Woman with cornrows

45 Trending Cornrow Styles for Women in 2023 + A How-To

Craving a new cornrow hairstyle for this summer? A cornrow braid is a type of plait that is woven flat to the scalp in straight rows and has a raised appearance, resembling rows of corn or sugarcane (hence their apt name). Cornrows originate from Africa and the Caribbean and are a popular protective hairstyle for both men and women with natural hair. Depending on how they are installed and maintained, they can last anywhere from 2-8 weeks, making them a popular and low-maintenance hairstyle choice.

Even though cornrow braids aren’t a new hairstyle, they have definitely gained in popularity with A-listers like Alicia KeysZendaya and Zoë Kravitz all fans of the style.

Intrigued? Keep reading to discover the history of cornrow braids, learn how to do them with our easy video tutorial, and discover the best ways to wear them in 2023.

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What Are Cornrows?

Cornrows are tight, 3 strand braids that are braided close to the scalp. Their characteristic 3D look is created by weaving the strands under one another while also picking up hair from underneath.

Ruth Negga with cornrows in an updo
Cornrows are a centuries-old traditional braiding technique: Rex by Shutterstock

Cornrows are much more than a hairstyle, originating in Africa thousands of years ago (there’s evidence of them as far back as 3000 BC). Historically, braids have held a lot of meaning with different styles and patterns reflecting a person’s religion, relationship status and ranking within their community.

In 1979, American actress Bo Derek appeared in the film 10 with beaded cornrows, starting a trend for braids outside people of colour. More recently, Kim Kardashian-West wore cornrows and Fulani braids and attributed her hairstyle to Bo Derek, which many felt erased the rich African heritage of cornrows. This has led to lots of commentary and discussions about cornrows in mainstream media.

How To Cornrow Braid Your Hair

Want to know how to do cornrows on your own hair? We’ve got you covered with our easy cornrow tutorial.


Step 1. Wash your hair with the SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yoghurt Hydrate & Repair Shampoo and comb through to remove tangles.

Step 2. Section your hair to create a vertical row from front to back using a tail comb.

Editor’s tip: More sections equal smaller braids, larger sections will create bigger braids.

Step 3. Starting at the front of your row, take a small section of hair. Divide this small section into 3 equal pieces.

Step 4. Start the braid by crossing the left or right strand under the centre strand and then repeating with the outer strand from the other side.

Step 5. Next, repeat step 4, this time adding in additional hair to each side from underneath as you weave.

Step 6. Once you have no more hair to add from underneath, continue to do a traditional 3-strand braid until you reach the end of your hair.

Step 7. Seal off the ends with a knot or secure with an elastic.

Step 8. Repeat steps 2-7 until all of your hair is braided.

Step 9. Smooth edges with a toothbrush and the TRESemmé Freeze Hold Hairspray.

50 Hot Cornrow Hairstyles For 2023

Looking for your next look? Get inspired with the stylish cornrow hairstyles we’ve got on our radar for 2023.

Cornrow Ponytail

Woman with a cornrow ponytail with gold cuffs
Credit: Instagram.com/freshlengths

Want an easy way to wear cornrows for every day? Try styling them into a high ponytail and accessorise with gold cuffs if you’re feeling fancy.

Ghana Cornrows

Woman with Ghana-style cornrows
Credit: https://www.instagram.com/jasmeannnn/

Weave helps to create the signature thin to thick appearance of Ghana braids. Wear yours styled in an updo like this pretty ponytail for an everyday look.

Cornrow Braid Styles

Woman with double cornrow braided buns
Credit: Instagram.com/braided_

The best thing about cornrows? You can work them into cute styles. From braided ponytails to these sweet space buns, you’ll never get bored.

Fulani Braids

Person with fulani braids
Credit: Instagram.com/nsgalore

Fulani braids incorporate a variety of different designs and accessories, like beads and cuffs, so the combinations are endless!

Cornrow Wig

Woman wearing a red cornrow wig with gold cuffs
Credit: Instagram.com/kalariggins

If you’re afraid of committing to cornrows or just want a quicker alternative, a wig will do just the trick.

