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Do Cornrows Damage Hair?

Have you been considering a cornrows hairstyle, but you’re worried about the lasting effects of having cornrows? Do cornrows damage hair? Do you need to worry about cornrows damaging your hair and scalp?

I’m going to let you know the answers to those questions, plus some tips on how to care for your hair and scalp when having cornrows. So, keep on reading to find out more…

Do Cornrows Damage Hair?

What Is The Cornrows Hairstyle?

Cornrows are a popular, versatile hairstyle often chosen for their low maintenance and protective nature.

They are three-strand braids created in a straight row against your scalp, which is why they are also called scalp braids. Cornrows cater to those with natural hair, providing optimal care and styling options.

Cornrows and Natural Hair

If you have natural hair, cornrows can be an excellent choice due to their ability to promote healthy hair growth and correct existing damage.

They are considered one of the best protective styles because they do not require any heating process or daily hair preparation.

Cornrows help retain moisture while encouraging growth, making them ideal for those on a hair care journey.

Popularity and Preference

Over time, cornrows have become a widely preferred hairstyle for various reasons. One key factor in their popularity is their adaptability to different hair textures and lengths.

They are an excellent choice for individuals who wish to showcase their creativity and personal style since cornrows can be designed in various patterns and combinations.

Another reason to choose cornrows as your preferred hairstyle is their durability. When done correctly, they can last for numerous weeks, requiring minimal upkeep.

This feature makes them an excellent option for those always on the go or looking for a hairstyle that requires less attention.

What Are The Benefits Of Cornrows?

Benefit Description
Protective Styling Cornrows can protect hair from environmental damage like wind, sun, and constant manipulation.
Low Maintenance Once they’re installed, cornrows require minimal daily upkeep, saving time and effort.
Hair Growth Promotion They protect hair ends and reduce breakage, potentially aiding in retaining hair length.
Versatility There are various cornrow styles and designs to choose from, suiting different tastes.
Tradition & Cultural Expression Cornrows have deep roots in African culture and can be a means of expressing cultural pride.
Less Product Use With your hair braided, there’s often less need for daily products, saving money and time.
Works for Various Hair Types Cornrows can be done on various hair textures, from very curly to relatively straight.
Convenient for Sports & Activities They keep hair out of the face, ideal for athletes and those engaging in frequent physical activities.
Temporary Change It offers a change in look without the permanence of cutting or chemically treating hair.
Can Incorporate Extensions Cornrows can be combined with extensions, providing added length or volume.

Cornrows are an excellent choice for your hair, as they offer a number of benefits that help keep it healthy and strong.

As a protective style, cornrows do an excellent job of safeguarding your hair from external factors such as moisture loss and breakage.

One of the primary reasons people choose cornrows is due to their ability to promote hair growth.

When your hair is neatly braided in cornrows, it becomes less prone to tangling and damage from over-manipulation.

This ensures that your hair remains strong and healthy, making it more likely to grow faster and longer.

Another advantage of cornrows is that they help prevent hair loss. By braiding your hair tightly and close to the scalp, cornrows minimize the amount of hair handling during styling and upkeep.

This, in turn, reduces the chances of hair breakage and subsequent hair loss.

Cornrows are not only a practical solution for hair management, but they are also fashionable and versatile.

You can create various unique and trendy styles with cornrows, allowing you to express your individuality and creativity through your hairstyle.

Can Cornrows Cause Hair Breakage?

Do Cornrows Damage Hair?

Cornrows are a popular protective hairstyle that can promote healthy hair growth when done correctly.

However, if not maintained properly or styled too tightly, they can lead to hair damage and hair loss.

Protective hairstyles like cornrows can help prevent hair damage and promote natural hair growth when done correctly.

This is because they shield your hair from daily wear and tear, as well as the elements, allowing your hair to better maintain its health.

However, be aware that styling your hair in tight cornrows can cause issues like traction alopecia, a type of hair loss that occurs when too much tension is applied to the hair strands at the roots.

When getting cornrows, it’s essential to choose a skilled braider who knows how to avoid causing unnecessary stress on the hair and scalp.

This means not braiding your hair too tightly, as doing so can lead to hair breakage and hair loss over time.

Although, properly installed cornrows can promote healthy hair growth by allowing your hair to rest and recover from daily stresses.

To maintain the health of your hair while wearing cornrows, follow some simple care tips:

  • Keep your scalp clean and moisturized, using a spray bottle with water and some leave-in conditioner.
  • Avoid wearing your cornrows for longer than six weeks, as this may lead to dry, frizzy hair.
  • When it’s time to take down the cornrows, be gentle and patient, to avoid causing unnecessary hair breakage.

Can Cornrows Cause Hair Breakage?

Yes, cornrows can lead to hair breakage if not done correctly or maintained properly.

While cornrows are a popular protective hairstyle, be aware of the potential risks involved in order to keep your hair healthy.

One of the major causes of hair breakage from cornrows is excessive tension on the roots of your hair.

Tight cornrows put a lot of strain on the hair follicles, which can weaken them and lead to hair loss over time.

To prevent this, ensure that your cornrows are not pulled too tightly when being styled. If you feel pain or discomfort while your hair is being cornrowed, speak up and let your stylist know.

