Cornrows originated in parts of ancient Africa as far back as 500 B.C. Many ancient artifacts from the continent, including the Sphinx, depict the use of cornrows. Today’s trends began during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's.
Cornrows are a natural hairstyle suitable for both men and women. Cornrows are created by parting a section of hair and braiding the section so that it is connected to the scalp. This method can be done to the entire head or part of the head.
The design of the cornrows can vary based on the individual. Cornrows can go straight back or be parted into designs, such as zig-zags for men. Accessories, such as beads and cowrie shells, can be added to the ends of cornrows. For women, it is common for jumbo braiding hair to be added to the cornrows for length and fullness.
Cornrows are also a base style for other natural hair styles. To create some hair styles, such as crochet braids and sew-in weaves, the natural hair must be braided into cornrows. The cornrows for these styles are braided into patterns depending on how the hair will be worn.
Applying cornrows takes an average of 1 hour to complete depending on the complexity of the braids. With proper care, cornrows can last for several weeks before it becomes necessary to remove.