Cornrow Styles: 20 Top Black Braided Hairstyles for Men + How to

Men’s Cornrow styles are a traditional style of braiding the hair close to the scalp. While usually done in straight rows, the cornrow can also be seen in complex geometric and curved patterns.

Often found adorned with beads or shells, the cornrow hairstyle is favored for its easy maintenance. It can be left in for weeks at a time with careful washing and oiling of the hair and scalp.

Many men think that cornrow styles are only for women. if you are one of them, check out the cornrow styles for men in this article and surely it will change your mind forever.

What Are Cornrows?

A cornrow style is a type of hairstyle where the hair is tightly braided to the scalp in narrow rows that look like neat lines or patterns. These rows can be as simple as straight lines, or they can form intricate geometric or curved designs. Here are some cool facts about cornrow hairstyles:

It’s Not Just a Style

cornrows men

Cornrows have a deep-rooted history that dates back to ancient African civilizations. Can you imagine? Their origin can be traced back as far as 3000 B.C.! Archaeologists have discovered statues from ancient cultures with cornrow-like hairstyles. 

Men’s Cornrows were a common way of styling hair in Sub-Saharan Africa for centuries and were continued in the United States and other countries by enslaved Africans. The cornrow hairstyle can be used to display social status, as well.

Things like religion, age, kinship, status, and ethnicity can all be conveyed. In the 1960s the styles became widely popular among African Americans as a way to highlight their natural hair texture.

Fast-forward to the present day, cornrows are now a global phenomenon that transcends cultures and countries. Impressive, right?

The Patterns

cornrow styles pattern

Cornrow hairstyles can range from the strictly linear, in parallel rows beginning at the front of the scalp and ending at the neck to complex geometric patterns, swirls, and curves. Although it may be tempting to consider the more stylized geometric patterns as modern, ancient artifacts uncovered in Africa reveal geometric patterns in cornrow hairstyles as well.

The hairstyle survived the era of slavery when it was common to shave the heads of enslaved people because the slaves who worked in the houses were expected to keep a neat and tidy appearance at all times. These house slaves modeled their cornrow braids after more traditional designs and kept the tradition alive.


Keeping a Tradition Alive

traditional cornrows for men

After the civil war, many adults straightened their hair, but the cornrow tradition was once kept alive by braiding cornrows in the children’s hair. Repopularized in the late 1960’and early 1970s, and again with the hip hop movement of the 1980’s many of the cornrow styles and designs we see today are a conglomeration of the styles found in ancient Africa, some Native American touches, and a hint of modern flair.


Why We Love Cornrows

One of the reasons for the popularity of cornrows hairstyles among men is the relative ease of maintenance. The braids are often found decorated with beads or shells and can be left in for weeks or even a month at a time with careful protection.

Cautious washing, along with regular oiling of the scalp and hair creates a long-lasting, simple and quick hairstyle sure to complement almost any person’s lifestyle.


Cornrow Braid Styles for Men

The following are the top 20 cornrow braided styles for men to try that are cherrypicked by our experts!

1. Simple Cornrow Style

cornrow styles for men

There are countless types of braids to choose from when it comes to creating cornrow styles for men. This is a very simple braid made more effective by altering the size of the plaits.

Ideal for: Most of the volume here is on the sides of the head and temples so avoid if you have a diamond or heart-shaped face.

How to Style: It is not always easy to braid the hair of varying lengths. Here they have chosen to create thicker braids around the top of the head where the hair is longer and smaller thinner braids around the temple where the hair lacks length.


2. Feed in Braids

feed in braids with cornrow

Natural Afro hair lends well to braiding as it can create beautifully voluminous braids. However, to prevent too much chunky height around the forehead you may want to consider feed-in braids.

Ideal for: The bulk of the hair is on the top of the head here, so this is great for all shapes aside from long faces.

How to Style: Feed-in braids start small and thin around the root of the plait and then thicken in size. This is a great way to add interest and definition to your hair and it helps shape your face and head.


3. Intricate Designs

cornrow with design for men

If you are opting for a highly intricate set of braids like this then you will want to pair back the rest of the style to ensure your crown gets the focus it deserves.

Ideal for: The bulk of the hair is on the top of the head here, so this is great for all shapes aside from long faces.

How to Style: By cropping the hair short around the sides and back this allows for the focus to be on those immaculate braids. Blending the shaved portion along the forehead is a clever move as it frames the crown of the head.


4. Zig-zag Patterning

men's cornrow with zig-zag design

Medium length hair allows you more versatility to play around with different looks.

Ideal for: This style draws attention to the temples and the sides of the head so avoid if you have a heart, diamond or round face.

