Are Cornrows A Protective Style

Around one-third African women suffer from traction alopecia. Wearing a protective style helps to get rid of severe traction alopecia. In that case, you can go with cornrows. They are popular braided or plaited hairstyle for men and women. 

This hairstyle has been widely used in the Horn of Africa, like Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, and West Africa, since the 1960s. 

But are cornrows a protective style? Well, the answer is yes. they protects hair from pollution, heat, and pulling as well. 

The hairstyle ensures zero hair fall due to the protective braids. Let’s elaborate on our thoughts on how cornrows are a protective style.  

What is the most protective hairstyle

Protective hairstyles require the ends of your hair to be tucked in. They’re great because they help lock in moisture and protect your hair and scalp from damage. Among all the protective hairstyles, cornrows are considered one of the most protective hairstyles among all protective hairstyles.

Cornrows require your air to be braided closely to your scalp in plaits or sections. They are versatile and unique, can be done on all types and lengths of hair, and are great at protecting your hair and scalp, as they can be made to cover your entire head.

What is the easiest protective hairstyle

There are a variety of protective hairstyles that are very easy to do. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Buns: Buns are great, easy-to-do hairstyles that protect your hair. So long as you don’t tie your buns too tightly, they will protect your hair and promote hair growth.
  • Two-strand Twists: All this hairstyle takes is two sections of hair and twisting, but that alone is enough to protect your hair from damage.

Do protective styles break hair

If not done correctly, protective hairstyles can cause hair breakage. If they’re done too tightly, they can tug and pull on your hair, causing strain and hair breakage.

Do cornrows look unprofessional

While not entirely unprofessional, given that you do them on your natural hair, you should avoid wearing cornrows if you have a conservative workplace. Conservative workplaces tend to discriminate and even deem cornrows as inappropriate and unprofessional, and thus it’s better not to wear them in such places.

Do Cornrows Protect Your Hair 

 protects your natural hair from dust, UV rays, rough weather

Yes, of course. Finding a heat-free protective style for all types and lengths of hair is pretty tricky. Cornrows are three-strand braids on a straight row against your scalp. That’s why they are also called scalp braid. 

Moreover, they are durable and low-maintenance hairstyle. You don’t need to worry about regular maintenance. 

Most importantly, wearing cornrows doesn’t require any heating process; you don’t have to prepare your hair every day. There are many cornrows hairstyles available

However, this protective style protects your natural hair from dust, UV rays, rough weather, hair color or other chemical substances, excessive brushing, and hair styling tools. 

We always worry about summer and winter due to the inconvenient temperature. Yet, cornrows are suitable for all weather conditions, from summer to winter. 

If you want to enjoy your summer on beaches, you can surely do with cornrows. They will keep your hair safe from hot temperatures and salty seawater. 

The best part of cornrows are they reduces hair manipulation that ensures low hair breakage. Cornrows protects your hair from clotting. Thus, this hairstyle makes your hair more manageable.

Can Cornrows Damage Your Hair

lightweight, protective style

No, not at all. If you can wear them correctly, they won’t damage your hair but will make it stronger and healthier.  

Even if you use hair extensions to improve cornrows, it won’t make your hair thicker. Cornrows help to release tension from your scalp. 

As the heavy-weight protective style weakens your hair follicles, it can be responsible for traction alopecia. But cornrows are a lightweight, protective style that can’t damage hair follicles and prevent traction alopecia. 

You need to moisturize your hair over the braids with oil and water, promoting hair growth and restoring breakage. To prevent hair loss, you should wear loose braids and change your cornrows style every 2 to 3 months. 

Will cornrow damage my edges

If a hairstyle is done too tightly, it can cause tension on your scalp and hair, leading to receding edges. The same applies to cornrows, and if they are not done correctly, they can tug and pull on your hair and damage your edges.

Do cornrows push your hairline back

Your hairline might start to thin or recede if you regularly wear braids, cornrows, or buns. This occurs because of the constant pulling and tugging of your hair and hairline from the hairstyles.

Are cornrows low manipulation

Cornrows require your hair to be tied closely to the scalp in plaits or sections. Depending on expertise, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours to get cornrows installed. As such, it can’t be said that cornrows are low manipulation.

