125+ Most Sought-after Cornrow Hairstyles


It’s not just straight or curly hair that makes a woman confident in her own looks, but there are plenty of hairstyles that they are also more comfortable with. Cornrow is one best hair ideas that a woman can have, but getting the hairstyle might be tough for you.

Cornrows, or also known as braids are native to Africa, and to this date, this remains a traditional hairstyle for men and women. But history suggests that women were the first people to wear it dated back in 3000 B.C.

Men, on the other hand, were depicted to wear the classic cornrow hairstyles in the early 19th century in Ethiopia. Warriors and kings such as Tewodros II and Yohannes IV were the first men depicted to wear the hairstyle.

There are plenty of hairstyles out there that you can get ideas from, but we made it easier for you. We compiled these hairstyles for your ease.

Check out the stunning photos below:

cornrow hairstyles

Colored cornrows

This hairstyle is timeless. It can go wherever, or whenever you want to wear it, but having this may not be too easy.

It’s not true that if you have this, there is no need for you to take time to take care of it or keep it healthy. In fact, it also requires you to spend time maintaining it, especially if you choose to get it done with your colored hair.

While it’s totally incredible to see different cornrow hairstyles, the maintenance demands time and effort. Colored hair is susceptible to damage, and it’s important to seek help from hair professionals.

Check out our tips here to see how you can maintain and keep your colored hair in good condition while also wearing cornrows.

More cornrow hair ideas

Mohawk cornrow hairstyle

People might think that having this doesn’t necessarily require maintenance. Others even think that it’s one way to hide the damaged hair, but the thing is, it’s the other way around.

Women, specifically are always a good subject in getting an intricate cornrow hairstyle, because obviously, they are very particular with seamless works. That’s why finding a good hairstylist is very important.

After getting your hair done, you can’t just chill. Trust me, I tried it before and although my friends loved it, for me, it’s not just being having nice cornrows. It’s also about how you take care of it.

Keep scrolling below to get some tips on how to maintain and keep your cornrows healthy.

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Keep your hair in good condition

As I mentioned earlier, most women wear this hairstyle not because they want to hide the damaged hair. Instead, they get their hair done to correct the damaged and to keep a healthy growing hair.

If cornrows are tight and are worn for a long time, it can damage your hair. It can lead to dull and frizzy hair, but you can follow the following tips to avoid unhealthy braids.

  • Get a professional cornrows stylist. Hairstylists that are not too good at getting the hair done might result in damaged hair that you might regret in the future.
  • Lessen the hair washing as it will spoil your hair really fast. But of course, if you need to wash it, wear a net cap to before applying shampoo to protect it.
  • Apply a mild shampoo so it won’t remove the natural oils in your while deeply cleansing your scalp. Press the shampoo in and let it stay for a few minutes before you rinse it using cool water. Do not use hot or very warm water as it can leave the hair frizzy and can also strip off natural oil.
  • Condition your hair on a regular basis to keep it smooth and shiny. Use a leave-in conditioner or the rinse-off conditioner.
  • When using a leave-in conditioner, apply it on your hair at least twice a week. As for the rinse-off conditioner, you need to dilute it before applying to avoid build-up between the hair tracks. The residue will result in untidy hair as it will leave white crumbs on the hair.
  • Use an ample amount of braid sheen spray to avoid damage and bad smell.

More cornrow hair ideas

Keep your hair smooth and shiny

Cornrows have been embraced internationally. Many people in different races have worn this hairstyle and even the famous public figures such as celebrities and musicians.

Several rappers have also been seen wearing cornrows, including Snoop Dog (now known as Snoop Lion after embracing Rastafarian), Lil Wayne, Lil’ Kim, 50 cent,  and more. Even the ever-gorgeous Alicia Keys have worn different cornrow hairstyles.

