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Hijabi Hair: Going under THERE...

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Those who don't wear hijab, those that are men and wonder, and those who do wear it and can sympathise, here is a post for you. What is going on with women's Hair under the hijab?
I have been wearing hijab for 8 years now alhamdulillah and have been in many kinds of places of differing weather conditions.
Before I start though remember this disclaimer:
I have different hair than many women, I have limited funds to do nice stuff with my hair at a Salon, I am personally against myself going to a Salon for something I CAN do in my house (again, I'm not against others going to Salons, just myself, yes I have ISSUES)but I will go for something I CANT do, and as I have children my needs may not reflect many other women.
*sigh* ok glad I got that part off my chest.

Now I have been super bored out of my mind for ages now with my hair.
I have done coloring, perms, crazy cuts over the years but nothing catches my interest for very long and it all begins and ends with one very important thing. The hijab AKA Veil of Modesty.
Disclaimer #2: I love my hijab, never will take it off, and my rant on hair has nothing to do with my belief that hijab is Fard, and is beneficial for all Women, Muslim or not.

Lets be honest: it totally messes up your hair! Lets start with the basics eh? When placing your hijab on you MUST do something with your hair. You have two options: up or down.

Let's go with down first. Either you leave it hanging down your back or you braid/plait it and let it hang. Depending on the length of your hijab and your hair either it can remain outside your abaya or under it. If the weather is HOT it will stick to your neck and back and create a rivulet of sweat trailing from your hair line down your spine to your bottom. If the weather is cold it might feel nice and keep your neck warm. Either way though when you take off your hijab it will be a frizzy mess unless you use a hair product against frizz. Along with helmets and hats, the hijab too will cause your hair to do amazing things that will most likely NOT flatter your features. Future spouses of hijabis be warned, give her a few minutes to make it look nice okay. Don't think this glamorous wave of hair will tumble down for you to run your hands through.....you'll catch your fingers in lots of knots and create more tangles.

So if you want to prevent tangles there is the other option of putting it up.
Now here is a great debate on how to put it up. You can use a claw clip to flip it up off your neck. You can braid it and fix it up somehow with clips or ties. Or you can do as most women do since the beginning of the Human Race, pull it up in a bun. Buns though come in dozens of styles. Some do a simple one, some to a wavy one, some do a floppy one. Some use special clips or ties, some even use flowers or clips that give the hijab a bump or puffy look in the back. For an explanation fatwa and discussion on the bump I refer you to Aalia's Chasing Jannah.

As this is my personal rant though I will tell you my personal style. I collect my hair back as if I'm making a pony tail then begin to spin it around tightly clockwise until I have a thin line of twisted hair then it naturally twists on itself and I wrap that twist around its self clockwise until I have a a swirly bun. I then secure it with a single medium sized scrunchy directly on the back of my head. Not on the nape of my neck and not up higher on the crown area. This keeps the hijab material away from my neck and doesn't look silly or make me hot.

The thing about me though is I wear my hair pretty much 24/7 like this. I have two young kids and the thought of them pulling my hair is enough to make me want to rip my hair out. ;) So I HAVE to keep it up. My hair being pulled or my hijab being tugged on is like nails on a chalkboard to me. So I always feel like a cliche librarian. Very dowdy and boring.

Even though the style is HARAM and I HATE it, you have to admit these Emirati girls with their bangs hanging out of their hijabs have interesting hair even when it is piled up in a bun or clip. So many different style you can do with bangs. Even when your hair is up 24/7 like mine you still got hair flipping about your face looking awesome and fashionable. I was determined to have bangs. So I informed my husband and he had his reservations about the idea of me chopping up my hair (again). I carefully combed my front hair around in different ways until I figured a style I wanted. *Snip Snip* Voila now I have bangs. YAY! Now yes, even with my hair severely tied back out of my way, I too can look fab.

