- Crochet braids and twists are protective hairstyles, where extensions are crocheted into one’s natural hair.
- It takes 90 minutes to three hours to get your hair crocheted in the style you like, which can last anywhere between four to six weeks with regular upkeep.
- Crochet twists and braids don’t damage one’s natural hair and are fairly easy to take down.
When it comes to protective hairstyles, crochet-based styles like crochet braids or twists are one of the top go-to options for natural girls who want to give their tresses a break. Whether you’re covering up for the winter or just want a break from the usual, we’re here to give you the lowdown on crochet braids as well as a little bit of a history lesson, and best practices for creating your own crochet-based ‘do.
Your Guide to Crochet Braids & Twists: Contents
- 36 Ideas of Crochet Braids & Twists for Inspiration
- What Are Crochet Braids?
- Pros & Cons of Wearing Crochet Braids & Twists
- Types of Crochet Braid Patterns
- Who Are Crochet Braids Best for?
- How to Install Crochet Braids?
- Washing and Maintaining Crochet Braids & Twists
- How Long Do Crochet Braids Last?
- Removing Crochet Braids & Twists
- How Much Do Crochet Braids & Twists Cost?
36 Crochet Braids & Twists for Inspiration
Whether you have decided to DIY or go to the salon to get your next protective style, these images of crochet braids and twists are here to inspire for your new look!
1. Classic Box Braids Made Easy
Box braids get significantly easier when you’re rocking them thanks to a crochet install. This beauty looks amazing, with classic box braids set on a cornrow base. But we’re obsessed with the texture shift from the crochet braid length to the soft, deep wave curly ends. Perfect for summer!
2. Medium Crochet Braids
You can’t go wrong with crochet braids that are giving us Janet Jackson “Poetic Justice” vibes. This is a great and simple option that requires simply braiding your natural hair in a classic cornrow pattern before feeding in the box braids. For the full effect, go long and keep braids to a medium length.
3. Locs of Love
We can’t get enough of crochet locs. If you’ve always wanted to try locs but weren’t ready for the commitment, faux locs are the way to go. Here we love how the locks transition into loose curly ends and also feature an ombre effect from medium brown to brown-black and back to medium brown.
4. The Mane Event
We can’t get enough of ultra-long box braids. Here this beauty is rocking some serious length with her crochet braids. To snag this look, opt for jumbo braiding hair and don’t cut it in half. After cornrowing your natural hair, crochet as normal and braid the extensions to half-length. Set on curlers or twist before dipping in hot water to finish the style.
5. Naturally Fly
Protective hairstyles give you the freedom to play with color and texture without risking damage to your natural tresses. We’re in love with the little pops of color on this beauty’s crochet braids. She’s going for a more bohemian look by leaving some braids loose higher in the length and adding a few strategic blonde braids for visual interest.
6. Bold and Curly Crochet Twists
The sky’s the limit when you opt for a crochet hairstyle. This time, we’re obsessing over the gorgeous crochet twists and that must-have color. To create the look, cornrow your hair as usual and then opt for pre-twisted hair that’s at least 18 inches (remember you lose length in the curl pattern) for extensions that reach bra strap length (BSL). Leave ends loose for a bit of playfulness.
7. Cinnamon with a Twist
Senegalese twists are gorgeous, but you’ll love them even more when you try them as crochet twists. Get the look by choosing a mix of black and cinnamon brown braiding hair. After cornrowing your hair, begin adding the extensions using the double-twist method needed to create Senegalese twists.
8. Honey Crochet Braids
Crochet braids are a great choice if you want to go for jumbo box braids but are concerned about putting too much stress on your hair. Here, this beauty is rocking larger braids that have been crocheted in a cool honey blonde hue. Create visual interest by adding strategic accent strings onto select braids.
9. A Twist on Marleys
Marley twists are a great way to switch up your style, but you’ll love them even better when they’re installed as crochet twists. We’re in love with the laid-back vibes of this beauty’s twists. To keep them looking more authentic, don’t break apart the twisted extensions and install them as you would normally after cornrowing your hair.