But these famous public figures didn’t escape the reality that they also need to care for their hair. The following hair care tips will definitely help:

  • Keep your hair moisturized on a regular basis with the help of braids sheen spray, but don’t buy those oil-based sprays as they will only stay on the outer cover of the hair, leaving it oily. Use natural oil-based moisturizers that protect from dryness and dandruff.
  • Choose moisturizers with olive or jojoba oil and apply ample amount on your hair, particularly on the scalp to avoid itchiness.
  • Get a satin pillowcase or cap to use when you sleep at night. Satin protects your hair’s moisture from stripping off. Cotton pillows will only infuse the moisture, which will only lead to hair breakage such as thinning and split ends.
  • When you go out, wrap your hair with soft clothing, or wear a scarf or hat to protect it against the heat of the sun or even during the rainy or windy season.
  • Do not brush or pull your cornrows. Give it time to rest before seeing your hairstylist to have it fixed.

More extraordinary cornrow hairstyles for women

Clean your hair

Having this hairstyle isn’t as easy as you think it can be. It does require your time and effort to maintain and keep it tidy so people won’t think you’re not taking care of it. Of course, you don’t want it to smell.

To keep healthy and clean, you’ll need to wash it thoroughly, but slowly so you don’t mess it up. Fixing it is not easy either as you need a good hairstylist for that.

While it’s not too tricky to maintain it, cleaning might be a drag, but you need to do it to keep your hair in good condition.

Follow these few techniques on how to thoroughly clean your hair:

  • You’ll need a quarter cup of water, 2-4 tablespoons olive oil, a quarter cup of sulfate-free shampoo, and a spray bottle or owl.
  • Mix sulfate-free shampoo, oil, and warm water together in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle first before applying the solution, or use a bowl if you don’t have a spray bottle.
  • Use jojoba or olive oil if you have a regular hair type, but if you have dandruff, Almond oil is best recommended.
  • Wet your hair with warm water to open the cuticles and rinse the dirt. If you have a portable shower head, it will be easier.

Apply the solution thoroughly

You can’t just apply the solution as people do with their normal hair. You have lovely cornrows, so you really need to wash it with love.

  • Apple your spray bottle to your head and hair with a generous amount. If you’re using a bowl, take shampoo and lather it on your hands, then apply it on your head and hair.
  • Never forget to apply shampoo on your scalp because it’s where build-ups stay from any hair products, which will cause itchiness.
  • Massage the shampoo gently on your scalp and hair.
  • Rinse the shampoo thoroughly for about 3-5 minutes to ensure everything is taken out. This is to avoid any chemicals from the shampoo to stay on your hair longer, which can cause irritation.

It is best recommended to wash your hair every 7-10 days to avoid breakage should you decide to take the braids out.

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More cornrow hairstyles perfect for women

Condition your hair

It is important that you also condition your braids right after applying shampoo to even out the strands and keep it smooth and shiny.

You will need a protein-based conditioner as it contains keratin to patch cracked or missing hair cuticles. You can use almond or olive oil if you have dry hair or if you have dandruff. Argan oil works best with rough hair.

Grapeseed or jojoba oil is lighter for those that have oil prone hair. Of course, it’s great for the hair to smell good, so you can use scented oil too.

  • Spray the solution on your hair generously. Ensure that they are covered evenly so that each strand is conditioned.
  • Cover your hair with a shower cap for about 20 minutes to retain moisture. But do not leave your hair hanging on with a shower cup for more than 20 minutes as it can make it brittle.
  • Wash off your water with room temperature or cool water. Do not wash it with hot water as it can leave your hair frizzy and dull. Rinse your hair thoroughly to wash out any dirt.
  • It’s worth noting that you don’t have to take a shower when you wash your hair. You only need access to the shower head to do this.
  • Rinse your hair about 2-3 minutes to ensure the conditioner gets washed out.

Do not rub your braids with a towel

When you’re finished rinsing your cornrows, pat your hair with a soft cotton towel (this is very important) and do not rub as it might spoil the braids really quick.

  • Wear a shower cap until your hair is dry.
  • Wring the ends of your hair to remove excess water.
  • Wait until it dries and proceed to moisturize your hair.

African women are not alone in wearing the classic cornrows

Cornrow hairstyle might be native to Africa, but it has become a global hairstyle sensation for men and women. Even the white people have embraced this hairstyle and have worn this as their signature look.

