Thursday, January 20, 2011
While they are currently a popular style among young people, cornrows have been around for many, many years. They can be as formal or as casual as necessary, depending on the occasion. For this reason and others, cornrow updo hairstyles are versatile and great for any occasion.
Cornrows are small braids which are plaited along the scalp, somewhat like a french braid. The process can take hours, but has great results. This hairstyle originated in Africa, and was brought to America by slaves from many different regions. They continued to braid their hair this way even in the New World, maintaining a part of their culture. In some parts of Africa, such as Nigeria, the hairstyle is primarily worn by women, while in Ethiopia, it has long been associated with warriors and kings.
These braids had fallen out of style by the middle of the 20th century, with most black women preferring to wear their hair straight. It was shocking when, in 1963, actress Cicely Tyson was seen wearing her hair in cornrows on television, and it caused many women to rethink their hairstyle. Within the next several years, many black women had begun to embrace their natural hair texture, and cornrows became popular once more.
Due to its African origin, the hairstyle is strongly associated with people of African descent. However, Bo Derek's appearance in the 1979 film '10' showed that white women could look fabulous with their hair braided too. When hip hop became popular in the 1990s, celebrities of all races were seen sporting the style.
Cornrows are an especially versatile hairstyle because of the variety of options available to the wearer. They can be washed gently and left in for weeks at a time, making them a great choice for anyone seeking a low-maintenance style. On the other hand, they can also be ideal for a sleek, red carpet look. Singers Mya, Lil Mama, Ciara, and Alicia Keys have all been spotted with their hair in tight braids, sometimes only braiding half the hair and leaving the rest in a partial Afro or a sleek bun.
The cornrow hairstyle has its roots in ancient Africa, but has firmly established itself in America as well. Although it is low maintenance, it can be equally appropriate as an everyday look or as part of a glamorous Hollywood updo, making it one of the most versatile hairstyles out there.