Cornrows are a traditional hair braiding art that anyone who has the patience can learn, but it takes some time and skill to master. Get started with the basics while avoiding some of the mistakes beginners often make.
Plan your cornrow style ahead! Having in mind what your end goal looks like will help you to form a path for getting there. You can do this in your head, draw a picture, or make some marks on a styrofoam wig holder.The easiest to begin with will probably be four to six sections from the front to the back of the head.
Spritz some water, or water mixed with detangler, on the hair, and comb or brush through it to remove all major tangles. The hair should be mildly damp, but not too wet. To keep braids in place, use a moisturizing flexible hair gel or aqua wax, during styling. The reason for this is that you don’t want to have to pull the hair a lot to create the tension needed to hold the style together. Hair expands when it’s wet and contracts as it dries! Despite what some people say about a tight braid, this is the best way to achieve it–not by pulling the hair hard away from the scalp.
Part a section of hair that you would like the cornrows to go along. Move other hair out of the way so that you have a clear path to follow. Then take a small section of hair where you want the cornrows to begin. Don’t take too much, especially near the hairline, or you will have to pull too hard to continue. Separate that small section into three strands and make a normal braid of about 2 “stitches” to get it started. Holding the two outer strands aside, reach down under this initial braid to add a little hair to the middle strand. Fully merge this new hair to the middle strand so that it becomes a part of it, and you again have 3 strands. Make a braid stitch out of these strands. Continue braiding, each time adding a little more hair to the middle strand, and repeat this until you’ve run out of hair to add. If you’ve reach the end and there is still hair left over, then continue with a regular 3 strand braid.
Secure the cornrow with a snap bead, hair clip, end bar, barrette, bolo tie tip, or whatever you like just so long as you will be able to easily remove it later. Uncovered rubber bands are not suggested unless they are the kind made specifically for hair. The ones made for office use will break off the hair.