One of our favorite accessories for our curls are headwraps. Many Black and Brown women have been utilizing clothing and beautiful fabrics as headwraps for centuries. They hold a lot of significance within certain cultures, religions and regions. There’s a long history of Black women being made to cover their natural hair.
In 1786, Tignon laws were passed in Louisiana. These statutes prohibited Black women from wearing their natural hair in public, as many perceived their beauty to be a threat and therefore demonized them. Similar customs were adopted all throughout the Caribbean as well.
While colonizers and oppressors believed these circumstances would break Black women, they failed as Black women always resisted. The women who came before us made the best of their predicaments, simultaneously interweaving and preserving their culture, They made headwraps their own. Still to this day, women in Black communities everywhere preserve, innovate and create looks utilizing scarves and fabrics. It’s one of the most versatile styles!
When you have little to no collection, it can seem expensive to build up your headscarf wardrobe. But don’t worry too much! As someone who has always had financial constraints, I can attest that there are always ways to find beauty in recycled fashion.
Thrift stores are the best place to dig through. They’re like a treasure chest! I have found the most stunning headscarves in thrift stores, for insanely low prices! Not only is this a way to save money and build your collection, but you’re also doing some good for the environment and community.
Visit your local thrift store. Now, that doesn’t mean a vintage thrift store that only sells things from the 1960s and charges you $80 for them. A genuine thrift store where you can also drop off donations and contribute to the energy exchange. Skipping retail to thrift also produces less waste, which is a major concern in 2019.
As I’ve pictured, I also use the scarves for decorations in my home. Not only does it bring a sense of warmth and calm to the space, but they can also brighten the energy of any room.
Choosing affordability and sustainability doesn’t mean compromising style. Every headscarf pictured in this article was thrifted, and less that $5. Try it out, I promise you’ll never want to buy a full priced retail scarf again.
Care & Precautions
Make sure to wash any item you purchase at a thrift store before wearing it. While some stores do wash items in masses, others may not or if they do, you’re never sure how thorough items are cleaned.
When it comes to clothing, make sure to wash in warm water and let air dry if you’re worried about the material shrinking. After that, I go the extra step of saging my clothing items and spritzing them with agua de florida (florida water) as well. This is optional, but try it out if you’re into spiritual cleansing!
How to style
Tie it back
This style takes seconds, but it ups your look instantly. Simply take your headscarf, preferably one that’s about 24 inches in height and width, and fold it in half diagonally so it’s shaped in a triangle. Place the folded edge to your forehead, and pull back the two ends. Tie them into a knot, and tuck the remaining fabric.
This is one of my favorite styles and it’s super simple to do! Simply use a large rectangular scarf of a light fabric, but not satin. Place the edge of the wide end on your upper forehead. Smoothly gather the rest of the fabric at the nape of your neck, as if you were styling a low ponytail. Slowly and firmly twist the remaining ends and then wrap the scarf around your head. Tuck the ends in the other side and you’re good to go!
This style is my go to on second day hair. It adds some glam while remaining super simple. Simply fold one of your smaller scarves into half at the diagonal. From there, roll the scarf up and then tie around your head. Short, sweet and to the point.
Give thrifting your scarves a try and let us know your experience!