The thing about the perfect hairstyle is that there isn’t just one. Braids, curls, updos, buns, ponytails, straight, wavy, short, long—the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, switching up your hairstyle that often can be exhausting, not to mention severely damaging to your locks. That’s where crochet braid styles come in.
Crochet braids are one of the best protective styles out there. When done properly, your hair has the double protection of being cornrowed and tucked beneath added hair. Once your natural hair is cornrowed, you can crochet in box braids, Senegalese twists, straight hair, curly hair—almost any hairstyle you can imagine.
Crochet braids have gained popularity as of late because the installation process is often much faster than that of traditional braids, twists, and sew-in weaves. After cornrowing your natural hair, your stylist will loop your desired style through your braids with a crochet hook and gently secure it.
There are several ways to style crochet braids. You can buy and install already styled hair (such as crochet ready box braids, twists, and locs) or install loose hair that can be transformed into any style your heart desires. In case you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite crochet braid hairstyles.
Caring for Crochet Braids
As with most hair installations, crochet braids can last anywhere from six to twelve weeks with proper care. Because most—if not all—of your natural hair will be tucked away underneath the protective style, maintaining a regular hair care routine will ensure you’re properly caring for the installed hair as well as your natural hair.
You can wash the crochet braids as you normally would, making sure to give extra attention to the cornrows underneath your installed hair. Once the hair and your scalp have been thoroughly washed and conditioned, be sure your hair—both natural and installed—is completely dry before styling it. If you leave your hair damp (particularly near the scalp) you run the risk of developing dandruff, fungus, or even mildew.
In between wash days, prevent scalp build up with a good astringent—we recommend witch hazel. It will help remove dirt and keep your scalp feeling healthy between washes. Apply the astringent with cotton swabs to ensure you reach every nook and cranny of your scalp.
Box braids without having to spend an entire day sitting in the salon chair getting your hair braided? Sign us up! Cut your styling time in half by buying pre-braided box braids that your stylist can install. Pre-braided box braids come in all thicknesses, lengths, and colors, so don’t worry—there’s a perfect braid out there for you.
If you’re looking for a style that’s a little softer than box braids, Senegalese twists are perfect. The two-strand twist gives the style a little bit more of a feminine feel, while still offering the same style and versatility of box braids.
Have you always imagined what your hair would look like if you had a different curl pattern? Wonder no more. The beauty of crochet braids is that they provide you with a blank canvas to make all of your wildest hair dreams come to life. Have your stylist install hair that has a different curl pattern than your natural locks, because all curls are beautiful.
Sleek and Straight
While the name “crochet braids” seems to indicate that the installed hair must be braided or even textured, you can have smooth, straight locks. Have your stylist install a sophisticated bob or princess-like hair that goes down to your back so that you can enjoy straight tresses without any of the heat damage
If you’ve always wanted to try out faux locs but were concerned about the effects of traditional installation on your fragile locks, consider a crochet installation instead. Have your stylist install already styled faux locs into your cornrows. The installed locs will give you the look you’ve been lusting over while without pulling on your natural hair.
Big Barrel Curls
If your natural hair is too fine to hold a big barrel curl, crochet braids will finally give you the look you’ve been lusting over. Have your stylist install hair thick enough to hold the curls of your dreams all night long.
After your stylist installs the hair, work with 2-inch sections and start at the back of your head. Wrap the sections around your curling iron and hold or clip them until just heated through (approximately 30-60 seconds depending on the thickness of the hair). Continue until you’ve curled your entire head, setting the look with a medium-hold hairspray.
Crochet braids not only allow you to try out a variety of hair styles, but also provide the perfect opportunity to try out that new color you’ve been lusting over. You can purchase loose or pre-styled hair in a variety of colors. Channel your inner unicorn with super trendy pastel locks.
Faux Shaved Side
The great thing about a faux undercut crochet style is that you’ve already cornrowed your hair for the crochet installment, so you’re halfway done! Have your stylist install the hair of your choice and leave a few cornrows on the side of your hair free.
Switching up your style is always fun. But if you’re not in the mood for a new look and just want to give your natural hair a rest, crochet braids are still a great option. If you’re just looking to protect your natural hair, have your stylist install hair that is very similar to your natural texture. Even though the installment will look like your natural hair, it will give you the freedom to style it however you want without the fear of damaging your locks.
Taking the plunge and dyeing your hair can often be a terrifying decision. What if you hate the color? Crochet braids will allow you to try out all the latest hair dye trends from ombre to the newly popular tiger eye. Test the new look on a crochet installment before switching up your new ’do permanently.