Sorry, But Kim Kardashian Did Not Bring Back the "Cornrow Trend"

Just in case you guys didn't know already, it's been rumored for a couple of months that Kim Kardashian and her sister Kendall Jenner have brought cornrows back. Don't be surprised, I didn't know they had left either! I think whoever started that rumor must have been living under a rock for the last several hundred years. If there is any room left for doubt, the website The Transformation Geometry and Iteration in Cornrow Hairstyles, will help jog your memory. Talk a walk down memory lane with me. 

africans with braided hair

Some historians believe that ancient hieroglyphics depict Africans with braided or cornrowed hairstyles. If you look at the intricate design of the headpiece of the sculpture above, you can clearly see that the braided design is the hair of the sculpture. We all know that art imitates life so, hello? Do you see where I'm going with this? This sculpture dates back to 500 B.C. and is believed to have come from the ancient Nok people of Nigeria.

afrians with braided or cornrowed hairstyles

africans with braided or cornrowed hairstyles

African men and women wore cornrows and certain braided hairstyles symbolically. Specific hairstyles were used to identify a person's class, age, religion, tribe, religion and other attributes of their social and economical status. These photos were taken in 1939.

Africans that were captured as slaves in 1444 were wearing braids, cornrows, locks and all types of elaborate, intricate hairstyles. For "sanitary reasons," Africans' heads were shaved bald, in an attempt to psychologically removing every sense of culture from the African people. The women were to keep their hair "neat and tidy" so they would wear their hair in small braids, buns and cornrows.

Cicely Tyson was captured in a photo wearing cornrows on a television drama known as, "East Side/West Side" in 1962. This was a time when many woman were seeking ways to straighten their hair to be more accepted by their white counterparts. Cicely Tyson made a statement when she embraced her texture as it was in front of the cameras.


"There are a vast variety of traditional African styles, ranging from complex curves and spirals to the strictly linear composition of  this 1939 Dan style from Côte d’Ivoire. The date of this photo, 1939, helps remind us that cornrows were invented long before the civil rights era in the the United States." 
From: The Transformation Geometry and Iteration in Cornrow Hairstyles,

Braided and Cornrow Hairstyles

Braided and Cornrow Hairstyles

Braided and Cornrow Hairstyles

Braided and Cornrow Hairstyles

man with Braided and Cornrow Hair

beyonce with braids

allen iverson

I don't think I quite understand how someone can bring something back that never left? Hmmm- I guess in the same way a person can"discover" a place where people are already residing.

[Historical information on cornrows obtained from: The Transformation Geometry and Iteration in Cornrow Hairstyles.]


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