Side Cornrows

Woman with side cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/onlybells_

Side cornrows are the perfect all-occasions hairstyle for day to night and always look amazing.

Big Cornrows

Woman with very big and long dark straight back cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/unique_dandridge

Don’t have time to spend ages on your hair? Go for big cornrows, as they’re less time consuming and still super stylish.

Cornrow Updo

Woman with cornrows styled in an updo
Credit: Instagram.com/thelondoncurls

The cornrow updo is a go-to for naturalistas everywhere, keeping your hair up and out of your face.

Half-Up Cornrows

Woman with half up cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/uniqbraids

There are many different ways to style cornrows but this half-up half-down look is a popular go-to style, as it can be done in seconds.

Cornrows In A Bun

Woman with cornrow braids in a bun with gold cuffs
Credit: Shaquille Dunbar

If you thought you couldn’t style your hair once it’s in cornrows, think again. These versatile braids can be worn in a variety of hairstyles, like this chic high bun for example.

4 Cornrows

Woman with 4 cornrow braids
Credit: Instagram.com/lesharogers

You don’t need to spend hours in the salon chair to rock cornrows. This stylish 4 braid style looks great and takes less than half the time.

African Cornrows

Woman with long cornrow ponytail with beads
Credit: Instagram.com/protectivestyles

Give your braids a cool traditional twist with some African beading detail.

Cornrow Plaits

Jordyn Woods with dark and long cornrow plaits
Credit: Instagram.com/jordynwoods

If anyone is going to convince you to try cornrow plaits, it’s Jordyn Woods and her super sleek, glossy cornrows.

Feed In

Woman with feed in cornrows with gold thread details
Credit: Instagram.com/laiyhoward

Feed-in braids are a natural haired girl’s go-to for adding length and thickness.

Blonde Cornrows

Jasmine Sanders with blonde cornrows styled in a bun
Credit: Instagram.com/golden_barbie and

This classic cornrow style is super easy to do (you can even do it on yourself), and not best of all when you undo your braids, you’ll have gorgeous heat-free curls.

Half Cornrows

Woman with half cornrows with long, wavy loose weave
Credit: Instagram.com/arnell.armon

This half-done style offers you the best of both worlds, allowing you to show off your length in a cool and practical way.

Half Head Cornrows

Woman with half head cornrows into a sleek long ponytail
Credit: Instagram.com/paris.crusoe

Another hairstyle you can rock with half braids? This neat ponytail.

Two Cornrow Braids

Woman with two cornrow braids
Credit: Instagram.com/happycurlhappygirl

One of the most popular braid options, this is ideal for those looking for a quick and easy hairstyle they can whip up in the morning with minimal fuss.

Cornrow Hairstyles To The Side

woman with cornrows to the side
Credit: https://www.instagram.com/khatbrim/

From the laid baby hairs to the curly ends, this cornrows hairstyle is ticking all our hair boxes.

Cornrow Hairstyles With Beads

Woman with shoulder length cornrow hairstyle with beads
Credit: Instagram.com/ijeomakola

Give your cornrow hairstyles a Solange-approved edge with some beaded hair accessories.

Cornrow Kinky Twists Styles

Woman with burgundy cornrow kinky twists
Credit: Instagram.com/queenteshna

If you want a new look for the season, then this cornrow kinky twists hairstyle is just the look for you. It’s fun and can be worn in multiple ways.

Fancy Updo

Amandla Stenberg with low braided cornrow updo on the red carpet
Credit: Instagram.com/amandlasponsored

Whether it’s a wedding or a fancy dinner, you’ll fit in perfectly with this sophisticated cornrow updo. Don’t forget some glitzy earrings!

Fishbone Cornrow Hairstyles

Woman with fishbone cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/xcellentxtensions

If you like gorgeous and intricate braided styles, then this fishbone look is for you. While it might not be a hairstyle you can do on yourself, it’s well worth the time spent in the stylist’s chair.

Jumbo Cornrows With Extensions

Woman with long golden jumbo cornrow extentsions
Credit: Instagram.com/lolowood_

The bigger the braid, the better!

