after my box braids came out around the first of the month, i played around with twistouts for about a week and a half since i decided i will allow myself up to 2 weeks between braids/twists to play in my hair (and use up the billions of products in my stash). during that time, i tried HE hydralicious, which i purchased while in box braids (what? it was on sale!) and hadn't gotten a chance to use. i liked it, but need to use it again to get a definitive evaluation. while in my braids, i was perusing LHCF when i came across BlackMasterPiece's thread about crochet braids and fell.in.love with this style! i knew i had to have it, but was unsure of when i would be able to install it...then there was that whole confidence thing about actually being able to do it. anyway, i walked into one of my local BSS's on february 15th to check out their kanekalon when i asked the sales lady, on a whim, if they carried freetress water wave bulk hair. unfortunately, she told me they stopped carrying it, so i went back to the regular braiding hair to pick up three packs of $1.99 braiding hair for senegalese twists. just as some $7.99 wavy braiding hair caught my eye, my mom entered and came over to where i was. coincidentally, she picked up a random pack of hair and asked me "why don't you get this?" lo and behold, she was holding a pack of blonde $9.99 freetress water wave...AFTER the lady told me they didn't have it! my jaw DROPPED, and i asked her where she got it, hoping that maybe they had a solid brown or something in that family. she shrugged and said it was laying on top of the rack, and i frantically searched to see if there were any other wayward packs while she asked at the front if they had more. she got the same answer (plus a shocked look) from the sales lady...and then a man came out from behind the counter and came over to where i was standing to look for more. he ended up finding TWO MORE packs, which was perfect since i was going to buy three packs of whatever i was getting anyway. i was concerned again with the color, since he had two blonde-ish packs and one that was T33, a black-and-red sort of combo. he then not only reassured me that they would blend nicely, but said the magic words: "i'll sell to you for a good price"! i looked at the $7.99 pack in my hand, asked him what price, and he offered to sell me them for $6.99 a pack. i looked at my mom for her opinion on the colors, and she told me they should be fine, although she then admitted she knows nothing about "fake hair", her term for everything from half wigs to kanekalon. i know i should have asked for $6 just to ensure i wouldn't feel bad if the colors looked crazy on me, but i wasn't thinking at this point and i simply said yes. that is the story of how i got my crochet braid hair...the rest is history.
well, not really...i guess there is more to the story. i shampooed my hair, DC'd with my new favorite, ion effective care intensive therapy treatment -- which really deserves its own post, blow dried my hair mostly straight so she wouldn't rip through it, and got my cousin to do my cornrows the next day since i didn't feel like it (and hers are tighter than mine). she didn't quite listen to my request for 16 straight back cornrows once she heard i was doing crochet braids and instead did 10 curved ones. there was also a glitch with my hook...my sister heard "crochet hook" and that's exactly what she gave me, claiming she couldn't find her latch hook. since the hair wouldn't stay on, i pulled a BMP (my term for doing what the thread author did) and used a bobby pin to install the hair. i was a bit concerned when the knots weren't tight since none of the youtube videos i watched (and trust me, i watched a TON) mentioned this, but i went forward...and eventually, it didn't seem to matter: the hair stayed in and ended up looking great. also, the fact that she did curved braids seemed to work out better, since i don't have that "driveway", as one youtuber called it, running down the middle of my head where the hair is parted and falls on its own. i split ALL my braiding hair into 3 sections instead of just the hair on the sides, gelling each piece like BMP did, but with matrix biolage gelee (glycerin free, as recommended), and ended up saving myself a whole pack-and-some-change...i only used a pack and a half in the end, so i have enough left over to do this style again with these colors! what's even better is the guy at the BSS was right, and these colors look great together. i felt so relieved when i realized it, and noticed he wasn't just trying to make a sale. i will admit i added too much in the beginning on one side, but it wasn't anything a pair of scissors couldn't fix. hopefully maintenance will be as easy as people have said and it will last me closer to the 6 week end of the spectrum...i have LOTS of gel at my disposal, as well as lots of braid spray and conditioner (i do think i will attempt cowashing around week 4). i also got the idea last night to pull a Nichi (it's a shame how i refer to styles/techniques by the LHCF user i got the idea from, lol) and cut the hair shorter once it starts to lose steam.
now that the hair is in, i have gotten quite a few compliments...one from my cousin who put the cornrows in (her words: "that didn't turn out half bad", which is as close to a compliment as she can give, lol), another from my ex's mother (who asked me a million questions before deciding that she wants me to do her hair like this for the summer) and even one from my anti-fake-hair mother, who was so impressed that when i told her i was ordering more hair this weekend (hairsisters had an amaaaaazing weekend dash sale, where all their freetress bulk hair was $4.60 a pack), she asked me to pick up two packs for HER so she can wear her hair like this! this style is definitely a keeper...glad i am building my style arsenal and looking flyy while doing it!