Thanks to insomnia and YouTube on Saturday night I spontaneously decided that in the morning I was going to wake up and put some hair in my head. I saw THIS video that I pinned. Her hair had a really loose curl pattern that I thought would look good on me. And her explanation seemed very simple & easy to do.
Over the past few months I must have watched about 40 to 50 videos featuring how to do crochet braids. Apparently this process has been around since the early 90s. I had no idea about this process until about maybe six months ago. I don’t know where I’ve been for the last couple of decades but I finally caught up and I guess this hairstyle is now starting to come back around. That is how out of touch I am with current hairstyles. I didn’t have my finger on the pulse then and I don’t have it on the pulse now but I’m catching up!
For whatever reason last night I finally decided that this was something that I could try and probably have some success at. I felt familiar with the process because of how many videos I had watched so far. That would be a huge accomplishment because I am not a hair person. These days I wake up in the morning, wash my hair. That’s it.
But I also feel like it’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve done anything different to my hair. It’s not that I’m unhappy with it, I’m just ready for a change. The greatest part about this style is that it’s called a protective style. They call it that because you don’t actually do anything to harm your hair. In fact your natural hair is beneath the artificial hair thereby being protected. The process is fairly easy and it lasts for a while. Also, years ago I decided that I was never going to put a relaxer in my hair again. I must have the most sensitive scalp because I always ended up with the scalp full of scabs. It was painful and it took them forever to heal. Plus the cost of getting your hair processed like that on a semi regular basis which for me was every 4 to 6 weeks because of the texture of my hair being so coarse. I couldn’t afford the maintenance let alone the process so it was an easy decision to make and I never regretted it.
Like I said, the past few months I have been pinning tutorials and instructions and tips and tricks on crochet braids to my Pinterest account. I went back to those and started there. The final one that I watched is the one that finally got me to go ahead with this hair project. From the videos that I’ve watched and some of the blogs that I’ve read it’s my understanding that this process from start to finish for the people who have done this countless times is anywhere from 4 to 6 hours which to me means that since this is my first time doing this and it includes doing braiding which I haven’t done in years I’m guessing that my times going to be quite longer than that. I’m going to be happy if I get this done within eight hours. I’m just figuring conservatively although it would be awesome if I could get this done in 4 to 6 hours. That would absolutely solidify the fact that I would do this hairstyle again if I could do that.
I forgot to look and see what people have done to prepare their hair for the installation. I decided to just use the few products that I already had on hand. So I prepared my hair by washing it thoroughly and then I conditioned it and then I added some of my argon oil and then combed it out real good.
From there I had to do French braids in my hair. Initially I had planned on doing these intricate designs that help you know how the hair will lay and the way the hair falls. However, as I started on that first braid I was having complications already so I decided that doing cornrows straight back was my best option until I get a better handle on how to do this. That means just doing the installation process a number of times to get a good rhythm going and get my fingers strong enough because after doing just one braid down the side of my head, my arms were tired and my fingers were all tired.
The process of braiding my hair from start to finish took 1 hour and 15 minutes. I feel like I did the best job I could have. For now I’m just going to go ahead with this option and work from there.
My next step was to go and buy some hair. In fact it was so spontaneous that I first went to Sally Beauty Supply which does not sell hair that is not on a track or a clip. I wound up driving to another local beauty supply store and when I walked in I was absolutely floored. I had no idea how many types of hair there were. This place was covered in hair from ceiling to floor. Those of you who have been into a beauty supply store know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a sight to behold for the first time.
I really didn’t spend much time doing my shopping for my hair to be honest. I had intended to go and buy exactly what the young lady in the video, who’s hair I was going to try to re-create, had purchased but they didn’t have that. They have that brand but they didn’t have that style or type in the hair so I had to get something else. I wound up with this Sweetie Marley Braid fiber hair. And the reason I got this one is because it’s the Marley Afro braid style. It’s kind of a gradient color, it goes from T1b/30 so it’s dark at the top and then it gets brown towards the bottom. I wound up buying six packs of cold wave rods. They were $1.49 apiece and I didn’t know what size to get so I got I just picked anything. I didn’t really have any method to my madness. I picked up a hair beading accessory kit not for the hair beads but for the hair needle because I think with its flexibility it might be better to use on my hair which is pretty short. I feel like the hair beader is smaller and more flexible and might be better for my type of hair. And lastly I grabbed a tube of eyelash glue because two years ago for my Christmas party at work when I hadn’t been doing much of anything I decided I was going to look all glamorous. So I bought these eyelashes and then but I never had glue so I never used them. It was an impulse buy, and I went ahead and picked it up so that at some point maybe this holiday season and I’ll get some use out of these eyelashes that I bought two years ago.
