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Do Cornrows Grow Hair?

If you’ve ever wondered about the effectiveness of cornrows in growing and maintaining healthy hair, then you’re not alone.

This popular hairstyle of braiding the hair close to the head has been around for centuries and continues to be a favorite style choice for men, women, and children today, but do cornrows grow hair?

Will your natural hair grow whilst having cornrows? Or can you grow your hair faster when having cornrow braids? Keep on reading to find out…

Do Cornrows Grow Hair?

What Are Cornrow Braids? Benefits Of Cornrows

Cornrows are a traditional style of braids where the hair is braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to create a continuous, raised row.

This hairstyle is often seen in simple, straight lines, but can also be designed in elaborate geometric or curvilinear patterns.

With origins in Africa and the Caribbean, cornrows have been a popular and protective hairstyle throughout history, and with the natural hair community.

When it comes to hair growth, cornrows can offer several benefits. As a protective hairstyle, they help shield your hair from the stress of daily styling and environmental damage.

When holding your hair firmly in place and keeping the ends protected, cornrows can help prevent breakage and split ends that might hinder hair growth.

Do Cornrows Grow Hair?

Cornrows can be a beneficial hair growth regimen for some people, as they serve as a long-lasting protective style.

There are many benefits of cornrows. By having your hair in cornrows, you can prevent daily styling stress and environmental damage that can hinder growth.

Wearing cornrows can also encourage new hair growth due to the increased blood flow associated with the tight braiding.

This improved circulation helps deliver essential nutrients to your hair follicles, resulting in better hair quality and growth.

However, you need to maintain your cornrows properly to avoid any negative effects on hair growth.

Leaving cornrows in for too long can lead to them becoming matted, making them harder to detangle and resulting in breakage.

As a general rule, it is recommended to keep your cornrows in for no longer than 8 weeks to avoid any adverse effects.

While cornrows can be an effective method for promoting hair growth, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks.

When braids are too tight, they can cause tension on the hair strands, leading to breakage and possibly hair loss.

Therefore, always ensure that your cornrows are not excessively tight to protect your hair and scalp.

The Science Behind Cornrows and Natural Hair Growth

The Science Behind Cornrows and Natural Hair Growth

When done correctly, cornrows serve as a protective style, shielding your hair from environmental damage and the stress of daily styling.

The key to cornrow’s effectiveness in promoting hair growth lies in the tension applied. When wearing cornrows, the roots of your hair are pulled gently, stimulating the hair follicles.

As a result, this increased blood circulation to the scalp promotes hair growth. However, be cautious when getting cornrows, as excessive tension can lead to hair loss.

To maximize the potential for hair growth using cornrows, follow these steps:

  1. Prep your hair: Ensure your hair is clean and well-conditioned. Wash it with a sulfate-free shampoo, and use a gentle conditioner to moisturize and nourish your hair. Detangling your hair before braiding is also essential—use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to eliminate knots and tangles.
  2. Choose the right braids: Not all cornrows have the same effects on hair growth. Opt for looser braids that don’t cause too much tension on the hair follicles. The key is finding a balance between a tight braid that will stay in place and a loose braid that won’t stress your hair.
  3. Regular maintenance: Properly maintaining your cornrows is vital to avoid hair problems such as matting and breakage. Keep your scalp clean and moisturized, take care to wrap your hair at night to minimize friction, and try not to keep the cornrows longer than 8 weeks.

Protective Styles and Their Influence on Hair Growth

When you’re looking to improve hair growth, protective styles can be a game changer for your natural hair.

These low-manipulation hairstyles reduce the risk of damage, shield your hair from the elements, and allow it to grow healthily. 

Cornrows are a type of protective style involving three-strand braiding of your hair, close to the scalp. This technique is designed specifically for curly, coily, and tight-textured hair types, which are often delicate.

When embracing cornrows, you can protect your hair from moisture loss and breakage, allowing it to grow stronger and longer.

One of the main benefits of protective styles like cornrows is that they require minimal grooming.

This feature helps you avoid the strain that daily grooming can cause on your hair, leading to split ends and breakage.

Cornrows provide a tidy hairstyle that allows the hair to grow unhindered without the need for constant styling.

Protective hairstyles, including cornrows, can also cause hair damage if not done properly.

Tight cornrows may lead to traction alopecia, a form of hair loss caused by too much tension on the hair follicles.

To maintain healthy hair growth, always ensure your cornrows are not too tight and give your hair periodic breaks from braiding.

