What comes to mind when you think of crochet? Is it needles, thread and yarn? Or, how about an older lady crocheting a sweater while she patiently awaits her stop on public transportation? Well, in 2015 it’s the new wave for Black women’s hair, especially among those who are natural (hair that is in it’s natural state and not relaxed). This is the go to protective styling against winter weather or if you just don’t feel like doing your hair for a little while. The best part about the crocheting is that it’s easy and affordable.
Shirley Chilus is an Atlanta-based professional hairstylist at Great Clips, who specializes in hair crocheting. Although this hairstyle seems to be the new trend in black hair care, Chilus says it’s just a technique that’s returning from the past.
“I remember crocheting my hair back when I was in middle school. I was so good at it that parents around the neighborhood were asking my grandmother if I could do their daughter’s hair. Oh yes, I had clients very early on. I have been doing this for almost 15 years now,” Chilus laughed.
“Back then the hair was pre-braided and had a slight wave to it now it’s more natural looking hair. The needle also looked a lot different than what it looks like today,” she continued.
Crochet braids can be worn in many different ways. In addition, the hair comes in many different textures. The Janet Collection, Freetress, and Bobbi Boss(Midway International Inc) are among the brands that create different crochet braids. The hair can range from kinky, thick, and straight to soft and curly.
“It all depends on what you are looking for. I have clients who want to match the texture of their natural hair so they can leave some hair out and blend it together. I have other clients who like to crochet their whole head with more of a curlier hair. You can pre-curl it before installation or curl while installed. With the growth in the trend, everyone is crocheting. You can even crochet actual braids over your braids.”
There are many YouTube videos on how to crochet hair. Some of the women in the video express how convenient the styling is. Bianca Fleurant, a client of Chilus’, said that it helps her cut the time she gets ready for work in the morning.
“I have natural hair, and us natural girls know how tedious it is to maintain our natural hair. From the washing and detangling to the twist-outs. This style is a lifesaver thanks to my Crochet-Queen, Shirley. I am always at work early now because I can just wake up and shake my hair out and go,” said Fleurant.
According to Chilus, the simple installation process for crochet braids include a braided base (braiding you’re your natural hair down in cornrows), putting the needle through the braid, open the latch put the hair in and pull it back out and just knotting it.
“It sounds harder than it looks, but there are many tutorials on YouTube, and although they are really good ones, I believe to get the best results consult a professional,” Chilus explained.
Editors Notes: I decided to book an appointment with Shirley through Style Seat and you can see the results below. I love the way it looks very natural with my hair. Crochet hair is very convenient and it didn’t take long at all.- Rebecca