75 Can’t-Miss Cornrow Braid Hairstyles You’ll Want to Copy Today

We haven’t seen another type of braid come close to matching the creativity of cornrow hairstyles. Some of the more complex patterns could easily be considered works of art.

So while we absolutely adore the simplicity of a two cornrow braided style and are clearly a fan of straight-backs, don’t be afraid to experiment with designs, colors, beads and sizes. You’ll be surprised by the sheer number of possibilities.

Equally appealing is that cornrows make the perfect protective hairstyle to help with length retention, when the ends of your natural hair are braided away.

They’re even super easy to maintain. As long as you keep your mane moisturized and cover your braids at night with a silk scarf, with the exception of laying your baby hairs, you should be good to go for at least 4 weeks, for most styles.

75 Stunning Cornrow Hairstyles You Have to See to Believe

If you’re already sold on cornrows, then keep scrolling for all of the ideas and inspiration you need to decide on your next look. Admittedly, depending on your skillset, some of these styles might require you to book an appointment with a braider.

Do your due diligence when considering someone new. Ask all of the questions before you ever sit down in their chair. And please make sure your hair isn’t braided too tight. While you might look good now, you could potentially pay the price later.

Now without further ado:

1. Chunky Feed-In Cornrows with Star Design

Chunky feed-in cornrows with a star design worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
Pinterest

Who says straight-backs have to be straight-back? This stunning style incorporates crossover braids and star designs that truly sparkle.

2. Three Jumbo Cornrows

Three jumbo cornrows with gold cuffs worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kerstipitre

Three off-center jumbo cornrows are offset by two tiny braids in-between making this multi-sized style magnificent. Grab your braiding hair and check out the full tutorial below.

3. Stitch Cornrows in Fishtail Braid Ponytail

Stitch cornrows fishtail braided ponytail worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @jess_jessy.s

Multi-sized stitch cornrows are combined with a fab fishtail braid to create this perfect protective ponytail hairstyle.

4. Small Ginger Cornrows into Two Large Cornrows

Two large ginger cornrows with smaller cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kimmichellet

Take an already cute two cornrows hairstyle up a few notches by using ginger hair and smaller braids to complete the look.

5. Blonde Straight-Back Cornrows into Low Buns

Straight-back blonde cornrows in two low buns worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @shymsom

Again, straight-backs don’t have to be so straight forward. Opt to go bold with your braids by using platinum blonde and creating multiple buns.

6. Cornrow Braided Bun Hawk

Bunhawk with cornrows and a star design on a woman with natural hair

The subtle star design, coupled with wavy parts, make what could have been an easy braided bun hawk, even more beautiful. 

7. Jumbo Straight-Back Cornrows

Jumbo straight-back cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @nymatang

These jumbo straight-back cornrows are just as big on style.

8. Small Ombre Straight-Back Cornrows

Small ombre straight-back cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @amaosei_

At the opposite end of the spectrum, these small straight-back cornrows, featuring neutral tones, are simple and still ombre-lievable.

9. Thigh-Length Blonde Cornrows

Thigh-length blonde cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
Pinterest

It’s no secret that we love blonde braided hairstyles and long braided hairstyles, as long as they’re relatively lightweight. So when the two come two together, it’s impossible to hide our feelings about this bomb blonde look.

10. Zig-Zag Cornrow Braids with Beads

Zig-zag cornrow lob with beads worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @mk.lille

Zig-Zag cornrows and beads make a dynamic duo.

11. Small Feed-In Cornrows in Boho Braided Bun

Black woman wearing a zig-zag cornrows hairstyle in high braided boho bun
Pinterest

We absolutely adore buns with braids up front, like this zig-zag cornrowed crown, which make an already beautiful style, even more striking. 

12. Zig-Zag Cornrows into Space Buns

Chunky zig-zag cornrows in space buns worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @ulovemegz

This cornrowed take on space buns is out of this world.

13. Classic Cornrowed High Bun

Black woman wearing a cornrow bun updo as a protective style in her natural hair
IG: @vanessamatsena

Cornrows braided toward the center of your head tend to limit your styling options to a ponytail or bun. But what more do you really need when it looks this good? 

14. Frohawk with Cornrowed Sides

Black woman wearing her natural hair in a French roll frohawk with cornrows
Pinterest

Part pompadour, french roll and cornrows, this all natural frohawk is all fabulous. 

15. Halo Braid with God Cuffs

Black woman wearing her natural hair in a cornrowed halo braid hairstyle with gold cuffs
IG: @syeda_bombom

This cornrowed halo hairstyle, complete with gold cord and cuffs, makes a fabulous boho or festive look.

