3 Reasons Why My Cornrows Are NOT “Boxer Braids”


Outfit Details:

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My entire life, I have tried my hardest to keep my hair healthy and full of volume. As a young girl, my mother kept my hair in cornrows, twists, bantu knots/china bumps, or individual box braids.Growing up with an older brother who rocked Iverson cornrows, I had to follow his lead and be swagged out just like him. My mother put my hair in cornrows and braids so it was protected and well maintained during my childhood adventures, activities, and sports.  Myself , along with many other Black girls and other women of color, grew up wearing CORN ROWS or BOX BRAIDS to maintain healthy hair.Whoever wrote the article about KIM KARDASHIAN’S “BOXER BRAIDS”, should probably do some more research on ethic hairstyles. I’m not sure who created the term “BOXER BRAIDS”, nor where it developed from, but THAT IS NOT THE CORRECT TERMANOLOGY AT ALL!

When I first heard the incorrect term of cornrows, I was upset because I believe my cornrows hold cultural value and expression. For decades, media and high fashion have appropriated Black culture and have used a numerous amount of  styles and renamed them to fit “the norm”. Well, if you ask me, french braids and cornrows are my norm. I don’t care who wears the style, but it is important to me that they are referred to as CORNROWS and NOT BOXER BRAIDS!


  • Braids DO NOT stem from Boxers. Many female boxers wear cornrows as a protective while in the ring, but boxing or boxers did not develop the cornrow hair style. Cornrows were developed by Africans and depending on how the braids were styled you could identify someones age, status, religion, occupation and tribe.
  • Braids/Cornrows are a protective style for many black girls/girls of color. A protective style means that a person’s natural hair ends are tucked away and are kept that way to lock in moisture. Protective styles help with hair growth and avoids yanking and pulling hair on a daily basis.
  • Braids make me who I am today. All through elementary school and middle school, I wore braids because they looked cool and at the same time it helped me maintain healthy hair. My braids helped me develop confidence and made me feel like I could conquer the world. “Boxer Braids” might just be for the runway, but cornrows were created for everyday and the runway. When I wear my cornrows, I don’t just look good, I FEEL GOOD!

Love and Hugs,

Ivy Coco

Photographed by Anna May

Hair Braided by Shawnah at Hairstory Philly


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