Cornrows: Woman at AfroPunk with hair in cornrow braids with sunflowers placed throughout her hair.

4 Things Women with Natural Hair Need to Know About Cornrows

Still don’t know your cornrows from your French plaits? Don’t worry. Read our essential guide to discover everything you need to know about cornrow braids, here.

Cornrow looks are a type of flat plait that originates from Africa and the Caribbean. As you may have guessed, the name comes from their appearance, similar to rows of cane or corn. It can be confusing when the terms cornrows, canerows and more recently, boxer braids, are used so interchangeably. But there’s really no need to panic. They’re basically all the same thing.

Let’s be honest, sifting through a copious amount of braid pics on the Internet to figure out what exactly cornrow styles are (or what makes them different from a French braid) can lead to a lot of confusion.

And if you’re still unsure, don’t worry. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about cornrow braids and answer all the questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

Your definitive guide to cornrow hairstyles is just a scroll away…

1. Why is everyone talking about them?

Even though cornrow braids aren’t a brand new hairstyle, they’ve definitely gained new popularity with A-listers and fashionistas. The likes of Kim Kardashian and crew, Hailey Baldwin, singers Katy Perry, FKA Twigs, and Rita Ora are all devotees of cornrow hairstyles.

TRESemmé Firm Hold Hairspray_front image_400ml_product image

Keep your braids neat with a bit of TRESemmé Firm Hold Hairspray. This will keep the flyaways at bay and allow your cornrows to last longer.


2. How to style them

woman with straight-back cornrows
Source: Unsplash

We know cornrow hairstyles can look a little bit daunting, but don’t let their appearance intimidate you. It’s easier than you think! In fact, it’s closely related to the Dutch braid.

To create the style, start by taking one to two inches of hair from the top and divide it into three parts. Take the right section and cross it underneath the middle one, then do the same with the left section.

Now pick up hair from the sides, adding them to your strands before repeating the weaving process. Keep doing this until you reach the ends of your hair and secure with a hairband. Remember not to leave any hair in the middle. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a standard Dutch braid instead.


3. Can cornrows harm your hair?

woman with cornrows hairstyle
Source: Adobe Stock

Not at all! It can actually be good for your hair. Good news: this hairstyle is a great option if you’re looking for a protective ‘do and can create a beautiful braid out.

Just remember to be gentle with your tresses and not to make your plaits too tight, as you don’t want to end up with a tension headache or even worse, hair loss!

Dove Intensive Repair Treatment Mask_front image_200ml_product image

Keep your tresses strong with a strengthening and repairing hair care system. We love using the Dove Intensive Repair Deep Treatment Mask every wash day. Formulated with Nutri-Keratin Actives, this product will ensure that your hair is strong and healthy, perfect for cornrows.


4. Should you try it?

Cornrows: Woman at AfroPunk with hair in cornrow braids with sunflowers placed throughout her hair.
There’s no limit to the styling capabilities on cornrows. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

The short answer is yes! This braid is a low-maintenance, practical, and durable style that works on a variety of hair lengths and types.

It’s also a hairstyle that allows for a lot of individuality: you can opt for chunky, pigtail cornrows, play around with multiple rows, or bravely experiment with different partings and shapes. Now, the real question is: will you try them out this season?


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