Worn mainly for convenience and as a protective hairstyle as you grow your hair to the desired length because they protect hair from moisture loss and breakage, cornrows are one of the most popular hairs styles for African women because they are a smooth, glossy, low maintenance hairstyle that lasts for weeks. 

Sarah Rocking a simple cornrow style
Photographer Oscar Ntege, Edited by Sarah Ntabadde

Although embraced by the world, the hairstyle originated from Africa where particular hairstyles indicated what tribe one belonged to. The style was also used to signify one’s age, religion, wealth, and marital status and also used as a communication medium amongst many African societies, especially in western and northern Africa. 

During the dehumanizing slave era, many Africans that were forced into America had their hair cut off to rob them of their identity. However, in the 60s and 70s, as more African Americans started rejecting white beauty standards (thanks to the Black power movement) and sought hairstyles that reflected their heritage, cornrows became a popular thing again. 

They have become so popular today, that we have seen Hollywood A-listers like Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Trace Elis Ross among others rock them on and off the red carpet of Hollywood significant events. 

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