Two years ago, November 1st, 2014, I looked in the mirror and cut one strand of my permed ends. And another. Then another. Though unplanned, breaking up with relaxers and learning to take care of my natural hair has been a decision I will never regret making. October 2016 length check from my snapchat (Are you following me there? If not, you should!)
My hair is now the healthiest and the longest it’s ever been. (I couldn’t fit the whole thing in the above picture & that’s major improvements for me)
In order to keep my ends tucked away and protected, I have made crochet braids my holy grail protective style. So let’s leave fashion to the side and talk hair today! Here are my favorite, highly recommended crochet braid styles, all done by me, all within an hour!
Freetress Pre-Loop Crochet Deep Twist 16″ – Color 1
This style I’m currently rocking is THE best. It comes already looped so the installation process is super, super quick. Though it is synthetic, it looks very natural and is very low maintenance. To keep it looking flawless, I detangle it on a weekly basis by running my fingers through it and trimming away the little that sheds. At $20 a pack it is the priciest one on this list but oh so worth it! I used 3 packs.
Janet collection Havana Mambo twist – in – Color 1B
These unraveled twists are a life saver! Probably the most low maintenance style on this list so you really can’t go wrong with it. When I install the twists, I wear them as is for a week then unravel them to end up with this voluminous style! The bigger the better. I used 6 packs to achieve this look.
Freetress Gogo curl
I don’t remember the specs of this hair but Freetress carries a big variety of curly synthetic hair for just $5 a pack. You can choose any of the braiding styles to crochet but the install process is typically longer with hair that is silky, hence why I prefer Marley texture hair like the Havana mambo twist mentioned above. If you prefer this type of hair, I recommend the Gogo curl, the Italian curl, the Water wave, the Water deep and the Deep twist. You should be able to find those online or at your local beauty supply store.
The Jamaican bounce hair is very affordable and quick to install as well. If you’re looking for something short that is low maintenance, this is the style for you. The curls held up pretty well and shedding was minimal. I only used 3-4 packs.
Bobby Boss Senegal skinny twist (unraveled)
It’s so funny how I am team colorful when it comes to outfits but when it comes to my hair, I stick with black. For fall, I decided to give it a try and go for burgundy… I have to admit, at first, I didn’t really like the way the curls came out. They were way too tight and perfect whereas I prefer voluminous and freezy / natural looking styles. So I unraveled the twists first and then separated the strands to get this massive fro that I fell in love with! I used 6 packs of this hair.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here yet but I’ve recently been promoted at the office and considering this is my second promotion within my 2nd year with the company, it goes without saying that this is a pretty exciting accomplishment for me. Thankfully, I work for a company that is very laid back when it comes to dress code and hairstyles but not every black woman in corporate America is as fortunate.
A couple of years ago, my sister Vanessa started a new job at a lawyer’s office and to get ready for the big day, I crochet’d her hair with shoulder length kinky textured extensions the night before. To be honest, I can’t recall whether or not her first day went well because all I remember is being furious when she told me that her supervisor asked her to change her hairstyle because of something along the lines of “the CEO of the company is very conservative and would not approve of such a voluminous hairstyle.” The first thing that crossed my mind is that Vanessa’s natural hair texture was pretty much identical to that of the crochet braids she was wearing. I proceeded to tell her that if I were in her shoes, I would absolutely NOT take my hair down. But given the fact that she wasn’t comfortable starting a new position with a controversy, she decided to take them off after only wearing them for one day. Le sigh!
What would you do if your employer told you that your natural or black hairstyle was inappropriate for work?
I am so thankful to the beauty gurus on YouTube who have contributed to making the natural hair movement a thing. [My favorite is The Chic Natural :)] The problem has always been that we grew up not knowing how to take care of our hair unless it was permed silky straight. Even then, many of us mistreated our permed strands so much that they broke off over time or plateau’d to shoulder length and never an inch longer. Once the gurus figured out the kinky hair ‘secrets’ and spilled the beans, women of color became equipped with the necessary tips to style and care for their natural hair.
It was long overdue for us and our little girls to learn how to love our mane in its natural form but altough we’re making progress in that aspect, that’s only half the battle. When will voluminous, kinky, curly, Diana Ross style natural hair be deemed office appropriate in Wall Street? Locs, braids, dreads, crochet braids, twist outs, afros are all styles that exude the epitome of what it’s like to be of African descent. I love it all and though I am not imposing my views on anyone, when will Corporate America get with the program and understand that we should be free to exercise our freedom of expression no matter where we work?
I hope you enjoyed this post and will give crochet braids a try. If you do, please be sure to let me know. You can find me everywhere on social @versicloset!