Cornrows or Boxer Braids: Is there a Difference?


For those who may not be constantly entrenched in pop culture, issues such as these may go over your natural little head. Nevertheless, a new trend has just emerged on the hair scene. Nicknamed “boxer braids” (presumably because athletes such as Ronda Rousey have increased their popularity in recent months), many Naturalistas are questioning what the difference between these braids and the cornrows we’ve been wearing in our hair for eons.

The Difference, In a Nutshell

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There’s no difference, folks. (Besides, maybe, the hair textures and level of skin pigmentation of the majority of those who post #boxerbriads vs. #cornrows) Let’s be real here: this is cultural appropriation at its finest! Personally, it never bothers me when others decide to try African styles, however, what makes this appropriation is the fact that the true origin of this style is being whitewashed. If you’re going to wear cornrow, awesome! Give credit where it’s due, though! Black and brown women have been using this as a go-to style since forever. Stop trying to make “fetch” happen with these boxer braids, MTV UK! Kim K. looks great in them, but crediting her with making them popular is a yoga level stretch, to say the very least.

Moving Foward

Honestly, it’s hard to be a Naturalista and not appreciate the new Afrocentric trends in hair and clothing that are currently underway. Nevertheless, call it by name! If you like cornrows and want to wear cornrow, just call them…cornrows! That’s all we’re asking here. Other than that, Amanda Stenberg said it best!

Either way, with all of the new styles and trends in the world of cornrows, even we could use a refresher course. Check out our fave cornrow tutorials below!

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