10. The Cleopatra Crochet Twists
Long twists, braids, and locs are nice, but we’re also in love with the faux locs created here using the crochet method. To make this your own, opt for dark black or brown-black extensions and use colorful string to accent a few strategic locs to create visual interest.
11. Fresh Locs
We can’t get enough of faux locs, especially when they’re installed using the crochet method. Here, we love that they’ve been installed with a smooth finish and are a small-medium width to add volume. And thanks to the crochet method, you can part your locs anywhere you’d like.
12. Stylish Jumbos
Crochet braids are a smart choice that is always in style. Here, this beauty has opted for jumbo braids and accented them with silver and gold string for a bohemian vibe. We’re also in love with the length, which is perfect for vacations.
13. Blended Texture
Who says you can’t have more than one texture when wearing locs? We’re obsessed with these faux locs that transition into loose ringlet curls. To get the look, you’ll need to look for pre-looped extensions with this specific texture, such as goddess locs. Cornrow your base as usual and install the locs.
14. Create a Storm
Protective hairstyles like crochet braids are so much fun because there’s no limit to what you can create. Here, we’re obsessed with the steel gray crochet braids that were created. To make this your own, braid your natural hair down as normal in cornrows. Then opt for bold gray hair in a deep wave pattern and only braid to the mid-length while leaving the ends loose. Either synthetic or human hair can be used.
15. Sleek and Curly
We can’t get over the visual interest these goddess locs create. This crochet locs style is breathtaking, as smooth and glistening locks transition into gorgeous ringlets. And it’s such an easy style to duplicate since often these extensions come pre-looped. And that means that these are a great style to attempt if you’re a first-time crocheter.
16. Ombre Crochet Ponytail
Crochet twists get a lot more fun when you play with color. We can’t get enough of this beauty’s ombre twists that transition from a natural black to an eye-catching hot pink before shifting into a platinum blonde. To copy this look, braid your hair down into cornrows and then follow the double-twisting technique after looping in the extensions to create these Senegalese twists.
17. Crocheted Passion Twists
Passion twists are all the rage, but make it easier by creating it with crochet twists. To copy this look, pick longer hair that’s around 24 inches long with an ombre effect that starts dark at the roots and shifts into a warm cinnamon brown.
18. Stylish Bae Locs
Crochet hairstyles make getting locs (and taking them out!) so easy. We’re loving the bigger locs on this beauty and the curly ends too. To create interest, she’s added a colorful string to one loc closer towards her face and gold accents throughout.
19. Crowning Glory
We can’t stress enough how much easier it is to get locs when you opt for a crochet method install. Here, this beauty is rocking a classic look with medium-width faux locs. To make the install undetectable, she’s opted to leave her perimeter hairline loose instead of cornrowing all of her hair. So, the locs at her perimeter look like individuals, while the remainder is installed using the classic crochet method.
20. Half-Up Crochet Box Braids
Box braids are a classic that’s always in style. But you’ll love how much faster you can have them created when you opt for crochet braids. We’re in love with the medium-width braids this beauty is rocking and the casual half updo she created.
21. Natural Crocheted Locs
Create a bit of visual interest with your faux locs by working in a bit of color. This beauty opted for a primarily natural dark brown hue but then added in a few strategic locs that are cinnamon-brown for variety. The locs are left slightly rough at the roots to create a more authentic image.
22. The Non-Braid Braid Look
Who says that crochet braids need to be fully braided? We’re obsessed with this look because water wave crochet braiding hair is intentionally only braided about an inch from the roots and left loose. The results? A stunning head of curly hair that’s perfect for summer or vacations.
23. Textured Crochet Marley Locs
Big lustrous locs don’t have to be out of reach. We’re loving how this lovely lady used Marley hair to create more textured locs. She opted for a salt and pepper effect, proving that you can embrace your grays. To keep it fun, she added gold accents throughout her locs.
24. A Bit of Wine
Crochet hairstyles give you the freedom to play with color while avoiding all the regret you might have from over-processing or picking a hair color that you end up not liking on your real hair. Here, we’re loving these gorgeous burgundy wine locks that are kept at a medium width but are ultra-long for plenty of swing.
25. Sleek Crochet Twists
Crochet twists are such a classic look, and this example proves why this is so. These thicker twists are made from passion twists and can be completed in as little as two hours. We’re loving the sleek effect and high shine that they give off.
