Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.
So for the past three months I’ve been lusting after crochet box braids and I really wanted to try them out since winter is the only time I actually like having braids. Unfortunately most hairdressers in Bulawayo have no idea what crochet box braids are. You can imagine how excited I was when I found a ‘mobile’ hairdresser on Facebook who claimed to specialise in crochet braiding. So basically crochet braiding is a protective hairstyle whereby one ‘crochets’ braids into cornrows with a latch hook instead of plaiting individual braids into your hair, which is the more conventional braiding method. Crochet braids are easy to install and mine took an hour and half. I was initially excited when I contacted this lady and I told her I wanted thick, waist length braids. I made an appointment for Thursday but she kept postponing it. She finally called five days later and said she would come and do my hair at 1 pm. I spent the whole afternoon waiting for her and she finally showed up at 6pm and said she had been busy. I was really disappointed and I feel like this also affected the way my hairstyle came out. She had pre-braided the hair using the Angels Avis long braid and it was neither the length nor thickness I wanted but I didn’t make a big deal of it. I loved the way the hairstyle looked after I got over the initial disappointment of having shorter braids, but I noticed after she left that they were done clumsily. Anyway, the following day I was eager to try out all the box braid styles I had screenshots of. With regular braids it takes days before you can tie your hair into a bun but I managed to tie mine, which I probably shouldn’t have done because my braids shifted. I was really disappointed because my braids sagged after that. Part of me regretted paying $30 for braids that sagged within days and I wished I had done regular braids. I reminded myself that regular braids would have damaged my hairline and this was a small consolation. I think I would have liked my braids more if they were the size I had requested and also if my hairdresser had actually cared enough to install them properly. Listed below are some of the pros and cons of crochet box braids.
The Pros of Crochet Box Braids
- Easy and probably the least time consuming protective hairstyle.
- Your own hair is highly protected and it’s easy to keep it clean and healthy.
- You can style your braids as soon as you finish installing them.
- There’s a lot less tension on your hairline in comparison to ordinary braids provided that the cornrows aren’t put in too tight.
- They are easy to remove.
- You can re-use your braids.
The Cons of Crochet Box Braids
- If you don’t apply the braids correctly they’ll sag which looks kind of shabby.
- The knots are sometimes visible.
- The knots and cornrows make crochet box braids more difficult to style.
Although my first experience was quite unpleasant, I will give this hairstyle another try but I’d probably use a different hairdresser and different braids. This method can also be used for weaves and twists and I will definitely try more variations of this protective hairstyle.