Confession: I do not know how to cornrow! Yup, at 39 years old, I haven’t the slightest idea on how to create and design beautiful cornrow braids. For those who are not familiar, cornrows are a traditional style, where the hair is braided very close to the scalp. Using an underhand, upward motion produces a continuous raised row. Sometimes adorned with beads or cowry shells. This style is also favored for its’ easy maintenance. It can be left in for weeks at a time with careful washing and oiling of the scalp. Very popular within the black community and has become a trend in many cultures as well.
I do know how to do two-strand twists and the usual three-strand braid. Being a single mom of one eleven year-old princess, it has been a challenge, to say the least! I have shed tears and felt dismay on many occasions. I have had to resort to beauty salons, close friends and even family to maintain a cool hairstyle. For so many years, I’ve watched and admired others skill and thought to myself that it was way too complex for me to handle. I’ve heard the jokes, the criticism that would label me as an ‘outsider’. “GIRL, how do you not know how to cornrow?!” and other jests. I would only smile and carry my daughter off to the braiding salon for another ‘do. Recently, I noticed some hair breakage at the back of her nape. I am making a choice to become my daughters’ personal hairstylist. I will be responsible for shampooing, deep conditioning, trimming and creating a hairstyle. It will be a fun process as I am determined to care for her hair health and growth. My daughter is at the age where she can brush and maintain her own hair but for the extra pizazz she may like, I am eager to create special braided/twisted styles. In making this choice, I have also decided to ask an expert braider to show me how to create neat cornrows. Practice and having patience will be essential for me. I welcome the opportunity!