Why Do My Cornrows Come Out Loose

Do your cornrows look different after a while? Do they seem looser than they were when you first got them done? If you still can’t wrap your head around it and are thinking, “Why Do My Cornrows Come Out Loose?” look no further. 

The reason your cornrows are coming out loose is how the braids were done. If done incorrectly, the braids get undone due to straining. Hair growth also contributes to loose cornrows. The growing hair at the end of your hair strands can cause your braids to loosen up.

If you’re wondering how to fix this so that your cornrows stay tight and good-looking at all times, we’ve got you covered. We’ll talk all about how and why your cornrows are coming out loose and how you can fix it. So let’s dive right into it.

Do Cornrows Loosen Up

Do Cornrows Loosen Up

Yes, any hairstyle can loosen up due to new hair growth. And so do cornrows. Cornrows are a braiding style where the braided hair is parted to form geometric shapes. As it requires braiding, your cornrows act like any other braided hairstyle.

Your cornrows start loosening depending on how you do your braids and your hair type. If you don’t re-braid your cornrows regularly, they might loosen up. Make sure you re-braid your cornrows once every two weeks at the very least.

Other factors that contribute to loosening cornrows include excessive manipulation of your cornrows and using heat and chemicals for styling purposes, and washing your hair regularly.

If you have extensions that are a part of your cornrows, their added weight can both loosen cornrows and be frustrating to carry around. Poor maintenance of your braids loosens up your cornrows as well. Your cornrows should be tight, so don’t try to make them loose by yourself.

    i. What Does It Mean When Your Cornrows Get Loose

Mean When Your Cornrows Get Loose

If you don’t have hair extensions and notice your cornrows are still loosening, it’s of hair growth. When the hair on your hairline starts growing, they come out of the ends of your hair strands, loosening them.

If you have extensions, it is more than likely that your braids are loosening due to poor installation rather than hair growth.

If you notice your cornrows loosening within days of installation, hair growth isn’t the cause, and other factors are in play. Our Hair doesn’t grow fast enough to do that. The fastest hair can grow is an inch per month.

  ii. The Causes of Loose Cornrows and How to Keep Them Tight

Causes of Loose Cornrows

If you notice your cornrows loosening up, the following reasons could be a contributing factor:

  • Using excessive conditioner and hair oil. Using too many of these products can make your cornrows slippery.
  • Not correctly tightening your braids can result in your cornrows loosening up over time.
  • If your hair isn’t moisturized adequately before you do your braids, it can be tough to hold the hair in place once they are sectioned. Cornrows done on dry hair can come out of the braid plate.
  •  If you have fine or thin hair, holding the cornrow plates in place can be especially tough.
  • If your natural hair is not sectioned properly, your cornrows can loosen up.
  • Make sure you re-braid your hair at least twice a week.
  • Using a hairbrush or a comb on your cornrows can loosen them up.
  • Washing your hair regularly contributes to loose cornrows.
  • If you exercise or dance, your hair moves a lot, which loosens your cornrows.

To keep your cornrows tight and prevent them from loosening up, you can follow the advice below:

prevent them from loosening up
  • Wearing a satin scarf or bonnet prevents your braid from unraveling when you sleep.
  • Avoid using heavy and greasy products on your cornrows.
  • Before braiding your hair, ensure it’s clean and tangle-free. This will make it easier to braid and help you retain your cornrows longer.
  • Braid your hair while it’s damp. This helps make your braids tighter.
  • Use good quality gel, mousse, or hairspray to keep your hair in place.
  • Avoid excessive brushing and combing, as that can put your braids out of place.
  • Avoid washing your hair too often.

Instant Relief Techniques to Know When Your Cornrows Are Too Tight

Instant Relief Techniques

Tight cornrows can result in one of two things; scalp pain and bumps on your hairline. If you feel any pain after getting your braids done, you should consider opening or redoing them, as it means that there’s something wrong.

Gently rub your scalp with a warm, wet towel and wrap it over your head for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, take a hot shower and gently rub your scalp with lukewarm water. 

Using cold water can result in feeling discomfort on the scalp, which is why lukewarm water is suggested. Do it until you feel comfortable.

Use Dove Amplified Textures Shampoo to smoothen your massages and add hydration to your scalp. You can also massage your hair with castor or jojoba oil for 2-3 minutes daily to eliminate the discomfort and burning from tight braids.

When it comes to opening your scalp pores to loosen your braids, steam works the best. Use a hair steamer every 10 minutes for a while. They help fight the pain from tight cornrows and refresh and re-styles natural curls.

You can also use tension spray to release the pressure of tight braids. Apart from that, using a leave-in conditioner spray can help you avoid scabies and to moisturize your scalp.

Also, if you always have your braids on, you should use a braid spray to keep your hair soft and soothe your scalp. If your braids don’t loosen even after following the step mentioned above, uninstall your braids as soon as you can.


What does it mean when your cornrows itch?

If you don’t wash your cornrows at least twice a week, dust and dead skin cells start accumulating on your scalp. This dries your scalp and causes itchiness.

How long do cornrows last? 

If you take proper care of your cornrows, they can last up to 8 weeks. They can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks if not cared for. 

Why do my cornrows come out frizzy?

If your hair isn’t sectioned, your cornrows can become frizzy. Use a metal-tipped comb to separate your hair into sections correctly.

Related Articles:

  • Are Cornrows Cultural Appropriation
  • History Of Cornrows in Slavery
  • Who Invented Cornrows
  • History Of Cornrows
  • History of Braids in Slavery


It can be frustrating to have a hairstyle that doesn’t stay the way it’s supposed to. Cornrows are a form of protective hairstyling that can help you stand out. But if they start loosening on their own, they start looking bad and can make you uncomfortable. So if you are wondering, why do my cornrows come out loose? we hope you now know why.

If proper care of your cornrows isn’t ensured or if they aren’t done correctly, they can loosen up and cause discomfort and even pain on your scalp. Follow the instructions above to have healthy, good-looking, and long-lasting cornrows.

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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