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How Long Do Cornrows Last?

Cornrows are something very general. You can braid four braids on the scalp and get cornrows, or you can braid twenty braids on the scalp, and, guess what? You got cornrows.

But the question is, how long can you expect cornrows to last?

As a professional braider, I’ll answer some common questions regarding cornrows I often get from the clients.

How Long Do Cornrows Last?

Cornrows last between 1 and 8 weeks, depending on hair type, cornrows pattern (more or fewer braids), products used, and caring.

a rapper with cornrow hairstyle
Model Gani wearing cornrows (Photographer: Traian Racoviță, Bucharest Street Style) ©hairstylecamp ©Inashan

These inflexible braids stuck on the head are still made of natural hair (with or without hair extensions), which is growing, needs to be washed, and more or less wants to get out of braids when getting in touch with different things, and it even can make babies.

By the way, I love those cute baby hairs on the forehead. Happily or sadly, they come out from every part of the scapula.

Why Do Cornrows Get Messy?

All hair types get frizzy and messy in cornrows after more or less time.

Everybody sleeps, gets dressed, touches their head with different things, and hair is alive as I mentioned before.

Afro hair goes away from the scalp more slowly, being so curly it seems to grow less.

Also, its texture is harder, and it slides less. For these reasons, this type of hair, which loves these braids so much, can enjoy cornrows for a longer time than straight/Caucasian hair.

Those must be really happy if their cornrows still look neat after three weeks, while afro-haired people can easily maintain their aspect for more than one month.

If the hair is short and the braid size is large (only got few braids on the scalp), the natural hair can easily get out of the braid. Not all of it, but it can get messy quickly. Even when your hair is long enough, thicker braids get messy more quickly than tiny ones.

Also, the endings of hairs can come out from any part of the braid after some friction and moves.

Cleaning the head unproperly, scratching it, wearing tight and/or rough fabrics on the scalp, sleeping on harsh sheets, moving a lot while sleeping, putting in and out accessories through the braids, letting the cat play with braids, wearing glasses uncarefully, doing headstands, dancing in the rain, and many other things can affect the beautiful cornrows.

cornrows with design
Cornrow Photo from Inashan’s archive ©hairstylecamp ©Inashan

Can You Make Your Cornrows Last Longer?

Yes, I can, if I want. But I’m not sure about you! (joking).

Taking care of your hairdo and avoiding everything I mentioned above can help your cornrows last longer.

It also matters the way that your cornrows have been braided.

If you want to keep your cornrows for a while, choose a pattern with multiple narrowed braids instead of one with thick and fewer braids. Also, working time and price would rise together with their durability, so extremely slim cornrows wouldn’t help you very much, because it would be better for you to have two times the medium size of cornrows.

If you only do one side of your hair and sleep on the other side, you’ll see that you can keep your cornrows longer than usual, and maintaining them for up to one month isn’t difficult, but you still need to wash your hair carefully.

cornrows on models
Cornrows (Models: Ina Shan and Diana Nuțu, Photographer Baciu Foto). ©hairstylecamp ©Inashan

The hairstylist must be experienced and braid your cornrows very close to the scalp, but it must not be painful so it wouldn’t affect the health of your natural hair. It is also better if they use special wax for braiding.

Choose to use synthetic hair even if you want a natural look, so you can have the same color of extensions as your natural hair because it makes them last longer and looks better.

How to Make Cornrow Braids Last Longer?

  1. Sleep on silky sheets (silk/satin or any glossy and soft fabric) or use a satin bonnet/scarf.
  2. Choose a pattern with narrow braids and mix hair with extension. Also to be used a special wax when braiding.
  3. Wash your head with organic shampoo (that can be diluted with water) in a delicate way, and rinse with water with little pressure when necessary. If you don’t clean it, itchiness and dirt may appear. You can only spray water or dry shampoo if you think washing isn’t mandatory.
  4. Don’t wear rough fabrics (only rough pants/skirt if you want).
  5. Don’t scratch your head.
  6. If you wear glasses, don’t put the frame of the glasses through the braid, place it over the braid carefully.
  7. Use products to calm down your frizzy hair; it can be hair polish, hair spray, moose, oils, moisturizing products, hair glue, or whatever works with your type of hair. You can also style your baby hairs on the forehead with hair glue.
  8. Cut the strands of hair coming out of the braids or use a special crochet hook to put them back inside the braid.
  9. If your hair is Caucasian type, don’t cut your ends recently before braiding your hair. Fresh endings tend to get out of the braid.
cornrow hairstyle done by inashan
Stylish Cornrows by Inashan ©hairstylecamp ©Inashan

Taking care of your cornrows makes them last as much as your hair can handle. There are exceptional cases of Caucasians who maintained their cornrows looking neat after four weeks and afro-haired, who kept them nicely for two months.

If you love these hairstyles, as I do, there are millions of patterns and styles that you can experience!
Have fun, and keep loving your hair!


Do cornrow braids last longer on white, caucasian, or natural hair?

No, it lasts less and is better when mixed with dedicated hair extensions.

What type of cornrow braids last longest?

The narrower the braids are, the more they last.

How long should you keep your cornrow braids in?

Depending on the pattern, up to 3 weeks if Caucasian and up to 6 weeks if Afro.