Recently, one of our Yeluchi by Un-ruly clients (our mobile hairstyling service), interested in getting crochets, asked why someone would get crochets over a weave. Funny enough I had been thinking the same thing not too long ago, given the continuous popularity of crochets. (Here’s everything you need to know about crochet braids in case it’s useful).
Some Background on Crochets and Weaves
Both crochets and weaves are ways of adding hair extensions to your own hair. (Note: “crochet braids” is a misnomer because it really refers to the method of adding hair, versus the actual hair, also crochet braids can be straight or curly and not necessarily braids.) In both methods, your own hair is braided down and extensions are added by securing them to the braids.
The main difference between the two methods lies in how the extensions are added. With the crochet method, loose hair is hooked (crochet means hook in French) onto a crochet needle, pulled under a cornrow, then knotted to keep it in place. (Here’s how to install crochet braids). Weaves, on the other hand, are extensions that are stitched together into a weft or track and then the track is sewn or woven onto your cornrows. Although the methods of attaching the extensions are different, the result is somewhat the same.
For a while crochets couldn’t hold a candle up to a weave because most people didn’t like the unnatural looking parts that come from having to knot the added hair. But thanks to the advent of the invisible part (AKA ‘knotless’ parts), you can get a natural-looking hairline using the crochet method, which along with the different types of crochet hair that’s now available, has put crochets on the same level as a weave install. So the question why would someone get a weave vs crochets or vice versa is now a poignant one.
Here’s what the two methods have to offer:
- Natural-looking textures: The crochet method is usually done with loose synthetic hair, like Kanekalon hair, which tends to have a closer resemblance to kinkier textures. For a while, kinky weave textures weren’t available, but the natural hair movement changed that. It also drove the development of a number of new crochet hair choices, like textures that resemble twisted-out natural hair.
- Affordable: because you’re using synthetic hair, the price of hair is generally pretty low. You could walk into some beauty stores and pick up straight Kanekalon hair for as little as $1.99/pack (and you’ll typically need five packs).
- DIY: the biggest advantage, I’d say, crochets have over weaves is the fact that they’re more DIY friendly. If you know how to cornrow, the hardest part is done. Looping hair through those cornrows is easy to get a hang of. Here’s a tutorial.
- Braided styles: another advantage crochets have over weaves is the fact that nowadays they’re a great way to cut time and tension from braided styles like box braids. With more hair manufacturers creating pre-braided or twisted styles, and with more people getting hip to the no cornrow method of crochets, crocheting your box braids is a legit way to get them done.
- Less tension and scalp access: these are two points in one, but I’m grouping them because I’m getting lazy. Crochets place less tension on your hair because you don’t have the added tension that can come from stitching in hair. You also have more access to your scalp than you would with a weave, since you’re likely not using a net with crochets (as is sometimes done with weaves) and you don’t have to braid as many braids in order to get a flatter look.
- Wider variety of textures: When it comes to weaves, texture options are limitless. Choices range from silky to kinky-straight to 4c curly hair and everything in between. Not to mention, you’ve got human and synthetic options.
- Pricier: weaves tend to be relatively more expensive; you can get affordable synthetic hair for as low as $15 a pack (and you’ll typically need 2 packs), but if you’re looking for quality hair that can be washed and reused, you’ll likely be spending in the hundreds.
- Better done by a stylist: You can install a weave yourself, but I don’t know that many people who’ve braved it 😅. It’s easy for a weave to look bad if it’s not laid correctly. It’s also pretty easy to stab yourself with the needle while sewing tracks into the back section of your head.
- Longevity: This is perhaps a bit subjective but weaves feel a bit more permanent and long-lasting, especially if you’re using human hair. A good weave can last eight weeks or longer if you take care of it properly, whereas I usually give crochets about four weeks.
Okay, so it looks like I’m biased towards crochets. I probably am. However, even though crochets have come up since their early ‘struggley’ start in the ’90s, I don’t think they’ll be replacing weaves anytime soon. They do, however, provide additional options for people or situations where a weave isn’t quite the best fit. If you’re trying to save both on hair and the install, crochets might be the choice for you. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, sleek investment piece, a weave might be more up your alley. Or if you just can’t decide, try both because you’re grown and you can 😉.