African Hair Threading – history and tutorial

coiffure au fils / hair threading

African hair threading is a hairstyle that use to be highly popular in West Africa, not only it helps them grow but it is also a natural method to strengthen 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 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


This hairstyle has been featured by Nigerian photographer Ojeikere.


 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 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 Hair Threading?

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.

African hair threading hairstyles

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



One Comment

  1. Happy New Year! A lot of us struggle with styling our natural hair and often experience damage caused by heat and chemicals. My handcrafted hair styling tool is similar to foam hair rollers but it does the opposite by stretching natural curly hair straighter overnight without heat. My product replaces the time consuming task of African Hair Treading. Please share your insight with me. ❤️

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