Swimming with Crochet Braids

There’s more to deciding on a protective style than how it looks. We have to consider how long it will last, how to care for our natural tresses and what texture blends with our hair amongst other things.

You have questions? I have answers! Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve received questions about crochet styles as everyone prepares for the summer. Using my own experience with crochets and tapping on expert natural stylists, I answer your questions below:

Question: I’ve been told that crochets can be damaging to natural hair, especially edges. Is this true? 

Tisun Beauty: Any protective style that is not maintained properly can be damaging to your natural hair. Crochet styles should not be worn longer than six weeks. To maintain healthy hair, you need to thoroughly clean your scalp, have your ends trimmed regularly and allow the hair to “breathe”. To protect your edges, ensure that your base (braids, ponytails, etc) is not pulled too tightly. If you choose to have leave out hair, use heat sparingly and moisturize the hair daily. Remember, it’s not the style that damages your hair, it’s the lack of maintenance.

Question: I like to leave hair out with my curly crochet styles because it looks more natural. However, my natural hair separates from the crochet hair and it looks very unnatural! What is the best way to blend my 4c type hair with crochet hair?

Tisun Beauty: The age old dilemma: blending problems! You are definitely not alone in experiencing this issue. Honestly, it takes trial and error and finding a brand/curl pattern that works for you. Curly patterns that include descriptions such as Brazilian, Jheri curl or kinky/coily blend best with 4c, or coarse, textured hair. Also, do not be afraid to manipulate the hair. Use a denman brush to brush out the original curls. Use perm rods or flexi rods to roll your natural hair and the crochet hair together. By doing this, you are creating a uniform curl that instantly blends your natural hair and the crochet hair. I’ve found that synthetic hair blends better with coarse hair than human hair.

Question: I’m going on a cruise this summer. Can I swim with crochet braids?

Swimming with Crochet Braids

Tisun Beauty: Yes! Actually, crochet styles are a favorite vacation hairstyle for this reason. Many choose to use synthetic hair because it dries almost instantly. Another plus of wearing synthetic crochet hair for swimming is that curls keep their form so there’s no restyling needed. Remember, maintaining your natural hair is key. If you are swimming in chlorine, you will need to shampoo your base underneath the crochet. You can do this easily without ruining your crochet style. As you wash your scalp and braids, try to keep shampoo away from the crochet hair.

Question: I usually keep my crochet styles for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, around week 4, the hair becomes matted. How do I prevent the hair from becoming tangled to increase the longevity of the style?

Tisun Beauty: Our nighttime routine will greatly impact how long the style lasts. Shorter styles tend to matte around the nape area. To prevent this, detangle the hair each night using a wide tooth comb and water. Twist the hair in 2-4 large size twists and secure in a satin bonnet.

For longer lengths, detangle and secure in a pineapple or high ponytail at night and sleep in a satin bonnet or secure the edges with a satin scarf. Limit the use of products as the build up can cause tangling. If you use products other than water, you should do so weekly, not daily.

Pineapple method for sleeping.

Image: Pineapple method for sleeping.

Let us know what tips you have for wearing crochet styles and any questions that you have.

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