So I know this is not the picture you expected to see when talking about my braids but walk with me through the story for a while.
If you’ve perused my journal any (especially 1999 & 2001) you’ll see that I love love love individual extension braids. I’ve had all kinds! Thing is, I was suffering from hair loss because of them plus my relaxer so I vowed to give them up for a while. Well, about 3 weeks ago I got an itching for braids again, my spring-summer hairstyle. I went to book the appointment but just kept questioning that I’d came this far and didn’t want to mess up my hair. But I wanted a ‘take-a-break’ style like I usually have around this time of year. … so I decided on crochet braids even though, in the past I wasn’t feeling them on other people at times.
Here’s why crochet braids:
1. I only have to cornrow my real hair and that means less stress on my edges
2. They wouldn’t take as long to do
3. The wouldn’t cost as much
4. I could do the ‘get-up-and-go’ thing for a while and lastly
5. I could change how I look…something I miss somewhat.
The picture to the right is right before I went to the shop. I deep conditioned the night before, cleared out my hair in the shower with a wide toothed comb, added jojoba treatment and placenta treatment oils and let it dry. This morning I woke up and cleared it out dry section by section spritzing with glycerin and water as I went along. This is what I had, a nice, cleared out afro for the girl to braid. I shaped it and walked right out the house *smile*
For anyone not familiar with crochet braids here’s a quick lesson on how they are done. First off basically they are like braid weave.
1. The braider cornrowed my own hair down on my scalp in a zig-zag pattern.
2. When finished, she sewed down any ends with weave thread.
3. Lastly, using a crochet hook, the threaded each pre-braided braid onto the cornrows until it looked like what you see to the right.
That very ‘ridge’ is one of the things that originally turned my off from crochet braids…but I’ve decided to give up a little bit of ‘cuteness’ for the sake of my hair’s health. The cornrows were not done super tight at all so my experience with these has been way better than when I get individual braids. Less pulling. No headache. I’m hoping these last for a month.
~edited September 11, 2003~
I received an email asking for more details about these braids so I’ve added my response below and I’m adding pictures of the hair used. I hope this helps everyone who has similar questions.
How many rows of braids do you have going back?
I have no clue, but after reviewing the pictures I’ll make an educated guess of 21 cornrows on my head in total. 7 on each side of the middle part going to about the halfway point in my head and 7 more zigzagging down the back of my head horizontally.
Is there any braids coming across the bottom back, half of your head?
Yes ma’am, basically the lady parted my hair from ear to ear like your mother does when you’re younger and she’s gonna put the top up and leave the back down. The front section was then parted in the middle vertically. Now my hair is in 3 sections and I’m looking like Mickey Mouse with a extra puff in the back ! At any rate, the cornrows in the back are going horizontally back and forth from bottom to top so the end is up by the Mickey mouse puffs. She then did about 7 rows going back on each side in the front and sewed all the ends down w/ weave thread.
How many packs of hair did you use?
I don’t remember, but I do remember that I ran out and had to drive to 3 shops w/ [my hair half done] before I could find the same stuff I used . [Thank God I got it up in a psuedo-style and was getting compliements.] I’m guessing here, get 15 bags ‘cause it’s better to have to much than to little.
Exactly what type of hair did you use?
“New Braid Hand Braided 100% Synthetic Fiber Micro Knot Braid III” in color 2. (I have the bag right here *ha*). It’s an orange package w/ a picture of the ladies head.
Was your head heavy with this style if you put it up in a pony tail?
Not at all. These things are so light that it took some getting used to ‘cause I’ve had a full head of synthetic braids and they are usually heavier. It was almost not there.
My head is a bit larger than yours?
Impossible. I’m 6’1” so the proportions of everything are bigger. I can’t buy most hats, they don’t fit. Braiders always complain about how big my noggin is and how much hair I have *ha*
So would that mean more hair are less braids?
I think the amount of braids would remain the same. [I suppose the amount of hair dictates how many braids more so than the size of your head. That and your personal preference]
Those two braids that were centered were they connected and stitched together to stay?
She added a little extra hair (regular old loose synthetic hair) to each cornrow to help it stay and then sewed all the ends down using weave thread.
Here’s a better picture of the cornrows under the braids.
And the top again. I really like this picture. I’m still trying to figure if I’m feeling these but strangely enough it’s more the length and the thinness of the braids that I’m questioning and not the cornrows at the root like I was worried about. Go figure. It looks nice on me though…it’ll serve it’s purpose. Besides, they took all of 3.5 hours to finish.
And if you were wondering here’s how long they are…straight out the package with minimal trimming.
And my finished look. I’ll keep ya’ll abreast of how these keep up since I’ve never had them before…especially around the roots. I plan to rinse these at the roots whenever possible…don’t know how yet *ha*. Stay tuned….
edited 1/10/2009 (concerning placenta treatment):
Fact Sheets – Hormones in Personal Care Products and the Risk of Breast Cancer in African-American Women