Headbands to Headscarves

As of this month, I have been covering my head in some fashion for five years! Those of you who have been paying attention are surely thinking “wait, Melissa hasn’t been married that long!” – and you are correct. Head covering was so important to me that I took the time to figure it out emotionally, spiritually, and physically in advance.

You see, I started the journey to covering my head once I knew we were going to get married. Though there was 18 months between the two, it was a very valuable time and growth experience for me. I always saw that one aspect of head covering was the visible distinction of being “off the market” for lack of better phrase. While no one would know that wearing a headband, ribbon, or wide headscarf  was for such a purpose – I did. The other driving factor was my propensity to headaches. I had to adjust to having something on my head and learn how to work that so that it wasn’t a headache trigger.

I started with cloth headbands and skinny fabric tied as a ribbon. Then I moved to wider pieces of ribbon and skinny scarves. Next was slightly wider scarves. Finally I reached the point where I was wearing scarves that mostly covered the entire top of my head or hats on a daily basis. The transition from that to a scarf which covered all my hair once I got my married was subtle, but vital. I had been building up my tolerance – emotionally, spiritually, and physically – over the past 18 months, and by the time I woke up and needed to cover it all, I was ready. I knew what I was getting into and was comfortable with my decision. Over the next 3.5 years. I experimented with how much hair I was comfortable having out and what sort of coverings worked for me. I’ve done chunky visible bangs to not a strand exposed, and everywhere in between. I wear hats, caps, berets, snoods, pre-tieds, scarves, and/or a sheitel. There is no one size fits all way to cover and my choice on any given day depends on where I’m going, what I’m wearing, and how I’m feeling.

I don’t know what headcovering will look like in another few years, but for now, I’m grateful for the past five years of experience and growth.

I now present a slideshow of a sample cross-section of my head covering styles over the past five years…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

5 thoughts on “Headbands to Headscarves

  1. Pingback: Wrapunzel

  2. I didn’t know this about you! This article makes me really happy, because I’ve been covering my head on and off, even though I’m not married. It’s not even, really, an issue of being off the market for me, but it’s due to a need for modesty (in this sense meaning I like to keep my body private), as well as a sort of compromise on the kippa. Unmarried women are the only Jews who don’t have something on their head, and it made me feel off. Additionally a lot of Christian women wear veils and head coverings and Islamic women wear the hijab, and while I know we’re not supposed to envy how the Goyim dress, to me it is more of a recognition thing. The head covering, be it kippa, tichel, kufi, hijab, turban or etc has become a symbol of religious devotion, So I started just wearing a headband, and keeping my hair back.

    Now I’m curious as to how many other Jewish women also do something like this and why.

    Thank you for bringing it up!

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