Can You Use Crochet Hair for Braiding?

Are you intrigued by the world of versatile and creative hairstyles? Crochet hair and traditional braiding are two popular methods that offer a wide range of styling options. However, if you’ve ever wondered if you can use crochet hair for braiding, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll explore the key distinctions between crochet hair and braiding, helping you understand their unique characteristics.

While crochet hair involves attaching extensions using a crochet needle, traditional braiding requires weaving natural hair and extensions together. Understanding the differences and similarities between these two techniques is essential for choosing the right style that suits your preferences and hair goals.

Additionally, we’ll delve into a fascinating hybrid style known as “crochet braids with a braided base,” which combines elements of both methods, offering a versatile and protective hairstyle. So, if you’re curious about the possibilities of these techniques, keep reading to learn more about using crochet hair for braiding.

Understanding Crochet Hair

Crochet hair is a technique that involves attaching pre-made hair extensions to a person’s natural hair using a latch hook or crochet needle. This technique gained significant popularity due to its versatility, allowing for a wide range of hairstyles. Here’s a brief overview of crochet hair:

Crochet Hair Types

Crochet Braids: In crochet braids, individual braids, twists, or locs are created by looping the extensions through cornrow braids on the person’s scalp.This method offers a protective style and is known for its low maintenance.

Crochet Twists: Crochet twists involve twisting the extensions onto the natural hair, creating a twisted look. This style mimics natural hair texture and is often chosen for a more natural appearance.

Crochet Locs: Crochet locs are similar to crochet twists but provide a loc or dreadlock look. This style offers a unique and fashionable appearance.

Benefits of Crochet Hair

  • Versatile styling options: Crochet hair allows for a wide variety of hairstyles, from braids to twists to faux locs.
  • Low maintenance: Once installed, crochet hairstyles are relatively low maintenance, making them an excellent choice for busy individuals.
  • Protective style: These hairstyles protect the natural hair from environmental factors, reducing damage and promoting hair growth.
  • Easy installation: Crochet hair is relatively easy to install, and it doesn’t require extensive styling expertise.

Exploring Braiding

Braiding, on the other hand, is a classic hairstyling technique that involves weaving or interlacing three or more strands of hair together to create intricate patterns. This technique has been around for centuries and is known for its durability and timeless beauty. Here’s an overview of braiding:

Types of Braiding

Box Braids: Box braids are small, square-shaped braids created by parting the hair into sections and braiding each section with extensions. They are a popular choice for protective styling.

Cornrows: Cornrows are small, tight braids that lie flat against the scalp. They are a classic choice for protective styling and can be styled in various patterns.

French Braids: French braids are created by adding hair to a central braid as you move along the scalp. They are elegant and versatile.

Benefits of Braiding

  • Durability: Braided hairstyles can last for several weeks, making them a long-lasting option.
  • Natural look: Braids can look incredibly natural, especially when using extensions that match your hair texture.
  • Low maintenance: Once braided, these styles require minimal upkeep.
  • Scalp Protection: Braided hairstyles provide protection to the scalp and natural hair.

Crochet Hair vs. Braiding: What Sets Them Apart?

While crochet hair and braiding both offer excellent protective styling options, there are some key differences between the two techniques:

Attachment Method

  • Crochet Hair: Crochet hair extensions are attached to the hair by looping them through cornrow braids on the scalp, making use of a latch hook or crochet needle.
  • Braiding: Braids involve weaving natural hair and extensions together to create a seamless look. The extensions are integrated into the braid structure.

Styling Versatility

  • Crochet Hair: Crochet hair offers a broader range of styling options, including twists, locs, and other creative styles. The installation process is less time-consuming compared to traditional braiding.
  • Braiding: While braiding offers versatility in terms of patterns and styles, it generally doesn’t provide the same variety as crochet hair. Traditional braiding styles like box braids, cornrows, and French braids are common.

Installation Time

  • Crochet Hair: Installing crochet hair is typically quicker than braiding because the extensions are looped through the cornrows, requiring less time and effort.
  • Braiding: Traditional braiding methods can be time-consuming, especially for intricate styles like micro braids or box braids.

Natural Hair Exposure

  • Crochet Hair: With crochet hair, the natural hair remains concealed underneath the extensions, providing complete protection against environmental factors.
  • Braiding: Braided styles expose a portion of the natural hair, which can be a concern in extreme weather conditions or for individuals looking for maximum protection.

Can You Use Crochet Hair for Braiding?

The big question remains: Can you use crochet hair for braiding? In most cases, the answer is no. Crochet hair and braiding are two distinct techniques with different attachment methods and styling outcomes. Attempting to use crochet hair for traditional braiding may lead to less-than-ideal results. However, there are some exceptions and creative approaches where elements of both techniques can be combined.

