Scenario: You're looking forward to your best friend's celebration and switching up your usual hairstyle for the occasion. Two things, though - 1. you'd prefer to get a good night's sleep without the lumps and bumps of perm or Flexi rods and 2. need guaranteed length in the morning, seeing as you have zero time for the game of roulette that accompanies twist outs and braid outs.
Enter African Threading.
Hair, for both men and women, has been a central part of Pan-African identity, with cultures often using different styles to signify an individual's social standing, relationship status, and even familial association. Similarly, African threading is a traditional styling technique that goes back ages. For millennia, African women have found ways to protect their hair without sacrificing beauty. In place of more tedious and time-consuming styles, stretched hair becomes achievable in a lightweight manner with minimum tension and breakage, when done correctly.
To begin, look for nylon weaving threads or spools made specifically for threading. Suitable substitutions include elastic bands for dense textures and satin scrunchies for longer, fine hair. You can also use yarn if you have it on hand, but it is drying and will require you to add more moisture to your hair. On damp hair, section off the desired segment and begin wrapping in a corkscrew fashion from just above the roots to the end of your hair.
The thread dispurses tension along the length of the section to limit shrinkage. Therefore if you use elastic bands or scrunchies, the closer the distance between each tie, the straighter the result. Also, hair will puff out between binds when using bands, creating its unique style.
If you go the treading route, be sure not to tie off your string too close to the ends of your hair, or you might end up cutting some of your hair upon removal.
While some may consider threading the style before "the style," it doesn't have to be. Consider wrapping your hair in a color other than black. Go bold and use multiple colors across your hair or per strand. Or test the limits of gravity since threading also provides a rigid base for architectural styles.
The best thing about threading is length retention. With less manipulation, your hair doesn't sustain breakage from overhandling. Leave the thread or bands in your hair until completely dry, then style as desired. After takedown, sleep with a silk scarf with your hair in a pineapple to maintain.