16. Strawberry Blonde and Pumpkin Cornrows with Spiral Ends

Long strawberry blonde cornrows with curly ends worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @shine_rosman

We want to show you that the type of hair matters, without telling you that the type of hair matters.

17. Traditional Eritrean-Inspired Cornrows

Traditional Eritrean cornrows half-up half-down hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @deograciousdube

Cornrows and Marley crochet hair come together to create this must-try traditional half-up half-down hairstyle.

18. Straight-Back Stitch Cornrows with a Heart Design

Black woman wearing straight-back stitch cornrows with a heart design
IG: @amourjah

There’s just something extra special about the precision of stitch cornrows done by a skilled braider. Needless to say, we heart this style too.

19. Straight-Back Cornrows and Box Braids without Weave

Straight back cornrows and box braids without weave on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @ravishing_tresses

Look, we love a style that can go the distance. So although this cornrowed combo is super cute as is, when the box braids get rough, the back can be unraveled to reveal a banging braid out.

20. Multi-Sized Straight-Back Cornrows into a Low Bun

Multi-size cornrows in a low bun worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @joannakinuthia

Whether you want to wear them up in a bun, or leave your braids hanging loose, vary the sizes or keep them the same, you seriously can’t go wrong with a straight-back cornrowed hairstyle.

21. Mixed-Size Straight-Back Cornrows

Multi-size straight-back cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
Pinterest

22. Straight-Back Cornrows Chignon

Black woman wearing a straight-back cornrows hairstyle in a chignon
IG: @petite.jhen

23. Wavy Ginger Criss-Cross Cornrows

Wavy ginger criss-cross cornrows with beads worn as a protective style by a Black woman
IG: @braidme._

Wavy cornrows are much more of a challenge to part with precision, but as you can see, these stunning styles are well worth the extra effort.

24. Wavy Cornrows into a Kinky Curly Ponytail

Wavy cornrows into a kinky curly ponytail worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @erica_letstalkhair @heatfreehair

25. Small Purple Cornrows into Ghana Braids

Small purple cornrows woven into Ghana braids as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @mizkimoraprecious

Cornrows are combined into side-swept purple Ghana braids to create this surprisingly striking look.

26. Cornrows and Criss-Cross Braided Ponytail

Black woman wearing a cornrows and criss-cross rubber band braided ponytail hairstyle
Pinterest

Edgy and unexpected, this combo of cornrows with a criss-cross rubber band style is everything.

27. Blonde Cornrow Frohawk on TWA

Cornrowed blonde frohawk on a Black woman with short natural hair
IG: @fitness_journee

Using tribal cornrows to create a frohawk on a blonde TWA, takes this style from fab to fierce.

28. Straight-Back Cornrows into Low Afro Puffs

Cornrows and a low afro puff on a Black woman with natural hair

Of course, straight backs don’t have to go all of the way back. And you definitely don’t have to add extensions. These blinged out braids dazzle with just her natural hair, cornrowed into a low, fluffy afro puff.

29. Cornrows and Box Braids with Beads

Striaght-back cornrows and box braids with beads worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @emani.marie

A cornrowed lob with beads is super cute no matter the color.

30. Blonde Cornrow Lob with Beads

Blonde cornrowed lob with beads worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kersti.pitre

31. Long Blonde Zig-Zag Cornrows

Black woman wearing a long blonde zig-zag cornrows protective hairstyle
IG: @yemialade

Buttery blonde zig-zag cornrows are a bold style choice, but perfect for anyone with the confidence to carry it.

32. Boho Curly Goddess Cornrows

Yara Shahidi wearing boho curly goddess cornrows as a protective style in her natural hair
IG: @yarashahidi

Yara Shahidi shows us that straight-backs don’t have to be so structured. The juxtaposition of formal attire against this boho goddess look is absolutely gorgeous.

33. Blue and Purple Tribal Braids

Blue and purple tribal braids worn as a protective style by a Black woman

You have to be pretty confident to rock blue and purple ombre tribal braids but sis is slaying this style effortlessly.

34. Chunky Cornrow Bob

Chunky cornrowed bob worn as a protective style on a Black woman with 4C natural hair
IG: @thejennjackson

Get all the deets to DIY this adorable, chunky cornrowed bob below.

35. Two Cornrows with Blonde Highlights

Kerry Washington wearing a two cornrows hairstyle with blonde highlights
IG: @kerrywashington

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of two cornrows. There are endless creative ways to approach this style, from blending color like Kerry Washington’s blonde highlights above, or going bigger like the jumbo braids below.

Keep scrolling to see this style with dramatic longer lengths and loose curly ends; even two cornrows tied together in one beautiful braided ponytail; all proof that your only limit, is your imagination.

36. Two Jumbo Cornrows

Two long braided cornrows with weave on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @felicerosee

Two cornrows work wonderfully without weave, but you can always add braiding hair, to achieve a bigger, bolder and longer look.

