How to maintain cornrows and make them last longer

How to maintain cornrows and make them last longer

Cornrows are a popular and timeless hairstyle. While the style has been synonymous with afro hair for centuries, cornrows have since become a unifying hairstyle adopted by all races. The hairdo has even overcome gender barriers as more men and boys choose cornrows as their preferred style. For natural hair, it is one of the most convenient and easily manageable hairstyles. Not only is it a protective hairstyle, but it also promotes hair growth. But how long do cornrows last?

The durability of cornrows depends on your hair type, how fast your natural hair grows, and the size of the braids. They can give you long-term service if you maintain a proper hair care routine. If you know how to care for cornrows properly, they should last between 2-8 weeks. 

Since you would like them to last while still looking their best, here are the top tips you should use when taking care of cornrows on natural hair:

1. Choose a good hairstylist

Choosing a professional hairstylist to do your cornrows is the first critical step. A hairstylist with credible experience in natural hair is preferable.

Such a stylist will ensure that the cornrows are not too tight or painful that you keep tagging them to ease the discomfort.
2. Protect the edges

Cornrows are braided close to the scalp, which can affect fragile hair edges. If you feel the tightness in the first week or your scalp becomes sensitive, apply a natural oil twice daily to ease the pressure and to keep the cornrows in good shape.

3. Moisturize

Moisturize your cornrows regularly to help prevent your scalp from drying up. A dry scalp will lead to itching, and this can damage your braids.

You can moisturize cornrows by spraying natural oil sheens as oil-based sprays will only lead to oil-build on your hair. Natural oils such as shea butter, olive oil, and jojoba will work well. A regular water spritz is an alternative way to help keep sufficient levels of moisture on your cornrows and scalp.

4. Night cover

Cornrow maintenance also extends to nighttime. You will need to cover your hair with a satin or silk cap every night. If your cornrows do not allow for head-wrapping, you can sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase to maintain hair moisture. Covering your hair also prevents cornrows from frizzing.

5. Wash

While washing cornrows may seem odd, it is essential to keep them clean to avoid damage from an itchy scalp. If done correctly, it will help you maintain the cornrows as well as a clean and moisturized scalp.

Here are the recommended steps for washing your cornrows:
  • Cover your cornrows with a net cap
  • Wet your hair
  • Apply a small amount of shampoo to your palms. Use a sulfate-free shampoo to preserve your hair’s natural oils and to avoid any buildup of residue.
  • Gently press the shampoo through the net
  • Spread it adequately into the cornrows
  • Gently rinse off the shampoo. You can use a spray bottle with a pointy top for easy reach. You can also pour a little water at a time to complete a thorough rinse.
  • Remove the net and gently pat dry with a towel. Don’t rub off the water as this will lead to cornrow damage and frizz.
  • Apply a natural oil on the scalp and braids

This procedure will help improve the hair moisture levels and also give the cornrows a shine.

6. Conditioning

Regularly conditioning your scalp will help maintain the cornrows as well as prevent hair breakage when you undo the cornrows. Use a leave-in conditioner or dilute a regular bottle of conditioner for easier use. Rinse off the diluted conditioner to avoid residue buildup. Repeat this at least twice a week.

7. Weather protection

Do not expose your cornrows to harsh weather conditions such as the sun, rain, or wind. These conditions can drain your hair moisture leading to scalp irritation shortening your cornrows’ lifespan.

8. Avoid a hairbrush

Do not brush or run a hair comb through the cornrows as this rough treatment will damage them.

All these maintenance tips, if followed consistently, should help keep your cornrows looking good for several weeks.
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