Cornrows are a traditional style of hair grooming of African origin where the hair is tightly braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to produce a continuous, raised row. This technique is somewhat similar to that used to produce a French braid, which is braided using an overhand, or inward, motion, and resulting in a flat braid. Cornrows can be formed, as the name implies, in simple, straight lines; or, in complicated geometric or curvilinear designs. Often favored for their easy maintenance, cornrows can be left in for weeks at a time simply by carefully washing the hair using a stocking cap or hair net and then regularly oiling the scalp and hair. Corn rowed hairstyles are often adorned with beads or cowry shells, in the African tradition. Depending on the region of the world, cornrows can be worn by either men or women.
An afro, sometimes called a "natural" or shortened to "fro", is a hairstyle in which the hair extends out from the head like a halo or cloud. This may or may not include wearing such afros long, to several times the diameter of the head. An afro requires curly hair and often, but not always, Afro textured hair, which typically people of indigenous African descent naturally have. The ancient Africans known to us as the ancient Egyptians were known at times to wear their wooly hair in this style. Anyone of any ethnic background is capable of acquiring an afro if they have curly hair especially if they have some African ancestry. With naturally kinky hair, the spiralling, tightly coiled curls can be straightened out somewhat, giving the hair added volume and length, by first braiding the hair, then separating the coils using an afro pick. The afro pick is an adaptation of a traditional African grooming instrument, which is essentially a narrow comb with long, widely spaced teeth.