26. Curly Crochet Twists
If you can’t decide between locs and curls, why not pick the best of both worlds with this crochet loc style. Goddess locs are the way to go since smooth and sleek locs transition into gorgeous curls towards the ends. And because this is a crochet hairstyle, you can rock your favorite look in as little as two to three hours.
27. The Perfect Ombre
Box braids are always in style, and when you do them as crochet braids, they’re even easier during the takedown process. Go for an easy-breezy look like these ombre braids that shift from an ash brown to a warm honey blonde in the ends.
28. Chocolate Twisted Crown
Warm chocolate brown hair is always in style, and we love the way it looks here. Large faux crochet locs are worn in a classic updo, while a few strategic locs are left down to create a sultry effect.
29. Curly Crochet Locs
Curly girls will rejoice with this fun bouncy style. Passion twists are set using the crochet method. But the real winner here is the color combination. Dark brown hair is intermixed with warm chocolate and blonde hues to create a fun style that’s perfect at any time of year.
30. Medium Crochet Twists
If you’re used to seeing goddess locs on longer lengths, then you’re going to like this fun twist on a gorgeous style. Rather than rocking them long, this beauty is wearing crochet locs that are just around shoulder length. Yet, she still gets the biggest benefit of goddess locs – those gorgeous curls at the end! We love that this beautiful style can be made in as little as two hours.
31. ‘90s Crochet Braids
Get your ‘90s girl ‘do on with this fun set of crochet braids. This beauty chose a bold honey blonde hue that accents her skin tone perfectly. To fully go for that ‘90s look, wear those braids high with a scrunchy and pair with a denim jacket for the full effect.
32. Loose Crochet Twists
Cinnamon brown is such a hot hue, and we love it even more here. Passion twists are set using the crochet method, and then only an inch or so is twisted while the majority of the length is left loose. The result is a gorgeous set of enviable curls that will turn heads no matter where you go.
33. Warmed-Up Crochet Locs
For the most part, we’ve been showing locs in darker hues. But if you like something with a kick to it, these crochet locs are the perfect alternative to the traditional 1/1B selections. To achieve this look, pick a blended extension with colors like M30 or 1B/30 to create variation.
34. Sugar and Spice
Jumbo locs are a fan fave around these parts. And we love how this beauty is rocking some jumbo crochet locs in a bold light brown hue. To achieve this style, her natural hair is cornrowed, and then the locs are woven throughout using the crochet method.
35. Fun and Sassy Crochet Twists
Who says you can’t have fun with locs? We’re loving the shorter crop on this lovely lady, along with the fact that she’s rocking some cute pigtails too. To create visual interest since she opted for a single color with her locs, she’s added in a few pops of color with string.
36. Playing with Color
If blondes have more fun, we definitely believe them after seeing this gorgeous set of crochet faux locs. This beauty is rocking a fun ombre look that combines darker brown with a bold warm blonde for a cute blended effect that’s eye-catching.
What Are Crochet Braids?
Crochet braids (or twists, or locs) are popular protective hairstyles that involve crocheting hair extensions to one’s hair, which are frequently used by people with natural hair. Usually, bulk synthetic hair is used for crochet twists and braids, but human hair can also be used especially if you plan to use heat tools.
While it works by giving your natural hair a break from frequent manipulation, it’s a fun choice because you can still play with color, texture, and length. Often known as a “low-manipulation style,” the big draw for a crochet hairstyle is that your actual hair is usually fully hidden in cornrows that serve as a base for whatever style you choose.
Another reason crochet braids are so popular is that they’re faster and easier to install (a common term for getting braids, twists, etc.) and can be less damaging than traditional box braids or Senegalese twists that rely on individual sections of your hair. So, your hair experiences less stress.
There’s no clear consensus on the origin of crochet braids, but the technique has been traced to the 1990s. Popular crochet-based styles include crochet braids (also known as latch hook braids), crochet twists, crochet faux locs, or even styles where the extensions are left mainly loose to mimic the look of free-flowing tresses.
