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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I am Niger­ian Amer­i­can and my grand­moth­er would do styles like these when I was younger. I would try this as a stretch­ing tech­nique or even a styling tech­nique.


A big yes! I’m Niger­ian and I grew up wear­ing threads. Its one method that always grew my hair. The twist method above used to be called sun gas in Nige­ria, I would love to try this again if i can find some­one to cre­ate a mod­ern ver­sion for me.


My fam­i­ly is gul­lah, and I’ve been told women would keep their hair thread­ed dur­ing e the week and take it down for church and spe­cial occa­sions. Nev­er tried it myself though–I do wor­ry about styles that pull


I’m from Ghana and my mum did this for me and my younger sis all­l­l­l­l­ll the time when we were kids. Coin­ci­dence I dd a vid of this in my yt page about a week ago haha x


I LOVE THIS METHOD and var­i­ous styles!!!! I would love to try this some day and I’m glad you post­ed about it. I came across the same video a while back but I thought it wasn’t a ser­vice offered pub­licly. If any­one in the DMV area know of any salons please let me know. The only salon I feel com­fort­able going to (haven’t been in a loooooong time) is off of Geor­gia Ave. I won­der if they offer it…


try African Hair Braid­ing by Geor­gia in Sil­ver Spring Sad-I go there but don’t know the street. I believe it’s Fen­ton.


Yes, I would try it but if I didn’t have to wear it in the fea­tured style.


My mom did this when we when back to South Africa for hol­i­day by a lady from Ghana. Dur­ing the time her hair grew so much but was dif­fi­cult to undo.

Nope Jc. I have not tried these yet but I am SO glad that you post­ed this. I have been search­ng high and low for some­thing that I can do to my hair myself and that may last longer than 3–4 weeks. This may be the answer. I can­not paint, braid or flat­iron my own hair. I sim­ply do not have the skills to do these things. I wash my hair, oil it and walk away. Now I can make a mean part. And this only takes some part­ing, sec­tion­ing off and some thread as it shows. I may try… Read more »
The Natural Haven

I did the corkscrew type thread­ing in about 3 hours (my hair is type 4, some­where between apl and bras­trap length­wise). I did do many oth­er things in between so I would say the actu­al thread­ing time was 2 hours.


Yeah I have been look­ing into it in last cou­ple of months. I like the style of the corkscrew style rather than the extreme sculp­ture style. With the corkscrew ver­sion makes the hair look more like twists but you can max­i­mize on length. But I would love some­one to do it for me before attempt­ing it on my own head.


It’s cool for a hair show or some­thing fash­ion relat­ed, not real­i­ty.


I like it but it makes my hair dry no mat­ter what i do. I use either sewing thread or yarn


This takes me back to when my moth­er use to take me and my younger sis­ter to her Niger­ian friend to get our hair thread­ed. Unfor­tu­nate­ly we have no pho­tos. The style in the pic­ture is a amaz­ing, i may have to start doing this to my daughter’s hair.

Actu­al­ly, my fam­i­ly is Ghana­ian and I grew up hav­ing my hair braid­ed like that — most­ly the one with­out spaces in it. In fact I used to be teased at school all the time about hav­ing snakes in my hair (I am sure any Ghanaian/West African who didn’t grow up there would say that too, lol!). I haven’t tried it on my own nat­ur­al hair yet, but I was plan­ning on doing so in the next cou­ple of weeks, so was pleas­ant­ly sur­prised when I saw this. We nev­er made the ini­tial knot at the begin­ning though, I am… Read more »

Omg! Yvonne!!! I’m from the Rep. of Con­go and I grew up get­ting that done, and before I bc-ed again that’s one way I would stretch my hair. But the snakes jokes at school! I thought I was the only one!


Lol that’s fun­ny I’m from nai­ja and this is the best way to straight­en Ur hair with­out the com­pli­ca­tions lol


yup yup, Nige­ria in the house. lol, yeah i did this a lot when i was younger, espe­cial­ly a time when my hair was shor, mine wer­ent over the top as this image though. and yeah the snakes jokes i did­nt real­ly get that. just peo­ple teas­ing that its local. lol X_X

Jo Somebody

Indeed! Anoth­er Niger­ian here. I had this done when I was small, so can’t real­ly remem­ber teas­ing or exact­ly how it was done. It must’ve stopped before I was 5. I have pho­tos of me with the style and I think my aun­ty used to do it because my mama couldn’t.


lol @oyinlade lol at nai­ja in the house!

Queen Esther

I’m Niger­ian and total­ly agreed, thread­ing is the best way to soft­en your hair with­out chem­i­cals in it.

My mum prefers me to do the snake inter­twined, that way my hand can do less dam­age and she saves mon­ey cos it could last for 2 weeks and she had to fight with the school for ask­ing us to change hair­st­ly every week.
mem­o­ries.…. but would only thread now for just a par­tic­u­lar rea­son or if i’m dared.



N hel­lo there to my fel­low west African babes!


Plus I have to say, my hair­styles as I kid were not so avant garde, so you can do many more sub­tle hair­styles with it. Many peo­ple even do the sin­gle free braids using it as well, they end up look­ing like dreads. But learn­ing not to put too much ten­sion is key, grow­ing up, I went to bed a few times on the first day with headaches when they were pulled too tight, so look out for that, it can mess up your edges too if they are pulled too tight.


I’m Niger­ian, but raised in the states. I can total­ly relate to the teas­ing. My whole school (even some teach­ers) called me Medusa when I had my hair thread­ed. I thought it was beau­ti­ful, but appar­ent­ly, I was alone in that thought and I soon grew to resent get­ting my hair thread­ed because of the remarks and looks in school. It was trau­mat­ic then, but I’m over it now.
I actu­al­ly know a lot of peo­ple bring­ing this back. They have it done in small­er sec­tions and use yarn instead of thread.


i’m also Niger­ian but i grew up in Ger­many and boy was i teased for wear­ing this hair style.
I wore it till i was 12. the guys in my class would call me “baumtele­fon” which means (tree tele­phone) yea, i know -_- my skin remind­ed them of a tree and the thread­ing was seen a tele­phone wires. i can now laugh about. but back then it was hard :(


Just love, love , love ALL of Nadine’s videos. I tried and loved the effect how­ev­er how does one pre­vent the ends of the hair just by the knot from break­ing off when untan­gling. I find that 1 in 5 braids give me a lit­tle trou­ble.


no i dont think that i would wear some­thing like that unless im in a fash­ion show.


for some rea­son I can­not STAND any ten­sion on my hair even a loose pony­tail gives me a headache it looks cool but i shud­der at the thought


Agreed. I real­ly don’t think stretch­ing that much is good for anyone’s hair. Way too much ten­sion.