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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Willette Mitchell

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

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.


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):


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


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’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?

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 »

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

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 »

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.


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! (^_^)

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


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


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.… Read more »

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


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!