How Do You Protect Cornrows Braids 

cornrows low-maintenance hairstyle

We know cornrows are a low-maintenance hairstyle that doesn’t mean we don’t have to maintain them at all. Furthermore, this hairstyle won’t protect your natural hair in the long run if you can’t maintain them properly. It can damage your hair without better maintenance. 

  • You have to take care of cornrows daily and weekly. To keep your braid healthier, you can wear a silk head wrap. Experts suggest wrapping your hair with silk and satin scarves. 
  • Moreover, you must take cleansing treatment for at least 30 to 45 minutes while washing your hair strands and scalp. 
  • Besides, you have to wash your hair gently. Don’t leave your hair with shampoo for a long time. Otherwise, it will be tough to protect your braids. 
  • Mix a small amount of shampoo and water. Take the mixture into a spray bottle and use it over your scalp. Lastly, clean it slowly. That’s it. 

Does Cornrows Stop Hair Growth 

Cornrows promote your hair growth

No. Cornrows promote your hair growth better than other protective styles like crochet braids, bantu knots, top knot, faux locs, and two-strand twists. Along with that, it protects natural hair moisture and keeps your hair neat. Wearing the protective style won’t stop your natural hair growth. 

Can you shower with cornrows in

You can shower with cornrows in as long as you don’t let water sit in them for too long. Ensure that you dry your hair properly with a towel after you take a shower.

 Do cornrows loosen up over time

Braids tend to loosen up over time. If you have cornrows that are too tight, give them 1-2 days to start loosening up and up to three days to loosen completely.

Why do cornrows itch

Cornrows can itch for a number of reasons; these include but are not limited to the following:

  • When cornrows are too tight, they can pull on the skin on your scalp, causing itching.
  • Leaving cornrows in for too long can lead to sebum, dirt, debris, and oils accumulating on your scalp and causing an itch.

How often should I change my protective style

Protective hairstyles should not be kept for more than 6-8 weeks, no matter how much care you put into them. If you can’t take proper care of them, however, take them out after 3-4 weeks to reduce hair damage. After undoing them, let your hair stay natural for at least two weeks to heal the damage done, and let it breathe.

What Are The Disadvantages of Cornrows

Disadvantages of Cornrows

Despite having thousands of advantages, there are some disadvantages as well. Let us explain the disadvantages. 

  • Tight braids can damage your hair. Also, they can make your hair unhealthy, leading to hair breakage and weak follicles. That’s why you have to be extra careful while wearing cornrows. 
  • It’s a challenging task to unbraid cornrows. While unbraiding, it might cause dry hair and split ends. 
  • If you can’t wear them properly, it can be responsible for hair breakage and clotting. 
  • Wearing cornrows near the hairline can damage your scalp. 


Do braids stop balding?

No, in fact, if your braids are too tight, they can lead to a condition known as traction alopecia, which causes permanent balding. To mitigate the chances of traction alopecia, switch between braided and unbraided hairstyles every few weeks to give your hair and scalp a chance to heal.

How long do cornrows last in hair?

If you don’t take proper care of your cornrows, they will last for about 3-4 weeks. However, if proper care is ensured, your cornrows can last for about 8-12 weeks.

Why do I lose so much hair after cornrows?

Cornrows, when done incorrectly, can cause tugging and pulling on your hair and scalp, leading to hair fall. Apart from that, we normally shed 100-120 hairs every day, and some of those hairs can get stuck on your rows and fall when you undo them. Making you think you’re losing more hair than usual.

What is the longest-lasting protective style?

Cornrows. They can be kept for up to three months, given that proper care is ensured.

What protective style grows your hair fastest?

While hair growth mainly depends on genetics, diet, and stress level, protective hairstyles like braids and wigs, too, can hasten them if done properly.

Why are cornrows good for your hair?

Cornrows are a great protective hairstyle because they:

  • Reduce Moisture Loss
  • Protect hair from breakage.

Related Articles:

  • History Of Cornrows
  • History of Braids in Slavery
  • Why Are My Cornrows Frizzy


By now, we believe you’ve understood are cornrows a protective style or not. We’ve discussed maintenance, benefits, and disadvantages in this article. Wearing cornrows will be beneficial for your hair in many ways. 

In that case, you should learn to maintain cornrows at home. Wash the braids carefully. After all, moisturize your scalp and wear a silk headscarf to keep the braids healthy. 

We recommend using a good-quality hair serum weekly. Also, braid it loosely to relax your scalp. That’s it for today. 

Wear cornrows safely.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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