Known as canerows in the Caribbean, it is made by using an underhand, upward motion to create continuously raised rows. It is usually formed in a simple and straight line, but as the years go by, hairstylists become more artistic and formed many complicated designs.

It takes around 5 hours to finish making endearing cornrows, especially on women, who love having creative designs on their hair. At times, men and women also use beads or cowry shells to adorn their hair.

Health risk on unusually tight braids

While cornrows are great to see, especially on women, very tight braids can lead to traction alopecia. This is a hair condition caused by pulling the hair forcibly while making the braids, or when you ponytail it tightly on a regular basis.

It’s a recession of the hairline and is depicted by fringe next to the hair’s marginal line. African-American women mostly suffer this hair condition as they normally wear tight cornrows that can cause scarring.

Traction alopecia’s treatment is not pharmaceutical, and usually includes cessation of the chronic traction, cosmeses, with surgical restoration, which is usually done one more serious conditions.

Global controversy

Cornrows are also the youth’s favorite as part of their fashion, but the hairstyle has caused global controversy among them, especially in school. In the United States, alongside dreadlocks, wearing this has caused discrimination from employers and school heads.

For them, cornrows and dreadlocks are unsuitable. Civil rights group and employees fought for this and describe this as cultural bias and racism.

In 2011, a school in the United Kingdom banned students wearing cornrows as it depicts gang membership and explained that it was a part of the school’s rules and policy on haircuts. However, UK’s High Court ruled this decision against the school and said that the students were only expressing cultural tradition and practices.

The hairstyle’s cultural expression

Despite controversies in some parts of the world, cornrows remained famous among men and women. In Africa, it covers a very wide social grounds such as age, ethnicity, religion, status, kinship, and more.

It creates a special bond between friends, employee and employer’s relationship, among others. The cornrow hairstyle made yet another phenomenal comeback in the 1960s, 60s, and in the 90s when NBA superstar Allen Iverson wore the hairstyle.

Be a well-informed person should you decide to have cornrows

While it’s easy to say that you want braids, executing it may not be as easy as you think. You need to be knowledgeable and that comes with thorough research and reading.

First, you need to know what type of braids you like – cornrows for instance. And you need to set aside a day if you want to get one because it does take time, especially if you want quality cornrows.

Find a braider with smooth hands that can’t damage your hair with too much force pulling. Prepare your hair a few days before your scheduled braiding sesh and that means you’ll have to condition your hair.

If you have curls, stretch it to make the cornrows smooth and frizz-free during the session. This is to save time as well as to save your hair from breakage.

Gemma Moodie, Natural Hair Specialist at Hype Coiffure Battersea in the United Kingdom once said that you must talk to your stylist whether your hair suits the synthetic extension. Also, decide the size of the braids.

She suggested that you also need to discuss about applying chemicals that suits your hair condition, which can do wonders. You also need to decide the size and length of braids that suits you well.

But she warned that too long or big braids can also cause damage and breakage on the hairline because of too much tension and weight of the cornrows.

Further, you must also keep your hair moisturized, especially when the braids have synthetic extensions.

Moodie also recommended that you need to keep your hair lubricated and moisturized as soon as the braids are finished. She explained that synthetic hair extensions usually dehydrate the natural.

She added that using a water-based hydrating spray will work best and applying light oil on the scalp as often as needed will help your natural hair in good condition.

Style your cornrows

It will take at least a week before you get the hang of it. Your hair will begin to loosen slightly and you’d be able to get past the feeling that you’re being choked, especially during its first few days.

Don’t worry though. As soon as you’re done with that stage, you can begin styling your hair in any way you like. Women, especially, like to adorn their cornrows with colorful beads, but choose those ones that won’t damage your hair when you decide to take them off.

You can either ponytail or leave it hanging on your shoulders. In just a week, you’ll feel comfortable with your new hairstyle, and you’ll enjoy styling it just like any other women with a normal hairstyle.

Cornrow hairstyle can go with anything contrary to the belief that you’d look like a gang member. That is obviously a myth because just like any other hairstyles, cornrows are part of cultural tradition and practices not just in Africa, but around the world.

Cornrow hairstyle is for everyone. It’s part of cultural heritage and should not be considered different from the other hairstyles.