37. Two Cornrows with Loose Curly Ends

Two cornrow braids with loose curly ends as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @danishrolls

38. Two Long Feed-In Cornrows with Beads

Two long feed-in cornrows with beads worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @erica_letstalkhair

39. Two Cornrows into One Braided Ponytail

Black woman wearing two cornrows combined into one braided ponytail
IG: @erica_letstalkhair

Equally cute and creative, two cornrows are tied together to give the appearance of one seamless braided ponytail.

40. Wavy Cornrows

Wavy cornrows protective style on a Black woman with natural hair

We can’t get enough of a good cornrow lob or even bob. This wavy one with blunt ends dazzles due to the design, while the short tribal styles below wow with beads and bold colors.

41. Short Tribal Cornrows Bob with Beads

Short tribal cornrows bob with beads worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
Pinterest

42. Short Grey Fulani Braids with Beads

Short grey Fulani braids with beads worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
Pinterest

43. Side Cornrows on a TWA

A TWA hairstyle with side cornrows on a Black woman with natural hair
Pinterest

Short natural hair doesn’t have to miss out on all of this cornrowed creativity. A few braids can be added on the side to make a TWA a tad more interesting, or you can try a style reminiscent of Pop Smoke braids with beads.

44. Short Cornrows on Natural Hair with Beads

Short Pop Smoke-inspired braids with beads on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @asianxeyes

45. Long Pumpkin Cornrows and Box Braids

Long pumpkin cornrows and box braids worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @dayelasoul

When it comes to braids, pumpkin is always in season. And let’s just say, we like this lovely cornrowed look a latte.

46. Four Cornrows with a Heart Design in a Low Ponytail

Rear view of a Black woman wearing a four cornrows hairstyle with a heart design banded into a low ponytail
IG: @pearlthestylist_

They already had us at the heart design in this hairstyle. But seeing the cornrows, wrapped with box braids into a low ponytail AND finished with cord? We are head over heels in love.

47. Long Straight-Back Cornrows

Long straight-back cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @heycurlie

No matter the size or number of your straight backs, always go longer, for an instantly sexier style.

48. Thigh Length Straight-Back Cornrows

Thigh-length straight-back cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @sheilandinda

49. Ombre Cornrows with Perm Rod Set

Ombre cornrows with a perm rod set worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kersti.pitre

Cornrows in the front and knotless box braids in the back, enable a lot more flexibility when styling this standout ombre look.

50. Purple Half-Up Half-Down Crochet Cornrows

Black woman wearing purple half-up half-down crochet cornrows as a protective hairstyle
Pinterest

We’ve shared variations on half-up half-down cornrow hairstyles, but none as vibrant as voluminous as this one.

51. Grey Face-Framing Cornrows with Rainbow Beads

Black woman wearing grey face-framing cornrows with rainbow beads
Pinterest

The cornrows in the front of this style are actually braided toward her face for a refreshing twist on the typical.

52. Thigh Length Auburn Cornrows with Middle Part

Black woman wearing a thigh length auburn cornrows hairstyle with a  middle part
Pinterest

Don’t underestimate the power of color and length to elevate your cornrowed hairstyle from great to gorgeous.

53. Red Half-Up Half-Down Cornrows

Red half-up half-down cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kersti.pitre

This tribal hairstyle is not only lit, but thanks to this tutorial, it’s easier to copy than you might think.

54. Long Lemonade Braids with Curly Ends

Long lemonade braids with curly ends worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @braidedbytee

Queen Bey might have been the best to ever do it, but you can still get in formation, in an ultra long lemonade braids look.

55. Honey Blonde Feed-In Cornrows

Honey blonde feed-in cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @roxannevanessa

When you prefer your color more on the subtle side, honey blonde is a great way to still make sure you stand out.

56. Ghana Braids High Ponytail with Gold Cuffs

Black woman wearing a Ghana braids high ponytail with gold cuffs
IG: @freshlengths

Although your styling options are pretty limited given the direction of these Ghana braids, there’s no occasion or place that this gold-cuffed ponytail wouldn’t be perfect.

57. Bantu Knots with Cornrows

Braided bantu knots with accent cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @sabrinasbeauty

Cornrows make an interesting accent to a simple style like bantu knots.

58. Small and Large Stitch Cornrows Mix

Rear view of a Black woman wearing a mix of small and large stitch cornrows
IG: @_jazitup

Switch things up with mixed size stitch cornrows and gold cord to create this boho braided look.

59. Zig-Zag Straight-Back Cornrows

Zig-zag straight-back cornrows protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @freshlengths

The braids might not zig-zag too, but the parts add enough visual interest to make this hairstyle a hit.

