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Top 10 Celebrities With Stunning Cornrow Hairstyles

Updated on December 8, 2011

History of Cornrows

This unique style has its roots in Africa, and involves braiding hair very close to the scalp. A basic underhand-upward motion is used to create raised rows of braids.

While commonly formed in straight lines, some stylists offer the options to have braids formed in complex curves or geometric patterns. They can be decorated with a variety of objects, including beads and cowrie shells. In many parts of the world, both men and women wear this hair-style. In the some regions of the United Kingdom and the Caribbean, this style is known as canerows.

Cornrows are known for their easy maintenance. When properly cared for, these braids can remain in place for several weeks. Routine care includes carefully washing and oiling the braids and scalp. These are important steps which help prevent the build-up of dandruff and loss of hair.

This trend dates back to prehistoric times. Ancient Stone Age paintings from the Sahara Desert depict women wearing cornrows. These artifacts date back to 3,000 B. C. For males, the tradition dates back to the early 1800s, when Ethiopian warriors and kings traditionally had their hair fashioned in this manner.

As part of the African diaspora, this cultural tradition began to spread to many parts of the world. In the United States, its popularity expanded during the Black Nationalist Movements of the 1960s and 1970s. As part of the trend toward ethnic pride, many chose to wear their hair in styles which accentuated its natural texture. The practice of unnaturally straightening hair with lye-based relaxers became very unpopular.

The top 10 celebrities with stunning cornrow hairstyles continue to impact pop culture. Their fields are very diverse. They include entrepreneurship, acting, singing, producing, sports and dancing.

1. Bo Derek

Many contemporary and vintage celebrities have kept this cultural tradition in the fore-front of pop culture. When Bo Derek, a popular blond actress, began to wear beaded cornrows during the late 1970s, she introduced the tradition to those with Caucasian ancestors, and the trend quickly crossed ethnic lines.

Bo Derek cornrows hairstyle.
Bo Derek cornrows hairstyle.

2. Tom Kaulitz

In addition to Bo Derek, other celebrities who are notable for wearing this style include Tom Kaulitz. Born in Leipzig, Germany during 1989, Kaulitz is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and model. Also born in 1989, Lil Mama is a New-York native. Born as Naitia Jessica Kirkland, she is a well-known dancer, singer-songwriter, rapper and musician. Her debut album, VYP (Voice of the Young People) was released during 2008.

Tom Kaulitz cornrows hairstyle.
Tom Kaulitz cornrows hairstyle.

3. Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson was born in Virginia in 1975. He is has been a professional basketball player since 1996. He specialties are the positions of shooting and point guard. During his career, he has played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies and Besiktas in Turkey.

Allen Iverson cornrows hairstyle.
Allen Iverson cornrows hairstyle.

4. Lil Mama

She is American rapper & dancer. Lil Mama combined cornrows & afro hair.

Lil Mama cornrows hairstyle.
Lil Mama cornrows hairstyle.

5. Sean Paul

Sean Paul is another cornrow pop icon. Born in Jamaica in 1973 as Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques, he is a producer, songwriter, actor and musician. His genres include R&B, reggae and dancehall.

Sean Paul cornrows hairstyle.
Sean Paul cornrows hairstyle.

6. Ludacris

Ludacris is the stage-name for Christopher Brian Bridges. Born in Illinois during 1977, he's been an active entrepreneur, actor and rapper since 1998. He is most closely associated with the genres of southern hip-hop and hip-hop.

Ludacris cornrows hairstyle.
Ludacris cornrows hairstyle.

7. Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is an award-winning director, poet, author, video director, actress, record producer, arranger, composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. She was born as Alicia Augello Cook in New York during 1981, and raised in the Hell's Kitchen region of Manhattan. Her debut album was released in 2001, Songs in A Minor. It was notable for its fusion of old-school jazz with soul and R&B. It earned her a Grammy Award, and reached the top position on the Billboard 200 chart.

Alicia Keys cornrows hairstyle.
Alicia Keys cornrows hairstyle.

8. Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony, also known as Mello, is a professional basketball player. He was born during 1984 in Brooklyn, New York. He's been playing in the pros since 2003, when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. His position is small forward. During 2011, he was picked-up by the New York Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony cornrows hairstyle.
Carmelo Anthony cornrows hairstyle.

9. Ciara

Ciara is another notable celebrity who is known for her long and fashionable cornrows. Born as Ciara Princess Harris in Texas during 1985, she has been active in the entertainment industry since 2002. Her occupations include model, actress, dancer, record producer and singer-songwriter. Her genres include dance, hip-hop, pop and R&B. She released her first album, Goodies, in 2004.

Ciara cornrows hair.
Ciara cornrows hair.

10. Willow Smith

Willow Smith was born in Los Angeles, California during 2000 to famous parents, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Known by the mononym Willow, she has been active in the entertainment industry since 2007. She's a dancer, actress and singer. Her genres include dance-pop, pop and R&B. She has been nominated for and won several awards, including the NAACP Image Award and the Young Artist Awards.

Willow Smith cornrows hairstyle.
Willow Smith cornrows hairstyle.

Vote for Your Favorite Celebrity Cornrows

Which is the best cornrow hairstyle?

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How To Do Cornrows

Learn How To Do: Cornrows
Learn How To Do: Cornrows

A step-by-step DVD will teach you how to do cornrows from start to finish.



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