DIY Genie Locks/Yarn Braids Protective Style

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Summer is here, and the area I live in gets extremely humid. Frankly, I’d just like to enjoy the summer with less effort in my hair, I don’t want to worry about frizz or rain or anything else messing it up, and it also needs a break from all the heat styling. So I decided to try yarn braids for the first time.
I’ve heard that these braids can last up to two months, that you can wash them in the shower (although they will get heavy and absorb water) and you can get touch ups easily. I will say that this hairstyle was actually extremely cheap, as the recommended yarn is acrylic, and i used the cheapest I could find.

So the first thing I did was wash my hair, let it air dry, and I didn’t put any product in it. Some people prefer to put gels or hair cremes in, but I was worried about my hair sticking to the yarn and getting matted, if I want to leave it in for a long time.
Then I gathered three colors of yarn, bright green, grass green, and black, to braid my hair.


The picture of yarn I used was overkill, for the amount I needed. I did box braids with three strands (one of each color).

Then I had to section my hair and brush it out to get ready to test my first box braids with yarn.


To see if I would get the length I want, I grabbed a string of yarn, folded it, and basically eyeballed about the length I wanted. You want your yarn to be longer than your actual hair, by far, this was a mistake I made later by putting the yarn length too close to my hair length. Cut the first string at the length you want, then use it to measure the rest of your string. You can use more than three strings, I used three, but make sure that they are in multiples of three, since braids are done in three sections. Also, cut an extra piece to help you measure the rest if you used extra


To make it into an extension, wrap it around your braid in two parts, using your hair as the third part of the braid. Braid it this way all the way down until your natural hair gets too thin to keep braiding this way, or ends.


Split the rest of your yarn strings into three and continue braiding down as far as you can go.


Knot the end, by wrapping the longest piece of your yarn around the end. It’s better to have two knots than one, if you can.


Cut off all the hanging pieces above the knot. Optionally, you can burn the ends and crush it into a small tube. I was not very good at this and it didn’t stick together, so for the rest of the braids I just cut below the knot and it looked just as good.


If you like the length you found, you can go ahead and cut multiple strands (this will save you so much time) in that length of each color.


Although an “overbraid” looks better, I used the “underbraid” braiding pattern, which I’m much faster at. You can see the difference between the two in this picture, underbraid on the left, overbraid on the right.


Continue this way throughout your hair, and feel free to wash it. This style will not stay in as well for people with straight hair, the less straight your hair is, the more it will cling. Also, you can do touch ups by taking out individual braids and redoing them from time to time. This hairstyle was actually surprisingly light, I didn’t feel any extra weight on my head at all.


Use whatever colors you like, The bright green I picked turned out to glow in blacklight, a lot of neon yarns will do this. Experiment and see what you like, larger braids, smaller braids, different colors, etc. For a more natural look you can use natural hair colors instead.