Thank God You Got Rid Of Those Cornrows! Celebrities Who Look Better Without The Braids

December 6, 2012  |  
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Many celebrities have rocked cornrows at some point in their careers; some for years and others for days. Although some of these stars may have looked good in their braided ‘dos, we were generally happy to see the hairstyle go. With that, the purpose of this list is not to say that all fifteen of these celebrities looked bad with cornrows (although some definitely did); it’s just that, in our opinion, they look better without them. Agree?




Admittedly, Lloyd wasn’t bad looking with his cornrows; they even complemented his persona back when he was singing songs like “Southside” and “Get It Shawty.” But now that he’s grown up a bit in the industry and is singing songs like “Lay It Down” and “Dedication To My Ex,” it’s definitely more appropriate that his image be cornrow-free.


R. Kelly

R. Kelly has had three main looks throughout the entirety of his music career: standard caesar cut, bald, and cornrows. His cornrow look first appeared around 2000 with the release of his fifth album, and wasn’t disposed of until many years later. Of all his looks, the caesar is by far our favorite.


Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys was cute in cornrows, but after ditching them she revealed a much more glamorous and feminine side that some people thought was nonexistent. I hate to say it, but the cornrows weren’t doing much to up her femininity factor either, but the men were still feeling her.


Jim Jones

With cornrows Jim Jones had a rugged appearance that was very unpolished, but without them he’s noticeably more attractive – in a scruffy, hood fabulous kind of way. We wonder which look Chrissy prefers…

Kevin Federline

Losing his cornrows was one of the best things Kevin Federline could have done for himself appearance wise. With the braids, the backup dancer looked shabby, but now that he’s ditched them he looks much fresher and better groomed, like a grown daddy should.


When Eve rocked cornrows she was the Ruff Ryders’ first lady. As the only woman amidst a bevy of hardcore hip-hop men, her rap star image required that she look hard. But as soon as Eve got rid of the cornrows and switched up her look, the more elegant side of her beauty really shined through.

Source: WENN

Bow Wow

Bow Wow rocked cornrows from his Lil’ days all the way up until his semi-grown days. Admittedly, they were cute when he was a child, but he certainly made a wise decision to give them up when he reached adulthood.

Source: WENN


Like Bow Wow, Romeo also had some Lil’ cornrowed days. His young look was cute as well, but he never fully established his “grown and Hot” image until he ditched them.

Source: CNN

Venus Williams

When Venus Williams first took to the tennis court, her beaded cornrows were as much a part of her game as her powerful backhand. But now the tennis star has left her cornrow days in the past – although she does still wear them from time to time both on the court and off. However, when she does wear them, they’re much better looking.

Source: WENN

Serena Williams

Like Venus, Serena rocked a beaded cornrow style for years. She’s long outgrown that look, however, and now opts for sleek styles or bouncy curls. When playing tennis, her hair is generally tied up and away from her face.

Source: WENN


Omarion, excuse me, Mayback O, wore cornrows throughout his B2K days and well into his solo career. In fact, it’s only been around two years since the singer emerged with a fresh cornrow-free look to complement his new album and label — and age as a 27-year-old man.



Mario began his career in 2002 in cornrows, but like many of the artists on this list, abandoned the look once he grew older and embraced a sexier image. The cornrows were okay, but the R&B crooner definitely looks smoother without them.


Christina Aguilera

Christina has had many questionable hairstyle moments – multicolor weaves, cropped wigs, black highlights… but compared to all of those other poor styling choices, cornrows were easily one of Christina’s worst looks. Thankfully for her, she only kept them in for a short time.

Source: WENN

Trey Songz

Trey Songz achieved fame in 2005 with the release of his debut album Gotta Make It. It was then that we were first introduced to Songz and his cornrows – though he was generally still considered fine. But around 2009 when he lost the cornrows and re-emerged with a close cut for the release of his third album Ready, many agreed that a cornrow-less Songz was a sexier Songz.

Justin Timberlake

We can only assume that Justin Timberlake was attempting to appeal to an “urban” market when he stepped out in cornrows in the early 2000’s, though we’re not sure why. There wasn’t a whole lot appealing about his cornrow look – a sentiment even he’s admitted to. In an interview, when asked which of his fashion looks he most regretted, Justin named cornrows without hesitation.


