Photo by Lotus Head

Cornrows are a popular option for those seeking to reduce hairstyling and maintenance time. Cornrows are often used to correct hair damage and to promote healthy hair growth. Although cornrows originated in Africa, many ethnicities can enjoy their health benefits and simplistic beauty. While getting cornrows can be a short process, it's important to know how to take care of them once the design is completed. Failure to do so can result in hair damage and breakage.

Moisturize the cornrows and scalp regularly. Use natural oil-based cream or grease formulations to prevent dryness and scalp conditions such as dandruff. Look for moisturizers that contain oils such as olive and jojoba for best results. Apply adequate amounts of moisturizer without over saturating the hair and scalp. Consider your hair type to avoid weighing the cornrows down with excess oil. Your hair and scalp should have a healthy luster without appearing greasy or matted.

Sleep with a satin pillowcase or cap. Protect your hair's moisture level by safeguarding against unintentional moisture stripping. Certain materials, including polyester and cotton, can soak up your hair's moisture, leaving behind split ends and thinning hair. Protect cornrows from excessive rubbing which often leads to unwanted frizz and hair breakage. Choose a cap that fits your head comfortably to avoid headaches.

Protect the cornrows from harsh weather conditions. Wear a hat or hood when traveling in windy, rainy or sunny weather. Apply extra moisturizer and conditioner to account for any excess weather exposure. These types of conditions can have a drying effect on cornrows, making it easier for your hair to become damaged.

Condition the cornrows regularly. Apply leave-in conditioner to your hair and scalp at least twice weekly to ensure the braids stay healthy. Spray adequate amounts of braid sheen to guard against damage and odor. Massage conditioning oil down the length of each cornrow, paying special attention to the edges and tips of each braid. Rub pea-sized amounts of conditioner into the parts separating the cornrows for added protection.

Refrain from brushing and pulling the cornrows. Allow your scalp time to rest and repair. Although cornrows are referred to as "stress-free" hairstyles, your hair can easily become damaged from rough handling. The design of cornrows makes it easier for the under braided portions to suffer stress-related damage. Cornrows easily become frizzy and unruly when the patterns are rubbed and pulled.


Use products that are best suited to your hair's condition and texture. Ask a professional hairstylist for suggestions.


Avoid wearing cornrows that are braided too tightly. This undermines the benefits of placing your hair into cornrows. Avoid alcohol-based hair products as they can cause hair damage and breakage.