All Articles Tagged "cornrows"

Penny For Your Thoughts: On Confidence Crutches And Taraji’s “Behind-Closed-Doors” Cornrows

October 12th, 2015 - By Penny Wrenn
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We're just holding on until tonight's premier of @empirefox with our girl @tarajiphenson! Photo by @bruce_weber for #CR7

A photo posted by CR Fashion Book (@crfashionbook) on

In the latest issue of CR Fashion Book, Taraji P. Henson did something special. Not shocking, but special. Not ingenious, but special. Special as in simple, yet terrific, but not extraordinary.

What was the special thing that Taraji did, you ask? She rocked cornrows.

Not Alicia Keys cornrows. Not Patrice Rushen cornrows. Not “Hair braiding, Ms.?” cornrow extensions from 125th Street in Harlem. Not the hanging cornrows or the cornrow bun that she rocked last year in the British Virgin Islands. No, Taraji (and, we’re going to do away with journalistic formality here and call her Taraji, instead of referring to her by her last name), rocked what she called “behind closed doors” cornrows. As in the cornrows that Black women don just to hide them beneath wigs, weaves and crochet braids.

With the help of photographer Bruce Weber, Taraji showed the world the cornrows that “no one was supposed to see.” That’s what she dubbed them in the essay, “On The Ghost Of The Truth And The Superpower Of Art.” 

Henson writes: 

I wear wigs a lot, especially for photo shoots. I have this girl Kendra who braids my hair. She braids so intricately, so beautifully. So I’m trying on the clothes and the silk scarf I have on my head slips off, and I say, “Hey, look at my cornrows, aren’t they beautiful?” Bruce Weber is standing there and he goes, “We’ll shoot that.” And I go,“What? We’ll shoot what?” And he says, “We’ll shoot your hair just like that, it’s beautiful.” And part of me was like, No, no, no, NO! This is the hair no one is supposed to see.

It’s a myth that women who wear wigs (or weaves or braids) don’t feel pretty without fake hair or don’t like their real hair (or don’t have enough/any real hair to speak of). And Taraji is proof of said myth. She has shown us her real hair many times over the years. But in those black-and-white photographs, without any flowing locks, we get to focus on just her face with its piercing expressions thanks to those intricate cornrows. Still, Taraji didn’t go to the photo shoot with this intention. She was planning, after all, to wear a wig.

Do I think Taraji is the kind of woman who needs to be perfectly coiffed to leave her house or to feel beautiful in her skin? No. Thanks to Empire, the name Taraji may as well be synonymous with the name Cookie, which may as well be synonymous with the word “real.”

With or without Cookie, Henson is real in her own right. Throughout her nearly two-decade career, she has won fans for her authenticity in and out of character. After Viola Davis’s historic Emmy win, there were just as many articles celebrating Henson for the genuine and unselfconscious way that she cheered Davis on from the audience. Headlines like “The Sisterhood of Hollywood Was on Full Display Emmy Night” let us all know that every woman needs a Taraji on her girlfriend team.

As Henson leapt from her seat to give Davis a one-woman standing ovation, we saw the magic of Henson’s realness. The secret ingredient to her potion? Confidence.

Confidence is not the absence of insecurity, either. Confidence can still say, “Wait. I need to put my lipstick on for this picture” or “I need to get a new wig for that party next week.” But confidence also recognizes its crutches (the beat face, the slayed weave) and knows that it’s OK to ditch them once in a while.

Then again, if we need fake hair or makeup to bolster our confidence then…well, is it really confidence?

Or, perhaps, our wigs and what not are just confidence crutches? But if so, maybe we might take a page from Taraji’s book and seize an unplanned opportunity to throw aside our crutch for a day.

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Styles That Will Make You Give Cornrows A Second Chance

September 14th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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A photo posted by Zendaya (@zendaya) on

Don’t call it a comeback. Cornrows have been here for years.

And years. And years. And I’m sure we all remember that point in time when they were everywhere. With beads (thanks a lot, Alicia…) and in all sorts of designs. Then all of a sudden they slowly faded into the background, or better yet, back underneath weaves and wigs. But as of late, in an effort to diversify the way we wear braids as protective styles, cornrows are on fire once again. This time around with extensions for dramatic length and fullness. Here are a few looks we’re loving that everyday women are wearing everywhere.

Braid My Hair…Or Not: Famous Men We Were Glad To See Let Their Cornrows Go

August 28th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Cornrows have been popular since the ’70s, but everyone (and their mother) was wearing them in the early ’00s, including many of the famous fellas whose music we do or did jam to. Here are 10 celebrity men who we were glad to see leave these looks behind:

Jason DeRulo

When you see Jason DeRulo these days, he looks like this:

Judy Eddy/

Judy Eddy/

But as you’ll see if you click on the video below, at one point, while trying to get his career off the ground, DeRulo rocked some very interesting cornrows and a whole different sound:

Black Twitter Drags Marie Claire For Saying Kendall Jenner Takes ‘Braids To A New Epic Level’

April 2nd, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

First Miley Cyrus invented twerking, now this.

