Cornrows are a fun way to wear natural hair. Cornrows or canerows are a neatly braided, flat plait which is originally from the Caribbean and Africa and gets its name from its appearance, as the plait is similar to the appearance of rows of corn or cane. These tight, head-hugging braids are perfect for spring and summer. Fast-forward to now and they’re one of the most popular hairstyles ever; they’re easy to maintain, look fabulous and can promote hair growth. Also, unlike some other styles, you can wear them year-round!
It is very possible to achieve cornrows by yourself if you have the patience for it. We’ve gone back to basics with a step-by-step guide on how to master cornrow braids.
Shampoo and Condition your hair
Wash your hair clean by using a good shampoo and condition your hair properly. To keep your locks healthy and moisturized, apply some leave-in conditioner. This will also help to detangle the hair when combing through. Focus on the ends more than roots as this is where your hairs need more TLC.
Detangle your hair
Whether you have fine, thick, long or mid-length hair, we all face the same problem: any slight knot risks making your hair difficult to style. To properly detangle your hair , use a brush followed by a wide tooth comb. Using a wide-toothed comb, comb through your locks, making sure there are not knots or tangles. Always start at the ends and go up the lengths and then finally, the roots.
Create a Centre parting
Section off the part of hair you want to braid. The smaller the section, the smaller your braid will be.
Use the back end of a tail comb to perfectly part your hair down the centre. Use your nose as a guide on where to make your partition. Don’t forget to part all the way down to the bottom!
Braid your hair
Take a small section from the front and divide the hair behind that into two. Now we have three strands to braid with. Begin with the left strand and pull it over the center. The left strand becomes the center strand. Next pull the right strand over the new center strand. Repeat this process two times and make sure the braid is tight. Repeat this step and bring more hair into the cornrow as you go along. Gather the hair under the braid that is yet to braided and add it to the middle strand of hair. Add only a little hair at a time. Do not pull on the hair. This can cause hair loss depending on the texture and health of the hair. Finish the cornrow by plaiting the remainder of the hair.
Repeat the steps on the opposite side, making sure the cornrow braids are symmetrical. If you want to neaten the hair while braiding, feel free to add some hair fall control styling gel when pulling more hair into the braid. For an even more aesthetic finish, take time to tie your strands at the end. Tie your first braid with a transparent or a tone on tone hair tie to match your hair, and do the same thing on the other side. The final touch: hairspray to add a bit of shine to the hairstyle.
How to maintain your cornrows to last longer
Well, cornrows last at a span of 6-8 weeks but a well-maintained one lasts at a maximum of 12 weeks. While natural hair can hold the style for up to 12 weeks, the downside is that the scalp can become stressed and messy. Additionally, without proper maintenance, oil buildup can occur and cause irritation, weakening the braids themselves. So let’s know how to maintain cornrow for last longer.
With good maintenance and proper precautions that can prolong the cornrow’s life, they are ultimately a great option for every hair type if you find the right kind of style and stylist for you.