Stretch Your Curls Heatlessly With African Threading

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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, we’re talking about using it simply to stretch.

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! 🙂

Preparation:

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:

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.

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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 🙂

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I proceeded to comb my fake locs out with great ease. Hair was soft, super moisturised, flexible, easy to run through, shiny, and stretched!

DSC08687Somebody say stretched again? I’m definitely a convert to this heatless stretching movement!

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WHY THREADING IS MY NEW JAM

  1. Tension Blow Drying is safe and gentle but LONG. It makes my arms hurt.
  2. 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.
  3. By the time my hair is dry, I get a much better stretch than I do with chunky twists.
  4. 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
  5. 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?

Love,

AB,

Xx

DIY: A Deep Conditioning Hair Smoothie!

Last Washday found me separated from my hair products.

I tried a Henna treatment, and being the super strengthening protein treatment henna is, a moisturising deep conditioning treatment was VERY VERY necessary. My Intense Healing Mask was like 700 kilometres away, so I had to find something and no, I didn’t want to buy.

I wasn’t in the mood for my Honey and Olive oil DC either. It is soooo drippy and I can’t stand that for long. I wanted something thicker that day, and the internet led me to the Avocado & Banana Deep Conditioning Smoothie on KL’s Naturals. Avocado & Banana are good for the body, and for your hair too! This Deep Conditioner like other DIY organic deep conditioners is easy on your wallet, and super easy to make!

WHY TRY THIS?

Before we get to how to make this, you should know why I even bothered:

1. Bananas are believed to help with moisture and shine, and somehow fight shrinkage.

2. The healthy oils and Vitamin E in Avocado make this fruit a staple part of my diet. It’s an excellent fat burner especially for your belly. For hair, it is said to bring moisture, shine and softness!

3. Good old Honey is no stranger to me. It’s a humectant (meaning, it draws moisture into the hair), and for this reason it has been a staple part of my deep conditioning process for about a year.

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L-R: One very ripe avocado, 2 Bananas (I added one later), Jar of Honey. Smoothie Maker behind.

WHAT I USED

One ripe avocado

3 medium size bananas

Smoothie maker.

A little water (to help with the mixing)

HOW-TO

1. Cut your fruits up

2. Throw ‘em into your smoothie maker, blender, whatever mixer you’ve got

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3. Add a little water.

4. Blend/ mix till it’s as smooth as possible

real smoooth :)

5. Sieve <- very important tip K.L pointed out, to avoid getting bits left in your hair.

sievin'

sievin’

I sieved to be cautious, but nothing was caught in the sieve or later left in my hair because I used a smoothie maker to do my mixing, so my smoothie was perfectly smooth. (Does anyone mind enlightening me why smoothie makers aren’t as mainstream as blenders? If I had to choose one, I’d go with the smoothie maker! Smoothie makers don’t need as much liquid as blenders to mix well.)

Are you wondering “Where does the Honey go?” You can add your honey to the fruits at Step 2. At any point during Step 4, or even after.

The taste of honey makes me want to puke (Too sweet!) and I wanted to taste the smoothie first. So I added the honey after I was done blending the solids, and tasting the avocado-banana plain.

Very yummy smoothie, which I shall be making next time for myself, not my hair! Banana can be a little too much for me (my least favourite fruit!) so the avocado was a perfect match to tone down the sweetness. I love the heavy, smooth texture the avocado brought to this!

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This was how much I made, about the same size of my henna and I used up ALL of it. My hair is 8 and half to 9 inches long, medium-high density (that is, it is full)- so if your hair isn’t as long or thick, you may not need 3 bananas or one full avocado.

yes, hair! drink upppp :D

yes, hair! drink upppp 😀

RESULTS

Henna left my hair feeling dry, and this DC restored moisture to my strands! So yes, I endorse this. It works! Just take your time with the blending and sieving oh. You do not want bits in your hair! Had bits when I tried a Coconut milk DC and that was super annoying!

I had the henna on for 5 hours 30 minutes, so I left the hair smoothie in my hair for almost the same time, head wrapped in clingfilm. This was because I was really worried about the dryness from the henna. On another day, I think it’d be very okay for me to use this as I would use my other Deep Conditioners- put in hair, wear shower cap and steam for 20 minutes or baggy for an hour.

Lastly, I think it’s a good idea to make this fresh. It is so simple, I don’t see any reason not to. Fruits are the components of this DC, and with no preservatives involved, it could easily go bad.

Till next post,

Love,

AB,

xx