With the evergrowing popularity of crochet braids in recent years, there is a rising question that many women are asking. What is the difference between crochets and weaves? Are crochet braids another variation of a sew-in, is it more cost-effective, does the hair last longer, or is it easier on the hair? So many questions and not enough answers I’d say, so I decided to answer all the rising questions you may have and make it clear about the differences between crochet braids and weaves. Both hold great benefits and in my opinion, it's all about lifestyle, convenience, and preference.
What is Crochet Braid?
It seems when people hear crochet braids, they believe it is referring to the hair itself. However, crochet braids are the method in which hair is added into the cornrow using a crochet needle and secured with a knot, hence the name crochet braids. The hair, unlike sew-in weaves, is in loose loops without a weft.
A Little Backstory
Crochet braids were extremely popular in the 90’s. I vividly remember my mom, aunts, and other women in my family rocking them and slayed the day away. It was something fresh and can be done quickly so time was cut down at the hair salon. Although, there were far fewer options in the hair department, only one variation of them. Small braids that were wavy and cut be style and cut how’d you like them. There weren't many options and it also was not natural looking.
Crochets seemed to even be forgotten about for almost a decade. This style couldn’t stand a chance against weaves due to how unnatural the parts were and the knots added to the hair to keep them in place on the cornrow.
However, since the 90’s crochet hair and braid patterns have come a mighty long way. This style now comes in various braid patterns, textures, lengths, and colors. When installed correctly the crochet braids are undetectable and look like your natural hair - kinky or kinky curly.
Just like box braids, crochets also have a variation called the invisible part, AKA the knotless part, which provides a natural hairline while using the crochet braid method.
What Are Weaves?
Weaves are human hair extensions or synthetic hair extensions added into someone's hair using various methods including, sewing, gluing, or clipping them into cornrows, scalp, or a stocking cap.
A Little Backstory About Weaves.
Weaves originated around 3400 BC in Egypt, Egyptians dyed sheep wool or human hair and added it to their heads using beeswax or resin. I don’t know about any of you, but that blows my mind that weaves are dated back that far!
Weaves have always been a trailblazer in the beauty industry and evolve almost monthly if we are being honest. When installed properly sew-ins add thickness, length, and sheen to the hair.
The Pros And Cons Of Crochet Braids And Weaves
While discussing the difference between crochet braids and weaves, why not discuss the benefits and cons of both!
Crochet Braid Benefits
Ideal for the DIY queen. Unlike weaves, crochet braids may be an amazing style to attempt on your own for the first style as a DIY’er. If you know how to cornrow at a minimum that is fine, your cornrows won't need to be perfect because they will be covered by the braids. A new and emerging method is called the “no cornrow”method, check it out!
They are cheaper then sew-ins. Crochet braids are to look like natural kinky hair. So the hair used for this style in kanekelon hair or hair that comes pre-twisted or pre braided for you. This type of hair can be purchased at any local beauty supply and range between $3-$10 a pack. The number of packs needed depends on the style you are creating and the fullness.
Natural-looking hair texture. Kanekalon hair is made to mimic kinkier textures.
Faster to do. Depending on the hairstyle you are trying to accomplish this style can be achieved in under 2 hours. This cutting significant time down for ladies who rock box braids and twist. There are also crochet braids and twist that comes pre-packaged.
Less tension on the scalp and hair. Due to the lightweight of the crochet hair crochets place far less tensions on the scalp and hair. You also have more access to the scalp which means more air for your scalp to breathe.
Texture variety. Weave hair offers a limitless amount of texture options. These range from bone straight to 4c curly and all the textures in between. There is also the option between human hair, human synthetic mix, and synthetic hair.
Longevity- Weaves last longer, especially if human hair is used for the install. When done properly, weaves tend to last 8 weeks or longer whereas crochet braids last about half the time due to the hair being synthetic.
Low Maintenance. Raise your hand if you love rolling out of bed without having to do your hair! Raises hand, wearing a weave allows you to shake and go in those time-crunched mornings. Synthetic hair comes packaged pre-styled which is even easier!
Blends extremely well. Hair weaves offer the benefit of coloring and washing your hair like it was your own.
Cons Of Crochet Braids
Tangling. As we all know, synthetic hair tends to tangle very quickly and it is extremely annoying.
Initial “Wiggy“ look. Straight out the pack, crochet hair a high sheen to the hair and it doesn’t fall as nicely as it should. It takes a day or two to fall into place and lose its sheen.
Windy days. If you opt for huge parts the wind will show those parts! Opt for smaller parts, yes they take longer, but it is worth the time.
Itchy anyone? Depending on the hair chosen, crochets can be itchy.
Cons Of A Weave
Cost. With good quality comes a hefty price tag! Remember you get what you pay for, do don't always choose the cheaper hair weave.
Tensions. If your hair is braided tightly your hair can experience some damage which sometimes leads to hair loss.
Moisture. With the added protection of a hair net, you lose the ability for your scalp to breath and you won't be able to wash and moisturize your hair as often.
It's Your Preference
Crochets are on the come up this year and are a force to be reckon with. They provide additional options for women looking for a more natural and relaxed style that won't kill their bank account. If you need something that saves on time and money crochets are for you. On the other hand, if you need a style that lasts long, a beautiful investment piece, a weave is the path you need to take. Mix them up, try them both, every season calls for a different style!