Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crochet Braids

In my effort to keep my hair healthy and retain some length, I've been trying to do protective styles as much as the possible.  For the past month and half, I've been doing flat twist updos.  Yesterday I installed crochet braids.  I've been eyeing this style for a while, and I finally got to a point where I thought I had done enough research to do it myself.

What I did:
I used 2 packs of Free Tress Water Wave hair bought from my local beauty supply store.  I wanted to buy the bohemian hair, since I thought the texture would be closer to mine, but I couldn't find the Bohemian in the three stores I went to.  One package was the color 4, and the other was 4/27 because I wanted to mix in some lighter hair.  I paid $5 per pack for the hair and $2 for the crochet hook, also at the beauty supply store.

After washing, conditioning and lightly blow drying my hair, I cornrowed my hair.  I did 8 braids going back in the top half of my hair, then I connected 2 of those braids to create 4 braids, and used them to start 4 cornrows in the back.  I used the braids at my nape to make one cornrow going across at the bottom.  I did this so that I could wear my hair up without showing the parts in the cornrows.  I then looped the hair into my braids using the crochet hook.

Overall, I like this style!  It was my first time doing it, so there are a few minor things I would do differently next time, like planning my braid pattern a little better. A lot of the videos I watched suggested more than 8 braids, but I'm glad I didn't do more.  I think it would have made my style look fuller than what I wanted.  Having less braids makes it more difficult to wear in an updo, but that's okay with me.  I trimmed a little of the hair, but I want more of a shape, so I may go to a salon to get it trimmed a little more.  What I like most about this style is that it's easy, and it doesn't have to be perfect.  It's okay if your parts aren't straight.  I do wish I had braided the center braids closer together so that my part would look more natural, but other than that, I'm excited to have a no/lo maintenance style for a while!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Protective Styling Continued

Happy April! I know it's officially been spring for a couple of weeks, but now that it's April, I'm working on leaving winter behind. I try not to complain about the cold and snow, but it's been a long, tough winter for so many of us.  I can't even look at my heavy down coat anymore, lol.

I've been wearing my flat twist updo for the past month, washing and re-twisting about every week and a half.  I've gotten a lot of compliments, and it's been great not having to worry about twisting my hair at night or taking the twists down in the morning.  It was especially nice when I went away for a girls weekend a couple of weeks ago.  This week, I decided to change it up a bit and leave some hair out, so I flat twisted the back and one side, and left the top and other side out.  I attempted a twist and curl using flexi rods, but when I took out the twists the next day, I didn't love the results.  Maybe I made the twists too small, or should have stretched my hair out some before twisting.  I don't last night, I did bigger twists and did a little bantu knot on the ends so that my ends would have a good curl:

I liked the results much better today.  You might be able to see that the side is still a little crunchy, but I know it will work itself out after I twist again tonight or tomorrow.  I really want my bangs to grow longer, but I'm glad that at least they're hanging down and not up!  I might even flat twist the front up for a few days if I get tired of wearing it out.  I'm finally seeing a some progress and appreciating the versatility of my natural hair.  Even my man said that he's happy I'm experimenting with different styles!