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Mocha Girl Style: Half Cornrow-Twist

One of my favorite styles to do on the girls is a Half Cornrow-Twist.

Follow me step by step:

Tools of the Trade

Rat tail comb for parting.

Paddle brush for detangling.

Spritz bottle filled with plain water.

Clips to hold the hair you're not working with.

Shea butter mix
Recipe: 1 part 100% raw unrefined shea butter, 1/2 part coconut oil, 1/4 part grapeseed oil, 3 drops vitamin E oil

Directions: Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a pot over low heat. It will become clear with no lumps. Remove from heat and add other oils. Mix well with a spoon and pour into containers. Allow to harden overnight in the refrigerator. Once it is solid you may store it at room temperature.

Step One
Use your rat tail comb to section out a small section in the front for the braided side bang. Cornrow until you get to the part of the braid that no longer touches the scalp but hangs in a single braid. Instead of continuing a three strand braid, merge two of the strands and finish the corn row with a twist. It should look like a braid cornrow close to the scalp, but a twist where the hair hangs.

In the above picture, I am finishing off the cornrow with a three strand braid instead of a twist. The part I am braiding should be a two strand twist. After taking this picture I removed the braid and finished the bang off with a twist.

Step Two
Next we will create a cornrow-twisted head band. Use the end of your rat tail comb to part a horizonal section across the head from ear to ear. It should be about four inches deep from the hairline.

Clip away the hair you are not working with.

Spritz with water to dampen, and moisturize the entire section you reserved for the cornrow twisted head band with shea butter mix.

Tip: This is an important step for speeding up the styling process. I have found moisturizing large sections at a time to be much quicker than stopping to moisturize every small section I'm working with. I am careful only to moisturize a section I can finish before the hair is completely dry. I like to work with damp hair.

Make a vertical part from the hairline toward the back of the head near one ear to begin the first cornrow twist. I like to make the cornrows about an inch wide. Braid and twist as you did with the side bang. Continue cornrow by cornrow, clipping away the hair you are not working with, until you have completed the entire cornrow-twisted head band.

Step Three
Use your rat tail comb to make a part two inches wide at the nape from ear to ear. Clip away the hair above your part.

Spritz with water to dampen, and moisturize the entire section you reserved for the cornrow twisted head band with shea butter mix.

Prepare to twist the nape section by using your finger to isolate a small portion of hair an inch and a half wide. You should now have a boxy section an inch and a half square in your hand to twist. I don't make perfect parts for twists because they swell and hide all parts well.

Repeat the above process section by section until you have twisted all the remaining loose hair.

When you twist, separate the two groups of strands you will be working with carefully. Ask yourself if you have equal amounts of hair in both groups from root to tip.

Tip: When we get near the end of the twist and discover we don't have enough hair in one of the groups of strands to finish the twist we are often tempted to steal a few strands from the bulkier group. This is called splicing. It creates a sloppy twist which may form knots when we forget that we spliced and try to pull them apart later to re-style.

Style Maintenance

Sleep on satin pillowcase or cover with a silky wrap/bonnet.

Steam in the shower or bath. Hair will shrink when exposed to moisture.

If you rinse this style with plain water after exercise, squeeze the water out gently.

Tip: Never rub a towel vigorously over nappy hair. Even when loose. Strands easily snag and snap off. Think of dabbing and coaxing the water to be absorbed by your thirsty towel more from contact than friction.

Creating New Styles
We can create new styles by making small variations to the ones we know. Consider the style we just learned. What if we finished the cornrows off in braids instead of twists, and did the back with individual braids? What if we kept everything the same, but did a bang with two braids parted in the center instead of one fixed to the side? What if we continued the cornrows all the way back into a pony tail shape, and finished the braids off in twists? What if we made the braids bigger or smaller? What if we removed the bang, and braided all the hair back?

See what I mean? It can be overwhelming to start from scratch, but making small alterations to a style we already love makes trying something new both fun and easy. Remember, it's only necessary to master a few good styles to keep things interesting. Our skills improve as we practice, and our styling time decreases because we are able to work faster.


  1. Love the hair style!! I love forward to more. I have 4 girls just like you (with 1 older son). Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Farrah! My son is the oldest! We've got the same configuration? Welcome!

  3. thank you for the ideas on styling. Are you able to post some other pictures? i will definitely try and do this to my daughters hair tomorrow. prnani32

  4. I love this!!!! I'll definitely try this style with my sea butter mixture.

  5. Love the style. It's perfect for a young girl. I'm going to try this on my daughter's hair

  6. I went back and tried to read up on all the great post that you have done. Anxious to do the shea butter Mix; You mentioned 1 part of shea butter is that equivalent to 1 cup? Also do you have any shea butter brands that I could try. Thanks for sharing and helping us to enjoy the process of taking care of our hair.

  7. Hi April,
    The "1 part" is like a proportion. For example, if I say 1 part shea butter and 2 parts coconut oil it could mean 1 cup, 1 quart, 1 gallon or whatever of shea butter--but however you measure it out keep the proportions the same so that you are using twice as much coconut oil as you are using shea butter. I don't mix the shea butter the exact same way every time. I'm after a certain consistency. It's mostly shea and the oils make is creamier. If my mix is still too hard I add more oil to soften it up. The shea works well either way, but I want it to melt in my hand as quickly as possible so I can hurry up and get my styles done.

    I wasn't thrilled with the texture of the shea I bought online--I've seen better. It gets the job done but I'm not recommending them. I bought a lot of it so I won't be trying something new until I finished with it. It's the only brand I've used. When I do I will try to post.

  8. Hey, a heads up, Google beads, braids & beyond for some cute hairstyle ideas. But your doing great with their hair... Good luck and kudos to you!

  9. Hey Lady J,
    I've been following Beads Braids and Beyond for a long time. She IS very creative!

  10. I know this a very old post, but I was wondering what a good alternative to 'splicing' is, apart from starting the braid/twist all over again?
    I know prevention would be better, but it's sometimes hard to get equal sections on my own head at all angles.

  11. No matter how old the post is, I get your comments like I just put up the post. Please feel free to ask questions anywhere.

    Splicing does not damage the hair. The damage can happen when you are taking the hair down and forgot you spliced. This is more a danger with twists because we like to rip the two strands apart. If you spliced towards the ends, hair will be ripped out. One solution is to never just rip the two strands of twists apart. Instead use the tail of a comb or some such tool to work the twist apart from the ends up. Either you assume you spliced and act accordingly or avoid splicing completely but working the twists over. I typically splice for Mg3 but it is usually the last inch of her twists. I use a tool to take that much out carefully until i get to the two strands the go all the way up to the root. It is easy to see because there is no resistance when I gently try to pull them apart.


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