I am listening guys! I really am! So I put together a long overdue blog post and put together a video (scroll to the bottom) on how to take down crochet braids (any style!).
Now this is my process for taking down crochet braids. I really recommend for hair types that are dry, brittle, tangle-ly and fine like my hair should deep condition with their cornrow pattern in before taking it down! It has made a world of difference for me and saved me time (and breakage!).
How I do it:
Get some hardy cutting scissors and a paper bag to put the cuttings in. Cut out larger chunks of the crocheted hair leaving about 2-3 inches of hair left on your head. If you are confident, cut closer to the knots but I like to get the bulk out the way first.
I usually start in the front of the head and go row by row and cut close to the knots to remove the hair. Because I swim and exercise in crochet braids frequently it takes time for me to loosen some of the crochet knots sometimes because the synthetic hair is knatted at the crochet knot. Leave the small crochet loops toward the front of the head (the hairline) for the end - you will need small scissors and need to be up close and personal with a mirror.
Take out the crocheted hair in the back of the head (sometimes this is a lot easier because I put larger pieces of hair in the back).
For all the hair that is left crocheted at the hairline that is not coming out easily, go to a well lit room with a mirror use small trimming scissors (nose hair trimming scissors are a good size) to remove the crocheted hair at the hairline, being careful not to cut your own hair.
Afterwards go wash your hair (still in the cornrows) several times with a good shampoo. I usually don't waste my conditioner because the next step is...
Deep condition. I use Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and I add some some extra dollops of coconut oil to intensify the deep conditioning treatment. I put on a plastic cap and sit under the dryer for about 20-30 minutes.
Don't wash out the conditioner yet! I then start my hair take down process, unraveling the cornrows. For a small sizable chunk and put in some more coconut oil and comb it out and make a little twist - so by the end of the take down, I have about 20-30 twists around my head that are lathered in coconut oil and still have the deep conditioning treatment in.