30 Super Hot Cornrow Braid Hairstyles for 2021

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Are you looking for a protective hairstyle for natural hair that will turn heads in admiration? If the answer is yes, then you need cornrow braids in your life.

Dating back to ancient Africa, cornrow styles are widely used and adapted by modern-day stylists all over the world. We’re in absolute awe of these 30 different types of cornrows and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Why Choose Cornrow Braids?

Not only do cornrows look stunning but they are also perfect low-maintenance protective hairstyles for natural hair. Braids and cornrows reduce daily tear and wear leading to shrinkage and let you keep your hair in its best condition without putting much effort and product into your hair every day.

Cornrows are braided close to the scalp and often have hair extensions added in for a beautiful length. A cornrow hairstyle can stay in your hair for up to 8 weeks and look fantastic the moment you wake up. The only maintenance it requires is rubbing in oil for scalp health and styling baby hairs.

Below, there is a selection of the best cornrow braid hairstyles to pull off in 2021. Sleek and simple or intricate and with lots of detail – which braid style will you choose?

#1: Feed-In Braids with Cuff Beads

Fishbone Braids And Chunky Cornrows

Instagram / @steph_odia

There’s hardly anything more sophisticated than beads – and when they’re added to beautiful feed-in braids with a cool pattern, the look scores top points! Feed-in braids are a way to create an illusion of long cornrow braids. First, you create a starter braid using your natural hair, then add synthetic braiding hair is to create a long cornrow that looks super natural.

#2: Ghana Braids in a Bun

Cornrow braids with buns is a match made in heaven! This feminine and chic braided hairstyle is perfect for braiding and bun enthusiasts alike. The feed-in Ghana cornrow braids are a very popular and sassy style, and wounding them up to create a beautiful bun at the back uplevels the game.

Six Cornrow Braids into a Side Bun

Instagram / @baianabraids

#3: Two Cornrow Hairstyle

This absolutely perfect hairstyle is the best of two worlds, as it has two cornrow braids gently cascading into pretty loose curls. If you’ve ever wanted to look like a goddess, then we couldn’t recommend this creative style enough.

#4: Simple Small Cornrows

When you have cornrows braided, you do not need complicated details for them to look absolutely beautiful. Simple, small cornrows earn women just as much praise as complex African cornrow designs and patterns. Plus, the look is more versatile; therefore, you can style it however you like – pop it into a big ponytail or twist it into a bun – it’s your call!

#5: Simple Ghana Braids

One of the most popular African hairstyles of the last few years, Ghana braids are here to steal your heart. Also often called ‘invisible cornrows’, they create an incredibly awesome look and are very low-maintenance. Summer is the perfect time to try out this sassy hairstyle – especially for its protective qualities that will keep your hair healthy for longer!

Neat Black Cornrows

Instagram / @mslafitness

#6: Highlighted Artistic Cornrows

These sophisticated scalp braids have a beautiful and artistic design. The crossing cornrows feed into a series of delicate braids, blended with blonde highlights that make them pop! Worn in a thick, side-swept twist, this is the perfect cornrow style for special occasions.

Criss Cross Cornrow Braids

Instagram / @zumbahairbeauty

#7: Cornrows into a Large Bun

For a look that pairs ‘elegant’ with ‘eye catching’, pop your cornrows into a large bun at the top of your head. Any hairstyle with a bun on top immediately looks more classy, even though the cornrows will give the style a bit of an edge. Wear it for a special occasion or on a daily basis – it will perfectly work for both! If you’re keen to add a touch of chic, just drop in a few cuff beads.

High Bun With Box Braids

Instagram / @melforddivashair

#8: Creative Halo Braid

If you’re a braiding enthusiast looking to take your cornrows to the next level, you’ve met your perfect braided look. This halo braid is beautiful, sophisticated, and unique – albeit a little more tricky to achieve. You won’t regret a trip to the stylist when what you’re left with is this wonderful pattern against your scalp, will you?