Mohawk Cornrow Styles

Woman with a cornrowed mohawk hairstyle
Credit: Instagram.com/adannalewahair

Take your look to new heights with an eye-catching mohawk and intricately braided sides.

Mohican Cornrow Hairstyles

Woman with mohican style cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/shellyafrikhair

In this example, this beauty has given her mohawk cornrows a boho feel with cool hair rings.

Red Cornrow Braids

Woman with red cornrows in half-up bun
Credit: Instagram.com/hausofbraids

Get creative with your cornrows by playing with different colours and for extra style points, try this beautiful half-up, half-down bun.

Tight Cornrows

Woman with tight side swept long cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/lipstickncurls

What’s great about these side-swept cornrows is how neat and sleek they look.

Tribal Cornrows

Woman with cornrow braided bun with beads and golden hair thread
Credit: Instagram.com/blackhairideas

We can’t help but fawn over this dazzling traditional cornrow hairstyle.

African Designs With Beads

Woman with medium length cornrows with beads
Credit: Instagram.com/niamonet.clark

Copy natural hair icons Solange and Zoë Kravitz by adding beads to the ends of your braids.

Cornrow Crown Braids

Cornrow crown hairstyle
Credit: https://www.instagram.com/naturalhairdoescare/

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Wear this cornrow crown braid for a special occasion like a wedding or birthday and you’ll be the best tressed in the room.

Cornrow Ponytail With Bangs

Woman with cornrow ponytail with side bangs
Credit: Instagram.com/nigerianbraids

Make your cornrow ponytail look oh-so-pretty with braided side bangs.

Cornrows With Singles In The Back

Woman with cornrows and long single plaits at the back
Credit: Instagram.com/cutelooksdar

When you mix cornrows with single braids, you get the dreamiest hairstyle ever.

Half Cornrows Half Afro

Woman with natural hair with half in cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/afrodite.hair_

Create a faux undercut effect by only braiding half of your hair and letting your natural curls shine.

Long Cornrows To The Side

Woman with long pink cornrows to the side
Credit: Instagram.com/vanessa_caixeiro
Thanks to Queen B (AKA Beyoncé), long cornrows to the side have become one of the hottest hairstyles to be spotted wearing and have even been dubbed Lemonade braids.


Karrueche with long cornrow micro braids
Credit: Instagram.com/e_scizorhands

These blonde micro cornrows are sure to be a hit amongst your friends and your followers. For the celeb touch add weave for extra length.

Pigtail Cornrows With Extensions

Woman with long pigtail cornrows with extensions
Credit: Instagram.com/kimmichellet
Who says long-haired ladies get to have all the fun? Even if you’re sporting short locks, you can totally get this cornrow hairstyle with the help of extensions.

Rihanna Cornrows

Rihanna with red straight-back cornrows
Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Rihanna’s hair is summer-ready. The icon wore these classic straight-back cornrows to a recent event, and we can’t get over them.

Side Cornrows With Weave

Woman with cornrows in swirled parts
Credit: Instagram.com/nanasbraids

Look extra fresh with this side cornrows with weave hairstyle. Adding weave will help to give your braids a fuller and longer finish that’s perfect for this style of braids.

Thick Extensions

Woman with thick and wavy cornrows with extensions
Credit: Instagram.com/braidsgang
Make cornrows even cooler with the addition of thick, wavy braiding extensions.

4 Layer Cornrows

Woman with long layered cornrows
Credit: Instagram.com/blackhairideas

These cornrows are so close to being box braids but are weaved differently.

Banana Cornrows

Woman with dark banana cornrows double bun updo
Credit: Instagram.com/vanessamatsena

This next-level double cornrow bun will make complete your party or festival outfit.

Cornrow Bun

Woman with brown hair in cornrows
Credit: indigitalimages.com

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!


Credit: Woman with brown hair in cornrows
Credit: Verity Jane Smith

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.

Various Shapes and Sizes

Woman with red hair in cornrows
Credit: Allyson Alapont

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?

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