HomeHair CareThe Easiest Way to Cornrow Your Own Hair

The Easiest Way to Cornrow Your Own Hair

You aren’t going outside anyway, so you might as well learn how to do this protective style.

“Learn a new skill,” they say. “It will be easy,” they promise. The resounding refrain from the internet has been that you can make it through the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders if you just pick up a new — and possibly frivolous — hobby. Yet, for many Americans, developing a random skill has fallen by the wayside in favor of more pressing matters such as homeschooling their kids, wiping everything down, and learning the endless new dance crazes TikTok throws at us. But here’s something you could try to master while on lockdown: cornrowing your own hair.

Daily activities for survival already take a lot out of us. Some are even taxing on our hair. Whether you’re busy doing at-home workouts or practicing the “Savage” choreography, “all of that activity may call for a protective hairstyle,” says Ashlee Stevens, Washington D.C.-based hairstylist, and owner of Fifa Organics. “Sweating out your hair from dancing or laying in bed for hours can cause lots of dryness and friction that leaves your hair vulnerable to damage.”

Many Black women (and men!) have long mastered the protective hairstyling in one way or another, be it twists, braids, or locs. When done correctly, these styles quite literally protect Afro-textured hair in conditions that could cause stress to their strands (i.e., winter brittleness or beach vacation activities that lead to excessive dryness).

One of the culture’s most popular and trusted protective styles is cornrows. And it’s easy to see why: They can be arranged in gorgeous patterns and be done in different lengths. You can add beads and other adornments to them, plus, they’re easy to maintain. To keep them from getting too fuzzy, all you need to do just slap on a durag or silk scarf when you sleep at night. Conrows have a place in African-descended cultures across the diaspora, and while it’s a common braiding style, it is still one that plenty of people struggle with executing. Read more

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