Crochet Braids and most protective styles spoil us into forgetting about our natural hair underneath. I'm guilty of neglecting my own hair when I'm wearing Crochet Braids. Its easy to just get up and go. That whole, "shake and go" thing becomes a part of your everyday lifestyle. Meanwhile, your natural hair is saying..."hey, what about me?" (picture of me with my natural hair).
The fact is, protective styles are meant to PROTECT our hair....not REPLACE it. I have seen firsthand, that neglecting your own hair will eventually lead to the inability to even wear a protective style. If there's nothing to attach the hair to, then Crochet Braids will be a fleeting option.
So, having said that, I encourage my clients and anyone else wearing Crochet Braids to consider the following:
Never wear Crochet Braids longer than 8 weeks. Your natural hair can grow over the crochet knots and cause a tangled mess.
Give your hair a break between Crochet Braid installations. At least a week if possible. If not, at least a few days?
Feed your hair and scalp healthy oil based products WHILE YOU'RE WEARING your Crochet Braids.
Immediately after removing the braids, DO NOT wash your hair right away. Instead, try a Pre-Shampoo Regimen, also called Pre-poo. While your hair is still dirty and the braids have just been removed, apply a olive oil or any hair oil of your choice OR conditioner. Work in the pre-poo and cover your hair with a plastic shower cap. Wear the cap for at least 20 minutes and massage the oils or conditioner into your hair. Gently detangle your hair with the pre-poo before washing it.
I like to add a cup of olive oil to my shampoo to ensure that my hair does not dry out completely when washing. Trust me, this process will change your relationship with your hair forever, lol!