Here you will find full instructions
on how to braid cornrows including answers to common questions that come
up. This page is graphics rich and has a bit of text so please give
it time to load. It'll be worth it :)
Okay here are the basic instructions,
with some additional notes. After this, there are illustrations with
positioning tips, and common problems and
solutions. If you still need more help, join
our Learning Center's Free How to Braid Cornrows Tutorial.
There you can ask questions and discuss it with others.
||The first step in cornrowing is
NOT parting. It is planning.
First, you must think about what
kind of style you want to do. If it helps, draw a picture or make
Once you've thought about it, then
you make your parts as you go along, not all at once in the beginning.
||When you make your first part, bear
in mind that this is going to be the guideline of the rest of the style.
Some people like to start on the left, and some on the right.
If you're doing the "sunray" pattern
or another style that is dependent on interesting curves or angles, you
might even want to start in the center of the head.
Either way, make your first section,
and then move the other hair out of the way with a rubber band or hair
||To start a cornrow, first take a
small bit of hair from the beginning of the row, and braid it for one or
This is important to reduce the chance
of too much tension (pulling). A thicker row may only require one
"stitch" (braid cycle), but a narrower one may require two, especially
if you're working with straight hair.
It's common for braiders to pull
harder on straighter hair, but this is not necessary. If the braid
won't hold from normal braiding, use hair
wax or a flex gel.
||Now bring this braid back towards
You should pick up a little hair
under where you started, and add this to the middle strand.
What you're about to do to accomplish this is called an "underhand" movement.
This is where you reach from under, and pull gently up and outwards.
To do this, the outer strands may
need to be held in the crook of your pinky fingers, and your index and
thumb will be holding the middle strand.
You will temporarily release that
middle strand while you grab more hair, and then add it. Then you
have the middle strand plus the added hair.
Smooth this into one strand and bring
it outwards and make it the outer strand.
||Then again, reaching under,
you will grab the new middle strand with the other hand while picking up
If it helps, you can make this two
steps. Switch the outer to the middle, get situated, and then add
more hair to the new middle strand.
In time though, this will become
automatic. You've just got to practice.
If you have benefitted artistically
or financially from learning to cornrow at this site or in our group, please
here for ways you can support this site for free. Or take
our online course and both contribute to the cause and learn more even
more about natural hairstyling.