Pros & Cons of Wearing Crochet Braids & Twists
Crochet braids and twists are a fun way to switch up your style. But if you’re used to traditional braid and twist installs, you might wonder whether it’s a good investment. So, let’s highlight some of the pros and cons to make sure that a crochet hairstyle is right for you.
Crochet Hair Pros
So, let’s quickly talk about the benefits of a crochet-based look:
- Faster install time – even for self-installers or first-timers
- Often cheaper than other protective hairstyles such as weaves
- Less stress on your natural hair because the hair is cornrowed first
- Easier access to your scalp to keep it clean and moisturized as compared to weaves
- Versatile styling options, including textures, lengths, and loose versus a braided, loc’ed or twisted look
- Can be refreshed easily since you simply crochet fresh extensions to replace the older hair
Crochet Hair Cons
Crochet braids or twists are fun and easy to do. But they do have a few drawbacks.
- Shorter lifespan than other protective hairstyles – at most you can squeeze two months out of the hairstyle
- Washing the crocheted hair can also shorten the lifespan of your crochet hairstyle
Types of Crochet Braid Patterns
We can’t stress enough that crochet braids and all variations of crochet-based hairstyles allow for serious versatility. Even when you look through our inspo photos above, you see how diverse the styles can be.
Anything you could do with your natural hair and traditional braids, twists, or locs can be done with crocheted hair. The only difference will be that your natural hair will be cornrowed first and then the extensions woven or “crocheted” through the cornrows. None of your natural hair will be left out.
Who Are Crochet Braids Best For?
Crochet braids are usually considered an option primarily for people with natural hair, but it’s ideal for so many different types of hair. Even for people that relax their hair, crochet braids can work too.
While crochet braids can be less damaging than other protective hairstyles, you’ll always want to confirm the health of your hair before you get this style. Specifically, can your hair be braided down for anywhere from two to eight weeks without experiencing more damage? Or are you the type who needs to wash your hair frequently – like multiple times a week?
If your hair is damaged, the stress of having it cornrowed may be too damaging. And if you wash your hair daily, a crochet braid style is impractical since it won’t last as long.
How to Install Crochet Braids
If you’re a first-timer, crochet braids can be significantly easier to do compared to box braids, Fulani braids, or Senegalese twists. Even though you need to master the crochet technique, you’ll feel less stressed since you don’t need the world’s best cornrow skills to achieve this look.
Step 1: Begin with Clean Hair
Protective styles and dirty hair don’t mix. Crocheting on dirty hair will encourage more dirt, product build-up, and a disgusting takedown when it’s time to remove your crochet braids in a few weeks.
Step 2: Cornrow Your Hair
Some people use intricate patterns for cornrows, but it’s not necessary for crochet braids. If this is your first time, opt for a simple pattern where the braids go straight back from your hairline to the nape of your neck.
A tried and true pattern is a two-into-one braiding pattern. Cornrows are smaller in the front half of your hair with an even set of braids ranging from 10 to 12. Once you pass the earline, begin combining braids, so you have half as many in the back. So, you should have 10 into five or 12 into six when you’ve finished braiding down your hair.
The braids in the front should be thinner to minimize bulk but not too separated so that your parts look more natural when your crochet braids are installed. If you’re concerned about too much strain on your natural hair, you can weave in a bit of loose braiding hair into your natural hair during the cornrow process. When you’re done braiding your hair, you can flat-sew the ends of your cornrows or simply tuck them down.
Step 3: Crocheting the Extensions
After your cornrows are done, it’s time to start crocheting. You have options when it comes to tools, but the most popular options are a crochet needle or a bobby pin. A crochet hook is a latch hook needle and not a true crochet needle. Most beauty supply stores carry them, and they’re fairly inexpensive.
• Start by sliding your needle under the cornrow with the latch closed.
• Take a section of the extension hair and fold it in half so that there’s a loop on the folded end.
• Open the needle latch and slide the looped extension hair into the latch and close it.
• Gently pull the needle out from under the cornrow until about four or five inches (when folded) of the looped hair has been pulled through under the cornrow.
• Open the latch and slide the extension hair off of it before removing the needle.
• Hold the looped hair in one hand and the tail (free end of the extensions) in your other.
