YALL! I thought it was bout' time I look through all your comments and filter out the top ten most asked questions on my site about crochet braids. Let's get to it!
1. Can I Swim In Crochet Braids?
Yes. Yes. YAAAASSSSSSS. You can! Now here comes the disclaimers. Just because you get it wet might mean more work for you when you get out of the water in terms of maintenance, detangling and don't forget - washing your own hair underneath! Some styles are less work after swimming than others, I found swimming in almost all my crochet braids styles (with and without a swim cap) that it shortens the shelf life of the look.
2. How long does Crochet Braids Last?
Forever! Just kidding - I wish! If you are very active like me, swimming twice a week with sessions at the gym in between, I say between 4-6 weeks depending on the style. If you are not as crazy active but power walking here and there or even staying out the water, I find crochet braids lasts up to two months. Of course you will have to do some maintenance here and there.
3. How do I maintain Crochet Braids?
There is not one crochet braids style that will not require maintenance. Actually ALL hairstyles period, men and women, any kind of hair, requires maintenance. With crochet braids maintenance can range from light to medium. I find myself still spending more time maintaining my real hair than crochet braids, so that is a major plus for wearing this protective style. A few key products helps to keep the maintenance process short and sporadic.
4. What products should I use to wash and maintain my hair?
In terms of shampoo, I prefer a natural/organic ingredients list (my favorite is Alafffia Enriching Shampoo). But if I am swimming in a pool I use a shampoo with EDTA (EDTA tetrasodium) in it to remove the chlorine effectively - and I recommend just some regular cheap CVS shampoo you can find with that ingredient in it. My favorite conditioner by far is Shea Moisture Intensive Conditioner. For maintenance, my top favorite product is Wave Nouveau Finishing Lotion and my new favorite is Silky-n-Yaky Conditioning Spray. Once a week I use an applicator bottle to oil my scalp with some Jamaican Castor Oil.
5. How do you wash Crochet Braids?
The process I use involves a shampoo net, an applicator bottle and a tshirt - and wallah your real hair and the crochet hair gets washed! Read more at the blog post below.
6. What is your Nighttime Regimen?
I would say for all but one style, I just throw on the good ol' satin sleeping cap or if I want to be extra careful and extend the life of my look, I will tie it down with a head scarf (but I am usually pretty lazy). The one style I treat differently is the long Freetress Deep Twist - I do about 6 to 7 fat twists and tie it up before going to sleep.
7. Do you leave any hair out?
No. No. and no!! Why would I wanna give myself extra work to do!? I know some ladies are lucky to have their hair texture match some of the crochet hair textures but still, why give yourself the extra work when you can make your parts look flawlessly real, like its your own hair is coming out of your head!
8. What is the difference between pre-looped and Bulk crochet hair?
Pre-looped is exactly what it sounds like, it has a pre-fabricated loop to make crocheting/installing the hair easier. However I personally think it is a ploy for these synthetic hair companies to get more money out of you by buying more packs of hair! The bulk braiding hair crochet textures I prefer mostly because you can control the amount of hair your can crochet into your hair. On principle I put bigger pieces in the back and smaller pieces in the front.
9. Where can I buy crochet braid hair?
Amazon is becoming a wondrous place to find hair mostly because you can get great deals especially when they sell them in bundles i.e. 3 or 4 packs of hair for a reduced price. You can also buy online at blackhairspray.com and divatress.com. If you are in the LA area, Ebony Hair and Wigs on Crenshaw has really expanded their crochet braids options (I mean really expanded!). The Slauson Super Mall (aka Swap Meet) has a nice variety especially if you are looking for some of the unique colors.
10. Where can I learn to do this?
There are plenty of how-to videos online but I also have finally created some video content showing how to install and maintain certain styles. I try to make them short and sweet since the basics are really easy to learn!
Keep in mind, these are just answers to questions about crochet braids in general. For more specific details and answers to questions regarding specific crochet braids styles...stay tuned - about to whip up some cheat sheets! Answers to everything like how many packs of hair for this style to how does this style hold up in the water!