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styles/techniques/products, lessons learned, my to-do list, and favourite links.
Feel free to offer any comments, feedback, or advice - I'm learning as I go !

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Caribana "Jump-Up" Hair!

I really like to experiment. There's so much out there still to try. Thus my To do list, which is even longer in my head than it is on my blog. I'm constantly adding things I see on other blogs or in real life. I'm an avid hair-watcher in my diverse community and always looking for inspiration.

A few weeks ago I passed by a neighbour who was doing her daughter's hair on her front steps.  This neighbour lives a couple of blocks away, and although I knew her to see her, I had never spoken to her. She was removing threaded twists from her daughter's (4B) hair and I stopped to inquire. She explained that she used doubled weaving thread, and it worked well to stretch hair. She showed me how to wrap the thread around the tops of the twists and wrap the thread around the sections of hair.

I'd seen this style threaded before on blogs, most notably at Cherish My Daughter (see the posts labelled African Hair Threading on Mocha Mom's fabulous blog). These are also called Ghana Plaits. However, in all my hair-watching I'd never seen this in real life. It was an instant add-on to the to-do list.

On my last trip to Sally's I picked up some weave thread - a big spool for $2 or $3. And today was the day. It's Caribana in Toronto right now, and the whole city is jumpin'! The Caribana Parade (today!!) is an amazing experience but it's also crowded and hot, and tricky with little ones. So although we decided to jump and play close to home instead of with the big crowds, I thought it was a good time for JJ to show her West Indian colours.
homemade shea/coco/aloe mix, water
scissors, comb, thread, beader
Jj's hair was freshly washed and detangled. I applied a homemade shea/coconut oil/aloe mix to her hair as I worked. I cornrowed sections towards the back of her head in an almost-mohawk style. I threaded the ends, added shiny green and gold beads. I finished (or so I thought) with JJ's trademark "bangs" with regular two-strand twists. 

added cornrow along hairline on non-bang side
This being my first time trying Ghana Plaits I'd say the hardest thing was getting the tension right. Once I was finished the style, I had to go back and adjust some to make the plaits more evenly coiled. 
pre-fix: see how the coil is uneven?
post fix: slightly more even coil
JJ really liked the look of the Ghana Plaits and beads and wanted them at the front as well, where the two-strand twists were. So the two-strand twists came out and more Ghana Plaits went in. In the photo below, the hair had been the same length as all the other twists, but really stretched out when the hair was threaded.

still working on even tension here as you can see....


JJ loves the swing factor!

I think I'll be able to leave these in for a while; they seem like a good potential protective style (well, with the beads removed that is). I'll try to update as the week goes on.... BTW please forgive JJ's chosen-by-herself outfit that does not correspond with her Caribana Hair - she was not feelin' the outfit I thought would match better, and I was not feelin' arguing about it!! The Dora purse is a recent acquisition that does not leave her side! She just turned 4 (going on 24....) - Birthday pictures to follow when I get organized!!


  1. I love the colors! What hair type does JJ have? I too went out to buy the weave thread when I saw mocha mom and girlsloveyourcurls do the threading back a couple months ago. I still haven't tried it though! I feel like my daughter's hair is too thin and fine for it and I'm not sure she will really benefit from it. I've never seen any other hair types except 4, get their hair threaded. Thanks for this post!!

  2. JJ's hair is 4B, so the Ghana Plaits work well on her hair type. I'm not sure how these would work for thinner/finer hair...? I did notice that when I wrapped smaller sections of hair, they responded differently to being wrapped than larger sections. Let me know if you try it!

  3. This is so cute!! It almost looks like a twist-out. Very nice!