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  • MAN WITH A lucid DREAM

    Cornrows are an ANCIENT African cultural hairstyle. It existed eons before stupid “thug life” and like the swastika and nazism does not deserve to be associated with that. It’s a unisex hairstyle that deserves respect and should not be considered masculine, or associated with ‘ratchedness’, lol, poorness, criminality, like you and, sadly too much of particularly conservative white America do. IMO any person that has enough hair to cornrow it looks good to me with them. I’ve even seen Asians (often trying to look tough, but sometimes just girls doing it for a fashion look) and older people with them, well, black ones, never seen an old white person with ’em. I like Justin’s braids, they have a nice shine. Also R. Kelly was at his musical best when he had his braids. For me though cornrows are a lot of work for upkeep, plus spending hours at the salon…

  • You shoulda put “Uncle Charlie”, Charlie Wilson on here… IJS

  • JessieMae

    Why isn’t Stevie Wonder on here???

    • Stevie has locs, not corn rows.. But I see where you were goin w/ it. LOL
      If it’s for religious purposes, He’s not gonna cut them…

  • chanela

    i find it ironic how black women are encouraged to rock their natural hair and embrace afrocentric hairstyles, yet when men do it then they get shunned.

    i mean i’ve never liked braids anyway because i don’t like men with long hair, but i have noticed that the women that are super gung ho for natural hair also dislike braids on a man.

    also how are dreads any different than braids? locks are permanent

    • So…

      EXACTLY! and these same women would be MAD if someone was telling them how to wear their natural hair. Some men think women look like little girls rocking braided and twisted styles…just as women may judge men with cornrows. And yes, I’m a black woman but the hypocrisy on these sites is appalling.

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  • Black

    I LOVE a man with long hair, because that is how it’s suppose to be. A black man is NOT suppose to cut his hair. Read the bible. Samson (black man) was tricked in to cutting his hair by (Delila), to lose his strength. Sorry, but men with short hair, are weak! SORRY, don’t care if you disagree!

    • chanela

      of course they’re stronger! they have extra protein hanging from their body. it’s sure to add weight to the scale compared to a man with short hair. aha

  • Dani Elle

    Hurricane Chris needs to be on here.

  • JustSaying

    I personally loved Lloyd’s braids, and was very hurt when he cut them off. Lol

  • Justin Timberlake looked rediculous, along with Christina Aguilera. I never seen them in braids and I hope it was very short lived.

  • KarenZ

    What…no Jaheim?? He should be on the list.

  • Kaori

    Omarion – Omari cut his hair in 2008, so it has been four years, not a couple. And, he is 28, not 27.

    Alicia Keys – I think Alicia looked great with her braids. She still would today is she wore them. Her braids were always nicely done.

    Jim Jones – There appears to be some major photoshopping going on with his picture. He never looks that clean.

    I agree with the rest of the list.

  • HoneyDipp

    I might be in the minority, but i actually think lloyd looked better with braids. And yes, luda should’ve def made the list… I immediately thought of him and Trey Songz when i saw the title.

  • Sheesh

    Venus and Serena look like a jacked up Milli Vanilli with those beads. Thank god, they found a stylist!!

  • Kiara

    I disagree about Alicia Keys. She wore pretty nice and feminine cornrows styles around the time she released her second album. And the style she wore in the “Empire State of mind” video was just fabolous. I loved her style and originality during her “Songs in A minor” days. That album was her best one.

    • chanela

      i don’t like how on alicia key’s side they said that she finally found her feminine and glamorous side. really!? so braids aren’t glamorous or feminine now? funny how on the red carpet TONS of celebrities get praise for wearing braids or some type of braid in their hair. smh

      • lateshia

        I agree. I think Alicia Keys look beautiful with her braids. I didn’t click through the whole list I wouldn’t be suprised if Brandy was on that list. I think Brandy look much better with braids. I understand people outgrow braids on guys I can understand I think men look much better with a regular haircut…..unless you Bone Thugs & Harmony then its ok…lol. Anyways, Eve didn’t look to bad with her braids and Da Brat I’m glad she still keep her braids that is her image and she look beautiful still.

  • what about ja rule he rocked cornrows at one point!

  • very surprised Ludacris didnt make this list!… even though i kinda liked him with his cornrows he does look way better with them!

  • Bo lo

    I secretly chuckle at any guy over 16 with braids. Especially Trey songz in his earlier videos LOL!!!!

    • Nikki

      Trey Songz looks SO much better without the braids. I saw him on Wendy this morning, I could’ve kissed the TV.

  • littleoleme

    No Luda?