One issue I have been having is the fuzziness of her braids. During my previous cornrowing attempts, I thought tension had a huge factor in the outcome of that issue. I tried to add just a little more tension to see if that would help but it was to no avail. Plus, I was not comfortable with pulling her hair tight just to get neater cornrows. That would defeat the purpose of protective styling.
As I was braiding and unbraiding and braiding some sections over again, I dawned on me that the key to reducing frizz involved keeping the fingers as close to the scalp as possible. I tried this several times and it really made a difference! In addition to that, I did not have to pull her hair as tightly anymore. Actually, keeping my fingers close and not using as much tension allowed me to achieve a fuller cornrow look. An exciting revelation! I am learning more and more about the cornrowing technique. :)
My goal was to do her entire head but after 2.5 hours just to get the top half done, I called it a day and put her loose hair in a puff. Here are a couple more pictures of Zakiah's cornrows going into a puff. This style only lasted for 4 days.
I still need to work on starting her cornrows. They are not as tight as I would like them to be because I am not braiding enough stitches first before going right into picking up hair into the cornrow. But nevertheless, I am improving.
Here is what I have learned so far:
- It is better to cornrow on clean stretched out hair
- Keeping the fingers low help reduce some of the frizziness and create more uniform braids
- I do not have to braid her hair tight to achieve a neater look.
- Less tension = fuller cornrows
- Underhand = cornrow; Overhand = french braid
- Add hair to the middle section only
Things I still need to work on:
- Starting off her cornrows so they would look more defined and not loose
- Getting the cornrowing pattern locked in my head so I am not constantly thinking about which way the strands go and where to pick up the hair into the cornrow
- Grabbing smaller sections of hair at a time as I move down the row
- Underhand fingering position that is comfortable for me
Let me know what you think! Getting better? Encouragement and constructive criticism are always welcomed! :)