Cornrow braids are no longer reserved for gangsta rappers and hip-hoppers with XXL baggy pants on. This braided hairstyle trend comes from Africa and it was long ago when it has reached numerous Hollywood stars. Because of this, there’s no wonder that they are increasingly seen on the streets. Stars like Jordin Sparks, Alicia Keys and Shakira have been wearing these trendy braids for a long time. Should you wear them too?
As mentioned before, cornrow braids have their origins in Africa, where people rely on a cool head even at record temperatures. In addition, this summer hairstyle is not only practical, but it also looks cool. At first, the cornrow look was approached by basketball players and rap musicians. However, it has quickly become a fashionable hit. So, now it is quite popular, especially among young people.
For cornrow braids fans, we have prepared lots of info about this hairstyle, how it’s done, who can wear it, for how long it can be worn, as well as other interesting facts! We have also included special tips for less-usual problems that may occur due to tight braiding. In addition, almost 200 photos of simple and complex braid patterns are included in this article.
General Considerations – Cornrow Braids
Cornrow braids come in countless patterns and styles. They have been around for many years and are protective hairstyles for African American women. From braided to twisted, thick to thin, colorful to monochrome, there are no limits to the creative options of cornrows.
When it comes to choosing hairstyles with cornrows, you have a lot of choices. If desired, synthetic hair can also be interwoven, increasing the durability of the cornrows. In addition, adding colorful beads or strings is also possible. There are also fantasy patterns that can be conjured upside down with cornrows. Moreover, depending on the wickerwork and skills of the hairdresser, cornrows may last up to two months. After washing the hair, however, the cornrows should only be dabbed dry.
Cornrows are equally popular among men and women. Also, even kids have or want to try cornrows, although the braiding of many plaits is not without pain. Especially if you have a sensitive scalp, you should think twice about weaving cornrows.
These hairstyles can last up to five hours to complete. First, the hair must be divided into the desired areas. Then the real work begins. What we mean is that each division must be braided. Even so, the hairdresser doesn’t create just one braid. Multiple braids are incorporated into each other. What important when it comes to cornrows, is for the scalp to remain visible and the braiding to be done very close to the scalp.
What are Cornrow Braids?
By cornrows is meant a hairstyle in which the hair is braided close to the scalp. After the starting point, more and more strands of hair are included and integrated into the braid. These plaits are also called cane rows in the Caribbean. This is because they look very similar to sugar canes. However, cornrows have very little to do with a corn field or sugar canes. They are rather a fashionable hairstyle, which enjoys a great popularity during the present times.
If, for example, the cornrows are braided up to the middle of the head while the remaining hair is left free, the hairstyle is known as half cornrows. In this regard, you can also weave half cornrows on one side of the head, thus simulating an undercut (fake undercut). Cornrows can be practically combined with other braiding techniques. Of course, the mixture can only be created by experienced hairstylists.
Types of Cornrow Braids
As with any hairstyle, cornrows also feature numerous elaborate patters. About classic, straight rows, you must know that individual braids are plaited from the front to the back. Dutch braids are included in this style. More specifically, those two braids worn by Kim Kardashian.
There are also braids in which synthetic hair is added. In this way, no hairline remains visible at the nape of the neck. Conversely, there is another cornrow style that highlights the knots as a special artistic element. So, before picking a pattern, you might also want to check out whether or not you’d like the knots to be visible.
Cherokee cornrows are also a thing! They are characterized by open ends. In other words, the hair is not braided until the ends of the hairs. You, together with the hairstylist can decide where the braiding should stop. This decision should be based on your natural hair length and your physical features, such as face shape.
Thick, sculptured cornrows are usually combined with elegant hairstyles (updos). In this case, synthetic hair is incorporated, using the knot-free technique. The latter confers a very natural look, which is usually more expensive that others.
As for designer cornrows, these are all about complex and fascinating patterns and feature a mixture of braids.
Do You Meet the Requirements?