Or so I thought until I left to the Mall last night and tried to squish them back into place under my hijab. Let me tell you about my hijab first. I wear an under cap of cotton that keeps my hair from slipping out and in hot weather soaks up any sweat that dares try to drip down my neck. Gross detail but true. Over that I wear a variety of regular hijab that cover properly. Well last night my bangs were refusing to be pushed back and kept trying to peep out and check out the world. I had to continuously push them back into place but they were sticking up funny under the hijab material and itching like crazy. I was miserable. I had to escape to the bathroom finally with my kids in tow to fix it all. I flattened them straight to the sides with a good quantity of water before tugging my cap back on and adding the top hijab. Seemed to work better.

When I fianlly got back home though, you guessed it I took my hijab off and it stood up on end like Edward Scissorhands was my stylist. I quickly scraped it down with my fingers until it looked decent. But I sighed frustrated. I wish I had glam hair like other sisters I see in their homes. Somehow, even though they have to stuff it up under hijab they still manage to look fab at home. I look like a cliche librarian with fab bangs, therefore I must have moved up the scale to McDonalds worker. You know how they look, buns and bangs....with a nifty McD's Visor.

So I come to you all for suggestions. How can you make your hair fab yet manageable even though you wear hijab? And not have it down for kids to grab and mangle. Is there a better, more glam , more fun way to put my hair up under the hijab and still let it be awesome when i take hijab off?

Do you have a trick or are you bored out of your mind too?

Some days I'd love to do what many women do and just get a pixie cut or cut it shorter then shoulder length. But I've had those styles before and they didn't ward off the boredom they were just easier to manage. I like my hair length and I want to keep it but I just want it to look awesome for once in my life. The only time I liked it was when i went to a wedding and had it perfect but then I had to wear a special protection around my hair so the hijab wouldn't mess it up and it made it look silly.

So again to clarify I want a look that does well without hijab on in the house, and a look for under the hijab so when I take it off it doesn't look aweful. Any ideas? Any bad hair stories? Any hair rants?

19 intelligent thoughts:

Mama Kalila said...

I can seriously relate to this lol. I do a lot of "half" pony tails..you know start to make one, but dont pull the hair all the way out of the band so it makes it shorter. When it was longer I did the buns like you sometimes too, or similar. I have a lot of baby fine hair (so it looks thin and blah, but takes 2 boxes if I want to dye or perm it???) and it makes it hard to do anything with. Hairstylists can... Me not so much. I used to french braid a lot too... Now no time lol.

Anyways, beyond that... I love hijab. I used to wear it a lot... I still do from time to time (remember not Muslim here). I tend to do it when it's cold... or I'm having a bad hair day lol. My husband and I talked about me doing it more (because I really would be fine/happy with that) but I'm still unsure of how his family would take it. Mine is used to me lol. - Back on topic though, I just do the half ponytail thing when I wear it... or braided. or bun... lol

Bilqees said...

Salaams Sis,

Maashallah,hijab is so beautiful but i know what you mean....THE BORING HAIR SYNDROME!!!!!

I have that too sometimes,actually i suffer of that disability most of the time.I just recently had a haircut with feathery fluffy layers and it looked good!But now that my hair has grown the style has grown out too,so i'm back to the ponytail.
Maybe we should have it trimmed regularly and actually go to a salon to have it done,because i must say,usually,after i've been to a salon i feel more motivated to actually put some effort into myself,hehe!

Anyway,happy hairstyling and salaams.

iMuslimah said...

I cant stand this subject. It is so frustrating. no matter what I do, when I take my hijab and undercap off, my hair is totally flattened and stuck to my head. It is very unattractive and looks pathetic. Brushing it, combing it, blah blah blah doesnt help. The only help for me is to rewash and style, if I want to look nice while I am home- but then I dont want to leave the house again (lets not mention that in summer, at the end of the day the hair gets washed anyway with all that SWEATING). I like to look nice. I like to feel feminine, and I know my husband likes it too- but at the end of a looong day, working all week, running after iBaby and the million other responsibilites that come with being a wife and mother, who has the time and DESIRE to do their hair and put on a little make up? By the end of the day I am ready to collapse! Can you tell I am feeling hostile????

Hijab + Nice hair = impossible.

I miss feeling pretty. My hubster never complains about it, as he likes the "less is more" look. But there is no one this planet that can tell me I dont look refreshed and healthier with a little polishing.

