Hair weaves and extensions have come a long way since their debut in the fashion-forward, "swinging '60's." The most skillful installations are practically undetectable to all but the most trained eyes. One popular technique, the crochet, or latch hook weave, is a strand-by-strand method that uses non-wefted, or "bulk" hair extensions. A latch hook crochet tool attaches individual strands to cornrow-braided natural hair. It can be done with several types of hair, but the right kind depends on the look you want and how much maintenance you're willing to commit to the weave.
Human Extension Hair
Although expensive, human hair that has never been processed is the best for any weave. This "virgin hair" has the outer cuticles both intact and aligned in one direction. Unprocessed hair usually comes without the excessive tangles and potential problems of abused and damaged hair. It is sold as "remy" or "virgin remy" hair. The catch is you'll need to maintain a careful maintenance regimen that includes regular deep conditioning to protect the investment.
Synthetic Blended Extensions
Synthetic hair is the official term for man-made fibers that mimic human hair. Partially synthetic blends with at least 5 to 10 percent human hair are also available. The price is less than real hair, but synthetic hair will not last more than two to four weeks. It's a good choice if you're experimenting with a new look or just trying a temporary change. It's also vital to get synthetic hair with texture you like; using a heat styling tool on it will usually cause the fibers to melt.
Curly or Wavy Textures
If you are going to add curly or wavy hair with the latch hook technique, position the strands at least one eighth to one quarter of an inch apart along your braids. Any closer together than that will create a bulky look that is unappealing and unnatural. If you don't like the look, it's easier to add additional strands than remove surplus ones.
When you add straight hair with the latch hook technique, your strands will need to be positioned close together to create a seamless, realistic look. You will also need to purchase several packs of hair. Two or three packs are normally adequate for the more common sewn weave (regardless of texture). It isn't unusual to require at least four packages to eliminate gaps in a latch hook weave for straight hair.