In order to get cornrow braids all over your head, you don’t need really long hair. Since the hair is braided in the classic, three strand version, any hairstylist can work with chin-length hair. We are talking about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of hair. Even so, it is possible to braid 2 inches of hair. However, it can only be done in thin braids. That’s why many hairstylists add synthetic hair while braiding. In addition, synthetic hair is also useful to make the braids thicker and to thermally seal the ends. Conversely, without using artificial hair, the cornrows will only last for about 1 week.
Cornrows take all the hair away from your face, which means that all minor imperfections will be highlighted. Make sure to wear subtle makeup with this hairstyle!
Pro Tip: Think long-term about what’s to come in your future before getting cornrows. You do not want to remove this laborious and time-consuming weaving procedure after three days. So, whether it’s the Academy Awards ceremony, grandma’s 80th birthday or a job interview, think again briefly whether cornrows fit on all planned occasions or not.
How Long do Cane Rows Last?
The finer and more numerous the cornrows are, the longer the hairstyle will last. The weaving technique, the hairstylist’s experience, as well as the individual hair growth rate, all have an influence on the durability of this hairstyle.
The maximum wearing time is usually between 1 and 2 months. Afterwards, the cornrows are usually outgrown and look messy. This applies to cornrows braided without knots and with the help of synthetic hair.
The braids done without artificial hair should definitely last for several days. What matters is how closely and precisely the cornrows were braided. The more professional the braiding technique, the longer this cool hairstyle will last.
Step by Step Cornrow Braiding Instructions
When weaving cornrows, new strands of hair are always added to the braid so that they rest directly against the scalp. Depending on hair density, length and styling desire, this process can last a few hours. However, once you’re done, you will enjoy many sunny days while wearing this hairstyle.
1. Anyone who would like to try on this hairstyle needs skill and patience. First, the hair must be divided into individual strands. In preparation for more grip, they can be treated with dry shampoo or slightly moistened. The remaining hair is best kept aside, so that you can work in peace.
2. Now you start with the normal braiding process with three equal strands of hair. When braiding you take a new strand of hair over and over again. Make sure that you always tighten the braid in between, so that it fits close to the head at the end. But do not pull too hard, otherwise you’ll get cornrows with a headache! Add synthetic hair if you chose to work with it.
3. Braid as far as you want. Weaving complete braids is not a requirement.
4. Fix the ends with fine hair ties or seal them with heat.
Cornrow Braids – Is Pain Involved in the Process?
There is a rumor that it is painful to get cornrows and that this extravagant hairstyle harms your hair. You know how they say: if you want to be beautiful, you have to suffer for it. However, this is not the case of cornrows. Indeed, you might feel a slight tension in your scalp. Also, you might feel your scalp itchy. Even so, these are not problems without solution and they do not happen to anyone. Professionals who do this for a living will be able to braid your hair with patience, ensuring a painless experience.
Also, the assumption that cornrows harm your hair is just a stubborn rumor. On the contrary, in this artful form, your hair can recover perfectly from the rigors of daily styling. Not to mention the fact that these braids can be easily removed at any time.
Care for Your Cane Rows Properly
Braids, including cornrows and twists, are best washed in the shower. Use either a special shampoo for braids or, alternatively, a clear shampoo. The reason why we are recommending clear shampoos is because colored shampoos leave visible residue in the braids. Now, pour the shampoo in your hands and mix it with a little water. Do not apply the shampoo directly on your braids. Next, do not rub your braids with the mixture, but rather squeeze the braids together. That’s how the shampoo distribution works best. Give your hair a few minutes to soak in and then rinse it well. Also, keep in mind that washing once a week is enough. However, if you think it’s necessary, you can also wash your hair more often.
In order to remove most of the water absorbed by the braids, it is best to bend forward and wring out the braids thoroughly under the shower. Do not worry, that does not damage your hairstyle.
