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When done well, cornrows offer a sleek style with fun twists and turns. You can even create patterns by parting your hair in different ways. The best gel to use on cornrows preserves the hair's natural moisture yet helps the braids stick together. Straight hair needs gel to help form the braids, while other hair textures may only need gel to refresh the style.
If you're doing cornrows on anyone with straight hair, the hair will have a hard time sticking together in the cornrow. A dab of gel will give the hair enough adhesion to stick in this style. For cornrowing straight hair, try moisturizing gel. The moisture nourishes the hair so it doesn't frizz up out of the cornrow. Dab a pea-sized amount of gel on the strands before you braid. Add more if you need it.
Since a shower washes all that gel out of your hair, you need to refresh your cornrows afterward. Choose a spray gel this time because it can penetrate all of the nooks and crannies of your cornrows. Spritz your hair with the gel to cover all strands. If you don't have spray gel, you can use hairspray.
Hair wax has toughness and grip to it that gel just doesn't have. Because it's tacky, it's another good choice when you're cornrowing stick-straight hair. Work the wax in your palm, then coat the strands with it. The wax helps the hair stick as you braid. Textured hair does not need wax, since its natural texture helps it stay braided.
To preserve your braids in the shower, cover your cornrows with a stocking cap. With the styling cap on, dilute shampoo with water and rub the cap. This soaps your braids underneath. One to 2 tablespoons per liter of water works well. Rinse your head until you don't see any more soap bubbles. Remove the cap when you're done showering. Spray your hair with leave-in conditioner after the shower.