As well as the tightness, another factor that can cause hair breakage is improper maintenance of cornrows. Here are some tips for maintaining your cornrows and minimizing the risk of hair breakage:

  • Keep your scalp moisturized: Apply a light, non-greasy oil or hydrating spray to your scalp to prevent it from becoming dry and itchy. A well-hydrated scalp promotes healthy hair growth.
  • Avoid excessive manipulation: Overstyling and frequent touching can lead to hair breakage, so it is best to avoid playing with your cornrows or changing your hairstyle too often. Allow your hair to rest and recover between styling sessions.
  • Cleanse your hair gently: Wash your hair carefully, avoiding harsh shampoos or cleansers that can strip your hair of natural oils. You might consider using a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo or a co-wash instead.
  • Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase: This can help reduce friction between your hair and the pillow, which can lead to hair breakage. A silk or satin scarf or bonnet can also help protect your hair while you sleep.

Do Cornrow Braids Affect Natural Hair Growth?

Do Cornrow Braids Affect Natural Hair Growth?

Cornrows are often seen as a protective hairstyle for natural hair. When done correctly, they can promote healthy hair growth by keeping your strands neat and reducing the need for frequent grooming.

Over-grooming or roughly handling your hair can lead to split ends and breakage, which can hinder growth. Cornrows protect your hair by minimizing manipulation, allowing it to grow stronger and longer.

However, if cornrows are installed too tightly or with too much tension on your roots, they can cause damage.

Tightly pulled cornrows can lead to hair loss, especially if your hair is prone to breakage or if the style is not properly maintained.

Make sure your cornrows are not causing pain or discomfort when they’re first installed, as this can indicate that they are too tight and may cause damage.

To ensure that cornrows won’t negatively affect your natural hair growth, take the proper care and maintenance steps.

Make sure your hair is properly moisturized before getting cornrows, and maintain a healthy cleansing and moisturizing routine while wearing them.

Taking care of the hair underneath is vital, for promoting growth while in a protective style like cornrows.

What Happens If You Leave Cornrows In Too Long?

When you have cornrows, it is essential to maintain them properly and avoid keeping them in for too long.

Leaving cornrows in for an extended period can lead to various issues such as hair damage, tangles, and hair fall.

Wearing cornrows for a prolonged time may cause hair breakage because of the tension applied to your hair shafts during the braiding process.

This tension can become dangerous when experienced for too long, particularly if the cornrows are tight or styled along your hairline.

Longer hair tends to be more susceptible to damage when cornrows are left in for too long.

The weight of the hair can increase the pressure on your scalp, causing traction alopecia. This condition occurs when tight hairstyles pull on your hair, resulting in hair loss, especially around the hairline.

Keeping cornrows in for extended periods can lead to the accumulation of dirt, sweat, and product build-up.

This can result in a dirty and itchy scalp, giving rise to bacterial and fungal infections if left unaddressed. Washing your cornrows every 7-10 days is essential for maintaining hair health and preventing these issues.

How Long Should You Take A Break Between Protective Hairstyles?

You need to give your hair a break between protective hairstyles to promote healthy growth and prevent damage.

A good rule of thumb is to take a break after two months if your protective style includes a weave, extensions, braids, or twist styles.

This time frame allows your hair and scalp to recover from constant tension and manipulation.

During the break, it’s essential to let your hair breathe and perform a proper cleanse.

Deep conditioning treatments should also be utilized for at least a month before reinstalling another protective style.

This will ensure that your hair is adequately moisturized and ready for the new hair installation.

Caring for your hair during the break is vital, to prevent any setbacks to its overall health and growth. Some helpful tips include:

  • Keep your hair clean and moisturized, as this prevents breakage and promotes growth.
  • Opt for low manipulation styles that do not put excessive strain on your hair, such as loose twists or buns.
  • Regularly trim your ends to prevent split-ends from traveling up the hair shaft, causing further damage.
  • Have a balanced diet and proper hydration, as this will contribute significantly to healthy hair growth.

How To Maintain Cornrows To Make Them Last?

How To Maintain Cornrows To Make Them Last?

Care Of Cornrows

Caring for your cornrows is essential to prevent damage to your hair follicles and to maintain your hair’s texture and overall health.

First, protect your hair by keeping it moisturized. Depending on your hair type, use a light oil or a leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture and prevent dryness and itching.

Remember, proper hair care plays a role in helping cornrows last for 2-8 weeks.

To maintain the look of your cornrows and prevent frizz, reduce friction as much as possible by using a silk or satin pillowcase while sleeping.

This material prevents hair breakage and keeps cornrows looking neat.

Washing And Drying Your Hair

Developing a good hair care routine includes regular washing and conditioning to keep your cornrows looking fresh.

Start with a clean head of hair before installing cornrows and fortify your strands with a moisturizing or strengthening hair treatment to minimize stress on your hair.

When washing your hair, avoid using harsh shampoos that may strip away your hair’s natural oils. Instead, opt for a mild or sulfate-free shampoo.

After washing, apply a conditioner suitable for your hair type to provide added nourishment.

Drying your hair properly is essential for maintaining cornrows. Avoid sleeping on damp hair, as this can loosen the braids and cause them to unravel. Gently pat your hair dry with a soft towel or use a blow dryer on a cool setting to remove excess moisture.



Cornrows are a popular protective style that can provide numerous benefits for natural hair. However, if not done correctly or maintained properly, cornrows can lead to hair damage and hair loss.

To minimize the risk of damage, be sure to have your cornrows installed by a skilled braider and maintain them with proper care and nourishment.

Make sure you don’t keep them in too long either; take them down after 2–8 weeks to ensure healthy growth.

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