What does Cornrows mean?

A style of hair with rows of braids

Cornrows is a well-known braiding technique where hair is woven into rows that mimic the look of a cornfield. These rows are typically straight, but can also form part of a more intricate pattern.

This hairstyle is a part of many cultures across history, prominently within many African societies. During the colonial era in America, this hairstyle was often seen on enslaved individuals working in the fields. In the Caribbean, the term “canerows” is often used for this style, drawing a comparison with the rows of sugar cane.

In the 1960s, during the American Civil Rights Movement, cornrows were brought into mainstream fashion by Black women. Since then, it has been a preferred hairstyle for both men and women alike.

While cornrows can be worn by individuals of any ethnicity, there have been instances of backlash against white people for appropriating this style, as it holds deep roots in African-American history. Moreover, there has been controversy surrounding the hairstyle in professional settings, as many workplaces do not allow it, leading to workplace discrimination lawsuits.

Example for using ‘Cornrows’ in a conversation

Hey, have you seen Sarah’s new hairstyle?

Yeah, she’s got cornrows now! They look amazing on her.

I agree! Cornrows really suit her. They’re such a cool and stylish hairstyle.

Definitely! Cornrows have a rich history and cultural significance too.