A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cornrow Your Hair

POPSUGAR Photography / Ariel Baker / LaylaBird

Ask around, and there are a few things people think you should just know how to do, like riding a bike or playing spades. Another is knowing how to do and maintain cornrows, which is a staple hairstyle in the Black community.

Cornrows date back for over 3,000 years for women and for men, going back to parts of Africa,” hairstylist Camille Friend previously told PS. Back then, the hairstyle served as a signifier and made clear someone’s social position, age, marital status, occupation, or tribe. The hairstyle has since evolved, with styles like “designer cornrows” gaining popularity on social media.

So what exactly is one to do if they don’t know how to do cornrows? The only real answer is to never let anyone learn your secret and to teach yourself in private, and this is where hairstylist Kadeisha Placide comes in.

Before you start the cornrowing process, there are a few steps to do first. “The best way to achieve cornrow braids is on dry and stretched hair,” Placide says. “Start with detangling and combing through the hair for a smooth and manageable canvas.” It may also be helpful to presection your hair. “It’s important to note that all part spaces should be neat and precise for clean results. We recommend using a tail comb to part the hair and applying braiding gel to the scalp to keep the braids frizz-free.”

Now that the basics are covered, read ahead for a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to cornrow your hair (and keep your cultural dignity intact).

Experts Featured in This Article

Camille Friend is a hairstylist and Hask brand ambassador.

Kadeisha Placide is a Brooklyn-based hairstylist and the owner of Classic Beauty Salon.

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