Isi owu in Igbo, Irun kiko in Yoruba, or African Threading in Youtube/Natural hair community speak, is a great way to stretch your hair, and no it isn’t supposed to hurt. Note that you are stretching the hair you can see, NOT the one in your follicles.
It also makes for beautiful styles, see my home girl Chimamanda Adichie here and Kemi Lewis here– but today, in this post, we’re talking about using it simply to stretch your hair instead of using a blow dryer.
I tried this once in January, but my hair wasn’t dry when I loosened the thread, and so the results weren’t any different from loose chunky twists. I decided to try it again two or three weeks ago, and I gave my hair enough time to dry. My lovely roommate F threads for me. I’m so lame at these things, my days, but I’ll learn to thread properly soon! 🙂
I detangled my hair during my wash, put leave-in conditioner in when it was damp & seal with a little oil. F combs each section before she threads it, but there is little hair on the comb when she’s done. (You can thread on dry hair too)
How To Stretch Your Hair With African Threading
For threading instructions, see these tutorials below by GirlsLoveYourCurls.
Between us, we haven’t figured out how to wrap my kinky-coily ends, so we just let them stick out at the bottom. So far, this isn’t a big problem.
On the weekend I took these photos, I had my hair like this from Saturday night till early Monday morning when I loosened, to try to style my hair for work and I was pleased with the results.
At first glance, it looked like I had freeform locs 🙂
I proceeded to comb my fake locs out with great ease. Hair was soft, super moisturised, flexible, easy to run through, shiny, and stretched!
Why Threading Is My New Jam
- Tension Blow Drying is safe and gentle but LONG. It makes my arms hurt.
- Hair is made of protein and heat depletes protein. We all know that the less heat hair is exposed to, the better. I do have heat protectant, but I feel more comfortable knowing I can stretch my hair properly without heat.
- By the time my hair is dry, I get a much better stretch than I do with chunky twists.
- I live in Nigeria, and our power situation is not the best. I’m a corper and I don’t always have fuel in the generator. 🙁 #EnoughSaid
- Lately, I’ve been working with dry, very stretched hair and I quite like this. Reasons 1-3 considered, threading comes out number 1 for best results of a stretch. Heatless like chunky twists, but with better results.
Do you thread? What’s your favourite way to stretch? And slightly unrelated, how long does it take your hair to dry after moisturising and sealing?