At the end of all this, the bottom line, its all about sacrifice. Sacrifice for being part of something bigger than myeself....Islam. For pleasing Allah. And for the hope of being granted to jannah someday and being reunited with my family in the next life.

My issues seem really petty now, dont they?

My rant is over lol.

Sorry Brandy- I havent any hair advice.

Hugs,

iMuslimah

Aalia of Abu Dhabi said...

Asalaamu `alaikum Brandy!!

I have been to 2 parties in the last month, mashaa'Allah -- and I *always* wear my hair up or at least part of it in a fancy up do. My beauty secret may be a little more tougher for you -- not because you can't stand the heat -- but because mashaa'Allah I have a maid and driver to take my things, pack the car, carry stuff or make sure my son is not running off into the sunset.

I wear a lightly wrapped shayla -- and yes sometimes my bang might hang out or show, especially when I do a coife (sp?) -- *BUT* i have my trusty Ghashwa to cover any visible hair. I arrive at the party, take off my outer-garments and TA-DA!! My hair looks exactly like the way I styled it at home!! Oh, and use hair spray and bobbi pins -- that's a must.

And did I mention a Flower holds and makes pretty cool hair styles too???

BTW, to see whether creating the Bump under our headscarves is haraam or not -- including that hadith about women in Hell with camel humps -- plz go here:

http://chasing-jannah.blogspot.com/2009/07/my-response-to-camel-hump-debate.html

Nikki said...

You say you don't want short hair but it is working so much better for me! I wear a cotton tube underscarf and the tube covers all of my hair even when down. When I take of my hijab, if I haven't gotten sweaty, I can simply shake out my hair and have it look like it did prior to putting hijab on.

Short hair doesn't have to be boring, you can still experiment with dyes, textures, and layers.

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

By the age of puberty I realized hijab can actually improve your hair. Putting olive oil on it and then lightly blow drying before going out makes your hijab act as a bumper creating a conditioning and soft feel to your scalp and hair! It adds shine and a cute texture. DONT leave it completely wet though. That's weird and kinda gross.

I wear buns often but, they pull your hair!Wearing underscarfs/ umptas helps control that though.

As for the bangs, I hate it too! It's like hijab or hair, choose one!

clare said...

I'm sure you look like a stylish librarian, haha.
I'm not a hijabi (yet), but I've worn my hair in a bun or ponytail everyday for YEARS now. Recently I've been wearing headbands as a kind of hijabi training wheels, lol. I have very thick, frizzy hair and cutting it short just makes it worse.
John Frieda Weather Works conditioner works well for the frizzies, but when it comes to style I'm pretty clueless. :D

MyHijab said...

hijab and hair! enough to make me want to scream

I use hairspray on the front of my hair to keep it under the cap. It also helps the cap to stay in space.

And that is what makes it a disaster when i take my hijab off. My hair is stuck to my head like i have it all shaved off. the hair is hard and it cracks.

I haven't been to the hairdresser in over a year bcz i can't be bothered and i know that i am just going to end up spraying it and plastering it to my head.

I want my soft hair back too. I want my fringe (or bangs) back too. I want the colour vibrant again.

thats not to say i will take my hijab off! I just miss my hair!

great post!

Faith in Writing said...

When I was o'seas and wearing hijab, I always just did a pony tail up high. That way I got the best shape with the hijab and like you said, you don't get tangles at the bottom or a hot neck. But I fail to see how to have nice hair and wear hijab. My hub's cousins always had ok hair but they could never just whip the hijabs off when we got home. I would,cause I didn';t care, lol. And his mum always wore hijab, like 99% time and her hair was always just in a bun at the back. I think it's a shame not to have the nice pretty hair but it's hard with the fabric on it. I think the best hair is my sil's,it's waaaay long and thick and she irons it and keeps it in a low pony tail/bun thing. Then she unwinds it and it is really quite beautiful.
I don't think fab hair and hijab will ever be 5mins apart though.

