8 Cornrow Styles for Anyone With Natural Hair

There are a plethora of options.

Cornrow Styles for Natural Hair
Photo: Getty Images

If you're looking for a protective style that's low maintenance, lasts a while and doesn't need much fussing over, cornrow styles should be your go-to. "Cornrows typically lay flat on the head, which allows little to no manipulation throughout the duration of wearing the style," explains master braid stylist, Kamary Mingo.

When it comes to cornrow styles for natural hair, there are so many options that chances are, you'll have a hard time deciding which one to go with. "In most cases, cornrows can be the fastest protective style to achieve. A lot of my clients who prefer quick, in and out styles opt for cornrows as they take less time to do than other braiding styles," adds Mingo

"To me, cornrows are classic like a little black dress, or a red lipstick," says celebrity hairstylist, Dhairius Thomas. "I love this style so much because of its historic origin, and it is the first hairstyle I perfected at age 12. It's amazing to see this style evolve into a trend however, cornrows have been here in America for over 200 years and in Africa much longer so this style isn't anything new — just classic."

Cornrows allow you to get creative as they can be done in a range of different styles, lengths, patterns, and colors. We asked Mingo and Thomas to share a few of their favorite cornrow styles. Read on for more inspiration.

Fulani Braids

"The multiple layers incorporated into the style provide volume and fullness, you can pull the braids back into a ponytail or let them hang freely," says Mingo. "The two braids going down the center add a touch of character and uniqueness."

Goddess Cornrows

Get your beach vacation look with these goddess cornrows. The long floating curls combined with structured cornrows say, 'glam but effortless'. "I love this style because it's perfect for all hair types, and can be pulled up for a night on the town," says Thomas.

Colorful Cornrows

The fun thing about cornrows is that you can do them in any color. This vibrant burgundy style is not for the shy-hearted — it's a definite head-turner and is bound to get you noticed. Mingo says she added beads to this style to give her client a tropical vibe for her upcoming beach trip.

Cornrows with Baby Hairs

"This style was hand selected by Rihanna for SavageX Fenty Vol3," says Thomas. "I love that it's fashion-forward and editorial with the face-framing tendrils."

Cornrows with Highlights

If you're not quite ready to venture away from black or brown cornrows, you can always start with highlights. "I love the unexpected highlight color choice my client wanted for this look, it's eye-catching and wakes up the style," says Mingo. "The contrast of the gray streaks stands out next to the jet black braids."

Goddess Lemonade Braids

Lemonade braids are named after Beyonce's "Lemonade" album, in which she frequently rocked a side cornrow style. "Beyonce sparked a long-lasting trend with various renditions of this style," says Mingo. "The soft swoop of braids all falling to one side gives the braids a softness and frames the face. The long length and plush curls at the end give off a goddess vibe."

Bantu Knot Cornrows

Style your cornrows with a modern spin by adding bantu knots. This look is great for adding definition to thin hair and giving added thickness and shape.

If you want to take your cornrow bantu knots to the next level, Thomas recommends slicking down your baby hairs to add more character. "Justine Skye is known for her soft baby hair so I brushed them forward as opposed to braiding them," says the stylist."This is the perfect style to open up the face with the option of baby hair to frame the face."

Ponytail Cornrows

This style is perfect for the spring and summer months. While it can be worn to hang long and sleek, it can also be wrapped in a bun for those hot, humid days. "The versatility of this ponytail is what attracts most of my clients to the style," says Mingo.

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

Related Articles