The New ‘It’ Protective Style That’s 100% DIYable

Black Hair

Protective style

During last year’s hard lockdown, beauty lovers discovered fun and new ways to transition their hair looks, DIYing in full force. One style that took over IG feeds was crochet braids or locs — a technique where you loop synthetic hair beneath your cornrows with a crochet hook. Search the hashtag #crochetbraids on TikTok rn, and you’ll go down a rabbit hole full of tutorials that are lowkey therapeutic and so satisfying to watch. TBH, we just viewed this on loop for a solid 20 minutes:

@shiannediamondBack at it again 🦋 can yall recommend a different gel to use (not gummy) when braiding? ##fyp ##braiding ##crochetbraids ##braids♬ Intro – The xx

The reason this protective style is a new household fave is that once done, these look like any fresh set of braids or locs but without the tugging, pulling, and added stress on your hairline and scalp. Styling practices are typically one of the root causes for hair loss among Black women, so having the option of crochet braids as a gentler alternative allows us to rock our signature braided hair looks with minimal or no damage caused.


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A post shared by CHIZI DURU (@chiziduru)


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A post shared by Kiitan A. (@kiitana)

Another perk that comes with this method is that switch-ups are pain-free and a lot easier to achieve as these aren’t directly installed onto your natural hair, making the removal process way smoother. The downside however is that many of us have realized that we weren’t genetically blessed with this DIY gene and that the universe clearly has favorites.

via Giphy

A few tutorials that live in our mind rent-free:

1. When Cassy Isabella pulled off a hair switch-up 30,000+ feet in the air the talent, the quickness!

@bellaworldwide_Super powers just kicked in ⚡️#december21st #myroutine #blacktiktok #crochetbraids #fyp #rareaesthetic #haventseen #blackhair #productivity♬ Loading – Olamide

2. When Kiitan showed us how to transform our Fulani braids into classic singles.

@kiitanaWAIT TIL THE END 😱 yay or nay? Tag/share to a friend who needs to see this! ##crochetbraids ##hairtutorials ##learnontiktok ##learnfromme ##tiktokpartner♬ Boom Bababom Pow – bearro ♡

3. When Chizi finally mastered the undetectable crochet faux loc technique. Watch her hilarious and painfully relatable recap of the experience HERE.

@chiziduruThe technique I used for undetectable crochet faux Locs! Better late than never 😅 ##fauxlocs ##naturalhair ##crochetbraids ##4chair♬ In My Maserati by Olakira – Chop Daily

4. When Marianna’s precision and skills left us green with envy (we know, that was corny AF but we just had to).

@mariiana.reiisCROCHET BRAIDS COM LINHA DE CROCHÊ! ##fy ##fyp ##foryou ##trançanago ##penteadosparacabeloscacheados ##crochetbraids ##crochetbraidshair ##boxbraids ##penteado♬ You Got It – Vedo

5. When Nicole took braid versatility to new heights.

@zaddyragsRevamp your braids ##boxbraids ##crochetbraids ##boholocs ##zaddyrags♬ Aesthetic – Xilo

How do they make this look so easy!?!? If you plan to try this method in the future, let us know all about your experience. But for now, shop these crochet braiding essentials to help you get started:

Via Walmart, Aunt Jackies, Design Essentials.

Latch Hook Crochet Needle, $7, is a handy tool to pull off this technique. However, bobby pins are also a good substitute if you don’t have a crochet hook nearby.

Aunt Jackie’s Nourish My Hair Flaxseed & Monoi Oil, $10. This ultra-lightweight blend rich in rejuvenating vitamin E and Jamaican Black Castor Oil really does the job of improving scalp health while reviving dry and dull strands.

Design Essentials Sleek Max Edge Control, $12. A go-to fave for stylists and edge-enthusiasts, this formula does exactly what it promises. It slicks down and secures baby hair swirls, delivering next-level hold and some glossy shine.

Looking for industry secrets on mastering sleek baby hairs? Check out our expert guide on laying them down.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, although some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.