Tuttie said...

as salaamu aalaykum,
nope not at all. I have the boring librarian look as well. Except my body is lets say "very feminine" so I kinda look like a naughty librarian. ;) I am kinda of embarrassed to admit it but what the heck what are the chances of us ever meeting anyway? Also when I go to bed my hair has waves on it from the bun so i toss it a little bit and attack the hubster :)

Ms.Unique said...

LOL I never even thought abt this thing b4 I read your post .... :D

Yasemin said...

Finally here, sorry for the long pause!

Fun post habibty, that picture of the first lady with the frizz was hilarious :)

This is a tough one. You want to look nice for your husband, but you're used to caps and ponytails. It's always been hard for me to find a balance as well. I hope you can inshallah, I loved all of Aalia's and My Hijab's ideas about it, especially the flower and hairspray.

You know, I NEVER thought to use hairspray! I always wore caps and did ponytails and it created the look you have with the loose ponytail :)

I've never done hair-dye since I was 16. So I have this awful brown-dirty blonde nightmare and need help.

I am TOTALLY guilty of Aalia's description of the camel on your head (and need to improve). It was easier to put the pony-tails up high, in the Turkish tradition. I also got into the Turkish habit of tying hijab with hijab at the neck on lazy days, a little knot old BF Gulsah taught me. And then it comes loose at dinners out!

The hardest part about hijab is that you tend to put your hair up and when it comes down, it has that awful ponytail look, where it's kind of wavy and yucky habibty :)

I cut my own hair a lot when I wore hijab before. Luckily, I know a Muslimah hairdresser now who offers private cuts. However, no one ever said anything about my hair looking terrible, so maybe it was ok right? LOL, they were probably just being polite, and I was a hot mess.

I love the Katie Holmes bob! I wish I could pull of that look, but I also like my low-maintenance do-nothing ways :) Cotton caps are a life-saver!

Love you sweetie!

eyes said...

Assalamu alaikom,
I am feeling this post 100%! I always have to duck into the bathroom and spruce myself up when I take off the hijab. Fine at home, but not exactly easy when you're in somebody else's house! (They might wonder why in the world you're using their hair dryer... LOL!) My hair looks like it's been ironed to my head after I remove my hijab. It's because of the underscarf. On the few occasions I've gone without, my hair was mostly okay when I de-hijabed. But then, without the underscarf, the hijab slip-slides all over my head and drives me crazy the whole time I'm wearing it. Also, I've noticed that lately, I have a ton of frizz, broken hair starting from the very top instead of just split ends at the bottom. I've never had it this bad, and I think it's from years of wearing hijab. (And half the time I end up putting hijab on over damp hair, because I'm running off to work and don't really want to blow dry my hair every day, which is just as bad for hair as is putting on hijab over damp hair!) But I must say, I have far fewer "bad hijab" days than I ever did "bad hair" days, so at least I look decent when I'm out in public. LOL!

Mrs. S said...

I feel your pain. I have unruly hair that does not appreciate being smooshed down for hours in end in my hijab. I also wear bangs, which, as you have said can be uncooperative, and I am definitely NOT one of those girls that can take of her hijab, shake her hair and look like a model.

Over time I’ve learned to shoot for hair styles that are simple to do and finished looking. During the week I use interesting headbands and hair clips. Once I take my scarf off I can easily slip on a nice head band and use an elastic or interesting clip with little effort. As for my bangs, when I don’t feel in the mood for a head band, I am sure to brush my bangs to one side with a smoothing brush and hairspray them. Sometimes I clip them other times I don’t. I then carefully put on my undercap and hijab so they aren’t moved out of place. Brushing them to the side keeps my bangs from standing up straight or falling strangely. If I am going to be home for the rest of an evening or most of the day I usually take the time to blow dry and style my hair.

I am always on the lookout for interesting and easy ways to wear my hair when I’m home, and I’ll admit that it helps that I have time for myself to experiment. I will also admit that I have the opportunity to go to the salon and get hair cuts and conditioning treatments. A great haircut can go a long way.

