How Long Do Cornrow Braids Last?

Cornrows are undeniably one of African American women’s most popular protective hairstyles. Whether you want something sleek and elegant or go with a wilder and more colorful look, it can be achieved with cornrows. But how long do cornrow braids last, and how can you extend their longevity?

While the longevity of cornrow braids can vary depending on your type of hair and how well they are maintained, for the most part, cornrow braids last anywhere from four to eight weeks, with six weeks being the most common. Some wear cornrows for up to 12 weeks, but wearing them beyond 12 weeks is not recommended.

Wondering how long cornrow braids last and how to make them last as long as possible? Then keep reading, hon! Today, I’m sharing imperative info about how long cornrow braids last – and what you can do to make them last longer.

Find out how long cornrow braids last below!

How Long Do Cornrow Braids Last?

How long cornrow braids last depends on two main factors: your hair type and how they’re maintained.

On straight and mixed hair, you will see cornrow braids last anywhere from two to six weeks (typically). Kinkier hair types can last up to 12 weeks, but eight weeks is the typical timeframe for kinky hair types that take great care of their cornrow braids.

With that information, the answer is clear: cornrow braids last anywhere from four to eight weeks, with six weeks being the “typical” timeframe for cornrow braids. Some women can get up to 12 weeks of wear, but cornrows should never be left in the hair for longer than 12 weeks.

How to Make Cornrow Braids Last Longer

As with any other hairstyle, you want it to last as long as possible. After all, getting your hair styled isn’t exactly fun – and that’s not even discussing the cost associated with getting cornrow braids.

If you want to make your cornrow braids last longer, follow these simple tips:

1. Seek Out Professional Help

The first step in making your cornrow braids last longer is to recruit the help of a professional and experienced hairstylist. The more experience your stylist has with cornrow braids, the longer they’ll last – it’s just that simple.

2. Apply Oil Twice Per Day

Cornrows can feel uncomfortable and cause dryness or itchiness. Obviously, you don’t want your scalp to feel that way. The best solution? Apply oil to your scalp twice per day – once at night and once in the morning.

Which oils work best? Well, you can opt for commercial products such as this or simply reach for your favorite natural oils in the kitchen cabinet. Olive, jojoba, and coconut oil can all work wonders at alleviating pain, itching, tension, and dryness.

Pro tip: Avoid heavy products on your cornrow braids, such as pomades or gels. They can negatively affect your cornrows and leave pesky build-up that may shorten the lifespan of your cornrow braids.

3. Wrap With Silk or Satin

A lot of friction happens to your mane while you’re sleeping, which can damage cornrow braids or cause some undesirable frizziness. The easiest way to combat this is to wrap them up while sleeping. Opt for a satin or silk product, such as this satin sleeping bonnet.

Pro tip: Don’t just use your bonnet for slumber! Wear it anytime you’re lounging at home. It will provide added protection to keep your braids in tip-top shape.

4. Wash Correctly

You never want to overwash your cornrows; there’s just no need, and it may actually cause adverse reactions. Instead, opt to wash your cornrows once or twice per month. Ensure you’re doing it correctly. 

Here’s a great video showing how to wash your cornrow braids properly: My Washday in cornrows feat Tresemme Botanique.

Always ensure you’re using a sulfate-free shampoo like this wonderful product from Carol’s Daughter. Rinse thoroughly to ensure no leftover shampoo is hiding in your cornrow braids. Follow up with conditioner!

5. Avoid Tight Hairstyles

As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid any hairstyles that are too tight. This can add undue stress to your cornrow braids, causing damage, breakage, and a shortened lifespan. 


There you go, queens! All the essential info about how long cornrow braids last and how to make them last longer. Wait! Before you go, check out these frequently asked questions. They were asked like readers just like you, so they might help you out!

How long should you keep cornrow braids?

How long you should keep cornrow braids depends on your hair type and how well you maintain your braids. For the most part, eight weeks should be the cut-off for your braids. Although some wearers go as long as 12 weeks, this isn’t always recommended, as it can cause damage to your natural strands.

Do cornrows ruin your hair?

If you’re not careful, cornrow braids can ruin your hair. Switching up your hairstyle every two or three months is the best way to avoid damage. Opt for looser braids now and then. This will give your scalp and natural hair a bit of a “break” in between stylings.

How do you shower with cornrows?

Showering with cornrow braids isn’t tricky! You’ll want to massage the shampoo directly onto your scalp and let the shampoo rinse through your braids. Don’t mess with the braids, such as rubbing or massaging, as this can cause them to loosen. Don’t overwash your braids. Once or twice a month is all you need!

Cornrow Braids Typically Last Two to Eight Weeks!

Depending on your natural hair type and how well you maintain your cornrow braids, you can expect them to last between two and eight weeks. However, most people have cornrow braids until around six weeks. Others push the limit to 12 weeks, but this can be risky and isn’t “recommended.”

Do you have cornrow braids, or are you planning to get them? How long do you keep your cornrow braids in? Do you have any maintenance tips to prolong their longevity? Share in the comment section below!

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