Recently a few friends on Facebook and in person asked me if I knew how to do African Hair Threading. Initially, I did not know anything about the technique and went straight to the source to find out: Google. Well I came across this awesome YouTube video from the channel Girls Love Your Curls that thoroughly demonstrated the process, and I was highly intrigued to the point that I knew I had to attempt this technique soon. I never recalled seeing girls wearing this particular style (Ghana) plait. The closest I have seen to African Hair Threading is the rope twists (a style I have yet to master).
Fortunately I found my spool of black weaving thread not too long ago and had set it to the side for no apparent reason at the time. I guess it had a reason all along! I started with Z’s hair in her banded updo from a few days ago. The only products I used were my moisturizing spritz (water + Shea Moisture Curl Milk) and coconut oil as a sealant.
I decided to try my hand at the “scallop” parting method for this hair style. I have seen it on other blogs when styling box braids and always thought it was an ingenious idea. I started from the back and worked my way up.
The technique is pretty simple once you get an idea of how much tension to apply around the root of the plait to ensure a secure base and how far to space the thread along the length of the plait. My first several plaits were looser at the root due to my learning curve but in no time, I was able to wrap the thread at the base in a manner that was not too tight to cause breakage yet not too loose to promote slippage of the thread. The process of pulling the thread taut to create the corkscrew look was neat. I thought her hair would get caught up in the thread while doing so, but that was not the case at all! Her hair easily glided into shining, bouncing corkscrews all over her head. 🙂
I love the way the scalloped parting turned out! My husband called it the tortoise shell. Granted I need to work on uniformity of the thread spacing along the plaits, but I am pretty pleased with the outcome. The only thing that concerns me is how the ends are exposed. I am primarily about protective styling over the fall/winter months and did not want to leave her ends just out. I attempted to do some type of updo but her hair is not long enough yet so I ultimately decided to add barrettes to the ends. Not the best alternative but since she does not wear them often, I figured a little (or lot) would not hurt.
I will aim to moisturize her ends at least every other day and am hoping this style will last at least a week. Z really loves this hairstyle especially since it is something new, and she can swing her hair. The plaits are very light and soft; I am amazed at the sheen of her hair.
This style took approximately 3 hours to do with breaks included. In other words, it did not take any longer than it would to do a set of medium twists. I think next time, I will pre-cut and knot the thread to help speed up the process since now I have a pretty good idea of how much thread is needed per plait. I look forward to see how her first set holds up over the next week (or two!). 🙂