Instructions for Scalp Plaits

beautiful Asian girl with braids image by Gina Smith from

Scalp plaits (also commonly known as cornrows) are African in origin. They give the appearance of an intricate and complicated braiding style; in reality, however, scalp plaits are not very difficult to weave. All you need is some practice.

Scalp plaits can be done on almost all types of hair, as long as the hair is of at least medium length and not too thin. This hairstyle is suitable for both men and women and is best to do during the warmer seasons as it allows the scalp to breathe.

Comb hair back in preparation for the plaits, getting rid of tangles. Then, begin parting hair. Start parting from above the ear all the way to the back of the head creating a narrow section of hair. Continue parting across head until you reach the other ear. These sections of hair will be used to make the scalp plaits--the narrower the sections, the more plaits you will be able to make.

Beginning at the top of your first section, further divide it into three sections.

Comb through the three subsections to ensure there are no knots or tangles.

Cross the right hand section over the middle section. The original right hand section should now be in the middle.

Pull all three sections away from each other to tighten the plait.

Cross the left hand section over the middle section--the original left hand section is now the middle section. Once again, pull all three sections to tighten the plait.

Lift a small section of hair, using either a fine comb or the end of a rat tail comb, from the right side of the plait and add this piece to the existing right section of the plait. Cross it over the middle section and tighten.

Follow these same instructions with the left section of the plait. Repeat this step, alternating between left and right, until you have a full plait. Secure end of plait with small elastic band.

Repeat steps 2 to 7 with all sections of hair created in step 1.