People generally develop their own preferences when it comes to choosing a weaving thread based on what type works best for them.
But, what is considered the best? The majority of women find that nylon weaving thread is the best for African threading. A good starting point is a nylon or polyester weaving thread specifically made for African Threading, hair weaving, wigs, and extensions.
Other options include yarn and shoelaces. Many women will keep several different types of thread on hand, just in case they feel like changing things up a bit.
All About African Threading
African Threading is a styling technique traditionally used to control and/or straighten African hair.
Fine curly hair tends to get frizzy and out of control easily. It is a technique that has been used for centuries and involves heavy black thread wrapped around sections of wet hair from the roots all the way to the tips.
Traditionally, little girls would sit between their mother’s legs while the mother lovingly worked her way through her daughter’s tumultuous locks. Carefully wrapping the black thread around each section of hair, which was normally divided into eight sections.
The strands of wrapped hair could hang straight down or stand straight up or hang somewhere in between. There are a hundred different ways threaded hair can be styled.
Today, this technique is used for varying reasons. The main reason being women want a simple, low maintenance hairstyle that can be worn for several days with little fuss or bother. The hair is contained and protected, therefore, there is no need to touch, play with or style it for days or longer.
This is called protective styling and is a great option for women with kinky curly hair as it allows the hair to grow and retain the strength that would otherwise be stripped away with frequent washing, drying, and combing. The hair is left to grow long and strong.
The Best Thread to Use for African Threading
For generations, women have used the African Threading technique to style or straighten their hair in a natural way. The technique is simple. You just part your hair into sections and wrap each section with thread from the roots to the tips.
Most women use black thread, but other colors are becoming more popular. All you need is freshly washed and moisturized hair, plenty of thread, depending on the length of your hair and a pair of scissors to cut off the extra thread.
1. Nylon Thread
- Beauty Town High Strength Nylon Bonded Thread – Professional, high quality, salon-style weaving thread. This long-lasting thread is tough, yet easy to remove when needed. 50 g black thread.
- Haobase Black Bonded Nylon Thread – Ideal for African Threading because it doesn’t tangle. It glides smoothly through the hair and is a bit stronger than the traditional thread you buy in beauty supply stores. This spool of black thread holds 1500 yards.
- Mandala Bonded Nylon Thread – Industrial strength thread ideal for making wigs, wefts or hair extensions. The 1500 yards of the thread will last a very long time. It is available in many colors and is UV resistant.
2. Polyester Thread
- Black Weaving Polyester Thread – Better than what you can buy at the beauty salon! This black polyester thread comes with 12 nickel-plated steel needles that are smooth, durable and corrosion-resistant. The thread is strong and breathable, making it the perfect choice for creating fabulous wigs.
- Seikea Strong Thick Polyester – African Threading thread that is thick and strong. It’s sleek and stylish enough for hair extensions and wig making, yet tough enough for repairing leather and sewing canvas. You get 700 meters of thread on this spool, so it will last you a very long time. It’s available in black, coffee and beige. Professional stylists use it in their salons!
- Selric High Strength Polyester Thread – This high-quality thread is much better quality than what you can buy at specialty stores. The spool holds 6000 yards of tough, UV resistant polyester thread ideal for African Threading and wig making. It is available in black, brown, coffee and dark grey.
3. Cotton Thread
- BeVarious Professional Weaving Thread – Perfect thread for African Threading, hair extensions, wigs wefts. This spool of thread measures approximately 2000 meters. It is tough enough to handle the weight of extensions for months.
- Mandala Weaving Thread and Needle Set – This set includes everything a stylist needs to create great looks for every client. This set comes with 24 rolls of black thread, 20 C curved needles and 50 two-inch T pins. Ideal for African Threads, wigs, weft sewing, hair weaving, plaiting, wrapping and ponytail sewing.
- FidgetFidget Professional Cotton Thread – Professional grade cotton thread perfect for weaving, hair extensions, wigs and wefts.
4. Silk Yarn
- Living Dreams Queen Anne Lace – Luxurious blend of super soft baby alpaca and mulberry silk. This skein is about 250 yards of midnight black. It won’t knot or fray.
- Paradise Fibers Undyed Silk Yarn – Undyed 100% Mulberry silk. Approximately 1,000 yards of super soft and silky yarn with lots of sheen. Dye it any color you like!
- Muezart 100% Pure and Natural Eri Silk – Super soft silk yarn for all your hair styling needs in a beautiful pop of color. This skein is approximately 2100 yards.
5. Budget Option: Shoelaces
Shoelaces come in all sorts of styles, colors, and lengths. They may be the cheapest option for African Threading. Amazon offers a huge selection of the best shoelaces around.
- OrthoStep Round Athletic Shoelaces – Approximately 1/8″ wide. Available in fourteen color choices and thirteen different lengths ranging from 24 inches to 72 inches.
- Sechunk Flat Cotton Shoelace – The laces are approximately 4 mm in diameter and are available in thirty different colors and four different lengths.
- AOMIDI Round Shoelaces – Available in six vibrant colors and eight different lengths ranging from 30 inches to 72 inches.
How to Stretch and Straighten Hair Without Heat
Naturally stretching out or straightening your hair without the use of any heat has tremendous benefits, such as:
- Preventing breakage.
- Retaining moisture.
- Preventing shrinkage.
- Repairing damage caused by years of abuse.
The African Threading technique can do all of that. It is the ultimate protective style for growing your hair long and strong and keeping it looking great for many many years!
Sun, wind and other natural elements are disastrous for your hair, but nothing kills it as much as direct heat, like that of a blow dryer. Even on the lowest setting, a blow dryer is your hair’s worst enemy. Tying, or running a close second, is a flat iron.
What many women consider “must-have” tools of the beauty trade are actually hair killing machines. If you want luxurious trusses, keep these as far away from your hair as possible.
Drying and straightening your hair naturally will take longer, but your hair will be a million times healthier. This is especially true if you wash, dry and iron your hair daily. It is a well-known fact that daily washing is extremely tough on your locks.
Even manufacturers and inventors have finally come to admit this and that is why “dry shampoos” were invented.
There was a time when part of the morning routine was to jump in the shower, lather, rinse repeat, blow-dry, iron or curl and then douse your head with harmful chemicals to hold your style in place.
The evening routine was then to use more harmful chemicals to wash away the dirt of the day that clung to your hair due to the chemicals you used in the morning.
Gradually women came to their senses and went back to the way it used to be – do not wash and style your hair every day!
Up until around the 1970s, women were only washing their hair about once a week. As the eighties rolled in, the washing and blow-drying and ironing or curling and spraying became more and more frequent.
The African Thread saves your hair from all this torture. Simply wash and condition your hair, then wrap it up in cool threads into any style you choose and let it dry on its own.
Long, thick hair can take several days to fully dry down to the roots, but so what. At least your hair will be strong and healthy.
Over time, it will get even stronger and healthier. Very fine curly hair can be damaged so easily. Even combing or brushing it when it is dry (even when it’s wet, but not as much) will cause serious damage and split ends.
With an African Thread, you don’t need to touch your hair at all for days. And the ends can be protected with small elastic bands.
Some women like to tie the ends, but this will do more damage than good. Plus, you can’t undo the knots. When you want to remove the threads, the tied ends have to be cut off.
I hope you know I wouldn’t leave you hanging without sharing a how-to video! TheALGLifestyle on YouTube has a great tutorial on how to stretch and straighten your hair in four ways. Enjoy, my friends!