4. I just uninstalled mines after 3 1/2 weeks. Resting this week and doing another set on Saturday. I love it!! My hair had a great spa vacation. My Marley were quite heavy.
    Yours look beautiful !!!!

      1. Lol….that’s day was an experience o. Thanks for been you. Others might have complained but we worked together as a team 🙂
        About blowdrying/ flat ironing the hair, try not to. Royal silk is nice but it doesn’t respond too well to direct heat.
        P.s I love the way you style it. My fav is the double chunky twist 🙂

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