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Thread Hairstyles — What You Should Know About African Threading

Some years ago when I visited my maternal hometown, I came across a magazine published in the 1970s. As I scanned through, my eyes went to the style column. Then I saw that women back then wore more afros and thread hairstyles.

I was fascinated.

So African threading was such a fad back in the day? I asked myself and my grandmother confirmed it.

Thread hairstyles were to 1960s African women what human hair is to 2010s African women.

And when I was a child, I used to wear this hairstyle to school. I remember how I’d sit while the hairdresser would cut my hair into sections and roll the thread around it.

There’s even a technique they use to extend the thread so your hair appears longer.

I did this back then.

In fact, if you grew up in a typical African home, there’s a high chance this was one of your go-to coiffures.

But as I grew, I began to see this hairdo as unfashionable. 

One reason was because I thought chic ladies would never wear it. Instead, they adorned themselves with human hair weaves and other classy extensions.

But I was wrong.

Because from that magazine I read in my maternal hometown, thread hairstyles were once upon a time a trend for chic ladies.

smiling Chidima rocking thread hairstyle

I mean, while African threading technique may not be your regular stylish hairdo, the fact remains that it is not only part of our heritage but also offers benefits to your hair.

Perhaps, this is one reason our secondary schools recommended the coiffure for us back then.

And it’s also the reason we decided to write about it today.

So, stay glued to this page.

back view of rubber thread hairstyle

You’ll not only learn what thread hairstyles are.

You’ll also see how wearing this coiffure benefits you.

And if you wanna give it a shot, we’ll show you something to inspire you.

Shall we?

What are Thread Hairstyles

This is a hairdo achieved through African threading. It is a tradition among Nigerians, Ghanaians, and the entire Sub-Saharan Africa.

rubber rope used for African hair threading
rubber rope used for African hair threading

Black women of old have always rocked this hairstyle with rubber thread or yarn.

Benefits of African Threading

lady in red thread hairstyle

Why did our mothers make us wear this hairdo? Why do hairstylists still recommend it?

The reason isn’t far-fetched.

It’s because of the benefits that come with thread hairstyles.

Let’s look at them.

1. It Boosts Hair Growth

smiling lady rocking thread hair

It’s no new secret.

African threading grows your hair.

I dunno if it’s because it stretches your hair for the period you wear it. 

Just know it grows your hair.

I remember back then in primary school, whenever I loosened my threaded hairdo, I marvelled at my hair growth.

It still happens though.

So, if you want to give your hair a length boost, opt for this hairstyle.

2. It Causes Little or no Damage

Chidima wearing glasses with her African hairstyle in a car

Thread hairstyles are protective hairstyles for natural hair. They require low manipulation.

Your hairstylist only has to section your hair with a comb and wrap the hair from root to tip with the black thread. 

It causes no damage at all unless your stylist threads your hair too tight or sections your hair into tiny parts.

3. It Straightens Your Hair

lady in African threaded hair

If you’re a naturalista and you don’t want to use any heat styling equipment to straighten your hair, use the African threading technique.

Although it may not straighten your hair like a blow dryer or flat iron would, it works better than plaiting or twisting your hair.

And once you use this technique to straighten your hair, rest assured that you just saved your hair from the damage of heat tools.

African Thread Hairstyles to Stretch Your Hair Safely

pretty lady wearing colored threaded hairstyle

You aren’t limited to the black thread alone to achieve this style.

You can use any colour of wool or yarn and get the same result.

What matters is the technique which is threading.

And while at it, don’t thread your hair while it’s wet. Also, ensure your stylist doesn’t cut it into tiny sections or threads it tightly.

This way you pose no damage to your hair at all.

That aside, here are our recommended threaded hairstyles you can try out:

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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