How to Style: The zig-zag pattern on the head is a very distinctive look. The contrasting straight plaits that run from the temples backward is a great way to frame the style but also define the shape of the head and face.


5. Part Braided

cornrow with side part

If you are new to cornrow styles or braiding and don’t want to go the whole hog – consider styling just part of your hair.

Ideal for: Side parts are great for oval, square, oblong and triangle faces.

How to Style: By braiding two thin plaits along the part of an undercut and leaving the remaining length loose you can create a unique and interesting style without the full commitment of a whole head.


6. Funky Designing

The best bit about cornrows for men are the unique and interesting designs that can be created so let your imagination run wild.

Ideal for: Such tight pulled back designs are unforgiving on distinctive and strong shaped faces so if you want to soften your forehead or jawline you will need to opt for something less harsh.

How to Style: This super swirly design is great for long hair and feeds into some loose and long braids at the nape of the neck.


7. Face Framing Shapes

Face Framing Shapes for Cornrows

There are endless ideas of designs to allow you to be unique but also suit your face shape, style, and personality.

Ideal for: Bold faces such as hearts, diamonds, and triangles will look great with circular styles.

How to Style: This highly intricate design features concentric shapes and is therefore great for framing harsh face shapes.


8. Cornrows for Straight Hair

You don’t need afro hair to have cornrows or braids. You can still achieve a similar look with some nifty plaiting and styling.

Ideal for: Undercuts are great for square, oval and heart-shaped faces.

How to Style: Straighter hair allows you to have some more variation in terms of the braiding you choose. Big chunky cornrows men like this are easier and faster to do than the small intricate ones and you may be able to do them yourself.

Pairing the braids with an undercut and a hard-shaved part is a great way to define this unique look.


9. Hyper Long Hair

cornrow styles for men long hair

Whether your hair is naturally long, or you are considering adding synthetic hair, very long locks vary the options available for black guy cornrow styles.

Ideal for: Most face shapes however if you have a long face then you may want to pair this with a beard.

How to Style: The very fine braids are plaited straight back from the forehead, with some eye-catching waved detailing. The stark contrast is created by the alteration in plait thickness at the nape of the neck. This is a great way of maintaining the length of your hair without the hassle of it all being loose. 


10. Shaved Detailing

cornrow hairstyles for black men

You don’t need a huge amount of hair to achieve a braided look however the part that you intend to plait will need a decent amount of length.

Ideal for: Depending on the positioning of the plaits this could suit most shapes. However square, heart and triangle faces should opt for more of a side part.

How to Style: If you don’t want a full head of plaits or don’t want to grow your whole hair then opting for something like this is a great idea. Two simple plaits along the crown of the head with bold shaved detailing around the temple is a unique option.


11. Ombre Braids

ombre cornrows for men

Color is a great way to add more interest and definition to your style especially when you are mixing light and dark shades together.

Ideal for: This is a wide and chunky style – you will need to avoid volume around the temples if you have a round or square face.

How to Style: The ombre coloring here with the darker roots gives the braids and hairstyle added character and more of a dimensional effect. It’s topped off with a naturally curly back bun for added impact.


12. Braids with Bangs

Short hair can still be made into some very distinctive patterns of cornrow styles for men even when you have bangs.

Ideal for: This is a very bespoke look which is unforgiving on any boldface shape. This is one to avoid if you have a distinctive forehead or jawline.

How to Style: Having loose plaits draped over the face like this is a very unique look, especially when paired with an undercut although this may not be a universally appreciated look!


13. Cornrow Mohawk

cornrow mohawk for men

Mohawks are a great way for guys to show off elements of their personality – however if you want to give the style an even more edgy twist why not add some long cornrows?

Ideal for: This sort of slicked back ‘do suits square faces well.

How to Style: By plaiting the length of the hair back into cornrows you can achieve a very low maintenance and get-up-and-go style. Depending on your hair type you can also go for super chunky braids or lots of thin ones.


14. Side Braids

side braided cornrow for men

This men cornrow style is a great option for long hair – in fact, the longer your hair the better your braids will end up!

Ideal for: The double braids can help draw attention away from the face, so this style can suit most people.

How to Style: This looks like a hugely complex and impressive style that flows down into two side braids. The braids give you the option of folding into buns or tying into one low bun for daily variation.


15. Cornrows with A Top Knot

Cornrows with A Top Knot

This is a dramatic cornrow style that combines all the trendy looks for men right now – an undercut, braiding and a top knot!

Ideal for: Top knots are a perfect match for oval, square and triangle faces.

