Cornrows are a traditional form of hair braiding with origins in Africa. Rows of braids are fashioned close to the scalp in simple or intricate patterns. Cornrows are time-consuming and are intended to remain in the hair for as long as several weeks. This hairstyle requires a specific form of maintenance. Follow these steps to care for cornrows.

Dampen the hair lightly with an oil spray before braiding. Braid the hair damp, which tightens as it dries.

Sit comfortably on a pillow or on the ground. Take breaks throughout the braiding so that the process is enjoyable.

Place a net or stocking cap over the cornrows before shampooing. Wet the head thoroughly through the net or cap. Put a small amount of shampoo in the palms and mix in a bit of water. Press the palms all over the head, pressing the shampoo into the hair as much as possible.

Wait several minutes then rinse the shampoo from the hair. Use gentle stream of cool water for several minutes to make sure the soap is completely rinsed out.

Make a scalp exfoliator by mixing 1 tbsp. of brown sugar with 3 tbsp. of conditioner. Massage gently into the scalp in a circular motion for several minutes. Rinse or shampoo out.

Oil the braids as necessary or apply a light spray sheen. Pay particular attention to the scalp to avoid drying and itching.

Mix 1 tsp. of honey in 4 cups of warm water. Pour over the finished braids. Let the hair dry naturally to leave a wonderful sheen and scent.


  • Make sure that the person braiding the hair doesn’t pull the hair too tightly.

  • Wrap hair in a silk scarf or cap at night to avoid frizz.