By Imani of Tribe Called Curl
It’s just one of those days. Rain/snow/sleet/hail is coming down hard, and you just. can’t. with your natural hair. It desperately needs to be redone, and you don’t have the time or the patience for it. You need a quick and stylish solution, so you can walk out the door and take on the world. We’ve got a suggestion—wrap it up. Once the provenance of crazy cat ladies, head wrapping has been reborn as a trendy answer to bad hair days, thanks to the natural hair community. It’s only natural (pun intended), because this protective style predates slavery in the Black community and can be traced back to sub-Saharan Africa. This look has come full circle from strictly utilitarian to effortless style. Best of all, it gives your natural hair a rest for a day (or two or three) from the daily grind of manipulation. What’s not to love?
First, a few basics. Start with a cloth that’s at least a yard (3 feet) long. Protect your hair underneath the scarf with a smaller silk scarf or a Loc Soc when wearing hair completely covered. You can get scarves at fast fashion stores like H&M and Forever 21, fabric stores, thrift shops, and more. Be creative. Coordinate.
Here are the three chic head wrapped looks that be achieved in 5 minutes or less.
1. Hair Accessory
Use the scarf like you would a headband, to camouflage the top of your dome and your edges. You can tie it in a bow or wear it gypsy style with your hair hanging down. The idea is to offer a glimpse of your natural hair without actually wearing it out. Our favorite look is a semi-kerchief where the top of the scarf is open and your natural hair rests at the top of your head, pineapple style. Check out this video from Mane Moves TV featuring Youtube beauty queen Ashiek1118 and coily blogger Natural Chocolat.
Turbans cover your head entirely for a renaissance lady-who-lunches kind of look. Film stars rocked them in the 1930s and 1940’s and your grandma might’ve had one (ours sure did). With the right fabric and accessories, it becomes thoroughly modern. We like the emphasis it places on the face,and we make ours up in dramatic fashion. Bold lips and eyes rule the day. Add a statement necklace and colorful top to keep all eyes on you. Take a look at Alex Elle of The Good Hair Blog (one of our faves) as she explains how to create the perfect turban.
Geles (Gay-lays) are the most traditional, and fabulous way to rock a head wrap. Nigerian in origin, these gravity defying dome toppers have adorned the heads of Naija women for generations. They come in different fabrics, but pop best in metallic material like jacquard. The best looking geles sprout from behind the head like wings, and are wrapped by masters. But, even novices can create a fab basic gele with the right kind of cloth. Look for it in specialty stores or online stores like Hydara Fabrics. Here’s a great gele tutorial from vlogger Adenike Ogungbe that’s easy enough for even the laziest natural to follow.