I started the journey of covering my hair a little over a month ago. At the time I did it to fit in with my local community. I used it as an opportunity to expand my wardrobe. I bought different colors, textures, sizes and shapes of head coverings. Although I loved the different fabrics, I resented the way my head hurt after an hour of wearing them. I would come home and rip off the scarf exasperated with its inconvenience.
After several weeks of frustration I walked into a store that sells head covers and bought a simple black beret. I paid the sales lady, walked to the mirror and jauntily placed it on my head. The sales lady and I locked eyes, she nodded at me with approval and off I went. I felt great. It was the first my head didn't hurt when covered. The beret was 100% cotton, a lightweight knit and felt good without pulling on my hair. It's only flaw was it did not cover all my hair but I was happy. It was a step in the right direction.
(In modern Orthodox it is acceptable to cover only the top of your head; however, my husband attends a very Orthodox Yeshiva so I have made it my goal to cover all my hair when in public to fit the status quo.)
I wore it every day until I got tired of seeing the same black hat on my head. I wanted a change in color. I decided to educate myself on how to properly wrap my head with a scarf. I have been a facebook fan of Wrapunzel since she started several years ago. Reluctantly I clicked on her site and watched the beginner video. She mentioned a velvet headband she wore under her scarf. I knew of the velvet headband before watching the video. I had hoped I could avoid needing to put another thing on my head when covering my hair. I realized I needed to wear the band to stop the scarf from pulling my hair. The next day I took Logan and the kids through the city until we found a scarf shop and a velvet headband.
The headband changed my hair wrapping world. The scarf stopped slipping off my head. I finally could wrap my hair without suffering. I'm not convinced I will spend the rest of my life covering my hair; however, it has been an interesting experiment of my identity.
I turn 30 this year. Unfortunately it is freaking me out. Thirty feels legit. It's a grown up age. It's not 24, it's not 21, it's not 16. It's 30. What you do in your 30's matters. People see you as a fully formed person. Prior to covering my hair, I continued to see myself as a 20 year old with two kids who followed me around throughout the day. I did not see myself as a full fledged adult. Now, when I cover my hair and look in the mirror, I see a grown up. I'm not sure if I like it. I'm not sure I'm ready to grow up. Sometimes I worry that wrapping my hair ages me.
Other times I worry that wrapping my hair means I can't hide my face behind my hair. I am in the world. My face is there for the everyone to see. I feel vulnerable. On days when I feel my face is puffy or I feel ugly, I wear a hat covering the top of my head and leave the rest of my hair out. (The need to cover all my hair is a great motivator to prevent me from eating food that is not good for me since a lot of that food causes my face to break out or bloat.) It's my shield, my armor, protecting my insecurities with a cascade of long hair. As the day progresses my hair shifts from covering my face, to sitting tucked neatly behind my ears to sometimes all the way up back in my hat. It's a constant shift trying to balance religious expectations with my own comfort.
I'm starting to feel more comfortable seeing my hair covered versus uncovered when I look in the mirror. I am really enjoying the different styles and colors of hair coverings available in the shops.
More importantly, covering my hair is changing the way I relate to the world. A simple act of covering my hair allows me create stronger boundaries between my private and public world. I no longer feel pressured to look sexy or attractive when dressing in the morning. My sexiness, my attractiveness is private - for my marriage and my husband. This separation between the private and public does not mean I feel pressured to be ugly or frumpy when I get dressed. Instead, it's about being regal - sophisticated, a lady. The typical pressure to have perfect straight hear, skin tight clothing, and sexy shoes no longer applies to me. I want to emphasize I am not knocking anyone who chooses to dress in this manner. For myself it is freeing to not feel the need to dress sexy when going to a party or stepping outside. I don't need to compete. Other women can dress how they want and I don't feel pressured to keep up. In a strange way I feel that covering my hair has helped me find inner peace and contentment with my identity. I don't understand the connection but I'm happy with the results.
This is the hair covering site, check it out if you area interested in learning how to wrap your hair: https://wrapunzel.com/
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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