Earlier today Marie Claire got a taste of what it feels like to be on Black Twitter’s bad side after they shared a photo via the magazine’s Twitter account of Kim Kardashian’s younger sister, Kendall Jenner, rocking a set of cornrows. While there was nothing particularly wrong with the photo of the 18-year-old reality star, the caption that MC tacked onto it automatically sent Black Twitter into defense mode.

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And of course, as you’ve probably guessed, all hell broke loose from there. Tweeters quickly responded to the comment, noting that it’s nearly impossible for Kendall (or anyone else for that matter) to take cornrows to a “new epic level” since braids have been a thing for what seems like forever.

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#MarieClaire eventually became a trending topic on Twitter. And well, we all know how that goes.

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The magazine later issued a brief apology for the tweet.

Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 4.13.36 PMThoughts?

When Cornrows Go Horribly Wrong: 9 Celebs Who Never Should Have Messed With Braids

March 15th, 2013 - By IndigoBlack
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If you’re still wearing cornrows on a consistent basis in 2013, I’m not saying you’re dead wrong, but you might want to think about letting all that go. How about a haircut? Locs? Hell, even Snoop Dogg had to move on to a new style at some point. In all honesty, we all have sat in someone’s chair or between someone’s legs and let them give us an Alicia Keys makeover circa 2001. And maybe we didn’t look as good with them as we thought we did (I for one have a head too damn large for that look and learned that it wasn’t for me with the quickness…), but at least nobody had to see them but a few of our friends and family. Sadly, we all had to see these celebs and their braid fails over the years, and while some tried to hold on as long as they could, they all eventually left the style behind…Good move.

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

December 6th, 2012 - By Meghan Williams
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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?


"Lloyd PF"



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.

Braided Hair Styles for Black Children

February 28th, 2011 - By Genevieve St. Bernard
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Braids are arguably the most popular style of choice for little Black girls (and the adults who style their hair). They are a wonderfully age-appropriate choice and can keep your pretty girl’s hair growing healthy and strong, while allowing her the freedom to play games and sports without worrying about messing up her ‘do! Check out these adorable and youthful braided hair styles for Black hair and let your special girl pick her favorite!

Cornrows: A traditional Black hair style that has followed us from The Motherland, cornrows are a great low-maintenance option for Black girls. There is even a story book about the famous braids that you can read to your little princess as she sits in the braider’s chair!

Two-Strand Twists: Twists have become an increasingly popular choice for Black hair in recent years. They can be achieved on natural hair or with hair extensions. Add barettes or bows to your little girl’s two-strand twists for a special, girlish look.

Plaits: One of the simplest braided styles for Black hair, plaits can be done by even those of us who aren’t expert braiders! Part your child’s hair down the middle and then into two smaller sections on each side. Make four secure (but not too tight; braiding Black hair too tightly can cause hair loss over time) braids and fasten the ends with barrettes. Plaits are a great protective style for little girls who wear their hair in big Afros or curly styles.

Beaded Braids: A popular style once worn by young Serena and Venus Williams, there are many ways to incorporated colorful beads into your child’s braided ‘do. Instead of having beads cover your little girl’s hair from root to tip, use 3-4 beads in varying colors at the end of the brads instead. While they are a cute short-term look, the weight of the beads can cause Black hair to break after long periods of wear. beaded braids shouldn’t be worn for too long.

Fierce Short Hair Styles for Sistas

February 7th, 2011 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Just a few months ago, it was Summer and you made the big chop, natural or just plain ‘ol short, that you had been thinking about for months on end. Everyone was excited, surprised, and inspired, including yourself. But now it’s Winter, and that short cut has been working your last nerves. It’s growing back irregularly or too fast, and now you don’t know what direction to go in. Should you let your hair grow back or keep cutting? Should you put braids in to avoid the harsh Winter wind? Why is your hair so boring all of a sudden? These thoughts are prevalent around this time of year when a fluffy hat is your best friend and your hair is dryer than a cactus. So to help alleviate the stress, here are a few options for styles short haired ladies can try for the rest of this season. Some you’ll like, some you’ll hate, but whatevs, at least you now have options.

How to Rock Your Fierce Fro

December 22nd, 2010 - By Demetria Irwin
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An afro offers more than just one look. Sure the Angela Davis style is powerful and gorgeous, but it’s not the only way to rock the fro. Check out all these fun things that you can do with your hair!

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