Halo Braid With Fishbone Cornrows

Instagram / @alldolledupsalons

#9: Large Feed-In Cornrows

Probably our favorite of the thick cornrows hairstyles – and why wouldn’t it be? It’s so easy to fall in love with this style! These large feed-in cornrows achieve a classy, feminine and quirky look all in one go. The detail that makes us lust is the gold string that’s been incorporated into a few braids. It’s all about the details!

#10: Beautiful Cornrow Ponytail

We’ve always had a slight obsession with ombré, but ombré cornrows tied into a ponytail? That’s almost too good to be true. These cute cornrows braided into a high pony and lighter on the edges will go perfectly with any summer outfit and you’ll probably shed a few tears when the time comes to say goodbye.

High Blonde Ponytail With Chunky Braids

Instagram / @braidedroots

#11: Updo Cornrow Braids

How pretty these braided hairstyles look! If you are looking for a way to add even more glamour to your braids and cornrows, opt for an elegant updo. Versatile and chic and perfect for every kind of occasion, you can’t go wrong!

Curvy Cornrows Hairstyle

Instagram / @cutelooksdar

#12: Elegant Feed-In Cornrows

We love this simple but standout cornrow style. The larger cornrow braids separated by tiny cornrows braided close to the scalp have been designed to go around the head, creating an almost halo effect. The pretty cornrows transition to uniform, side-swept braids that fall prettily onto the shoulder – so feminine, sweet, and fabulous!

One Sided Cornrows

Instagram / @beautyspaceke

#13: Creative Blonde Cornrow Braids

We are here for these big cornrows into messy low buns! The chunky cornrows are slicked back into braids, further twisted into beautiful buns and completed with chopsticks! This high fashion cornrow braided hairstyle is made even more incredible thanks to the butter blonde finish.

Blonde Cornrows to the Back Hairstyle

Instagram / @ix5eight

#14: Intricate Cornrow Style with Beads on Each Braid

This adorable hairdo will steal your heart (and a lot of looks)! We love the mix of the intricate cornrow design, complete with criss cross braids and twists to complement the hairline. To add the “wow” factor, each braid end has been fitted with a cuff bead, giving an overall playful and feminine look.

Half Cornrows with Intricate Design

Instagram / @beautyspaceke

#15: Smaller Braids with Twists and a Bun

Who said braid styles cannot have twists and wash-and-go elements in them? This gorgeous and authentic hairstyle is a good example. The combination of tiny cornrows, gold cuff beads, and twists makes a bold statement, while the natural puff bun at the back adds a fun and funky twist. Great if you don’t want to have to choose between your favorite hairstyles for natural hair!

#16: Cornrow Braids into a Faux Hawk

It isn’t all about feed-in and box braids – natural cornrow braid hairstyles can be just as creative and receive just as much praise! Look how this edgy yet elegant updo features side cornrow braids and natural hair texture at the same time. Your scalp can be such an excellent canvas for intricate cornrow design.

Braided Mohawk With Cornrows

Instagram / @transformedbyo

#17: Four Large Ghana Braid Buns

If you like how a big cornrow braid looks, these four beautiful Ghana braids braided into low pigtail buns will tick the boxes for you. We absolutely love how easy it is to turn these goddess braids into an elegant, low updo – and there isn’t a better way to deal with loose strands at the nape of your neck.

Chunky Low Braided Buns

Instagram / @ashleymsparrow_

#18: Straight Back Cornrows with Colour

If you’re looking for ideas on how to jazz up your cornrows that go straight back, adding a bit of color will absolutely do the trick. The easiest way to achieve the look will be by adding bright color braiding hair extensions. You may even not stop with one color – the more hues, the more playful the look!

Thick And Thin Cornrows With Pink Streaks

Instagram / @_j.kimble

#19: Cornrow Ponytail with Cuffs

Glam and sophisticated, this is a look that’ll undoubtedly receive a lot of attention. Gold cuffs incorporated into a beautiful high cornrow ponytail is a hairstyle that’ll work for a special occasion – or when you’re in need of a generous amount of compliments!

