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Doria Adoukè

hair threading

African Hair Threading History and Tutorial

African hair threading is method of styling hair that used to be highly popular in West Africa, not only it promoted hair growth but it is also a natural way of stretching your hair.

What is African Hair Threading?

African threading has been part of the hair care routine for many generations in Sub Saharan countries. It consists of wrapping sectioned hair in black thread. This method strengthens the hair without having to use a blow drier or a hair straightener.

African threading is a protective hairstyle as when hair is wrapped in thread, it leads to less manipulation which is beneficial for your strands.

Where does African Hair Threading come from?

African Threading comes from Sub Saharan African countries. It is highly developed in South Nigeria.

In this region, many names were given for this hairstyle.

– Los

– Eko bridge

Threaded strands are joined at their ends to term circles.

The design is named for a bridge in Lagos

– Sunga

The style that has gaps in it meaning the hair shows thru the

threading at various points

-Air force

– Akula

-Synchro system

african hair threading nigeria
This hairstyle has been featured by Nigerian photographer Ojeikere.

African Hair Threading for hair growth

african hair threading for hair growth

Since your hair isn’t exposed to as much breakage from over handling, you can also get length retention as a sweet bonus. Threading encourages the hair to grow faster because of the traction, but constant threading has a tendency to make the hairline recede, especially from the temples.

It is advisable, therefore, to alternate between cornrowing and threading from time to time.

African threading to stretch natural hair 

african threading to stretch natural hair

African threading can also be used for stretching natural hair to avoid shrinkage. Unlike the blow dryer, it doesn’t use heat so it is less damaging. Also threading is more effective at stretching than twist or cornrows. See video how it is used to stretched hair:

How to do African threading on natural hair?
The basic requirements are a comb, some hair moisturiser, a pair of scissors, and spools of black thread.

  1. Comb the hair

  2. Divide the hair into 8 sections

  3. Using clips or rubber bands, secure each of the sections of hair except the one on which you plan to work first.

  4. Moisturise the section you are about to thread.

  5. Taking one metre of double black thread in your right hand, hold the section of hair firmly at the scalp between your left thumb and forefinger.

  6. Having anchored the end if the thread by twisting it around the hair at the scalp, wind the thread clockwise around the section of hair, working your way gradually towards the hair ends.

  7. When you reach the tip of the hair ends, knot the thread securely two or three times so that it does not unravel.

  8. Cut off the end of the thread with a pair of scissors or a razor blade.

  9. Repeat the same process with each of the parted section until all of the hair have been threaded.

To keep the hair neat, wrap the head with a scarf at bedtime. Hair can be threaded for about a week, after it should be unwrapped and washed.

What kind of thread to use for African threading?
The most popular thread for African threading is acrylic wool or yarn. With this type of thread, you can keep your hairstyle for a over three weeks without damaging your hair.
Knitting cotton yard, polyester thread, nylon thread and shoe laces are also used.

thread for african threading

African hair threading hairstyles

Here are African hair threading hairstyles to give you some inspiration:

african hair threading hairstyles
best african hair threading hair style
african threading hairstyle

About Doria Adouke

We are an inclusive gift brand committed to celebrating African rich heritage. We created art prints and greeting cards showcasing the timeless beauty beauty of black women.


  • Dorothy Jones

    what is hair is very short and thinning. can this method be used.?

    5 June 2023
  • Dianne

    can or would you recommend threading relaxed hair?

    22 June 2023
  • Joy

    Where can i find this thread in abuja?

    8 July 2023

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