How to Style: An undercut is a great way to frame the braided portion of the style. If you decide to have a man bun at the top of the ‘do you will need to specifically have your hair plaited inwards, especially when opting for a bun that’s higher than a standard one, so let your stylist know first!


16. Curved Cornrows

A creative variation among cornrow styles, the Curved Cornrows form an arc pattern across the scalp, offering a refreshing break from the usual straight lines.

Ideal for: This style is perfect for those with a square or round face, as the curved lines help to elongate the face.

How to Style: Instead of braiding straight back, curve the cornrows in a consistent pattern. A skilled stylist is recommended for this style.


17. Cornrow Ponytail

Among the various cornrow styles for men, the Cornrow Ponytail is a versatile and chic option. It combines the neatness of cornrows with the stylish flair of a ponytail.

Ideal for: This style suits most face shapes, especially oval and heart-shaped faces.

How to Style: Braid the hair in cornrows from the hairline to the crown, and then gather the braids into a ponytail at the back.


18. Two-Strand Twist Cornrows

Two-Strand Twist Cornrows are popular for men due to their unique and trendy look. Instead of the typical three-strand braid, this style involves twisting two strands of hair together.

Ideal for: This style is great for men with long faces, as the twists add width to the sides.

How to Style: Section the hair and twist two strands together for each cornrow. The result is a slightly raised, twisted braid.


19. Side-Swept Cornrows

Side-Swept Cornrows offers a different take on men’s cornrow braid style, with braids sweeping across the forehead and down one side.

Ideal for: This style works well for all face shapes, particularly for those with a broad forehead as it helps to balance the facial proportions.

How to Style: Instead of braiding straight back, the cornrows are styled diagonally across the head, sweeping towards one side.


20. Ghana Braids

Also known as banana braids, Ghana braids are among the oldest cornrow styles for men. These braids are thicker and noticeably raised, creating a striking look.

Ideal for: This style suits most face shapes, especially round and heart-shaped faces.

How to Style: The process involves feeding in synthetic hair to create thick, standout braids. Ensure you find a skilled stylist experienced with Ghana braids to achieve this look.


How To Style And Maintain Cornrow Braids

To get started with cornrows, you’ll need a comb, hair clips, and hair styling products. Easy enough, isn’t it? These tools will help in neatly parting your hair, holding sections in place, and ensuring your hair stays smooth and tangle-free throughout the process.

Cornrowing involves a series of steps, primarily involving dividing the hair into sections and weaving it closely to the scalp. Picture yourself creating a regular braid, but it’s tighter and closer to your scalp.

Each strand is intertwined, forming a neat, continuous plait that runs from the forehead to the nape of your neck or beyond. Now that’s some hair art!

Maintaining your cornrows includes regular washing, but not in the same way as unbraided hair. It’s best to use a diluted shampoo or a shampoo specifically designed for braids. Think about it as giving your cornrows a gentle bath to keep them fresh and clean!

Keeping your cornrows moisturized is equally crucial. A dry scalp can lead to itchiness and flaking, which we definitely don’t want. Using natural oils or a moisturizing spray will keep your cornrows looking vibrant and healthy. Remember, hydration is the key!

74 thoughts on “Cornrow Styles: 20 Top Black Braided Hairstyles for Men + How to”

    • Cornrows can be done with hair as short at 2 inches long. You can add weave to it to make it look longer.

  1. does anybody know where theres a caribean hairdressers somewhere in london, someone please answer me and respond with the answer.thank you x

  2. but african americans brought it to the fashion and u know how everybody r trying to be modern. even if it doesnt look good on them.

    • Hey evelin i like thé corn rows that you do but can you send me thé other side of thé dude head its thé 4th dude from thé last thé one tht looks like all of it is in one please i really like tht i’m doin this for my prom an i runnin outta days

  3. To adreana,
    Cornrows are african origin. But it doesn't mean that not everyone can wear conrows. Because cornrow is not depend on the hair texture. So, any ethnicity can have their hair cornrowed best. I often see asian & white people wearing cornrows very well.

  4. it depends how its done and what kind of hair u have. if u have straigh and slik hair then they usually dont stay as long as for curly hair. and if they r well done then about 3 weeks…it all depends how thin those r0ws r..

  5. dis kid hair look mad nasty, braids shud be done only on blacks and hispanics, when white ppl do it sh*t looks mad stupid

  6. cornrows can look good on white people, it just depends on the style of cornrow you have, how thin/thick they are and how well theyre done, As long as you choose a style that suits your face shape etc then they can look good on anyone.

