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African Threading with an American Twist

• Apr 26, 2012

After our recent post on African threading, reader Barbara L decided to give it a try but added her own twist! Check it out:

I was immediately intrigued upon reading of this age old protective style technique and wanted to try it myself but with an American twist. I wanted to be as authentic as possible so I purchased thread at an African hair shop as opposed to using weave thread.

For my take on this technique, I also purchased a C-curve weave needle.

A few observations

1. Dipping thread in oil before use keeps it supple.
2. Moisturize and seal hair before threading and after threading, on an as needed basis.
3. It can be worn up to three weeks at minimum.
4. Washing hair in thread is not recommended but a daily spritz is fine.

African hair threading is now a staple in my regimen on my quest to be a black girl with long hair.

Here is a video detailing how I did a fro-hawk using the African threading technique:

So cool! Ladies, what do you think of how African threading was used for Barbara’s look?

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46 Comments on "African Threading with an American Twist"

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kisha
Guest

i love this!

ttemfash
Guest

Wow she is so creative. I’ve got to try this.

Nubiahbella
Guest

Hmm, lovely styles, bu I don’t understand the American twist in the title.

The styles she has on her head are not strangers to some tribes in African, a lot of Peuls etc… do similar hairdos on a daily basis.

Sue
Guest
I’m not sure she knows there are similar styles in Africa. However, most of the times I have seen African threading done, it was not used to create a cornrow like style. Note how she threads right next to the scalp–Maybe this is the “American” twist she means i.e. she’s using an old technique but just putting a new spin on it. I hope people don’t tear into her because of the name on the video. Many times threading is done at the ends of hair after it has been cornrowed or on loose hair but not close to the… Read more »
Sue
Guest

Overall, I think her styles are creative and interesting, the only thing she needs is to have more defined parts and to make them neater, the results could be stunning!

[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/GoapeleAfricanhairthreading.png[/img]

Annie L.
Guest

Great reply and information, thanks!

Lola
Guest

South Africans also do this style

Tanicka
Guest

Better question: Can I order this thread online.

Barbara
Guest

Hi Tanicka

I’ve searched high and low for an online vendor to no avail but from what I’ve read weave thread can be used but note it doesn’t have the same sheen or silkiness as the traditionally used thread.

—-
And thank you all for the feedback! You all wish me luck, I plan on using AHT until the end of the year…mid back length here I come 😉

purplestarz
Guest

aaaaaaaaaaaawesome ive been racking my brain to see how to use this. AND you used Utada’s “First love” you’re like my new favorite person

Mai
Guest

OMG!!! I’m glad I wasn’t the only who noticed that was “First Love.” Utada is one of my favorite artists!

And I also love this style. I loved the other post on threading, but this is a lot more accessible than the other one. Very beautiful and very creative.

shiningsolace
Guest

That’s the first thing I noticed, too. Utada’s my favorite artist of all time! I can’t wait until she comes back from her hiatus. 🙂

It’s amazing what you can do with the African Threading technique. I may try it…eventually.

Nimota
Guest

whoa i cannot wait to try this!

Anonymous
Guest

I don’t mean to cause a fuss but what exactly is meant to be american un this spécific hairstyle? I even didn’t know there was such a thing as American twist.…

Annie L.
Guest

To ‘put a twist’ on something doesn’t necessarily mean a literal twist, it means adding a variant feature to a standard technique. Also, every culture on the globe has their take on hair twisting and braiding.

Anonymous
Guest

I wasn’t asking about the twist but was wondering what was the use of adding American to the name of the style, like when people say African American hair as if it was something different from the hair we have in Africa. It baffles me a little. I am west African and I can’t get the point in this “recurrent” specification.…

Anonymous
Guest

But @anna L thanks for the explanation on the expression “add a twist to” :-))

cat
Guest

they do this in south africa;just with a different type of thread

Pat
Guest

I’d prob jab my scalp. Good motor control

mangomadness
Guest

Love it! The use of the weave needle is quite interesting.

I’m Nigerian and that thread is what my grandmother used to style my hair when I was younger. My mother tells me it’s called “ceiling fan thread”. I’ll have to go to the African grocery store with her to try to find it.

