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Stitch Braids: Everything You Need to Know About This Hairdo

Cornrows are fantastic African braids. They aren’t only gorgeous but also versatile enough to be manipulated into different variations like shuku (updo), zig-zag, didi, Ghana weaving, stitch braids, etc. 

Speaking of stitch braids, this is one variant of cornrows that uses the feed-in technique. It’s more intricate than other cornrow braids and has a different yet stylish look that always sets you apart.

A bespectacled girl rocking natural stitch braids

If you need a break from regular cornrows, give this coiffure a shot. But before you jump right into it, let’s look at all you should know about stitch cornrows.

What’s Special about Stitch Braids?

a lady rocking shuku while wearing a face mask

This hairstyle involves feeding extensions into each cornrow. But it differs from other feed-in styles because it has deliberate spaces and sectioned lines in between each cornrow. That’s one thing that makes it special.

To achieve this hairdo, your hairstylist will section your hair into thin or thick horizontal lines. Then they’ll braid the horizontal lines into cornrows whIle feeding in more extensions to increase the size of each braid as they go on.

Though this hairstyle became popular in 2016, its history dates back to the origin of braids as a whole. And now, it’s one hair trend that won’t be going extinct anytime soon. 

How Long do Stitch Braids Last?

a lady rocking unique straight-back braids

This depends on how well you care for your stitch cornrows and your hair texture. For instance, if your hair is relaxed, your braids should last for about six to eight weeks. But if you’re a naturalista, since your hair experiences more shrinkage, it should last between three to six weeks.

One reason for this is that stitch braids tend to unravel fast on some hair textures. But you can ensure yours lasts well by moisturizing, shampooing, drying, and wearing a silk scarf/bonnet to retain moisture.

What is the Difference between Stitch Braids & Regular Cornrows?

a lady bowing her head a bit to show her stitch braids

Stitch braids and traditional cornrows look similar but they’re different. For one, stitch cornrows have stitches or partitioned spaces around each cornrow, And unlike the regular cornrows, it uses the feed-in technique just like Ghana weaving and knotless braids.

Furthermore, as Celebrity Stylist, Stasha M. Harris, shared with Refinery 29:

“For the regular feed-in braids, we use the index and middle finger as well as Shine n’ Jam Conditioning Gel to achieve the look. The stitch technique requires the use of the pinky finger with a nail to create the stitches and lines as well as more of the product to keep the stitches in place.”

Stasha M. Harris

What do I Need to Install Stitch Braids?

a lady rocking unique stitch braids and showing them off without looking at the camera

For starters, you need to prep your hair for this hairdo. This involves shampooing, conditioning, combing, and blowdrying.

Once that’s settled, you also need about two packs of pre-stretched or regular attachment extensions. The amount of hair extensions you’ll use for this hairdo depends on the density and length you want to achieve.

Everything else you’ll need for this braid from rubber bands to comb, hair wax, edge control, etc., your hairstylist will have them. But if you’ll be adorning yours with hair accessories, it’s best you go with them to the salon too.

How to Install Stitch Braids?

a lady rocking a beautiful hairdo

This hairdo can be achieved through either of these techniques: 

  • Rubber band technique
  • Comb/finger technique.

Since pictures and videos explain better, watch these videos to see how to achieve this hairdo using any of both techniques.

Comb/Finger Tecnhique

Rubber Band Technique

Beautiful Stitch Braids Styles to Inspire You

a lady showing the back view of her mohawk stitch braids

Now that you’ve armed yourself with the necessary knowledge of this hairdo, let’s get down to the styles available for you, shall we?

Stitch Updo/Ponytail

lady rocking stich braid ponytail

Instead of installing the regular shuku hairstyle achieved through Ghana weaving or the usual cornrow braiding technique, go for a hair lift by stitching your updo.

a girl looking sideways showing her stitch shuku accessorized with cuffs

You can roll it into a bun or let it loose like a braided ponytail. You’ll look delectable whichever way.

All-Back Stitch Braids

This is like the regular cornrows. It’s straight and goes all the way to the back with stitches.

lady wearing all-back cornrows with a bun

Go for this is you want something minimalist yet chic. You can as well add a bun to yours for more effect.

Micro and Medium Stitch Braids

a lady rocking micro and medium mohawk stitch cornrows

I love this style because it adds more deets to your hair. It’s a popular stitch hairstyle that’ll surely get you compliments if you rock it.

a lady rocking micro and mini stitch cornrows while wearing a face mask

It involves creating both micro and medium braids to add more range to your hair. That is, your hairstylist makes the braids one mini, one medium, and vice-versa. 

Small Stitch Braids

a pretty girl rocking small braids

As the name implies, this style features braiding your hair into thin cornrows.

a pretty black girl rocking small braids

It’s a stylish look though it may consume more time if your natural hair is really full.

Criss-Cross Stitch Cornrows

a picture showing criss-cross stich braids

This style involves crossing the braids around each other to create any shape.

a lady with nose ring wearing criss-cross cornrows

Go for this if you love to stand out with your hair.


smiling lady rocking zig-zag stitch braids

Similar to the style above, this hairdo involves braiding your hair in a zigzag fashion.

lady rocking zigzag stitch braids

It could be through the parting or the braids themselves.

Curly Stitch Braids

 sitting lady rocking long curly braids

Curly hair is a style statement on its own. So give your stitch braids more edge by curling them. 

a sitting lady rocking long curly updo braids

You can do this by either curling the tip or attaching curly extensions to the braids.

Colorful Stitch Braids

a lady rocking pink stitch braids

How about you use a bright-colored extension to install this coiffure? It can be pink, blue, green, purple, maroon, blonde, or any color that suits you. You can also mix two colors for more effect.

a lady rocking orange stitch braids

Going beyond the regular black and brown extensions never fails to add more thrill to your hair.


a lady wearing a face mask rocking mohawk braids

Yes, you can achieve a mohawk stitch braid if you want. It’s a unique look not every lady tries. 

a lady rocking mohawk stitch braids

Go for it if you want something statement-worthy yet comfy.


a lady wearing shoulder-length cornrows with beads

Need something that won’t consume many packs of hair extensions? This is the hairdo for you.

a lady wearing short stitch braids with a face mask

The best part is, you don’t have to worry about your hair disturbing you when it’s time to sleep or go about your activities.

Long Stitch Cornrows

a pretty lady wering a crop top and rocking long cornrows

Long hairstyles have their way of pulling attention to you. The way the braids sway around your back will draw eyes to your figure especially as you move.

long stitch braids with a heart shape

Go for this style if you love to be the cynosure of all eyes. Just keep your hair extension ready because you’ll need more than one pack to achieve your desired length.

Accessorized Braids

a lady with a baby bump rocking beaded braids

Hair accessories are little add-ons that never fail to amplify your hairstyle.

a girl w earing a hairdo and showing off her beaded coiffure

From scrunchies to beads, cuffs, headbands, scarves, hair clips, barrettes, etc., you need at least one of these accessories to supercharge your stitch braids.


We’re not done. Yup. They’re more stitch braids styles for you. Scroll down to see them: 

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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