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How I Learned to Cornrow

September 12, 2016

In high school and undergrad I could whip up some mean finger waves and french rolls, but I could not braid for the life of me. As much as I loved to comb my dolls hair when I was a little kid you would think I would know how to cornrow.  I can flat twist but no cornrows.  Now that I have two girls, I had no choice but to learn.

cornrow-3 cornrow-4

Here’s how I learned how to cornrow.  I watched this YouTube video, Cornrows for Beginners, like 5 times.  I broke the video down and practiced in steps.  I used Peyton’s big doll head to practice on because I knew Peyton wouldn’t have the patience for me to keep practicing.

First, I did like the lady in the video said and practiced a basic box braid on the doll head.  I thought I had the single braid down but I quickly learned I was going the wrong direction.  I had to train my fingers to go the correct way.  I did that for a while until it felt natural.

Next, I attempted my first cornrow.  It was a bloody mess.  Peyton doll head was so tangled it made it difficult to grab the hair.  If you are using a doll head to practice, I would suggest picking up a new one from Walmart, should be less than $15.  I detangled the head the best I could.  I kept going through the motions of the cornrow to get a rhythm going.

After about 45 minutes of using the doll head, I graduated to Peyton’s head.  Like the video, I started on the back of her head, rather than the edges.  My first cornrow came out pretty decent.

One of the best tips that the video gave me was to always pull the side your working on under the middle of the three pieces of hair.  When you cornrow, it’s easy to lose track of where you are in the process.  I remind my self of where I am by looking at the middle strand.  I know that I have to go under the middle to make each “row” complete.

I’m not great but I’m good enough to throw Peyton’s hair in a style like this to give her hair a rest and not pull on it everyday.  Peyton’s hair is soft and fine like mine so it can get damaged easily.  I hope this helps other moms to just get out there and try to braid.  If you’re a cornrow beginner, I definitely recommend getting a doll head.

How did you learn how to braid and cornrow?

  • MJ
    September 12, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I was just giving a few friends cornrow lessons. You go girl! They look great.

  • Toia B.
    September 12, 2016 at 11:15 am

    The cornrows look nice, Trina! Good job. I don’t recall how old I was exactly but my mom taught me to braid & cornrow when I was really young… maybe around 7 or 8 years old. I was interested in hair from a very young age and just HAD to learn.

  • Aracely
    September 13, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Umm I will need to watching this video at least a hundred times before I get it!!! Peyton’s cornrows look good.

  • ourdelightfulhome@gmail.com
    September 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Cornrows are heard to learn. I still can’t get my parts right and I’ve been doing them for years. Peyton’s hair looks great.

  • Krissy
    September 15, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I taught myself on my cabbage patch doll at like 8. I’ve taught s few people how. Braids are my go to thing to do that lasts all week and saves me time in the mornings

  • Raquel
    September 17, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I taught myself and then practiced styles on my niece’s hair. Still not perfect perfect and I still can’t do mine own really. These look good. Now the real challenge is Harper’s hair!!

  • Yaya
    January 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    I can’t cornrow to save my life so I need to watch the video you linked and get a doll head. I want to attempt to install crochet braids on myself so I need to learn to cornrow first

  • Shilene
    February 5, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    The braids look so good! I’m like you I could always do fingerwaves and French rolls but could never cornrow! So I will be trying this video.

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