Cornrows A Protective Style for Kids’ Natural Hair

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As parents, we want our children to look and feel their best. For many kids with natural hair, finding a suitable hairstyle can be a challenge. That’s where cornrows come in – a versatile and practical hairstyle that not only looks great but also promotes healthy hair growth. In this article, we will explore the benefits of cornrows for kids with natural hair, how to get them, and tips for maintenance and care. We will also discuss other protective styling options and the importance of natural hair care for kids. Let’s dive in!

Benefits of Cornrows for Kids with Natural Hair

Cornrows A Protective Style for Kids

Cornrows have been around for centuries and have been a staple hairstyle for children of African descent. However, they are gaining popularity among all kids with natural hair due to their numerous benefits. Here are some of the key advantages of cornrows for kids:

Protection from Damage

One of the most significant benefits of cornrows is its ability to protect the hair from damage. Combing, brushing, and heat styling can cause breakage and split ends, especially in curly and coily hair. By braiding the hair tightly against the scalp, cornrows keep the strands in place and prevent excessive manipulation, reducing the risk of damage.

Prevention of Breakage

In addition to protecting the hair from external damage, cornrows can also help prevent breakage. When hair is left loose and free to move around, it can easily become tangled and knotted. Cornrows keep the hair in place, minimizing friction and tangling, which can lead to breakage. This is particularly beneficial for kids who are active and tend to play rough.

Moisture Retention

Another advantage of cornrows is that they help to trap moisture in the hair. Curly and coily hair types tend to be dry and require extra hydration. Cornrows create a tight barrier around the hair, preventing moisture from escaping. This can help keep the hair hydrated and healthy, promoting growth and preventing dryness and breakage.


Cornrows offer endless styling possibilities for kids with natural hair. They can be styled in a variety of ways, such as updos, side braids, or even a combination of different braid sizes and patterns. Kids can also add accessories like beads, clips, or ribbons to make their cornrows unique and personalized.


For busy parents, cornrows are a lifesaver. Unlike other hairstyles that require frequent maintenance and styling, cornrows are relatively low-maintenance. Once they are done, you can forget about them for a while, saving you time and effort in your daily routine.

Types of Cornrows for Natural Hair

Cornrows A Protective Style for Kids

Cornrows come in various sizes, patterns, and designs, making them suitable for all hair types and textures. Here are some popular types of cornrows for kids with natural hair:

Regular Cornrows

Regular cornrows are the most common type of cornrows, where the hair is divided into small, straight rows and braided tightly against the scalp. They can be styled in various shapes and patterns and can be decorated with beads or hair jewelry.

Zig-Zag Cornrows

Zig-zag cornrows are similar to regular cornrows, except the rows are braided in a zig-zag pattern instead of straight. This style adds an extra touch of uniqueness and can be great for kids who want to stand out.

Feed-In Cornrows

Feed-in cornrows involve adding extensions to the hair to create longer and thicker braids. This type of cornrow is ideal for kids who have thin or short hair and want a fuller look. It also allows for more styling options and versatility.

Ghana Braids

Ghana braids, also known as “banana braids,” are thicker and larger cornrows that are braided in a vertical fashion. This style can be done with or without extensions and is perfect for kids who want a bold and eye-catching look.

How to Cornrow Natural Hair for Kids

Cornrows A Protective Style for Kids

If you are considering getting cornrows for your child, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Choose a Reputable Stylist

When it comes to cornrows, it is essential to choose a stylist who is experienced in working with children’s hair. Children may have a shorter attention span, making it crucial to find someone who can work efficiently and quickly. It is also necessary to ensure that the stylist uses clean tools and products to avoid any potential scalp irritation.

Prep the Hair

Before getting cornrows, make sure to wash and detangle your child’s hair. This will help the stylist work through the hair more easily and reduce any discomfort for your child. You can also apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner or oil to add moisture to the hair.

Use a Child-Friendly Product

When styling kids’ hair, it is vital to use products that are gentle and safe for their delicate scalps. Look for natural, sulfate-free, and alcohol-free products specifically designed for children’s hair. These products will help keep the hair hydrated and promote healthy growth.

Be Mindful of Tension

Cornrows, by design, require the hair to be pulled tightly against the scalp. However, it is crucial to monitor the tension to avoid discomfort or pain for your child. If they complain of any discomfort, communicate with the stylist to find a comfortable level of tension.

Tips for Maintaining Cornrows in Natural Hair

To keep cornrows looking fresh and neat, there are a few things you can do to maintain them:

Protect the Edges

The edges, also known as “baby hairs,” are the most fragile part of the hair. When getting cornrows, make sure the stylist does not braid too tightly around the edges to avoid breakage. You can also use a satin scarf or bonnet at night to protect the edges and prevent friction.

Keep the Scalp Clean

It is essential to keep the scalp clean and free of buildup when wearing cornrows. Use a cotton swab dipped in witch hazel to gently clean around the braids. This will help remove any dirt or oil that may accumulate and cause irritation or itching.

Avoid Excessive Manipulation

Cornrows should last between one to two weeks, depending on your child’s hair growth rate. It is essential to avoid excessive manipulation during this time. Encourage your child not to touch or pull at their braids, as this can cause frizzing and loosen the style.

