Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Crochet Braids: Install #5 ~ Long & Straight Kanekalon Hair

Long Crochet Braids

 “Since I made the decision to install a set of crochet braids using kanekalon hair (you know, the cheap synthetic braiding hair that costs around £1.99 per pack!) I have, for the past week, toyed with leaving some hair out for this install”.

I love the look of this particular style when hair is left out, but I really can’t be dealing with having to baby just a small section of my hair as I will just get paranoid about it and the blending and worry about breakage will just take away from the enjoyment of the style.  The first time I installed straight hair it was really difficult to keep my own hair moisturised, especially because synthetic hair leeches moisture from your hair. It was also difficult to keep my hair blended in well with the extension hair at however many weeks post I was at the time, whilst keeping any products and oils off the extension hair as it gets really shiny if products are introduced. I actually ended up adding a couple of cornrows at the front after a week so I could just hide my hair.

This time around, I opted for a braid pattern which could hide all my hair but leave only a small parting as last time the boyfriend affectionately nicknamed my parting ‘Moses’!

These are the steps I followed:

1. Preparation
First I moisturised my hair in sections using Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Moisturiser (I am almost out of this so I really need to restock and get another large tub as well as some Bee Mine Deja’s Hair Milk!) and sealed with EVOO.

2. Braid Pattern
I sectioned my hair into two, parting from ear to ear. Next, making a centre parting, I separated the front section in two equal halves. I then sectioned off a small amount of hair on either side of the centre part, large enough for me to install 4 small braids on either side. I then dipped my fingers in olive oil [I find that lubricating my fingers well with oil before starting each braid helps incredibly with slip, reduces tangles and softens my new growth as I start the braid and continue along it, resulting in less breakage as braiding the hair involves a lot of manipulation] then braided 2 really small braids close together at the front, but not too tightly. I then braided another 3 braids on each side so they would be a mirror identical image of the mirror opposite side. I then braided a further 4 braids on each side, slightly larger (thicker) than the ones in the top section. It is important to install an equal amount of braids so that your style doesn’t end up lop sided. All of the braids at the top ended at the centre top of my head.

Long Crochet Braids
The first picture is how my hair looked the morning after my wash day which included blowdrying.  The second picture shows the top of my braid pattern.  The third and fourth pictures show my braid pattern from the side and from the back.

I then braided a continuous braid which snaked down the back of my head [finger parting along with way], starting at the top and then finishing at my nape. I did not add any extension hair to my braid pattern – it’s all my hair and is so much thicker than my first and second installs!!! I tried to incorporate the ends of the hair braided at the top but it was just looking too bulky both at the top and on the right hand side where the braid ended, so I braided two flat braids using the ends of the braids first starting on my left ear to the centre and then from my right ear to the centre. At the top I crossed over the centre braids and braided one end of each side into the opposite braid then braided the whole lot together which went down the centre of my head in a backwards direction. I then traced this braid along the snake braid and secured it with a little weave thread. I also secured the end of the braid at my nape with a little weave thread. I hope I don’t regret using the weave thread when it comes to taking this style down but the last time I used a crochet braid to hold it, it didn’t work well and unravelled within a few days…..although thinking about it now if would have been more secure if I’d used a smaller piece of hair to crochet the end together….

Next time; I will braid the top going slightly further back so the ends fall lower down the back of my head meaning that the bulkiest section is lower down and I’ll see how that works for me.

3. Installation
I took the extension hair, cut it in half down the middle [along the elastic band which secures it in the package]. I then took one of the two halves and feathered the ends (like this) so they were not blunt which gives a more natural look once the hair is installed. I then sectioned out pieces of hair which were about half inch wide and laid them out along the edge of the bath [I did the install in the bathroom as this room has the best mirror and the best lighting, also it is easier to clean up the extension hair off the tiled floor than it is to vacuum it up off carpet or pick it off the furniture!!!].