Crochet Braids with Braided Base

One way to incorporate elements of braiding into crochet hair is by using a braided base. In this method, you create small cornrow braids on the scalp, similar to the foundation for traditional braiding styles like box braids or cornrows. Then, you attach crochet hair extensions to these braids using the crochet technique. This creates a style known as crochet braids with a braided base.

Steps to Create Crochet Braids with a Braided Base:

Prepare the Hair: Wash, condition, and detangle your natural hair before starting the process.

Cornrow the Base: Create small, neat cornrow braids on your scalp in the desired pattern. The number of braids and the size of the sections will depend on the final look you want to achieve.

Attach Extensions: Use a crochet needle to attach the crochet hair extensions to the cornrow braids. Make sure the extensions are securely fastened.

Style as Desired: Once the extensions are attached, you can style the crochet hair as you would with traditional crochet styles.

Pros of Crochet Braids with a Braided Base

  • Combines the best of both worlds: You get the durability and natural look of braiding with the styling versatility of crochet hair.
  • Quick installation: This method is faster than traditional braiding, making it a time-efficient option.

Cons of Crochet Braids with a Braided Base

  • Requires some braiding skills: You need to be proficient in cornrowing to create a solid base for the crochet hair.

Choosing Between Crochet Hair and Traditional Braiding

When deciding between crochet hair and traditional braiding, it ultimately comes down to your preferences and hair goals. Here are some factors to consider:

Crochet Hair Might Be a Better Choice If:

  • You want a wide range of styling options and like to switch up your look frequently.
  • Low maintenance is a priority for your busy lifestyle.
  • You prefer a protective style that fully conceals your natural hair.

Traditional Braiding Might Be a Better Choice If:

  • You want a specific braided pattern or style that cannot be achieved with crochet hair.
  • You appreciate the natural look and feel of traditional braiding techniques.
  • You are not concerned about the time it takes for installation.

Maintenance Tips for Crochet Hair and Braiding

Regardless of whether you choose crochet hair or traditional braiding, proper maintenance is essential to keep your hairstyle looking its best and to protect your natural hair. Here are some maintenance tips for both techniques:

Maintenance Tips for Crochet Hair

  • Keep your scalp clean: Use a dry shampoo or diluted shampoo to cleanse your scalp without disturbing the crochet hair extensions.
  • Moisturize your natural hair: Spray a leave-in conditioner or water on your natural hair to keep it hydrated.
  • Protect your hair at night: Use a satin or silk bonnet or pillowcase to prevent friction and maintain the style.
  • Avoid excessive tension: Make sure the crochet hair extensions are not too tight to prevent stress on your natural hair.
  • Regular touch-ups: As your natural hair grows, you may need to revisit your stylist for maintenance and to ensure that the crochet extensions are secure.

Maintenance Tips for Traditional Braiding

  • Keep your scalp clean: Wash your scalp and braids regularly to prevent buildup and itching.
  • Oil your scalp: Apply a lightweight oil or braid spray to your scalp to keep it moisturized.
  • Protect your hair at night: Use a satin or silk bonnet or scarf to prevent friction and maintain the style.
  • Avoid excessive tension: Ensure that your braids are not too tight to prevent damage to your natural hair and scalp.
  • Retouch your edges: If you have small braids around your edges, be sure to retouch them to keep your style looking neat.


Can I use crochet hair for braids?

No, you cannot use crochet hair for traditional braids. However, you can create a style known as “crochet braids with a braided base” that combines elements of both techniques.

Is crochet hair the same as braiding hair?

No, crochet hair and braiding hair are not the same. Crochet hair refers to a technique where extensions are looped through cornrow braids, while braiding hair is used in traditional braiding to create various styles.

What are the disadvantages of crochet braids?

Some disadvantages of crochet braids include the potential for hair tangling, the need for regular maintenance to prevent frizz, and the possibility of discomfort if the extensions are too tight.

Can you use crochet braids for box braids?

Crochet braids are not typically used for traditional box braids. However, you can create a box braid look by using the crochet technique with specialized box braid extensions.


In the world of hairstyling, crochet hair and braiding are both popular choices for achieving protective and stylish looks. While they have their differences, they each offer unique benefits and are suitable for various preferences and hair goals. While you cannot use crochet hair for traditional braiding, you can create a hybrid style known as 

crochet braids with a braided base to combine elements of both techniques.

Ultimately, the choice between crochet hair and traditional braiding depends on your styling preferences, lifestyle, and the look you want to achieve. Whether you opt for crochet hair, traditional braiding, or a fusion of both, proper maintenance is key to keeping your hairstyle looking fabulous and protecting your natural hair.

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