• Hold the loop open with your fingers and put the tail through it.
• Twist the loop once flat against the cornrow so that no excess from the tail is stuck in the twist.
• Repeat the twist and loop process at least twice, but some people prefer to do it three times.
• Once you’ve finished twisting and threading the loop pull the tail to tighten and eliminate any excess tail hair from the loop.
• Keep doing this as you work around your head until you’re finished installing the crochet hair. Also, note that using a bobby pin will follow the same above steps.
Step 4: Styling the Crocheted Hair
Styling is going to depend on the hair you picked and the final look you’re hoping to achieve. If you are opting for crochet braids or twists, then create those looks by following the proper steps.
With braids, as you loop an extension through your cornrows, that hair would then be sectioned and braided either the full length or left partially braided for texture. And the same would follow for twists.
For loose crocheted looks, trim the hair to remove scraggly strands. You can also shape the hair with layers, bangs, or even a blunt cut. Depending on the hair and the texture you’re looking to mimic, you may need to use hot water and rollers to set synthetic hair or hot tools for human hair.
How to Wash and Maintain Crochet Braids & Twists?
Washing crochet braids or twists is one of the few areas where this style doesn’t excel as compared to other protective hairstyles. It can be done, but you’ll need to be careful as washing crochet hairstyles can shorten the lifespan of this style.
Maintaining Crochet Hair
The way you maintain crochet braids or twists depends on the hair you used. Synthetic hair like Marley Twists or Kanekalon means that you can’t hop in the shower and wash them as you would your natural hair.
Frequent contact with water can cause the curls or texture to drop. Worse still, you can loosen the knots, which can cause extensions to slip out over time.
Instead, you’ll want to focus on cleansing your scalp. If you used human hair for crochet braids or twists, it’s best to use a co-wash process to wash the hair and be gentle while you do it. Being too rough can loosen the knots.
Caring for Your Crochet Twists & Braids
Even with a protective style, you need to give your scalp some TLC and moisturize your natural hair. To preserve your hairstyle, try a targeted scalp cleanse by using the squeeze bottle method.
This might seem a little time-consuming, but you’re going to mix shampoo and warm water in a squeeze bottle to apply it directly to your scalp. Using the pads of your fingers, gently work the solution into your scalp and your cornrows – but try to avoid over-saturating the extensions.
Next, you’ll rinse out the shampoo mix from your hair and the extensions. If you prefer, you can opt for a co-wash using a leave-in conditioner. You can also spray the leave-in on your extensions.
Above all else, if you wash your hair when it’s in a crochet style, you need to be sure that your hair dries thoroughly. It doesn’t happen often but, it’s possible to experience mildew if your hair doesn’t dry properly. To minimize this risk, use a blow dryer on a medium or low setting and focus on your cornrows.
How Long Do Crochet Braids Last?
Assuming you take care of your crochet braids and follow proper maintenance recommendations, a good crochet braid style can last up to two months or eight weeks. But to ensure that this happens, you need to avoid getting your braids wet and be sure to tie up your hair at night so that they don’t get frizzy.
How to Remove Crochet Braids
Hands down, removing crochet braids is much faster than traditional braids, twists, or faux locs. Removing a crochet hairstyle begins by cutting the crocheted extensions as close to the original knots as possible. But be careful so that you don’t cut your natural cornrowed hair!
Another option that makes the “takedown” process easier is to add an oil like coconut or jojoba to your cornrows once you’ve removed all of the extensions. Let the oil sit for 30 minutes before unraveling your cornrows. This gives you more slip as you work through your cornrows so that they unravel easier. As you work through your hair, any remaining crocheted hair should easily slip out of your natural hair.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Crochet Braids & Twists at the Salon?
This is a great question, but it’s going to depend on a variety of factors. If you do your crochet braids or twists, you’ll only need to pay for the hair, which can be incredibly affordable if you pick synthetic hair. In contrast, a salon install can vary widely based on where you live, the salon, and the complexity of the style you want.
Also, remember that other factors like the length you want and the size of your braids or twists can impact the price. But as a general rule, expect to spend at least $100 for a crochet braid or twist style. And know that some salons may charge more.
Photos via Instagram