How to Retain Length with African Threading- The Fun Natural’s Alternative

Protective styling has been proven by many to be a very effective way of retaining length if done properly; almost every natural hair guru swears by it. Now, where does that leave those of us that love to wear our hair out? Does it mean that we cannot grow long and healthy hair? Well, I have good news; it doesn’t. You can have long, healthy hair without wearing protective styles all the time. How? By taking advantage of the African threading method. African threading is the process of wrapping thread around strands of hair usually from the root down to the tip of hair. It is an old technique of styling hair done by Africans. Today, African threading has been widely accepted in the natural hair community mostly as a means of stretching hair without heat. However, there are many other advantages of this styling technique that many do not embrace. In this post, I’ll be sharing all the possible ways to use African threading for maximum length retention.
Firstly, I must mention the most popular use of African threading; stretching natural hair. African threading can be used to stretch hair without heat. This can be minimal stretching giving a blown out look or thorough stretching giving bone straight look. The level of stretch depends on the thickness of the strands being wrapped and the amount of space between each wrap i.e if you want bone straight hair, you will need to wrap very small sections of hair at a time and leave no space between each loop of the thread.

Another very important use of African threading is for preserving hairstyles be it a twistout, braidout or wash and go. Instead of retwisting or rebraiding your hair every night, you can divide your hair into large sections and wrap with threads. This helps to keep your hair defined for a longer period without causing the breakage that results from over manipulation from retwisting every night. It can also be used for elongating curls after doing a wash and go or twistout. For best results, do not detangle/comb hair before wrapping with thread as this will straighten your hair. I have a video showing how to do this on YouTube; check it out here. 👉

African threading can also be used for styling hair to give a twist out look. If you’re bored of the regular twistout or you want an elongated one, you can use African threading method to style. All you have to do is wash, condition and detangle your hair as you normally would for a twistout and apply your styling lotions and oils. Then divide your hair into sections and wrap a thread around each section from root to ends leaving as much space in between each loop as desired depending on how tight you want your curls to be.

In addition, African threading can be used to keep your hair protected and moisturised at night. If you’re one of those that loose your satin bonnet from your head while you sleep, then this could be a good alternative for you. All you have to do is moisturise your hair with water or leave in conditioner and seal in the moisture with an oil or butter, then divide your hair into large sections and wrap with threads from root to ends. You can wear a satin bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase for added protection. The advantage of this method is that your hair will still be protected even when your bonnet slips off at night. 

Finally, I must mention the ancient use of African threading; protective styling. African threading can also be worn as a good protective style as it is a very creative way to style kinky hair. Various types of threads can be used and it can also be worn as hair extension to give  a dreadlock look. The only precaution that must be taken when styling your hair using African threading is to wrap the thread as loose as possible at the root. Wrapping the thread too tight at the root can uproot the hair around your edges which can cause alopecia over time.

Have you ever tried using African threading for any of the uses mentioned? Please share your experience.
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