The hair tips, advice and recommendations given on this blog are given based on the experiences of the authors. These tips may not work for everyone and every hair type and it is important to acknowledge this since we are neither hair specialists nor trichologists.

Also many pictures on this blog belong to the authors but there are others that we do not have ownership for and thus we do not claim ownership of the ones that do not belong to us.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stretching Hair - Threading technique

So let's talk about using thread to stretch out natural hair. We have a blog post on using it as a hairstyle: read it here. Some people call this technique "African threading" or "Ghana Braiding or Plaits", some call it "Nywele" (which is Swahili for "hair"). In twi, it's called "Engina-gina hc" (not sure how you pronounce it). And it is called "Irun kiko" in Yoruba. The Damn Salon in Atlanta promotes threading as a "100% heatless way to stretch natural hair". You can use Chinese thread or sewing thread or thread used for weaves for this.

The length of time it will take you to thread your whole head will depend on the length of your hair, the number of sections you want to do, and whether you will be wrapping each section completely with thread or leaving spaces as you wrap the section. Your sections will look sort of like twists if you leave spaces as you wrap your hair.

Threaded hair with spaces making it look like twists. Picture from Cherish My Daughter blog

Threaded hair with sections fully wrapped

Using thread is quite simple actually. It is, of course, best practice to put leave-in conditioner on your hair and properly seal with oil or butter of your choice and detangle your hair properly before threading it. Do not use too much oil or butter because it will make your hair slippery which can affect your threading process. You can thread wet or dry hair. You will have to experiment to see whether dry or wet threading works for your hair. Remember that you still have to handle your hair carefully whether threading wet or dry hair.

So how is it done? I think it is better to see it being done than to write about it. So here are some videos showing you how it is done.

The more you use this technique the better at it you will become. So do not be discouraged if it takes longer when you do it for the first time. We would love to see and post pictures of your hair before stretching and your hair after stretching with thread. Please send pictures to Many thanks!

Right side shows before using thread to stretch hair and Left side shows after. Picture from Naturallycurly

Keep it natural!


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