Cornrows, a traditional style of braiding the hair close to the scalp, are usually seen in straight lines or rows, but can also be done in interesting curved and geometrical shapes. Since any texture of hair holds them, white as well as Asian people can create cornrow hairstyles. Such styles offer convenience and low maintenance. Once the hair is neatly braided, if you protect it while you sleep, you can extend the life of your style. Hair needs to be at least two inches long to form an effective cornrow.
Create your design. Draw the style you want. By drawing it on paper, you can test and tweak the design without causing unnecessary damage by braiding and unbraiding your hair.
Use a comb to carefully part the first row. Use a barrette or hairpins to secure hair you are not braiding so it doesn't get tangled into your rows.
Be sure your part remains straight. Cornrows look sloppy if the parts don't remain straight or curve in the proper geometric shape or pattern.
Start your first cornrow by gathering 1/4-inch of the hair in the front of the first row into one hand as close to the scalp as you can. Cornrowing is very similar to French braiding; both techniques create flat braids, close to the scalp. Gather the hair near the base of the scalp, braiding the hair close to the scalp all the way down the row.
Separate the starting section of hair into three equal parts; hold between your fingers. Using both hands, braid the hair by crisscrossing each of the three strands one at a time beneath one another. Create the row by continuing to crisscross the three strands and grabbing another small bit of hair within the row to add to the braid.
Continue braiding and adding hair. Braid the hair, gently gathering hair in the row to add to the three strands you are braiding beneath one another until you braid the entire cornrow. Once you reach the base of the scalp (near the back of the neck) continue braiding the length of the hair.
Secure each row of hair by adding a small rubber band or barrette at the end of each cornrow. This prevents the rows from unravelling.
Section off the next row. Once you complete a row, part your hair for the next row, sectioning off the other hair with clips or barrettes. Braid the next row. Continue adding rows until you complete the entire cornrow hairstyle.
You can continue wearing cornrows for a week or two, according to Cornrowstyles.net. Cover your hairstyle and secure your braids before lying down to to sleep. Wear a skull cap, scarf or doo-rag. Lying on the braids causes the hair to loosen, making the hairstyle look messy.