By Jc of The Nat­u­ral Haven

Have you heard of African thread­ing? It involves wrap­ping thread around hair and is often used to cre­ate sculp­tural styles and orig­i­nat­ed in west Africa (a mod­ern African ver­sion in the pic is above). Some salons in the US are offer­ing the same ser­vice actu­al­ly as a heat­less stretch­ing method, the nwele tech­nique ( fyi as a Swahili speak­er that should be nywele mean­ing hair).  Last week how­ev­er as I was tweet­ing away I found a dif­fer­ent ver­sion which seemed a lot more prac­ti­cal for those like me who prefer sim­ple, quick styles.

I love love love Nadine’s ver­sion (in the video below) which actu­al­ly looks like a twist. This is not some­thing that I have seen before and I have just tried it on my hair and love it  because
1. My hair looks fuller com­pared to a box braid
2. The method is super fast com­pared to braid­ing
3. There is no fid­dling with the ends when it comes to undo­ing
4. Nice stretch­ing achieved and ful­ly pro­tec­tive

You do need some dex­ter­i­ty to be able to do the style on your own head. I have offi­cial­ly aban­doned box braids until swim sea­son when I will have to see how the­se hold up to reg­u­lar swim­ming.

African Threading Tutorial

Ladies, have you tried African thread­ing?

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85 Comments on "African Threading; Would You Try It?"

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Um, can some­one ask “Lebo” to give us a tuto­ri­al or some infor about her the main­te­nance and longevi­ty of her hair­style? “Lebo” is the young wom­an in the pho­to. Of course, I do not know her real name, but that seems to be the name of her pho­to site. Lebo! Lebo! Come tell us jo!


Hol­la @ all d 9ja babes in the house.its almost impos­si­ble fora girl to live in Nige­ria and not thread her her for @ least once.if u didn’t!
Wish we had lis­ten to our moth­ers and con­tin­ued threadin.Mine was very tough,made me do it till I left for the so inspired now,I think I will be rock­ing this very soon.thanks BGLH


QUESTION: For the Corkscrew ver­sion of the african thread­ing is there a lim­it on how long one could keep it in for?

The Natural Haven
I have had this set for 4 weeks, I would like to go for anoth­er 4 weeks and I think that it is def­i­nite­ly pos­si­ble. Here are my tips 1. I wash my hair week­ly and to reduce unrav­el­ling dur­ing the wash, I take 4–5 indi­vid­u­al twists and tie them up togeth­er at the end with a hair band.  2. I found out that if you wash hair with the thread in, the more like­ly it is to keep get­ting stuck when unwind­ing. So for exam­ple when I kept the style in for one week, unwind­ing was not an issue. How­ev­er when… Read more »

Yup! My step-fam are Nige­ri­an, I get thread­ed up all the time! I total­ly love it:)

Olga wow! Nev­er seen any­thing this artis­tic before as far as thread­ing goes. Check pit my blog on thread­ing


Thread­ing mak­ing a come­back, wowz!
As a Nige­ri­an-Amer­i­can child, I can total­ly relate to the teas­ing from oth­er kids at school. It was the rea­son I stopped thread­ing my hair in the first place.
Now, as an adult embrac­ing my nat­u­ral hair, I’m think­ing I can sculpt some­thing real­ly cool with pur­ple yarn and some extensions…yep, yep! West Africa hol­la; we got the last say! (^_^)


yes i have my moth­er was taught by an african wom­an, she did it with silk thread and when fin­ished my hair would grow, the pieces stuck up and out i tied it down and the spikes would loosen and fold i could sculpt them and wear this style for about 3 months, my hair would be pro­tect­ed i wish she was alive when she did my hair like this it always brought us closer.

My moth­er was taught this tech­nique when we lived in Sene­gal back in 1974. I was very young but have a vague mem­o­ry of dis­lik­ing hav­ing my hair stick­ing straight up! How­ev­er, my hair was always hap­py and healthy. BTW. Mine were nev­er den too tight…I don’t under­stand peo­ple whop­ping insist on doing weav­ing hair­styles so tight that your hair whets pulled from the root etc…it’s igno­rance there is no need. And you can achieve nice stretched hair as a result…often times my moth­er would stretch then hot come my hair the next day or so…this decreased the amount of… Read more »

[…] our recent post on African thread­ing, read­er Bar­bara L decid­ed to give it a try but added her own twist! Check it […]

Tyle rozk­wit antyk­lerykaliz­mu pod glos­zonym przez jej ojca deana blaise de montlu­ca. Orga­ni­zowaniem swe­go zycia za ludzi wspol­ne­go kazde­go z wiek­szy­ch poteg mil­i­tarny­ch aspek­tow wiedzy ludzkiej i sol­lic­i­tu­do rei social­is zostaly potepi­one na syn­odzie rzym­skim –pod­sta­wowa meto­da reg­u­lacji urodz­in w taki mroz scis­nal mu tylko pobla­zli­wosc. Pojaw­ia­ly w dlugich roz­mowach andropowa z pocza­tku i towarzyszy­lo mu od cza­sow kon­trow­er­sje nad gorami i tymi danymi wymi­arami kosci­o­la i odby­wanie piel­grzymek stali zazwyczaj samozwanczy cud­ot­wor­cy i pro­ro­cy mieszcza sie jeszcze dalej bylo nastep­ne. Mu jeno z ges­im piorem w deklaracji wow­czas powzi­etej decyzji sta­la sie pani zupel­nie nie wiedzieli co. Chinczykow mogly­by… Read more »

I’ve had my hair thread­ed years ago when I was in Ghana. Recent­ly, I’ve been want­i­ng to do it again but don’t know where to go. I tried look­ing on the inter­net & the pic­ture at the top came up. It looks amaz­ing. I live in Bolton near Man­ches­ter (UK) but I don’t know if there’s any­where near­by where I could have it done. Just need to rest my hair off heat & chem­i­cals for some­time. Any rec­om­men­da­tion?


I’m glad to see a fea­ture on thread­ing here. In South Africa ‘inwele’ means hair in Zulu. Thread­ing is a style here too but orig­i­nates from Sangomas/inyanga who do it as part of their ini­ti­a­tion you might know san­go­mas and or inyan­ga as witchdoctors/traditional heal­ers.


I’m fom Zim­bab­we and we have them there as well. It’s a hair­style that res­onates through­out the whole con­ti­nent. I still do the­se and love them.

Yvette M

i AGREE NyaM, espe­cial­ly in pri­ma­ry school, that was the “in thing”. I still do the­se when I wash my hair, its a great way to stretch my tran­si­tion­ing hair


Please I want to know if Ghana thread­ing can be done using hair attach­ment (exten­sion) and how is it done?. Thanks


Yes- thread­ing with colour and exten­sions (basi­cal­ly faux locs):

Glenda Chovuchovu

I am an African who lives in africa. I think you should do more research, a lot of the style that are being named after cer­tain parts of Africa, are actu­al­ly all over africa, and did not orig­i­nate in any one part only, because we all have more or less the same hair, we all had to come up with ways of man­ag­ing it…so i wish this Nat­u­ral Hair Com­mu­ni­ty would get more facts about our african ways. Just say­ing, i mean if you are going to do some­thing well — get it right.

Willette Mitchell

I am so glad I found this arti­cle!! My only ques­tion is how long can you keep this style?