Protective Styling Options for Kids with Natural Hair

Cornrows are just one of many protective styles that kids can rock to promote healthy and strong natural hair. Here are some other options for parents to consider:

Box Braids

Box braids are similar to feed-in cornrows, but the hair is divided into bigger sections before braiding. This style can last longer than cornrows and offers versatility in terms of length, color, and size.


Twists are another popular protective style for kids. They involve twisting two strands of hair together, creating a rope-like appearance. This style can be done with extensions or on natural hair, and it can last up to four weeks.

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are created by twisting small sections of hair and coiling them against the scalp. This style is often used to create defined curls and can be worn as an overnight hairstyle or as a more extended protective style.

Benefits of Natural Hair Care for Kids

Caring for natural hair is not just about styling; it is also about promoting healthy habits and self-love in children. Here are some benefits of natural hair care for kids:

Boosts Self-Esteem

When children embrace their natural hair, it can boost their self-esteem and confidence. By teaching them to love and care for their hair from a young age, we are empowering them to embrace their unique beauty.

Teaches Patience and Discipline

Natural hair care requires patience and discipline. It is not something that can be achieved overnight but takes time and effort. By teaching children to care for their hair, we are also instilling life skills that can help them in other aspects of their lives.

Promotes Healthy Hair Growth

Natural hair care involves using gentle products and eliminating harsh chemicals, which can promote healthier hair growth. When kids learn to take care of their hair, they are more likely to have healthy and strong hair as they grow older.

Essential Products for Natural Hair Care in Kids

To care for natural hair, it is essential to use quality products that are gentle and safe for children’s hair. Here are some must-have products for natural hair care in kids:

Shampoo and Conditioner

A gentle sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner are crucial for keeping natural hair clean and hydrated. Look for products that do not contain harsh ingredients like sulfates, parabens, or silicones.

Leave-In Conditioner

Leave-in conditioners are an excellent way to provide extra moisture and hydration to curly and coily hair. They are lightweight and can help detangle the hair, making styling easier.

Hair Oil

Hair oils are great for sealing in moisture and adding shine to natural hair. Look for natural oils like coconut, jojoba, or castor oil, which are easily absorbed and can help nourish the hair.

Edge Control

Edge control is a must-have for any protective hairstyle. It helps to lay down the edges and keep them smooth and sleek. Look for edge control gels that are alcohol-free to avoid drying out the edges.

Common Hair Issues in Kids with Natural Hair

Just like adults, kids can experience various hair issues, especially when it comes to natural hair. Here are some common problems and how to address them:

Dryness and Breakage

Curly and coily hair types tend to be dry and require extra moisture. To combat dryness, make sure to use a deep conditioner regularly and seal in moisture with a hair oil or butter. To prevent breakage, avoid too much manipulation and use gentle detangling techniques.

Tangles and Knots

Tangles and knots are common in curly and coily hair and can lead to breakage if not addressed properly. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle the hair, starting from the ends and working your way up.

Scalp Irritation

Kids’ scalps can be sensitive, so it is crucial to use gentle products and avoid harsh chemicals. If your child experiences scalp irritation, try using natural ingredients like aloe vera or witch hazel to soothe the scalp.

Transitioning to Natural Hair for Kids

If your child has been wearing their hair straightened or chemically processed and wants to transition to natural hair, here are some tips to help them through the process:

Educate Them about Natural Hair

Start by talking to your child about why they want to transition to natural hair and what it means. Help them understand the beauty and versatility of natural hair and teach them how to take care of it.

Be Patient

Transitioning to natural hair can be a long and challenging process, especially for kids who are used to a different hairstyle. Be patient with your child and encourage them to embrace their natural hair journey at their own pace.

Protect Their Hair

During the transitioning process, it is crucial to protect your child’s hair to promote healthy growth. Protective styles like cornrows, box braids, or twists can help prevent breakage and make the transition more manageable.

Empowering Kids with Natural Hair

Natural hair has often been stigmatized, and kids may face discrimination or bullying because of it. As parents, it is our responsibility to empower our children to embrace their natural hair and be proud of who they are. Here are some ways to empower your child with natural hair:

Lead by Example

As a parent, it is essential to lead by example. If you also have natural hair, embrace it and show your child that it is beautiful and worthy of love and care.

Educate Them about Diversity

Teach your child about different hair types and textures and how everyone’s hair is unique and beautiful in its way. This will help them understand that there is no one definition of beauty.

Surround Them with Positive Role Models

Exposure to positive role models with natural hair can help boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence. This can include family members, friends, or even social media influencers who embrace and celebrate their natural hair.


In conclusion, cornrows are an excellent protective style for kids’ natural hair, offering numerous benefits such as protection from damage and breakage, versatility, and time-saving. By choosing a reputable stylist, prepping the hair, using child-friendly products, and being mindful of tension, you can ensure a comfortable and safe experience for your child. It is also crucial to maintain and care for cornrows properly to keep them looking fresh and neat. However, cornrows are just one of many protective styling options for kids with natural hair. By embracing natural hair care and empowering our children, we can help them embrace their unique beauty and confidently rock their natural hair with pride.

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