No Heat Kinky To Straight Natural Hair : African Hair Threading.

It’s straight hair season and I wanted to wear my hair stretched without the use of heat. 4C hair can be difficult to deal with in its shrunken state. African Hair Threading has been used for generations to stretch or style hair. There are a myriad of styling options unique to Africans of different tribes. Today, we use thread as a heat-free method to stretch hair prior to styling. I prefer stretching up to four days after wash day, but you can thread your hair anytime you want to stretch it. An added benefit of using thread is retention of growth because your kinks aren’t constantly linking up. A major concern with African Hair Threading is that hair feels coarse and dry. I have found that my Entwine Naturalle Couture Products help tremendously.

1. Start on dry or damp hair: This will benefit those who are trying to stretch overnight. You can start on wet hair, but you will have to wear your threaded hair for a few days to ensure proper drying. Much like bantu knots, threaded hair does not dry easily due to the fact that it literally holds the water in.

2. Use your favorite buttery moisturizer: Avoid styling or gel products at all costs. A buttery moisturizer will keep your hair soft while it stretches. My product of choice in Entwine Naturalle Couture’s Buttery Creme Hydrator. A quarter size on a medium section should be fine. Remember that the more product you put, the longer it will take to dry. You just want enough moisture to stretch your hair with ease.

3. Seal with an oil: After you apply your product, you will use an oil. I used my Entwine Total Perfection Argan Oil. There’s something magical about the combination of oils and water that makes your hair so soft. Historically, oil (or shea butter) and water were all you needed to achieve the look.

4. Apply it like a milkmaid: So, you moisturized and sealed you hair, but how did you do it? That could be the first thing that counts against you. You may apply both products at the same time or moisturize and seal, but you want to really coat each strand and working it in like you’re milking a cow. This will make your hair stretch more prior to using the thread and be easier to pass a comb though. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

5. Comb your hair: I like to comb my hair with a rake comb, apply my oil and then stretch. The order doesn’t matter. The rake comb is an excellent detangler. The objective is to smooth as much as possible prior to using thread so that you can maximize stretch.

6. Start to thread: You want to use something durable and silky. I use high strength weaving thread that I bought from Sally’s for eight dollars. It’s lasted me almost two years now. Grab a long section of hair. You will learn how long to make it once you get the hang of it, but if you run out, just get another section, layer it over the previous one and continue wrapping. You will begin by gathering all of you hair to the middle of the section. This will make sure that you don’t have any tension on any given side. Remember, the sum of all forces equals zero. It’s very easy to pull and stretch you hair in the direction that your hands are working from and you will feel some tension. If your hair is centered, you will not feel any strain going in any direction. You don’t have to be bound by this rule, but be sure to apply this rule to the edges more than anywhere else.

7. Wrapping: You want to hold your hair with your fingers and make your thumb available. Place the thread under your thumb to secure it and then start wrapping around. The smaller the interval between the thread, the greater the stretch.

8. Finishing: Many people like to knot the ends. This is a recipe for disaster for those of us who are accident-prone. You could easily break your hair or snip it off with scissors during removal. I wrap all the way to the bottom, bring the thread back approximately 3-5 inches and wrap down. If I have more thread, I will wrap up and down until it finishes. The benefit of my method is that you only have to unravel the hair when it’s dry.

9. Securing: I like to wrap sections together and put them under a wig while I wait.

10. Removal: You can wait overnight if you want, but I have become lazier, so I  wait at least four days. Anywhere from two days to two weeks should be fine. I wear my hair under a wig while I wait unless I part in straight lines. If my parts are neat, I wear it out. All you have to do is unravel it like ribbon, and you’re done.

 

That’s all there is to it. How do you stretch your hair?

 

Tips to remember:

1. Smaller sections and smaller spaces between the thread yields a greater stretch because smaller sections are easier to stretch and smaller intervals mean less hair escapes.

2. Always center your hair so that you do not feel any pull in any direction after the fact.

3. If you feel like you tugged it too hard, slide the tail of your comb underneath, place your thumb on the base and slide some hair out of the threaded section for relief.