Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Natural Hair Journey: Sew-in hair and Crochet braids

Last winter and this summer I turned to extensions and crochet braids to protect my natural hair as it grew and to break from routine. Here are the results.

In the last post chronicling my natural hair growth, I showed everyone how I styled my hair for the  first five months of my transition from relaxed to natural.

However I decided around the sixth month of natural hair that I wanted get extensions. Why?

1.  For sew-in and crochet extensions, your hair is braided up under the extensions. This protects your hair from heat and too much manipulation so my hair can grow uninterrupted.

2. I was struggling to style my hair as it got shorter and shorter. (I opted for gradual cuts rather than the big chop.)

3. I missed having length.

4. I can heat and color with abandon.

So late November through February I had my hairdresser install hair extensions from Valencia Rose. I learned of the UK hair company through my favorite YouTube beauty guru Tyme the Infamous. I believe I purchased three bundles of the Malaysian Big Wavy virgin hair the 16 inch. I also purchased a closure because I want my hair to be completely protected and hidden under the extensions.

I loved having long, straight hair again! My stylist did a great job cutting and curling the hair so it fit my style. It fit nicely with every outfit I wanted to wear -- be it a leather jacket over a tee and jeans or and a a line dress.

It was also be very convenient over Christmas break. David and I went to Texas to visit his family last December and there was a lot restaurants, family dinners, and a great trip to San Antonio. Through it all, the hair was very easy to manage. Each night I just brushed through it, wrapped it in a bun and put on a satin bonnet. That's it.

On the down side, it was an adjustment getting used to the tightness of the corn rolls the hair was sown to but this discomfort went away as my hair grew and the braids loosed up. I also struggled to deal with scalp itching/irritation while the tracks of hair were installed.

 I also had to bush the hair regularly to keep it from frizzing and matting up.

This install lasted me three to four months.

This summer I tried a different kind of extensions. I got synthetic Marley hair that has a texture that is close to coarse hair. I chose this type of hair because to me big hair screams summer. I also got blonde stains put in just for fun.

Although the hair is big (like seriously bulky) I can change the look by twisting some strands or pulling it into a pompadour.

I wore my crochet hair extensions
pulled back for a friend's wedding

The hair can even be curled, straightened and re-curled.

I used a blow dryer to get it straight
and ready to be curled.

Although the crochet braid extensions are installed under my corn rolled hair with a latch-hook tool, I do not feel they irritate my scalp.

The negatives of this install is that the hair is very scratchy against the skin. It also gets tangled very easily so you have to braid it up before you got to bed. Also you need de-tangle this hair frequently with a Denman brush.

I had this hair installed in mid July and am still wearing it. I plan to remove it sometime this month.

What you do think of these styles? Which one do you prefer more? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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