Next, we recommend using a large, absorbent towel to wrap all your braids in. If the towel is good, it will absorb a large part of the moisture. Once there’s no more water dripping from your braids, you can remove the towel. Natural hair drying is recommended.
Care for cornrows is best done with care sprays made especially for braids. These sprays care for hair and scalp, but are more important for dreadlocks and twists. Alternatively, a nourishing, light oil can be applied.
Your cornrows will stay in much longer is you protect them from friction. Therefore, at night, you should protect your hairstyle with the help of a silk pillowcase. This delays the erosion of your hair’s ends.
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Special Tips for Special Problems
Once we’ve got the caring part clear, now we must focus on special tips for special problems. In this regard, we will be referring to situations when your roots grow, when your scalp is itchy, whether or not the white dots you are seeing are dandruff, as well as what to do with loose hairs.
Grown out roots: After about a month, your cornrows may begin to look less tight. This is because your natural hair is growing. What you can do is to tie the plaits at the nape of your neck. In this way, you can recreate the initial look, at least optically.
Itchy scalp: This problem usually occurs when you try cornrows or other African-American style for the first time. This is because your scalp is in light tension and it is not used to it. In order to fix it, you can apply birch water on your scalp with the help of a cotton ball.
White dots: Since it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs every day and now they are stuck in the braids, you might notice white dots after a while. They may look like dandruff or scales, but if you look closely, you will see they are not. If you are really bothered by this, you can dye your roots with a washable hair color.
Loose hair tips: Unfortunately you cannot avoid the loosening of your braids. What you can do is to delay them by not washing your hair too often and sleeping on a silk pillowcase. Also, in case of short hair, this problem will be more pronounced. Although you might feel the urge to cut those hairs, do not! What you can do, however, is to use a crochet and pull them back into the braids.
Celebrities Love Cornrow Hairstyles
These tight-fitting braids made stars like Alicia Keys famous. She made cornrows popular with her music video “Fallin'”. Moreover, stars like Mel B, Beyonce, Shakira, Jada Pinkett Smith and Kylie Jenner are known for their typical fine braids. Meanwhile, this braided hairstyle is back and adorns the heads of even more international celebrities. For example, Cara Delevingne, Amanda Seyfried and Kendall Jenner prefer to wear a slight modification of the tightly braided plaits.
Many other celebrities try cornrows because they just think it’s cool. For example, model Heidi Klum had both her hair completely braided, and also walked on the red carpet with sideways braided cornrows. Moreover, we can’t skip mentioning Kim Kardashian. In fact, she is among the first ones to wear two Dutch braids plaited from the temples, all the way to the back.
Speaking of Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry was accused of stealing her hairstyle. Whether her hairstyle was inspired by something else or not, we don’t know. Also, we can’t leave Rita Ora out. She tried a more feminine and accessorized version of the Dutch braids by adding pearls to her braided hair.
More Cornrow Braids Hairstyles for You
As already mentioned, cornrows are more and more on the rise. Even Hollywood stars copy these cool looks from Africa. So, do you feel adventurous? Would you like to make a hairstyle experiment? Or were you just looking for inspiring patterns? Either way, the information and the pictures comprised in this article will set you on the right path.
Our advice would be for you to start with a simple pattern and see how it goes. Your scalp may be too sensitive, but you can’t know if you don’t try! Afterwards, if your scalp gets used with the tightness, you can try more elaborate patterns. Or, if you’re already experienced with cornrows, we are sure you found what you were looking for among all available examples.
The right care is of course also crucial for the longest possible beautiful look of this hairstyle. In general, one can say that cornrows are extremely easy to care for! For sporty and late sleepers, this is an ideal hairstyle. The same goes for people with very frizzy hair, or hair that is difficult to style. However, even if your hair type is against your trendy wishes, you can rely to synthetic hair additions.
As it follows, we will leave you with more cornrow braids photos. Did you find what you were looking for? Drop a comment below to let us know about your hairstyle ideas and accomplishments!