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21 Crochet Hairstyles to Inspire Your Next Protective Look

All the inspo you'll ever need.


Naturalistas know that when it comes to protective styles, the options just keep getting better. Protective natural styles are popular for a reason: They allow you to wear your hair in a myriad of ways without the need for hot tools, which can cause damage, breakage, and weak strands if over-used. One of the most gorgeous ways to rock a protective style is with a crochet hairstyle. Crochet hairstyles are created with crochet braids, a special method of braiding that adds extensions to the hair. Crochet hair can be worn straight, braided, twisted, or curly, and can last up to eight weeks if cared for properly. Yes, eight whole weeks. They're the most practical protective style of the bunch because they require the least amount of upkeep. Perhaps that's why crochet hair has been favored by busy celebs like Issa Rae, Lupita Nyong'o, and Solange Knowles, with each woman rocking her own chic, unique look. Check out the most popular styles on Instagram, below, then bring this article to your stylist.

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1 Cornrows and Waves
pasadena, ca   february 11  actress issa rae attends the 48th naacp image awards at pasadena civic auditorium on february 11, 2017 in pasadena, california  photo by jason laverisfilmmagic
Jason LaVerisGetty Images

Celebrity hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood created the perfect crochet half-up, half-down look on Issa Rae for the 2017 Image Awards. To adopt this stunning style yourself, start by cornrowing the crown of your hair up into an off-center bun. Finish with crocheted-in waves.

2 The Perfect Twist Out

Bet you didn't realize this was a crochet look at first glance. Achieve the perfect twist out while giving your natural hair a rest with this braid-free crochet style.

3 Braided Half-Up Look

Reimagine classic cornrows by incorporating crocheted twist into your look. Play up your style even more by accessorizing with cuffs and beads.

4 Bold Curls

Show up as your boldest self with this face-framing, voluminous crochet style. Fluff up your curls from the top of your head for even more drama.

5 Half-Up Curls

Keep it classic with this half-up, half-down hairstyle. For an undetectable look, keep the crown of your natural hair exposed so it seamlessly blends into your ponytail.

6 Tapered Cut

Behold, the perfect cut: A dreamy tapered silhouette and ringlets, complete with beautiful gradient light-to-dark-brown color. Chances are, you'll want to keep this style for the long haul.

7 Burgundy Curls

Incorporate a bold burgundy shade into your next crochet look. For an extra fluffy curly fro, apply additional pieces of crochet hair to the crown and tease the strands from the root.

8 Copper-Toned, Side-Swept Curls

New to crochet styles? Try a cascade of coppery ringlets this fall with this beginner-friendly crochet style. Play with the part to change up the look.

9 Voluminous Ringlets

Complement your big, voluptuous curls with golden highlights. Keep your ringlets super defined like this photo, or comb through them for a carefree, imperfect curl. The style options are endless.

10 Ombré Goddess Locs

Skip the long hours at the salon and go the crochet route to add your goddess locs. This is the perfect way to experiment with locs without enduring the tedious install process.

11 Crochet Curly Fro

Craving big volume? No problem. Try this mesmerizing, face-framing crocheted curly fro as your next protective style. Part it down the side, middle, or let your curls hang freely. After all, the beauty of crochet hairstyles is the versatility.

12 Curly Crochet Low-Ponytail

Protect the ends of your natural hair with a low-maintenance, tucked-back style. Then take your pony volume to the next level by incorporating a curly crochet style. It's a win-win hair situation.

13 Face-Framing Curls

Try a free-flowing look like these shoulder-length curls and brush them out to shape the style. Keep this curly 'do up for the long haul by sleeping in two strand twist or flexi rods.

14 Free-Flowing, Natural Curls

If you like undone and carefree curls, replicate this style. To add a little height to your hair, look for springy, bouncy curls when buying your crochet hair, like this extensions brand. Then, use a wide tooth comb like this Revlon Perfect Styling Comb Set For Thick & Curly Hair to tease each curl for extra volume.

15 Extra-Long, Shaggy Curls

Here's proof that crochet hair has the ability to gift you with goddess-level curls. Warning: this style takes hours and hours of sitting, but it's obviously worth the wait. Part your hair into tiny sections and braid a couple inches down, stopping prematurely at the root. Brush out your hair for these effortless, shaggy-looking curls.

16 A Shapely, Textured Bob

Adding shape and structure to your crochet curls can create a unique, fashion-forward look, like this face-framing style with chin-length curls and major dimension. Fluff up your curls with your hands to amp up the texture.

17 Honey-Highlighted Curls

Going for color is the easiest way to take your crochet style to the next level. Dress up your chocolate locks with honey highlights. This gorgeous photo is evidence your curls will catch the light and garner hundreds of Instagram likes.

18 Close-Cut Curls

Crochet curls look good at every length. If short hair is your style, rock a curly 'do like this—ringlets look even more defined with a short cut. As I mentioned above, color, like this eye-catching platinum hue, makes everything better. Be sure to consult a stylist on which shade will suit your skin tone the best.

19 Faux Dreadlocks

How gorgeous are these faux locs using crochet hair? If you're not sure about making a permanent commitment to dreadlocks, crochet hair lets you try out the look first. Faux locs are a beast to master on your own, though, so I recommend taking an inspiration photo like this to a salon that specializes in faux loc styles. A professional will know how to replicate this specific crochet method.

20 Wavy, Goddess Locs

There are so many things to love about this style. For one, this is another rendition of faux locs commonly known as "Goddess Locs," a wavier style. Second, the gradual blend from black-t0-brown-to-honey blonde is a stunning take on ombré. Add this to your saved hair collection on Insta ASAP if you haven't yet.

21 A Crochet Ponytail

As gorgeously proven, braided styles pair perfectly with crochet hair. Let your creative juices take over and experiment with cornrows and added embellishments like hair jewelry (try these gold cuffs and stretchy ribbon). Bring this look together with a curly crochet ponytail that adds extra volume.

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