Cornrow Hair Growth Regimen: How Long to Keep Your Cornrows

Cute black woman with her natural hair combined with synthetic hair extensions to maintain cornrows for two months.

Are you looking for a way to make your hair grow faster? If so, many ladies within the natural hair community have been trying out cornrows.

This popular hairdo can definitely promote hair growth, but how long do you need to keep them in for the best results? In this article, we will answer that question and provide additional tips on making this growth-promoting protective style work for you.

How Long to Keep Cornrows in for Hair to Grow

Cornrows help protect your hair from the stress of daily styling and environmental damage when used as a long-lasting protective hairstyle. You want to give your hair enough time to recover and grow, but not so much time that your cornrows become a matted mess.

For the best results, don’t leave your cornrows in for longer than 8 weeks. While you can technically keep your cornrows in for longer, it’s not recommended.

Doing so won’t benefit your hair growth and can have adverse effects on the health of your hair.

Instead, take your braids out after the recommended time and give your hair a few days to recover. Then, braid it again if you want to continue growing it out using a cornrow hair growth regimen.

Note: The process of wearing cornrows regularly for hair growth can work on any hair type, including “caucasian hair” and “biracial hair” types. According to the Andre Walker hair typing system, these are just normal hair types. Since this is a common question we receive, I wanted to address the question directly within this article.

A black female wearing braided cornrows with unique and resilient hair characteristics aligned with mixed hair strands.

What Happens When You Leave Your Cornrows in Too Long?

When you leave your cornrows in too long, you increase your chances of getting matted hair. When shed hair combines with dirt, natural oils, and leftover product, it forms clumps of tangled hair that are similar to dreads.

In addition to being more difficult and time-consuming to detangle, matted hair increases your likelihood of experiencing severe hair breakage and shedding when you take your braids out. 

How to Grow Your Hair Out in Cornrows

Now that you’re familiar with how long you should leave your cornrows in for hair growth, you’re probably wondering what else you need to know. So, in this section, we’ll provide detailed step-by-step instructions on how to grow your hair with cornrows. 

An African female wearing her hair neat in long cornrow braids while she's trying to make her natural hair grow.

Wash and Condition Your Hair

You want to start your cornrows on a clean head of hair. You should also fortify your strands with a moisturizing or strengthening hair treatment.

Although cornrows are a protective style, installing them puts a lot of stress on your hair. Additionally, you won’t have full access to your hair until you take your cornrows down. So, make sure you take this time to cleanse, condition, and detangle your hair.

Note: Protective hairstyles (e.g., box braids) are designed to keep your hair “protected” and require minimal maintenance during a hair growth regimen. These styling concepts are often recommended by natural hair experts.

Cornrow Your Own Hair

If you’re cornrowing your hair for hair growth, we recommend installing the braids yourself. Braiding your own hair lets you control the tightness of your braids.

You’ll be able to feel it when you’re pulling on your hair too hard, and you can easily avoid causing tension-related hair loss

You can also find a good hairstylist to braid your hair for you, but make sure you’re comfortable enough to stop them if the braids are too tight.

You can choose any braiding pattern you like, but most people stick with straight-back cornrows because they’re easier to install and take down. 

African American female with a 3C natural hair type wearing a cornrow protective hairstyle on her black hair.

Wash Your Cornrows at Least Once a Week

Your hair care regimen shouldn’t stop just because your hair is in cornrows. You’ll still have to wash and condition your hair at least once weekly.

You can also co-wash your hair and use your regular deep conditioning treatments. You don’t want the product to build up and get stuck in your braids, so keep your cornrows as clean as possible. 

Moisturize and Seal Your Braids 

After every wash, apply your favorite hydrating cream and oil to lock moisture into your strands. You can also touch your braids up as needed.

Feel free to spritz them with a spray bottle filled with water anytime they need more moisture. And pay extra attention to the ends of your braids, as they are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair. 

Side view of a black lady wearing an increasingly popular braided style designed to help her retain length.

Take Your Cornrows Out Carefully 

When it’s time to remove your cornrows, approach the task as gently as possible. You don’t want to undo all of your hard work by tearing through your hair and causing breakage.

You can take your braids down dry or use a detangling conditioner to help give you some slip. Once your cornrows are out, comb through your hair with a wide-tooth comb to remove all the shed strands.

Then, wash and deep condition your hair. After that, the only thing left to do is admire your new growth!

Tips for Growing Out Your Hair in Cornrows

Now that you know the basics of growing your hair out in cornrows, we’d like to dive into some things you can do to make the process even more rewarding. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your protective style. 

A black lady with an itchy scalp wearing long braids styled with coconut oil and olive oil.

Massage Your Scalp

Giving yourself a thorough, relaxing scalp massage is an excellent way to make your hair grow faster. In addition to lowering your stress levels, scalp massages increase blood and oxygen circulation.

The more oxygen and nutrients your scalp gets, the more growth you’ll see (up to a point – on average, natural hair grows up to ½ inch per month). Pair your scalp massage with a hair growth boosting oil to see even better results. 

Invest in Wigs

Although wigs won’t make your hair grow faster, they can make the process less boring. You can switch up your look with different styles, lengths, and hair colors while keeping your natural strands safely tucked away.

Just be careful with glues and gels, take your wig off before bed, and make sure your wig fits comfortably. Otherwise, you may risk the health of your fragile hair edges. 

Serious dark-skinned female with natural hair wearing a protective style to encourage length retention.

Use Hair Growth-Promoting Oils

If your goal is to grow your hair out, you might want to consider incorporating growth-promoting oils into a proper hair care routine.

Some oils are rich in beneficial vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants which help maximize your hair growth. Some of our favorite oils for boosting hair growth are: 

Check Your Hair Often

It’s easy to forget your hair while it’s hidden inside of your dense cornrows. That said, you should still check on your hair regularly to make sure it is still doing well.

Check to ensure your new growth isn’t getting matted and tangled, and remove your cornrows if you notice significant buildup. 

Get Proper Nutrition

Hair growth starts from the inside out, so you’ll have to ensure your body has all the nutrients it needs to support healthy hair growth. Additionally, a deficiency in crucial vitamins can even slow or halt your hair growth entirely.

Be sure you’re eating plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts to supplement your hair journey. You should also make an effort to drink enough water and stay away from junk food as much as possible. 

Side-view of a dark-skinned black girl that wears cornrows regularly as her natural hair grows.

Protect Your Hair at Night

Cotton pillowcases can suck the moisture from your cornrows and leave them dry and brittle. You can counteract this by switching to a silk or satin pillowcase or covering your braids with a silk/satin scarf before you sleep. 

Related Articles

Cornrows can definitely help you reach your hair growth goals, but they can easily ruin your hair if done incorrectly.

However, as long as you take the necessary precautions and care for your strands, you’ll see great results. We hope this article has provided you with all the information you were looking for and helps you turn your hair goals into a hair reality!

Similar Posts