I rocked crochet braids for about six months and absolutely loved them! It was one of the easiest styles to maintain. And part of the beauty was that I could install them myself. There are tons of video of how to install on Youtube. (The video is my first ever so pardon the portrait perspective.)
To achieve the look below, use Harlem125 Kima Braid Hair in 14" , color 1B. I used 2-3 packs, and cut the hair in half before application. After installing, I gentle separated the dreads. You can separate multiple times, depending on how voluminous you want your hair.
I stocked up on the hair below since it's inexpensive and I reapplied new hair about every 2-3 months. to keep the hair looking fresh.
Happy crochet braiding, ladies!
I’ve done my share of salon hopping. Sure, I’ve had a couple of great stylists that I’ve been blessed to find. Anyone who has relocated understands that the search for a new stylist can be a daunting one. It can be very difficult to find that stylist (or salon) that clicks. Now that I’m in the process of transitioning to natural hair (again), I'm in the market for a salon that specializes in and promotes natural hair care. Thinking back over the years, I’m now able to quickly deduce if I’ve stepped into the wrong salon.
1. The receptionist isn’t at the front desk.
Have you ever walked into a salon and there was no receptionist to greet you? You don’t know who your stylist is so you search the faces of the beauticians. They take tentative glances in your direction but no one greets you. (Okay, so it doesn’t help that your hair might look like a mass of tumbleweed that hasn’t benefited from TLC in six months and they know they might have to work overtime to get you right. Or is that just me?) This has happened to me a couple of times and while I have no problem yelling out, “Hi I’m here to see Linda! Linda? Are you Linda?” This isn’t how a professional salon should treat its customers. Linda should be expecting you even if the receptionist is not. A simple acknowledgement to be with you in a moment is good enough for me.
2. Hairstylist doesn’t speak English.
I went to a lovely hairstylist for six months. It was a Dominican salon. I know. Dominican salons traditionally use a method of hairstyling that can be too aggressive for a black woman's fragile hair. I’ve learned a lot since then but back in the day I couldn’t resist the feel of my silky strands, the incomparable bounce and the featherweight feel of my hair. You know where this story is going, right? Humor me and pretend like you don’t. My hair came out from the harsh chemicals and the heat from the blow dryer. I stopped going to her and decided to go natural. The lesson I learned is that I need to communicate my hair needs to my hairstylist, and in turn, she needs to communicate to me when it’s time to take a break from a particular style, even if it’s a protective style like braids or weaves. At the end of the day, we must both have the same goal in mind: hair health.
3. The hairstylist suggests a “trim” when you just had one two weeks ago.
Just run. If you had a good trim recently, why subject yourself to a scissor-happy stylist who wants to show off her talents or collect a few extra bucks? Here’s an easy way to determine if it’s time for a hair trim.
4. Disinfectants and licenses are hidden from plain view.
One sign of a professional salon is the visibility of stylists’ licenses and the use of Barbicide to disinfectant tools. I feel a sense of comfort when I can see my stylist’s smiling face on her license. I’d like to know that before she colors my hair she’s passed a state-mandated test first. As far as disinfectants go, well,
I’m leery of salons that don’t have any clear method of disinfection. There are several infections you can contract from tools that haven’t been disinfected. Thanks, but I’m not interested in getting any of them.
5. The salon creates more smoke than a house fire.
I walked into a salon once and was seriously tempted to call the fire department. I thought I’d mistakenly walked into a cigar lounge. Stylists used the old-fashioned curling irons to give their client’s curls that could sustain through gale force wind. The environment struck me as being the antithesis of promoting hair health. I believe in burn, baby, burn, but only as it applies to the dance floor. I cancelled my appointment.
How do you know when you’ve walked into the wrong salon or met the wrong stylist?
We sat in the near empty open-air dining area of the cruise ship. Club goers were in the thick of their reverie somewhere on the cavernous ship. Exhausted children were hours deep into their slumber and the pitch-black night ushered in a warm breeze over my bare shoulders. We had eaten all day, and yet there we were again, with slices of gooey cheese pizza on our plates. But I couldn’t enjoy the food or the warmth of the air. I couldn’t focus on anything but the cruel words spewing from his lips like venom from a snake, each one sure to be the death of me.
“Fact is,” he said, casually taking a sip of his soda. “We’re not compatible. We could never be married. We’d argue too much.”
What was he saying to me? We would never be married? We’d invested five years in this relationship and now he tells me we’re not compatible? I wanted to argue, but that would only prove him right.
“Everyone argues,” I reasoned. “That’s normal.”
“See,” he continues, “you’re still young. You’re very optimistic. You believe in fairytales and romance novels. Me? I’ve been married before and I know the signs. I’ll never marry again.”
It was like a punch in my gut by a middle-weight champion. Geez! My brain didn’t know what to tackle first: his condescension about the fact that I was thirty years old and he was eight years my senior? Or should I remind him about the lesson he’d taught me about no man being an island? We were meant to be with someone. Should I remind him that he approached me all those years ago, not the other way around, and if he didn’t really want me then why waste my time all these years?
But I said little else. Tears fell on my pizza which now resembled a dry piece of bread covered in processed goo. I was embarrassed by my sensitivity, embarrassed by misunderstanding the strength of our relationship, embarrassed because the woman who sat across from him wasn’t enough. I was grateful, however, that my back was to the few others who lingered in the dining area as it dawned on me that he’d brought me on the cruise knowing that he was going to break my heart. And there I was thinking he was going to put a ring on it.
I am not good at letting go. I don’t like to move on.
I care about my hair. Honestly, I do. At one point in my life I was obsessed with wearing the perfect hairstyle. After I'd worn pretty much all of them, I discovered there was no perfect hairstyle. Eventually, I discovered the bald spot from hell. (Or heaven depending on how you choose to look at it.)
Click here to read my story published on MadameNoire.com and the hair recovery gameplan that's got me aching for a pair of scissors! Peep the video after the jump.