Cornrows are a type of braid with a long history in Black hair. These braids were originally called kolese braids, coming from a Yoruba word that means “creature with no legs.”
Today, they are an important type of braid featured in many different Black hairstyles where hair is braided, so it lies flat against the scalp. Cornrow braids have always been popular for people of any gender, so there’s no shortage of cornrow braids for men.
Keep scrolling to find some inspiration the next time you find yourself in the braiding chair.
1. Classic cornrows
Classic cornrows are braided straight from your forehead to the nape of your neck. They’re sometimes called straight back cornrows and they’re typically braided in small braids. This hairstyle is versatile and great for keeping your hair back, whether you’re watching a movie at home or hitting the gym.
2. Cornrows and fade
Cornrows with a fade give you the best of both worlds. You can leave some of your hair long while keeping the sides clean. You can even pull your braids into a ponytail or top knot if you’d like longer ends.
3. Cornrow twists
If you’re not a fan of braids but still want a cornrow-like effect, you can give cornrow twists, also known as flat twists, a try. Hair is twisted close to the scalp to give that same neat braided effect without using a three-strand braid. These are a great choice if you’ve gotten headaches from braids in the past because they don’t pull on your scalp as much as traditional cornrows.
4. Crossed cornrows
Crossed cornrows are a cool take on the traditional men’s cornrow hairstyle that allow you to get more creative. Your braider can braid your hair at all different angles and cross them over, letting you combine different types of cornrows. This style is super artistic and perfect for when you want to level up your braids.
5. Beaded cornrows
Beaded cornrows are a fun take on the original style, where you add beads to the end of the braids. This style is perfect for kids or anyone who wants to connect with their inner child. Try using wooden or neutral-colored beads if you’re worried about this look being too young for you.
6. Pop Smoke cornrows
Made famous by the rapper Pop Smoke, these cornrows are braided from the middle of the head instead of from front to back. This look is a little more casual than classic cornrows and looks great if you add some beads to the end.
7. Staggered Pop Smoke cornrows
Staggered Pop Smoke cornrows are a new take on the popular cornrow style. Instead of showing off a clean middle part, these braids are taken from alternating sides and create a cool zigzag part.
8. Micro cornrows
Microbraids are the smallest braid size. Especially if you have longer hair, micro braids have more movement than larger braid sizes. They take longer to install than more oversized cornrows, but give you more space to work with different braiding styles and designs like the micro zigzag cornrows you see here.
9. Jumbo cornrows
We usually associate smaller braids with cornrows, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go bigger. Jumbo cornrows allow for a quicker appointment at the braider, making them the ultimate time-saver.
10. Side cornrows
If you’re not ready to commit to an undercut or shaved sides, cornrowing these areas can give you a similar look without losing any length.
11. Cornrows with a bun
Buns have become a super popular hairstyle for men over the past few years. It’s no surprise that pairing them with cornrows has become a go-to option for anyone looking for a versatile hairstyle with an alternative vibe.
12. Undercut with cornrows
An undercut with cornrows is a great option if you normally keep your hair short but want to try out braids. It might take some time to grow out enough hair to braid the top of your head, but once that hair is braided and you’ve shaved your undercut, this low-maintenance high-style cut will shine.
13. Zigzag cornrows
Zigzag cornrows add some excitement to classic cornrows with braids that go back and forth across your head. Zigzag cornrows are a great gateway to other cornrow design styles and are a cool way to up your braid game.
14. Colorful cornrows
Getting bored with the same braids? Switch it up and add your favorite colors to make your cornrows stand out even more. Ask your braider about colorful extensions if you’re looking for a noncommittal way to experiment with dyed hair.
15. Cornrow locs
Cornrow locs are another option if you want that cornrow-like look without interrupting your locs journey. Ask your braider to try braiding or twisting your locs into cornrows for a new style to add to your rotation.
16. Cornrows with design
Many people don’t realize how much men can do with cornrows. Experienced braiders can give you nearly any design, so save some references or talk to your braider to see what they can do to give you one-of-a-kind braids.
17. Mixed-size cornrows
From micro to jumbo braids, you don’t have to choose one size for your cornrows. Ask your braider to experiment with combining different braid sizes to keep your cornrows interesting.
18. Zigzag part cornrows
If your braider isn’t as experienced with cornrow designs, but you still want to switch it up, try experimenting with different parts. Zigzag parted cornrows are when the parts on your braids are zigzagged, but the braids themselves still go straight back.
19. Wavy part cornrows
Wavy part cornrows are similar to zigzag part cornrows but give the style a bit of ‘70s flair. This style feels a little vintage, but works for anyone regardless of their personal style.
20. Sunburst cornrows
Sunburst cornrows start at one spot on your head and are braided out from there for an effect that looks like the sun’s rays. Whether you wear your sunburst cornrows long or short, this style takes classic cornrows into the 2020s.
21. Braid over cornrows
Cornrows are traditionally braided under, which makes the braid look very defined. Braid over cornrows aren’t much different except that the hair is braided over, rather than under, for a blended look.
22. Cornrows to twists
There’s no reason to choose one type of braid type, especially if you’re feeling indecisive. Try a combo of cornrows and twists next time you’re in the braiding chair and sport both types at once.
23. Spider cornrows
Spider cornrows start at one point on your head, then they’re braided outward. This looks a bit like a spiderweb, hence the name. This style looks great on all ages and is a fun new way to try cornrows.
24. Cornrows and box braids
There’s no better way to make braids feel timeless than to combine classic and modern styles. Cornrows mix ‘90s style with box braids, which are a current favorite.
Cornrows are a great option for men who want a low-maintenance protective style. Once your cornrows are braided, there’s little upkeep between appointments other than keeping them clean and conditioned.
Cornrows usually last two to six weeks, depending on what type of cornrows you have and how well you take care of them. Smaller cornrows will usually last longer than larger sizes.
According to internal data, cornrows cost $38 to $183 in the United States. This cost varies a lot because cornrows are customizable based on hair length, braid size, and whether or not you want cornrow designs.
When you’re ready to give cornrows a try, search on StyleSeat for a braider near you.