I decided I wanted to start at the back and work my way up to the front so I open up my first pack and I cut it in half at the halfway mark just like the lady in the video says that she does. I began attaching the hair to my braids. The motion of it got easier and easier as I went along. You kind of develop a rhythm.
Here I’ve got half of my head done and I am loving what I’m seeing so far. The hair installation process is much easier on my hands than the hair braiding process so even though this is a longer process it’s the easiest step in my opinion. Halfway through I decided that combing the hair out the way it was described in all the videos that I saw wasn’t working for me. I actually preferred it with the hair in the same original curl pattern that it came in the package with so I stopped combing it out. The only section that was brushed out is the two back rows.
5 1/2 hours later… Ahhh!!! I got me some big hair! But I love it!!! 5 1/2 hours is a long time to be doing your hair. I got caught up on my Hulu shows while I did it. Time just kinda flew by. The 5 1/2 hours plus $25 for the materials is well worth it in my opinion. I am so pleased with the results. I am definitely doing this again and I can’t wait to try out new styles and new colors and so forth.
However I did feel like the hair needed some type to trim or shaping done. The problem is I don’t know how to do that. So I grabbed my scissors and slowly cut the ends of the hair trying to give it a shape. Cutting very short pieces at a time. I can’t see the back so I’m probably just going to ask a friend to trim that up for me and then I’ll be ready to go. But after playing with it for a while I found that I am going to love this style. What do you think?
I know I’ve already said it once before but I’m going to say it again I love this hairstyle! I guess for me it really sets in when you see the transformation side by side.
Overall, one of the things that I would do differently is to match a color that is closer to the color of my natural hair. When I tried to do the invisible part it still didn’t blend in very well. I bought it in the store and it looked so much darker in there but when I brought it home it was clearly not close to the color of my hair. I had thought that once I finish the installation you probably wouldn’t even be able to see my natural hair so I didn’t bother taking it back to return it and try to find something closer.
Another change that I would make is to add some sort of moisturizing or smoothing product to the artificial hair because in the end result I felt like my ends looked really frizzy but I think if I applied some sort of product to it, it wouldn’t look so ragged. I would much rather prefer a cleaner look. But again this is my first time doing this and the whole process is trial and error for everyone because it’s going to be different for everyone so…
If you haven’t figured out by now I give this Pinterest two thumbs up! That video totally nailed it. Although I almost feel like I can’t give that tutorial full credit because I have watched many, many of them over the months but this was the one that inspired me to go ahead and give it a try. I liked the end result of her hair after she had perm rodded it even though I never actually went that far with mine as of yet.
How do I plan to take care of it? Well, I’m sort of winging it. At the moment I only have one product to use. I have hair oil which I have always used on my hair on a daily basis. I applied a little oil to my hands and smooth down any fly always.
After 6 days my head was already itching like crazy so I went and bought braid spray that I’ve been using daily ever since. It seems to be helping and I wish someone had told me to use this from the very beginning. It’s very lightweight and it doesn’t smell weird. I spray it on my braids every morning and then lightly spray the weave. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of build up so this stuff is a keeper. At this rate I think I’ll go through about 1 bottle a month which is no big deal since it only costs $4.99. I’m thinking of going back to the beauty supply store where they also had a similar product but travel size and it was pomegranate scented for $5.99. I think it’d be nice to carry for a quick refresher.
I tie my hair up at night with a silk scarf to prevent any frizzing or tangling during sleep. In the morning I wear a shower cap when I shower. Shaking it out a bit when I take off my scarf is all it needs. I had my girlfriend who is a hairdresser trim the ends for me. In the mornings I trim anything that’s outta place or hanging too low.