    • cornrows and white ppl go together like black ppl and tans…NOT! black ppl wearing cornrows and braids shows our ethnicity and originality and just like always here comes the caucasion persuasions stealing and copying our style…damn shame!!!

      • Your right … But you know a good thing when you see it … I’m white, but my family is from Slovenia … I’m going to little Cayman for 6 days doing research out of long beach state university … Suffice to say my hair is 16 inches long and ill be in the water for 6 hours a day for 6 days…It’s getting braded … Not as a statement … But for purpose so I’m not going to be showing it off like jt … As such I respect the tradition … Even though its not a part of my

      • This comment is for “Slim Goodie”. You should look at it as a compliment. The old saying goes-“Immitation is the greatest form of flattery.” I have a huge clientele of black women who come to me to straighten their hair. Both chemically and thermally. Isn’t that the same thing? Pretty sure straight hair is a causation thing. When was the last time you saw a white girl wearing an afro? Just saying. By the way….. I’m black and I’m proud to see women of ANY race wearing cornrows.

  7. i dont see what all the hype is about only african americans can rock cornrows. dude looks white to me, and it looks hot. whoever did it can deff braid. and if u can do it on soft hair, u can do it with any type of hair. keep up the good work


  9. i have a long hair and i want to do cornrow but i’m scared if i want it out i have to cut my hair, or is they a way that it could be done without i lossing my hair

  10. i will be in barcelona on jul 12th….Do you know a place or places to do cornrow and what is the avarage price of it??

  11. white men dont need to qet no kinda braids cause they aint qone look riqht . personally i think braids look better on black people then white but some white people CAN pull it off . & mixed dudes are ( sexy ] wit braids . but anyway braids look better on lil kids that are white then qrown men .

  12. hah sasha. true(the kids part)! and you who asked that if u need to cut braids off, no! it's just a braid. u can untwist it!

  13. of course caucasians can wear braids but it would only suit some David Beckam doesnt look too good with corn braids he looks retarded suits africans and hispanics more

  14. i thought we had come further then that, some of the people on here just sound angry! i thought this was about hair not race!!

    • THANK YOU I look damn sexy with braids but now I feel like never doing it again even though it’s my JAMAICAN GIRLFRIEND doing it… but I guess I’m somehow STEALING culture :S

  15. I just want to say caucasians can wear corn rows just as well as blacks or hispanics and look just as good. Of course some will look silly just as some ppl suit short hair raher then long hair, this is just silly racial talk from some..!

  16. i braid hair all different styles i think all race should wear their hair any kind of way they want i reject the comment of only blacks can wear braids

  17. who ever sed only black people can only bus braidz chat shit there jus rasist to white people. im a white man from england an i bust braids pretty gud an ive bean told it luks betta on me then most black men an das by men an women that are black themselves! people jus need to sut the fu** up if they got nothin nice to say

  18. I think that it's beautiful that other races are embracing African culture. And why not? We (Blacks) rock European styles so why can't they rock ours? It's the sharing and respect of each other's culture that will (I pray) make this world a tolerable place to live in!!!

  19. Im having trouble with my daughter and her hair twirling. So much that her finger gets stuck and cuts off curculation. She is 18 months old.(and white)

    Do you think that putting cornrow briads in her hair would be helpfull, and could it be done since her hair is fine?

    Thanks 🙂

  20. 1.I'm black, have short hair, but have had my hair braided before using extensions; I'm looking now to get it braided again becuase my scalp is messed up and throws off the shape of my fro.So my fro definitely doesnt look good. I have to have my hair cut,braided or some other style.
    2. And to the people making this racial,please stop it, cause comments like that are just stupid; I've seen both blacks and whites,males and females that wear braids very well and looks great on them.

    3.Lastly, the person that said they would have to cut their hair if they wanted to take their braids out, NO! Unless theirs something unique about your situation then it's very easy for people that braid hair to take out your braids.As far as I know, having to cut your hair is mainly true for people that want to take out their dreadlocks.

  21. guys … how much does it cost a 3 hour cornrow work .. aproximately … ??? cause i'm in Greece and it's too expensive here . it does't worth it to have your here braided every month ….

  22. whats good..on the real its just hair yall, and this is 2010 and everybody still goes straight to the color of yo skin, as if the brothas n sistas own that style, and the white folk sposed to be in skate n surf style, or the SA's gotta bang the 1 button adn creased up pants with they cortez's on…. nah, thats booty, you should upin the next foo with yo rows thinkin of somethin slicka…

  23. this is for the comment about what fingers to use. i use mainly my thumbs and middle fingers and practice is all you can do to get them tight.