Braided Pony With Beads

Instagram / @freshlengths

#20: Large Jumbo Cornrows

If you’re looking for a hairstyle that’ll make you look and feel like a princess – then opt for these beautiful large jumbo braids, decorated with gold cuffs and unique patterns. Sophistication, boldness and elegance – those are the qualities we can’t help but think of (with a slight hint of jealousy) when looking at the wonderful braided hairstyles like this.

High Ponytail With Beads And Cornrows

Instagram / @hairbyebonyb

#21: Half Box Braids, Half Cornrows

For those of you who are keen to give their cornrow hairstyle a bit of an edge, this is is the perfect way to do so. Opt for a pattern that’s quirky and unique, such as this beautiful zigzag and straight-line design. Box braids enhanced with cornrow braids in the front will sure make you stand out from the crowd!

#22: Skinny Braids into a Pony

How cute do these skinny braids look?! We absolutely love them, and if you’re someone who would like to use braids as a base for different hairstyles (a ponytail, a bun, two buns – you name it!), then you’ll love this style too. It’s very versatile and chic, especially if you add one or two pieces of hair jewelry.

#23: Cornrows with Curls and Braids

If you don’t want to take the full plunge into cornrows and braids, then this sexy style is a great way to dip your toe in the water. Keep things simple and funky in the front with half-head cornrows, and then let your natural hair flow in the back with full and bouncing twist-outs. It’s a double win!

Natural Hairstyle with Cornrows and Twist Out Curls

Instagram / @criouloshair

#24: Braids and Buns

Incorporating just a few cornrow braids into your hair is a wonderful way to change up your hairstyle without having to commit to the cornrow hairstyles for months. Cornrow braids like these are perfect for someone looking to add just a few small details to their hairdo while also showing off the beauty of lush, thick natural locks.

Double Puff Buns

Instagram / @transformedbyo

#25: Straight Back Stitch Braids

Straight-back stitch braids are a simple yet cool way to braid your hair, without having to come up with creative designs and quirky patterns. Excellent if you prefer elegant and neat cornrow hairstyles that will protect your hair from environmental damage. What can we say – sometimes, less is more!

Classic Long Cornrows

Instagram / @_j.kimble

#26: Puka Shell Cornrows and Braids

Puka shells are a natural and authentic alternative to your average bead. When added to these cornrow braids, they create a natural and bohemian statement that will make you feel beautiful and powerful. The braids are worn loose and wild resulting in a unique finish that we love. By the way, have you noticed that two side cornrow braids go in a different direction? Cornrow styles allow for so much experimentation, indeed!

Box Braid Hairstyle with Cornrows at the Frontline

Instagram / @studiodamitie

#27: Beautiful Stitch Braid Updo

This is a wonderful example of a successful half-head cornrow style. This stitch braid updo leaves the top of the hair unbraided, achieving a fuller-looking top and a neat lower half of the head. What do we love about it the most? You guessed it! The highlighted curls, of course!

#28: Mohawk with Box Braids

Yes, cornrow braids are super versatile – you can truly style them in a million different ways! For daring women out there, how about turning your box braids into a mohawk? Use some of the braids to create an illusion of a hairband and hide the bobby pins or an elastic you’ve secretly used to fix the style in place. Don’t worry – we won’t tell anyone!

Mohawk Inspired Braided Pony

Instagram / @12strandsofwool

#29: Creative Braided Updo

Creative braiding enthusiasts – this is the hairstyle you’ve been waiting for! How about a beautiful and unique half head cornrow braids style that allows you to showcase some of the lushness of your natural hair? And you definitely won’t see the exact same braids on anyone else (always a bonus!).

High Bun With Braided Pieces

Instagram / @transformedbyo

#30: Side Cornrows and Curls

If this is a look you have not considered yet, then you totally should. This side cornrows hairstyle is for someone who would love to experiment with cornrow braids but would love to show off their voluptuous curls at the same time. Double win!

Curly Hair With Side Cornrows

Instagram / @slayedby.c

Each year, hair styling gurus come up with new and exciting ways to style cornrow braids – and we feel eternally grateful for that. Braiding your hair into beautiful cornrows will not only save you hours of precious time you would spend on styling their hair, but will unavoidably earn you praise wherever you go.

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