How to Braid Cornrows With Beads on Little Girls With African-American/Ethnic Hair
In this how-to article, I include pictures of a braided hairstyle that I tried on my little girls (even though my 10-year-old doesn't think of herself as a "little girl" anymore). I also have a couple of pictures of my granddaughter, but I didn't have time to add the beads to her braids.
Time: This style takes me about four hours from start to finish.
1. I start out by washing my daughter's hair with Tresemme shampoo, and then using Tresemme conditioner.
I was introduced to this brand by a Rite Aide worker. She said she used it and liked it. I was skeptical at first but gave it a try, and, so far, I like it better than other more expensive shampoos and conditioners. I know there are a lot of more expensive and organic products out there, but this one fits my budget.
2. While her hair is still damp, I rub in African Oil.
I get the one sold in the dollar stores. They also have it at Walmart. I also have a friend who makes an all-natural hair pomade. I can't give away her secret, but it has shea butter, coconut oil, and lots of other good stuff.
3. I then put her hair into large braids and let it dry naturally overnight.
Once her hair is dry, I look at how I want to part off the main sections. I like to do a line of braids at the base of her neck to start.
- For this particular style, I do two levels in the back by parting her hair from ear to ear for the second row of braids. (I like using large metal clips to hold the hair back.)
- In the photo below, you can see where I started doing the first braid on the second level. It is right next to her ear.
- After this braid, I go to the opposite side and do another braid, going back and forth until I get to the last few braids in the center of the back of her head.
Putting on Beads
- This is when I start putting on beads because it can be quite time-consuming, and, by the time I am done braiding, I'm tired and don't feel like doing a whole head of beads.
Working on the Sides
- Once the back is done, I start doing the sides.
- I make these braids going from front to back. Once both sides are done, I will work on the top for the more intricate pattern.
Finishing the Style
- To braid the top of her hair, I go from side to side. I do the first braid in front going across her hairline. (Be careful NOT to try to pick up every little hair. That's a good way to end up with a thinned or non-existent hairline!)
- Then, I go to the other side and bring the cornrow back.
- Once I finish with the top, I finish putting beads on and voila! All done!
- I like to separate my beads out before I get started. I purchased a beader because it holds more beads than the ones that come with the beads from the beauty supply store. You can also use an inexpensive sectioned-off plastic dish.
- I purchase some of my beads from the beauty supply store, but I also like to buy them from Walmart. You can get the huge buckets and, of course, it's much cheaper. The only downfall is you have to separate them yourself. In the huge buckets, all the colors are mixed together.
- I use a small-tooth comb for parting and a large-tooth comb for combing. I also use a large rubber brush.
- To take out the braids, I use a knitting needle. It has a point that is just right and is slightly rounded, so it is less likely to break the hair.
I think this style came out very nice. I tried large sections so that when it comes time to take it out, we can just take out a section, put it into a ponytail, and not have to take it all out at one time.
Pictures of Finished StylesClick thumbnail to view full-size
I added a few photos of my granddaughter, too. I did her hair as a favor to my daughter. She is five, and her hair is incredibly soft. However, she is very tender-headed. If her hair is braided too tightly, she gets little red bumps, so I have to be careful not to pull too tightly.