Sue
Guest

Yep. the weave needle is an interesting touch.

sisie
Guest

No offense, but this seems like a style for people who can’t braid/do cornrows.

mangomadness
Guest

Is that a bad thing…?

nettie
Guest

lol, sure does
and I’m glad because I can’t!!!

BeautyIAM
Guest

Why are making that seem like a bad thing. Not everyone has the ability to braid or do cornrows. Its called being creative and trying something new. Geez, I’m getting tired of some of these backhanded comments.

Annie L.
Guest

Not everyone has perfected the art of braiding and asinine comments as some others.

Jo Somebody
Guest

Which is exactly why I’m interested in trying it. A great alternative option!

Jo
Guest

Nice style,i wish people would stop being petty about the title. I am african and my hais was NOT styled like this so it is a twist to it.

Jo
Guest

*hair

Annie L.
Guest

+1,000,000,000,000! Some people just have nothing better to do.

Jo Somebody
Guest

Agreed. I’m Nigerian and have seen lots of threaded heads in my time, but not like this.

AfroKisses
Guest

Cute and Creative! 🙂

BeautyIAM
Guest

How cute. Nice creativity. I think its great to derive new styles from other cultures.

Julia
Guest

Wow! This is so creative. Whoever thinks otherwise needs an eye-roll

O0oro0O
Guest

Waow j’aime !! It looks great !!

msb616
Guest
im a nigerian american.. My mom used to thread my hair when i was a kid and I HATED it lol…of course i dont feel this way now, but when i was young she would single strand-thread my hair..i was a rough kid–always gettin into stuff. By the middle of the day the strands would be sticking out my head and I looked like Medusa lol–kids would make fun of me and everything lol..ANYWAYS, i appreciate the style now as an adult, not b/c other people have embraced it, but because my mom knew better on how to style my… Read more »
BeautyIAM
Guest

Yes…I feel you on this. We are Nigerian as well and my mom would thread my hair. I remember people being so curious about them.

I remember this one hair style my mom gave me.…and I always wondered, do they wear their hair like this back at home because I totally did not like they style. LOL.

LA
Guest

+1

Growing up,I used to hate when my mom would thread my hair — it would make my hair defy gravity even more than normal, but now I can’t thank my mom enough. She helped my hair grow so much!

curious kinks
Guest

quite creative. been meaning to do a style like that for a while, but never bothered. I wish they sell thread in African stores in Toronto.
curiouskinks.blogspot.com

vashtikk11
Guest

My mom used to thread my hair all the time when I was a kid. She used to do all sorts of intricate styles.…and she’d make them small. I’m trying to start doing mine the way she did and the way they do it in Southern Africa. I like her style and it’s good to see more people thread their hair. I have a threaded ponytail with extensions in the picture below. :))
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2–1.jpg[/img]

Olga
Guest

Wow! Such an interesting spin on threading. Im born and raised in London but of Nigerian, Igbo decent so I grew up getting my hair threaded much to my dismay. I have recently started again and absolutely love it! So glad its featuring on such a popular hair site 😉

Aisha
Guest

Wow m nigerian n live in nigeria bt thread jst used to b 4 kids n deeper life members bt m havin a new take on it.

Natural girl
Guest

Where do you buy the thread? Does it cause hear breakage (seems like it would? Would like to use as stretching technique too scare to leave in more than one day. Thanks

Lidia Cornelio
Guest

I love threading. Used to get it done often as a young girl in Angola. I used to hate getting it done when we moved to American. Stupid… How social pressures & teasing can lead you to make ignorant choices! Anyways I always had healthy hair then. Am bringing it back to my regime!

Katya
Guest

Was curious about this — the article says the hairstyle can be worn “up to three weeks at minimum” but is that supposed to say maximum?

I saw the video but I think the person in it said they kept it in for 3 weeks, but I’m only asking because I wanted to know if leaving it in longer would be okay — if so, about how long do you think this style could hold? And what sort of maintenance would you recommend? Thank you in advance! 🙂

Mutago Nanus
Guest

Not really. I live in Namibia and my mom used to do that all the time with my hair. thats like back in the early 2000’s.

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