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Are Crochet Braids Just Weaves in Disguise?

Are Crochet Braids Just Weaves in Disguise? (
Photo courtesy of Global Couture

For many of us, going natural was a personal statement of self-acceptance.  It was a commitment to getting rid of harmful chemicals in your hair regime, and living a life where your natural hair and health were priority.  We looked society’s Eurocentric beauty standards in the face and said, “Nah boo!”and as a result, our self-esteem skyrocketed!

We realized that part of that commitment meant getting rid of weaves and wigs and anything that is not  naturally OURS.  We went natural and rocked our tresses in all their kinky, curly glory.  However, now it seems we are going back to the weaves again.  No, not the straight kinds, the kinky kinds.

The Crochet Craze
I have noticed this trend of crochet braids taking over the natural hair community.  It involves a technique I am very familiar with,since back in the 90’s I wore this style often. Back then, it was called “Latch Hook.”  The style is created by cornrowing your hair, then latching or weaving hair extensions through the braids – similar to a sew-in technique only the tool used for crochet braids is different.

Many naturals are doing this style using natural textured hair (like Marley Hair) to create fuller natural looking styles.  However, what I notice most is that the style is being used to create the illusion that your hair is longer than it really is.  This made we wonder about this new style craze and ask some questions.

Where is the self-Acceptance?
What is it about this new style that has everyone ready to try it?Are we obsessed with #longhairdontcare, hang-time, and the search for the perfect curl?  Are we repeating a dangerous cycle with this style?  First, we hide our true hair texture with relaxers,and now we are hiding our true length with extensions.

Are we trading a deeper sense of self-acceptance for another weave, even if it is a natural hair weave? Have we lost sight of the true end goal with going natural – healthy hair no matter what its length?

It seems like we are searching for what does not come naturally to us again – we are searching for longer hair instead of accepting what we have, working with it, and letting our hair journey happen in its own time.  Maybe we need more patience while our hair grows.  Maybe we need to be reminded that good hair is healthy hair – not necessarily long hair.

It Takes Patience
This is what happens when you go natural for fashion instead of self-acceptance. Going natural is about letting go of the illusion that hair must be a certain texture, color, or length in order to be acceptable and beautiful.  Let us not fall back into the idea that beautiful hair must be long hair.

This is NOT about throwing shade to women who rock a mean crochet braided style! I understand the desire to speed along the process of growing your hair, and I know what it is like to desire long hair or just a new trendy style.  This article is to help us think more about our motivations for certain styles.  This article was written to prevent a sad and damaging hair history from repeating itself.

Rest in the knowledge that your hair IS growing…at its own pace.  Accept this and put the latch hook and Marley hair away!

What do you think think ladies? Is it about a lack of self-acceptance or just a style change “whats the big deal?” Weigh in below. 

Contributor, Jane Lorraine, created Honoring Our HAIRitage as a platform to tell our own story, re-frame the negative messages about natural hair, and spread a more positive view of African American beauty by starting with understanding our history.

Check out A Lengthy Story: Which Hair Extensions Are Right for You?
by Katelyn Said at Mode


Leave a Reply


  1. March 15, 2015 / 6:56 pm

    Who realized going natural meant leaving wigs and weaves behind? That's a mighty big assumption, when I went natural 12 years ago I decided to stop using perms. That's all!

    My hair was never healthy using perms and it was never my personal choice to have my hair permed in the first place.

    Black women, have always adorned our hair with beads, hair and beautiful cornrows. I think it has a huge cultural significance. And wigs and weaves are just an extension of that. My personal opinion they are not going anywhere and will always be a viable alternative hairstyle.

    • March 16, 2015 / 1:00 am

      I think some naturalists have gotten a lol carried away with themselves….

  2. March 16, 2015 / 12:58 am

    Here we go more opinions about what people should do with their own hair. I went natural 4 years ago to get away from chemically straightening my hair, but I flatiron when I feel like it. I wear it wash and go when I feel like it , and crochet when I feel like it. It's my hard my choice. Now don't you start mandating how a person can be natural, weave wearers are often natural free from chemical straighteners. Oh and by the way I had a perfectly fine self image before I went natural and I still have one. You all are still trying to make it all about the hair and didn't India Arie say " I'm more than my hair?" Back up and take a minute to think about what you all are saying. A woman can only have,a healthy self image and love herself as long as she wears her hair in afro or natural twists or twist outs?? Still sounds like judging if you as me and isn't that what we are supposed to be getting away from??

  3. August 24, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    To each his own … Being natural is time consuming for some of us who simply don't believe in putting a chemical that can burn through a soda can on our heads that means that we have to look for alternatives

  4. February 7, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Totally agree with the article

  5. February 7, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Totally agree with the article