Potential Risks of Cornrows

While cornrows can be a great protective hairstyle that promotes hair growth, there are potential risks associated with this style that you should be aware of.

Improper installation and maintenance can lead to hair damage and even hair loss.

Breakage and Tension: One risk of cornrows is breakage caused by tension on the hair strands. If the braids are too tight, they can cause undue stress on the hair and scalp, leading to breakage.

Have your cornrows installed by a professional or experienced individual who can ensure they are not too tight.

Hair Loss: In more severe cases, the tension caused by tight cornrows can lead to a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia.

This condition is a result of prolonged pulling on the hair follicles, which can cause them to weaken and eventually fail to produce new hair strands.

It is essential to be mindful of the tension in your cornrows and listen to your body. If you experience pain or notice hair loss, it is a sign that your cornrows may be too tight and should be loosened.

Pain: Pain is another risk associated with cornrows, which typically indicates that the braids are too tight.

While some mild discomfort may occur when initially installing your cornrows, significant or persistent pain is not normal and may indicate an issue that requires attention. 

Proper Maintenance of Cornrows for Healthy Growth

Proper Maintenance of Cornrows for Healthy Growth

Following a consistent routine can make all the difference in the health of your hair, with good regular cornrow maintenance as part of your hair care routine.

Keep your hair clean and free from product buildup. It is recommended to wash your cornrows with a gentle shampoo every 1-2 weeks.

Taking care to focus on your scalp and the braided areas. Be sure to use a moisturizing conditioner to nourish your strands and keep them hydrated.

Moisturizing is key in maintaining healthy hair while your cornrows are in place. Daily use of a lightweight hair spray or oil can help keep your hair moisturized without weighing it down.

Aim to use a product containing natural oils, such as coconut or almond oil, to provide optimal hydration.

Cover your cornrows with a satin or silk scarf at night to prevent friction and moisture loss.

One aspect of maintaining cornrows is preventing tangling, which can result from tight braids and lack of proper care.

Be mindful of tension, especially at the edges of your hair, and adjust the tightness of your cornrows if necessary.

You should also detangle your hair before cornrows installation, as this can help reduce breakage and make it easier to maintain the style.

Buildup is another issue you might face when wearing cornrows. Regularly cleansing your scalp with a gentle shampoo and using a clarifying conditioner can help combat this issue.

Also, avoid excessive use of heavy products that can weigh down your hair and lead to buildup.

Role of Natural Oils For Cornrows In For Hair Growth

Natural oils play a big role in promoting hair growth while wearing cornrows. They help to nourish your scalp, lock in moisture, and foster a healthy environment for hair to thrive. 

Introducing various natural oils in your hair care routine can make a significant difference in the health and growth of your hair.

In particular, coconut oil is highly recommended for its possibilities to strengthen hair, reduce breakage, and promote growth.

The penetrative nature of this oil moisturizes and nourishes not only your strands but also the scalp, stimulating hair growth and providing elasticity to your hair.

Olive oil is another excellent option for hair growth as it is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, which help repair and protect the hair from damage.

The moisturizing properties of olive oil also aid in preventing dryness and breakage, thus promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss.

Argan oil, often called “liquid gold,” can be equally beneficial to your hair’s health. This oil is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that repair, nourish, and protect your hair.

Its high vitamin E content promotes new hair growth and improves hair elasticity, contributing to length retention.

Jamaican black castor oil is also a popular choice for cornrow wearers seeking natural hair growth. This oil is known for its ability to improve blood circulation, stimulate hair follicles, and support hair growth.

It is particularly effective in nourishing the scalp and preventing hair loss due to breakage.

Importance of Conditioning Your Natural Hair To Make Your Hair Grow

Maintaining healthy natural hair is essential for its growth, and conditioning plays a role in this process.

Conditioning your hair regularly not only helps to moisturize and nourish your locks but also prevents breakage and split ends. It ensures that your hair remains strong and healthy even when you have cornrows.

One significant benefit of conditioning is that it helps in retaining moisture, which is vital for natural hair, especially when you have cornrows.

Since your hair is tucked away in a protective style, it becomes more prone to dryness.

To maintain the proper moisture balance, always apply a good quality leave-in conditioner after washing your hair. This helps in keeping your hair hydrated, soft, and manageable.

Using a deep conditioner every few weeks is also essential to strengthen your hair and prevent damage. It penetrates the hair shaft, restoring essential nutrients and combating breakage.

Deep conditioning treatments help improve hair elasticity, making it less prone to snapping and tangling when you have cornrows.