  24. Ive been having rows for about four or five years, and they dont even touch the back of my neck. If my hair isnt growing, would it be time to cut it off? alot of people are doing it, but idk how the end result will look, and growing them again would put me thru hell just like when i first began to grow them. What should i do?

  25. hi m yhair is aprox 2cm and i want simple cornrows can some one tell me what lengh my hair needs to be for them and wat styles i can have inbetween ?

    many thanks

  26. how can i keep my cornrows the longest? im black and my hair is not as curly than full black people, but my hair is still very curly. plz respond… THainkyou!

  27. Quite a beautiful website. I built mine and i was looking for some design ideas and your website gave me some. Did you develop the website alone?

  28. Im black n filipino n I dont think it matters race and who can get braided… Some ppl black ,white, mex, asian, samoan, filipino it doesnt matter, anyone can look good with braids. Depends on the style and how u carry yourself. I have cornrows, and it does depend on texture. My hair is thick, and wavy, not curly. I last bout 3 weeks. look at history. Other cultures worked with hair too.

    • Nah the kind of braids blk folk (ppl of black African descent) get other races other races steal, copy, & claim it to be own til the casket drop. They (other races) been doing this all thru/o American history & even before. The small & big braid designs have always belonged to ppl of African descent & has always been apart of our culture, traditions, & identity. Even the single & three braided hairstyles that Native Americans, white ppl, & Asian ppl wore, black ppl wore as well. I go so far as to say the present world is screwy since ppl are indifferent of black African & African American history hence failing to realize the indiscretion, abuses, & thievery that some races have forced upon black culture & traditions. So sad. Ex: Elise created the song don’t cha & the Pussycat Dolls stole it & made the song their own. 1 of thousands of examples. Sad sad sad.

  29. i was actually wondering what does cornrow mean because i heard it in A.N.T. farm so now i know BTW I AM A BLACK

  30. i just like to no if you from raleigh if so where cause i like getting my hair have deen for the last 6 yr ilove the desings the most call me 255 2373

  31. i think if cornrows suits u and u want to have it go ahead but the best cornrows i have ever seen is busy signal in the one more night vid no homo

  32. what r some good hairstyles for black women that just wants the top of the head braided into a design n the rest of the hair hanging r curled down?

  33. hi, i need someone to tell me a good place to get cornrows in london and at a good price. please answer. thank you

  34. braiding is part of my life i taught myself and i do black white chinese italian ect looks good on most people but i think personally it either suits u or simply doesnt u have to have the face 4 it if u really ugly y show ur face more but true say if ur paying me il do it lol keep up the good worlk peeps still as the dollar sign looks sick have to try this 1 on my yr old i am a mother of 6 and 3 of which are girls so i extended braid ect and its a hobbie but now need funds for wedding so doing it 4 cash i love different styles so thank u for this site can any1 tell me fair prices to charge? god bless amen x

  35. dese braids aint all dat yall need some more braids uploaded on here bxuzz dese braids aint really all dat yall need moe designs on here bt some of the braids are pretty xlean yall jus need moe styles uploaded on here

  36. I’ve gotten my hair braided 4 times now an I love it I’ve also had hair extentions that I will be getting again soon, I would like to know what I can do about the hair on the back of my head at the bottom close to the hair line that will hurt an get bumps… so is thier anything I should do to help this or do I need to change how I do the back ?
    thanks please send me a reply soon as I will be getting my hair done soon Scotty

  37. my boyfriend have a mini afro and do not like the way it looks and want me to do something about it i cant braid it cuz its to short and he dont like twist so wht can i do with his hair

  38. I like alot of your hairstyles and looks on different sites for ideas when things are just blank for me but my question to you is where state do u braid in or have braided in?and how did you create this web site I been trying to create one right now I only have a couple on facebook laketra Hoskins feel free to check then out

  39. Race doesn’t matter at all. Hair is hair. Anybody can rock cornrows or whatever braided hairstyle they choose to get. No need for all the bickering going on. Yes braids do look cute on kids but they can look good on adults too. That always sounded dumb to me when someone would say that only on children braids look good -_-. Sounds so stupid to me. It’s just your opinion. Many people would disagree. I’m 22 years old and I have box braids in my hair. I don’t care what other people think. Haters are going to hate. I love my haters. Their my number 1 fans. I’m growing my hair to my diaphragm. My hair grows fast with braids so it shouldn’t take long. In America Black men with braids was given a label. People assume that just because we have braids that we are hoodlums. My hair doesn’t say who I am. My Lord does. Hair is just something God let grow. In Africa Braids mean different things. Good meanings though. Like for ceremonies, or different tribes. I’m keeping my braids.

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