Almost every culture wraps their hair in cloth of some fashion. Headwraps have a long and varied history. You will find that almost every culture wraps their hair in cloth of some fashion. In any American city you can easily see black women walking about sporting various styles of headwraps . Where did this tradition begin?
In the antebellum South laws existed that forbade black women from going out with uncovered hair. In this instance headwraps served a utilitarian purpose, to cover untidy hair. The slave master intended for the mark of the headwrap to signifiy the wearerâs subjegated status. You wore a headwrap or hankerchief over your head because your hair was not presentable enough to be seen in public. Women tied their wraps similar to the ways their African counterparts tied their headwraps. In West Africa espeicially, headwraps signified communal identity and was an expression of personal style. Headwraps could also signify social and marital status as well.
There was a time when seeing a black woman in a headwrap conjured up images of âµAunt Jemima.â¶ We are slowly getting away from that image and embracing our varied history by rediscovering our African roots. Women today are wrapping their hair because headwrapping is an artform and a great way to showcase individuality. My quest for the perfect headwrap began when I first saw a picture of Erykah Badu wearing a mile high headwrap. I was floored by the simple beauty of those yards of fabric.
Thus began my quest for the perfect headwrap. I bought yard after yard of material and tried to make it look like hers but to no avail. Finally I asked a co-worker to show me how to wrap my hair with the âµbunâ¶ in the back like she wore. She showed me and for years that was the only style I could wear. Recently Iâve been wanting to wear a more âµturbanâ¶ style of wrap, something more akin to what Erykah sports. Now that I can make my wraps look similar to hers, that is all Iâve been wearing. Headwraps are a fun, easy way to dress up your look. You can look good without having to do your hair. Who could ask for anything better?
Now before you go I will leave you with some simple instructions on how to tie a simple headwrap with the âµbunâ¶ in the back.
1) Start with 2 yards of fabric.
2) Place the fabric over your head with equal lengths hanging down on either side of your head.
3) Gather both pieces of fabric at the nape of your head as if you were gathering your hair in a ponytail. You should now have both pieces of cloth in your hand and it should look like you have a long ponytail.
4)Twist the fabric onto itself twice (it should be tube like)
5) Now that itâs secure at the base of the neck, you can separate the pieces and 2 strand twist them together. In other words take one piece of fabric and twist it over the other piece like the hairstyle little girls wear.
5) When you get to the end of the fabric continue to twist until the fabric curls up on itself.
6) You will now wrap the long, twisted tail in the direction that it naturally twists.
7) Wrap the tail around itself in a bun like fashion. 8) When you get to the end of the tail, tuck it in.
8) VIOLA! You have a cute headwrap. Pictures of each step are listed below for the visual learners. Remember practice makes perfect. Play around with the fabric and each style of headwrap, youâll get a different look every time. Have fun and enjoy expressing yourself through the art of headwrapping.