I then set about installing the extension hair. I’m not gonna lie to you, it took me a long time to install this hair, but I am so pleased with the results! Installing curly hair [Aftress Waterwave bulk hair] takes me approximately 2hrs this takes a lot longer as it is less forgiving when it comes to gaps! When installing the hair at the front, I split the sections of extension hair in two so they were smaller/thinner. Doing this resulted in smaller less visible and more secure knots. I twisted each piece of extension hair in the middle so it gave the hair a smaller surface area to feed into the crochet hook and looped it over my pointer finger. I then pushed the crochet / latch hook underneath the cornrow braid, looped the extension hair onto the hook, closed the latch and pulled it back through the braid in the opposite direction to how I had inserted it (i.e. in reverse). I only pulled through enough so that the looped side of the extension hair was pulled through about 2 inches, then I unlatched the hook, replaced it with my fingers and then fed the opposite end of the extension hair through the loop and pulled it tight. The extension hair is then attached to my hair circling the cornrow in a loop. I then took two small sections of extension hair from either side of the piece I had just installed and then knotted the hair twice to secure it. Securing the hair this way reduces the amount of shedding in addition to the risk of you losing pieces of hair when walking down the street!!!!

Long straight crochet braids
The picture shows two rows of hair installed.  The sencond picture shows the install with just the top section to finish.  The third picture shows the finished installation and the fourth picture shows the knots at the top which have been pulled apart slightly by pulling the hair back in a bun.

Again I followed pretty much exactly the same process as demonstrated by TheHealthTees on YouTube.  She has updated her install videos since my first crochet braid install earlier this year.  Her videos are very thorough and her explanation of how to do the braid pattern and installing the hair covers everything you need to know.  If you are interested in in doing a similar crochet braid style I would definitely recommend watching videos Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 as part of your research.  I have tried to cover in writing the steps I take as not everyone can view YouTube when they have the opportunity to read blogs, i.e. when they are using their mobile phone and trying to keep down their data usage and let's face it, when they are reading blogs whilst they are at work!

Once all the hair was installed I covered my face with my new 'do' and crept around the house whilst making noises like in the movie The Grudge!  I then tidied up all the hair that was all over the floor, cleared my hair paraphernalia, tied my new hair up and went to bed! Oh, not before taking some pictures and posting a couple on my Facebook page.

The next day I had to go to work. As I work in a corporate environment I didn’t think big disco diva hair would be appropriate for the office so I tamed my hair by putting it into a low bun. I had planned on blowdrying the hair that night but I got on with other things that I needed to do instead. So today I had to go for the low bun again.

This evening I decided to tackle the blowdrying so armed with a spray bottle of water and my blowdryer, I sectioned my hair and starting at the back I sprayed my hair and blowdried it a little.

Long straight crochet braids
I will be all over this style when I next go on holiday!!!! I love BIG HAIR but this just isn't practical for work.

Long straight kanekalon crochet braids
The first picture shows the back sectioned off ready for blow drying and also shows the texture of the hair beforehand.  The second and third pictures show the back area blow dried.  Fourth picture show the left hand side (right hand side in these pictures) blowdried.

Long crochet braids
Left side, not blow dried.  Right side blowdried.

Long crochet braids
End result.

Long crochet braids
The first picture shows the different testure between  not blow dried on the right and blowdried on the left.

Sometime over the weekend I plan to put in some perm rods and set the hair into a curly style using hot
water. If I do so I will post a couple of pictures of the process and the results.

Ciao 4 Now


  1. I bet you are retaining your butt off with all of this PS'ing!

  2. I hope so!!! You've been protective styling heavily - are you still shooting for 6 months of having your hair hidden away?

    My hair has grown longer but at the moment thickness and not having to fuss with my hair too much is my main aim.

    I'll be taking this style down this weekend!


  3. Hey thanks for the blogg, your hair looks amazing! I just wanted to know what brand of hair did you use it looks like a natural blow-out!

    1. Thank you :)

      I used XPression Kanekalon braiding hair for install.

  4. Love this style! Thinking about trying it but I was wondering how long did it last?

  5. This site constantly keeps me update about the style industry considering that longer. i'm very fond of your running a blog and reshuffle. you did such a pleasant modern attempt as well as we will that. you must check mine stuffs too. thanks.Jogos 2019
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