The Good and Bad of African Threading/Ghana Plaits

Beautifully Curled: Some Issues with African Threading/Ghana Plaits


What is my verdict on my first set of Ghana plaits now that Z has had them in her hair for 5 days now? The answer is...I still totally adore them!!! For the most part aside from a few issues, the African hair threading technique is definitely something I plan on incorporating more regularly into our hairstyling rotation. I see so many possibilities and after perusing and pinning some images on my pinterest board of various styles that can be done using African threading, I cannot wait to head to the beauty store for more weaving thread! The longer Z's hair get, the more I see doing Ghana plait updos! Can't you tell I am excited?!!! :-)

My pros about the Ghana plaits:
  • The corkscrew look is so unique.
  • The way the plaits manage to keep a downward position after a long night of sleep (and tossing and turning). It is amazing how they still hang after each night. With regular two strand twists, I would have to manipulate the twists the next morning with water to get them to hang uniformly downward again.
  • As a result of the previous point, this style is truly low maintenance.
  • Her scalp is accessible for moisturizing as needed.
  • Even after being out in misty, drizzling weather for a few hours and getting the back twists wet in the bathtub, her plaits are holding up pretty well overall although there are some issues that need to be addressed.
My cons/issues about the Ghana plaits:
  • The ends are exposed. This was addressed in my previous post by adding barrettes but this is something I prefer to not continually implement in the future. The barrettes are cute, however, they can still be damaging to the ends if not properly moisturized and handled. I would rather not take the extra risk.
  • In the above picture, the threads started to slip from the ends of some of the plaits on the SECOND day. Now this may a result of my threading technique, but it has been reported by others who have done African threading on their child's hair. The barrettes did stop most of the threads from unraveling all the way to the top although a few did manage to get past the barrettes. Nevertheless, the plaits still maintained their corkscrew shape, and I was able to re-thread those plaits.
  • The threads at the roots of the plaits have begun slipping down (see picture below). This is not a big deal to me, but something I have noticed more as the days passed. This, too, could just be a personal result of my threading technique.

Beautifully Curled: Some Issues with African Threading/Ghana Plaits

So, what are my proposed resolutions for next time?
  • My ideal way to resolve the issue of the exposed ends is to incorporate the plaits into a bun or updo where I can eliminate the use of barrettes yet keep her ends protected. 
  • For the threads slipping at the end, I will aim to double knot the thread and not thread so close to the very end of the plait. Maybe I will stop a half inch from the ends before knotting. 
  • In regard to the thread sliding from the base of the plait, this is something I noticed more on the back plaits than the top/plaits. Many reasons could contribute to this such as rough play, friction from car seat, plaits getting soaked in the bathtub, my threading technique, and etc. The next time, I will just continue to practice creating a secure base without being too tight, and I will reassess the issue if it arises again.
I will leave this set of plaits in until Friday where I will let her sport the style minus the thread and barrettes. On Saturday, I will put in another set of Ghana plaits hopefully (and successfully) into a high bun (or two). I will continue to moisturize her hair with my homemade water and Shea Moisture's Curl Milk spritz every other day. 

Any suggestions are welcomed! :-)

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