How to Braid Cornrows – Tips and Easy Styles Cornrowing for Beginners

Learning how to cornrow has been a struggle for me, I started watching videos and reading tutorials back in the summer (2011) and tried to learn to cornrow a little bit, but I couldn’t quite get it, the braids never looked that great, my technique was sloppy and I decided to “take a break” from learning. I recently picked it back up again, you can se and I’m proud to say it is going well.

Check out my own collection of cornrows for kids.

I have been practicing, practicing and then practicing some more. I haven’t read anymore tutorials or watched anymore videos, it’s just been about me finding my own technique and then practicing it. Here are a few photos from the past two months, you can see my (slow) improvements.

Our contributor Mo Plaits is back with another hairstyle tutorial for us! This time it is a super cute and easy cornrow design of criss cross hairline plaits into ponytails.

What you’ll need:
Spray bottle with water
Moisturizer (I used African Pride Moisture Intense Shea Butter Miracle Leave-In Conditioner)
Rat tail comb
Hair accessories

Easy Cornrow Design Hairstyle

How To:
Step 1: Part the hair directly down the middle of the head starting from the forehead down to the back of the head.
Step 2: Put one side of hair that has been divided into a ponytail to keep out of the way.
Step 3: Use your rat tail comb to section the hair for the cornrow {wherever you would like to start} for this style I started the part at the crown of her head and made my section down to her forehead, leaving about half-inch from forehead for the next braid.
Step 4: Take about a half-inch of hair from the hairline section, (if the hair around the hairline is too short or hairline has not grown in yet, please take larger sections to help nurture the hairline and not hurt the edges) and leave it out of the ponytail to be braided.
Step 5: Cornrow the section of hair from the crown down to the forehead, curving your cornrow into the next side where you left out the hairline section.. braid all the way down to the side burn hair.
Step 6: Once both cornrows are complete.. you can put them into the ponytails you’ve previously made and add some accessories to spice up the hairstyle!!

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We hope you enjoyed our newest hairstyle tutorial, please keep an eye out for future tutorials!!! God bless!!

-Mo Plaits Don’t forget you can find Mo Plaits on Facebook for more creative cornrow designs and hairstyle ideas.


D had had her hair in box braids in for the month of January, mid month I took down the box braids in the front, they were getting a little fuzzy, and I put two cornrows in front:

Not great, I know, but I’m showing these in order to show my progress, you see this was just the beginning. These braids are actually more difficult than smaller straight backs, I’ve learned. This style also marked the start of Kandy Land Kurls 8 Week Protective Style Challenge and I was determined to get better at cornrow, so I used this challenge as an excuse opportunity to practice.


The second week of the challenge I did a flat twist style, but the third week I was back to cornrows. Week 3 I did her whole head in 5 large straight back cornrows, there was a little improved. I have since learned that larger cornrows are more difficult, at least for me, than smaller ones, likewise really small cornrows are harder for me to do that medium/small sized braids.

Week 4 I just divided the largest braids into, did another straight back style with 7-8 braids this time, nothing special, still just practicing trying to improve my technique. And that is the best advice I can offer anyone who is just beginning to cornrow, practice makes prefect and you will get better with practice. Practice with easy, simple, basic cornrow styles like these when you first start out.

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Like the blue and zebra flower bow? Check out our Huffleblossoms review!

Week 5 I got a little more brave and creative with it, lol, I just free styled this starting with diagonal parts on the right side of her head.

That is all the cornrows I’ll show for now, but there will be more coming soon!! Now on to some tips and advice on cornrowing.

What I’ve learned about cornrows:

  • It’s easiest for me to cornrow hair that is completely dry and has been stretched by banding. Before I was trying to braid on wet hair and damp hair thinking it would be easier, not so. But experiment and see what is easiest for you.
  • Small-medium sized cornrows are easier that large and tiny cornrows.
  • I have to make a conscious effort to keep my hands close to her scalp to avoid loose cornrows. I would start off good, but as I would get to the end the braid it would loosen up and the cornrow would come away from the scalp, like this:

More cornrowing help, tips and hairstyles for beginners.

I want to leave you with some cornrowing tips I have gotten from my hair friends that I have found them very helpful in my learning how to cornrow.

I’d say, don’t worry about your hand technique looking like everyone else. when I first started braiding I thought I was doing it wrong because I didn’t hold my hands like most braiders. At the end of the cornrow my braids and their braids looked the same. You have to do what’s comfortable to you.”
Kandy Land Kurls

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“Don’t expect it to look perfect when you’re first learning…your braiding will slowly improve as you keep practicing.”
Tweeny Hair

“When first learning, the bigger your braids are the sloppier they will look, but if you do them smaller they will appear neater.”
Tweeny Hair

“The most IMPORTANT word of advice I got for cornrowing was to make sure that my hands were comfortable when doing the braid… A comfortable hand equals a nice, neat braid… When you get to contorting your hands and straining them, that WILL show in the braid style.”
Once Upon a Curl

“Start with flat twisting. It’s easier and helps get your hands acquainted with picking up hair as you go. Then start trying w/a simple style like a headband or short rows in the front or side to keep hair away from the face..”
Charlotte’s Avenue

“Add hair only to the middle section of your braid as you go along.”
Diva Locks

“I learned to cornrow cause I knew how to French braid, I taught myself to do both, I can only say practice makes perfect or at least better. It is an easy concept if you can watch someone do it.”
Diva Locks

“Some people say not to try it on wet hair, but I find it easier to braid with damp hair at least, that way it stays together and doesn’t slip away from me as easily! Especially when learning. And as always, don’t make it too tight! I would also encourage people to just try it and don’t worry if your method isn’t the same as someone else’s – as long as the end product looks how you want it to it doesn’t matter how you held the hair, or where you added pieces from, etc.”
Girly and Curly

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