Recently got my hair crochet. To imitate the look of individual box braids. I am a loyal individual, being that my zodiac is cancer (not like I really believe all that stuff), but I’m loyal. I stick to my braids and don’t venture out, but I’ve been hearing the buzz about crochet braids and decided to give it a try. I intend to break down several aspect as I review each style and give you some take home points for next time you want to get glammed up. Crochet vs individual, let’s go!
Crochet: this is a style by which you natural hair is plaited down in a pattern (hopefully not straight back as this leads to more breakage) and the hair is then attached peice by piece in loop fashion with a crochet hook.
Cost: $7-10 per bag. You will need approximately 6 pages for a reasonable, full look.
Cost for install: it seems it can range $50-150. Usually better or more renown stylists will charge more. Be careful, more $$$ more problems, as some bad stylists can be greedy.
Time: 2-4 hours, depending on the speed of your stylist. 2 hours is reasonable.
Protective styling: it’s ok as a protective style. I’ll give it a 6/10. There is tension especially on any braids that go straight back as the hair pulls on the braid. Also pulling the crochet needle through then pulling each hair under the braid… was sheer torture! I felt little strands snapping at the root in my tender crown area where the braids were smallest! I don’t want to endure that again!
Look: not always natural looking. My. Raider did a decent job although I wasn’t happy with the bag as I felt styling was limited, couldn’t pull it up into a ponytail. However from some angles looked like real box braids, but I don’t think I could fool many from up close.
Longevity: until your roots grow in. The braids don’t have your hair braided in so you don’t have to worry about frizzing.
Cost: $1-10 per bag depending on the type of hair. I usually use Xpressions which is about $5/bag.
Cost for install: $80-300, this too is stylist dependent. I think $120 is a fair price give or take, but It can vary with experience. I would pay more than $200 and I like my braids perfect, but I am also willing to have my hair braided in the braiders home which cuts costs for overhead i.e. salon, supplies, advertising.
Time: 4-12 hours. This depends on the size and length you choose. I usually do medium size mid back braids which take about 6 hours. If you want small or an even longer length then plan to clear out your day. You can also ask to have more than one stylist on your head, but I find this is stressful, all the jerking and pain coming from different areas. I’ve had up to three braiders at one time, back when I was naive. I’m a bit more demanding now, I need my peace.
Protective styling: score can vary based on braided experience but with a good braider who values hair health it can be up to 7-8/10. Just be careful with tension on each strand, tightness at your edges, and breakage when you leave the braids in for too long and they start to twist on themselves. Also remember to moisturized while still in braids.
Look: hands down beautiful.
Longevity: 2-3 months, maybe as long as 5. I don’t recommend leaving in for more than 8 weeks or all the protective-ness flies out the window and you are left with dread.
How do I feel, while crochet can fool some… I am still a braid-head by heart. Also, crochet can get pretty costly when you add up the bags of hair which are expensive. And the tension and pulling each braid under the braid can be unbearable. I prefer my individual, even if they take forever and can be painful to get. The look is priceless!
*but I plan to update you however in 6 weeks.