60. Half-Up Half-Down Stitch Cornrows

Half-up half-down stitch cornrows with cowrie shells worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @heycurlie IG: @touchedbytb_

This half-up half-down cornrow hairstyle with cowrie shells is a mane masterpiece.

61. Half-Up Half-Down Bantu Knots and Cornrows

Half-up half-down cornrows, bantu knots and pigtails style in a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @neffyfrofro

Innovative and 90’s-inspired, this half-up hairstyle with pigtails, bantu knots and cornrows might be a throwback, but it’s just as appealing today.

62. Cornrow Peek a Boo Ponytail

Rear view of a Black woman wearing a peek a boo cornrow ponytail
IG: @taylordhair

A braid up the back is a simple way to switch this style up. They might not notice your peek-a-boo cornrow ponytail until you walk away, but they will remember it.

63. Tribal Braided Bun

Tribal braids in a high bun worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @vanessamatsena

The tribe has spoken. This exquisite combo of cornrows and box braids gathered into a high bun, simply cannot be outdone.

64. Curly Blue Frohawk with Cornrows

Curly blue frohawk with cornrows on natural hair
IG: @stacysinterlude

Cornrows come through flanking the sides of this curly blue frohawk. You can get a similar temporary color using hair wax and avoid the blues from permanently coloring your hair. 

65. Layered Ombre Stitch Cornrows

Rear view of a Black woman wearing blue and silver layered ombre stitch cornrows hairstyle
IG: @precisionbraids901

The design and attention to detail make these blue ombre braids even more badass.

66. Half-Up Half-Down Cornrows in a Jumbo Braid

Black woman wearing a half-up half-down cornrow protective hairstyle in a jumbo braid
Pitnerest

While this isn’t exactly a half-up half-down hairstyle, this classy, cornrowed look is close enough.

67. Cornrow Crown with Afro Kinky-Curl Ponytail

Afro kinky-curly ponytail with cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @thelolawilliams
Afro kinky-curly ponytail with cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @thelolawilliams

While this look is only comprised of three cornrows and a ponytail, the appeal comes from the unique way her hair is parted. Various sized cornrows braided on a slant, gives this style the visual interest to wow despite its simplicity.

68. Mixed Stitch Braids Ponytail with Beads

Mixed stitch braids ponytail with beads worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kitagirl921

Between the braids, beads and the length, this is quite possibly the perfect ponytail.

69. Stitch Cornrows with a Rose Design in a High Bun

Rear view of a Black woman wearing a stitch cornrows hairstyle with a rose design in a high bun
IG: @pearlthestylist_

Bun hairstyles are hands down, one of our favorites. Between the ease and elegance, not to mention endless possibilities, we tend to recommend them for every possible hair type, style and even occasion.

If you adore them as much as we do, cornrows will give you a chance to turn up the creativity, experimenting with designs, like roses and triangle braids, where the results are drop-dead gorgeous.

70. Cornrows with Triangle Braids in a High Bun

Rear view of a Black woman wearing a cornrows hairstyle with triangle braids in a high bun
IG: @pearlthestylist_

71. Fulani Tribal Braids in a Low Side Ponytail

Black woman wearing a Fulani tribal braids hairstyle in a low side ponytail
IG: @tresses_africaine

While you might not see an across-the-forehead-design that frequently, you can pretty much count on any Fulani-inspired cornrows to be exceptionally braided and exquisite looking.

72. Cornrow and Rubber Band Braided Ponytail

Cornrow and rubber band braided ponytail worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @kersti.pitre

Don’t be fooled by this pretty, protective ponytail. While it may appear difficult at first glance, alternating cornrows and connected rubber bands comprise the majority of this look.

Once you’ve mastered the front, the back is simply a braided ponytail, decorated with gold string to complete the style. Check out the tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

73. Two Cornrowed Pigtails

Black woman wearing a cornrows hairstyle braided into two pigtails
IG: @nikethegawdess

Reminiscent of a school girl’s style, but still mature enough for an adult, smaller cornrows are combined to create these two adorable pigtails.

74. Jumbo Bohemian Feed-In Cornrows

Jumbo bohemian feed-in cornrows worn as a protective style on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @yourfablifetoday

Yet another twist on straight-backs. They’re big, bohemian, and beautiful.

75. Cornrowed Lob on Natural Hair with Beads

Cornrowed lob hairstyle with beads on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @creeative91

It’s great if you have the length to pull of this look, but it’s not necessary. The more important thing to pay attention to is how you part your hair, since the design can make or break any cornrowed style.

If you’ve made it this far, you should be convinced that cornrows are hands down, your next hairdo. But just in case you’re still a little curious about other braided protective hairstyles, we’ve got you covered there too.