Cornrow hairstyles: Styling ideas and hair inspiration

You a bit of a cornrows hair-fanatic? Feel like give your 'do a fresh and fashionable twist? Then you're in the right place because we've got some really inspirational cornrow hairstyles!

Cornrow styles have long had the ability to transform your look, whatever your hair type. So it comes as no surprise to us that now, cornrow braid styles are being seen on the heads of A-list celebrities (both on and off the red carpet), all over Instagram, and on the most exclusive fashion week runways.

So whether you’re dying to get some of the edgiest and coveted cornrows, hairstyles inspired by the fashion pack, or simply just love the practicalness of a cornrow hairstyle, simply read on and discover how you can create our fave cornrow styles ahead! Trust us: by rocking one of these protective, sleek, and stylish ‘dos, you’ll earn more than a few style points.

Cornrow: Styles to inspire


Cornrows styles: Young black woman with red cornrows hairstyle and hooped earrings
Cornrow hairstyle with different braid sizes and shapes. Credit: Allyson Alapont.

Various shapes and sizes

Have coily, kinky or afro hair, and after a protective hairstyle that won’t let you down? Then this cornrow hairstyle may just be your new BFF.

This versatile style is all about rocking variously sized and shaped cornrows. And did we mention, it will keep your ends safely tucked away and it requires less styling on a day-to-day basis? Basically every lazy girl’s dream, right?

cornrows braid styles: young white woman with cornrows in the middle of her head
Elegant cornrows. Credit:

Elegant cornrows

Now, you may be thinking that cornrow hairstyles are a little too edgy to be worn in an elegant and sophisticated manner – but just one look at this half-up, half-down cornrow ‘do from the Marchesa runway, and all your doubts will melt away!

To get the look at home, start by prepping your strands with a moisturising leave-in conditioner, like the TIGI S Factor Papaya Leave-In Moisture Spray. Then, using a comb, neatly separate the front of your hair into five sections. Begin tightly French braid each of these sections, until you have reached halfway down the back of your head, before securing them with clear hair elastics. Now all you have to do, is pair it with a set of dazzling droplet earrings and you’re ready for even the swankiest of soirees!

cornrows hairstyles: young black model from the Valentino Fashion with a braided bun
Cornrow bun. Credit:

Cornrow bun

Is your go-to hairstyles a simple bun? Well, if you want to upgrade your everyday updo, why not try incorporating some cornrows into it? We spotted this nifty updo on the Valentino runway a while back, and honestly, it’s become a favourite among the All Things Hair team!

To recreate this look, simply divide your hair into sections (we suggest between 5-7 sections, depending on how small you want your cornrows to be), before weaving a French braid into each portion of hair. Once you reach the crown of your head, temporarily secure your braid with a hair clip. Once you have braided your entire head, release each section and bring your loose strands together to form a bun shape, securing it in place with a hairband and some bobby pins, if necessary.

Tip: Love this hairstyle, but want to take it to a whole new level? Then get extra creative and try working this ‘do into some super cute space buns! Psst: you could even throw a sprinkling of glitter into the mix, too.

cornrow hairstyles: side view of a woman with cornrows hair accessoies
Accessorised cornrows. Credit:

Accessorised cornrows

While cornrows can instantly add tonnes of extra interest to any look, we understand that some of you simply can’t do without bringing some added bling to your style. Which is why, you’ll be pleased to hear, that they are also the ideal canvas to rock some glittering hair accessories!

But if you’re struggling for ideas, try drawing inspiration from above and add a pretty, hair accessory to your side cornrows.

cornrow styles: the black view of a young woman with chunky cornrow braids
Chunky cornrows. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Chunky cornrows

Looking for a pretty and practical hairdo that won’t take ages? Then chunky, big cornrows are definitely the way to go! They are also the perfect type of braid for fitness enthusiasts.

And if you’re a keen swimmer or a cyclist, then you’ll be happy to know that these cornrow braids easily fit underneath a swimming cap or helmet (as proven by British gold medalist Laura Trott). Super versatile and velodrome-worthy – what more could you want from a hairstyle?


Loved these stylish cornrows. Braid styles and #hairspiration doesn’t need to end here! Why not impress all your friends with your braiding know-how and read our ultimate guide to cornrows?