Besides providing essential hydration, conditioning your hair also promotes hair growth by preventing breakage. When your hair is soft and manageable, it is less likely to break or tangle.

This, in turn, contributes to a healthy environment for hair growth. Furthermore, well-conditioned hair is easier to maintain and style, making the process of getting cornrows less damaging for your hair.

Understanding the Risk of Over-Manipulation When You Braid Your Hair

Understanding the Risk of Over-Manipulation When You Braid Your Hair

Over-manipulation is a common cause of hair breakage and stagnated hair growth when it comes to protective styles like cornrows.

Although cornrows are designed to protect your hair and promote growth, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with over-manipulation, which can hinder your hair growth journey.

You might be wondering what over-manipulation means. It refers to excessive styling, touching, or adjusting of your hair, which can weaken the hair shaft and lead to breakage.

When it comes to cornrows, over-manipulation can occur in several forms, such as braiding too tightly, leaving cornrows in for too long, or frequently redoing your hairstyle.

Firstly, braiding your cornrows too tightly can cause excessive tension on the roots, which could lead to hair loss or damage to the hair follicles.

Ensure that the person creating the cornrows is gentle and doesn’t apply too much pressure. Remember, the goal is to protect your hair and promote growth, not to cause damage through over-stressing the hair.

Leaving your cornrows in for too long is another form of over-manipulation that can hinder hair growth. It is recommended not to leave cornrows in for more than eight weeks.

Doing so might cause your hair to become matted, making it difficult to detangle and increasing the chances of breakage when you finally remove the cornrows.

Hair that is left in cornrows for extended periods can become weak and dry due to a lack of regular moisturization and care.

Factors That Can Cause Hair Damage

When it comes to maintaining healthy hair while wearing cornrows, it’s vital to be aware of potential factors that can cause hair damage. 

Traction: One of the primary concerns with cornrows is the tension they can place on your scalp and hair follicles.

Excessive tension can lead to breakage and even a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. To avoid this, ensure your cornrows are not too tight and give your hair regular breaks from tightly braided styles.

Heat: Exposing your hair to high heat, such as using a flat iron or hair dryer, can weaken the hair shaft and lead to breakage.

This is especially true if your hair is already vulnerable to being in a cornrow style. When possible, avoid using heat on your cornrowed hair and opt for natural drying methods instead.

Chemicals: Hair products such as relaxers, dyes, and harsh shampoos can be harmful to your hair, particularly when it’s in a protective style like cornrows.

To minimize damage, opt for natural and gentle hair care products. Pay attention to the ingredient list and look for products that are sulfate-free, silicone-free, and alcohol-free.

Shedding: Some hair shedding is a natural part of the hair growth cycle. However, excessive shedding can be a sign of damage or an underlying issue.

To maintain healthy hair while wearing cornrows, implement proper hair care practices like regular moisturizing, scalp massages, and gentle detangling when taking down the braids.

The Relevance of Scalp Care in Hair Growth

When it comes to hair growth, caring for your scalp is essential. A healthy scalp environment can result in better hair growth, and cornrows can be a useful protective style to help you achieve this goal.

Regularly massaging your scalp can stimulate blood flow and promote hair growth. When you have cornrows, it’s essential to practice gentle scalp massages to avoid disturbing the braids.

Making a habit of scalp massages can improve circulation to your hair follicles and boost hair growth.

Keep your scalp moisturized with cornrows, as a dry and itchy scalp can lead to breakage and hinder hair growth.

Maintaining adequate moisture levels on your scalp can prolong the life of your cornrows and foster a healthy environment for hair growth.

Use a light, non-greasy oil or spray to lightly apply moisture to the scalp without weighing down your braids.

Avoid scratching your scalp when wearing cornrows. Itching can indicate that your scalp is too dry or experiencing an adverse reaction to hair products.

Frequent scratching can cause irritation and injury to your scalp, which can interfere with hair growth. If you notice persistent itching, try changing your hair care products or consult a professional.



The answer to the question “do cornrows grow hair?” is yes! Cornrows can be a great protective style for promoting healthier, longer hair.

When done correctly, this traditional braiding technique helps shield your hair from environmental damage and daily styling stress, while increasing blood circulation to stimulate growth.

Be aware of the potential risks, such as breakage or traction alopecia caused by excessive tension.

Making proper maintenance part of your regimen is also essential—follow our tips for keeping your cornrows healthy and free from build-up.

Finally, conditioners and natural oils play a big role in nourishing the scalp and fostering a healthy environment for hair growth.

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