When I was with my in-laws a lot I started to feel a little ridiculous for taking the time to fix my hair everyday rather than just throw my hijab on over a bun or wear a fellahi scarf over my hair in the house. One day, though, my husband (not big on verbal compliments) told me that he appreciates that I spend the few minutes on my hair. After that I realized it’s not ridiculous for me to take the time to make myself beautiful at home for myself and for my husband.

Al-ain Rose said...

Hijab + Nice hair = impossible.
....
take it off, simple.

I put hijab, and I have a wonderful hair.

It's not about hijab. it's all about your hair type whether you put on hijab or not.

Khadijah Tyler said...

Just a suggestion or two... I have hair that is almost to the middle of my back. I have it layered all around, longer layers not the feathered type. I like to wear my hair down so when i want to go somewhere I can take off my hijab and look decent here is what I do..
I rub in styling mousse all over and decide how I want my hair to look. If I want it to go down and be full I put my hair in a tight ponytail at the top of the back of my head. It needs to be high without going on the top of my head. When I take out the ponytail holder it falls around my face with a lot of volume. When I had bangs I actually wore a tiny sponge curler very loosely around my bangs under my hijab. Using mousse then making braids (about 5) then undoing them when I get there has an obvious effect. If I just wanted the sides to sort of puff out away from my face i would pin the area back with bobby pins then spray the hair that is pulled back. It all just takes the time to see what works. If you have a fancy hairstyle use a tarha that is extra long, wrap twice but lightly then with the remaining length flip it up over your face. I do this for weddings. I don't have advice for long, straight hair...no real solutions unless u always wear your hair up.

Umm Sakina said...

assalamou alaikom

To your bangs problem this is why the sunnah is not to cut the hair in different lengths. I saw it in Sahih Muslim. There ARE times- may Allah forgive me- I want to scream out because of feeling hot or tripping over my abaya practically falling on my face, stuggling with groceries and kids BUT i actually feel my hair has gotten better since covering, not worse. Yes, it does tangle but my hair became smoother and less uncontrollable curl/frizz because I would shower, comb it, put it in a bun and put on my hijaab. When it finally dried, my hair looks more straight and manageable. Also the prophet,salla lahu alhi wa salam used olive oil this helps. I sometimes use shea butter and definately on my kids who have "mixed" hair (Puerto Rican and black)Shea is an awesome conditioner but it makes my hair kinda lifeless and weighed down, it's better for those of African or Arab decent. Another trick is mayonnaise if you can stand the smell. Of course you take it off after a soak in it. Allah says in His book that He hsa created a cure for everything on the earth. I am paraphrasing may Allah forgive me. So i encourage you to use natural ingrediants on your hair and esp follow the sunnah. Allah made us and He knows best what our minds, bodies and spitits need. Henna is a good conditioner but if you do it too many times over the same hair it can become brittle. If you don't like the smell you can add essential oils that will make your hair smell wonderful.
I didnt really learn how to properly care for my hair till I was over 20. A sister used to come everyday and brush my hair (she said really that was an excuse to check on me bc i had a bad situation) and it became so healthy it shone. It's important to brush your hair everyday, it helps distribute the natural oils. If you have a problem with dry scalp or dandruff you can buy cheap shampoo and add 10 to 20 drops of tea tree oil which will stop dandruff inshaAllah. Above all, be grateful for our (annoying) hair its what makes us desirable and beautiful and some women are bald! With the right care a Muslima can accentuate what she has to gain her huband's pleasure. And when our husbands are happy they make us happy. And buy us things!lol
However, we are put on this earth to worship Allah and pleasing our husbands is an act of worship as well as in Islam, a comandment to practice good hygiene and body care. May Allah forgive me if i said anything wrong. I am an American Muslim and want to visit/live in UAE soon so I was just checking out some blogs :)
May Allah guide us Muslimeen

LK said...

You could try a snood instead of a traditional undercap. They are long in the back and have room for your hair. I've only used one for a play but it didnt mess up my curly hair.(my hair takes the shape of whatever style I put it in. Never looks nice after its been up.)

Here is an example:

http://www.middleeasternmall.com/snood-hijab-caps-blue-p-730.html

I also have a hat that is similar to a snood which also allows my hair to be nice after being covered all day. Could be an option for you.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I wear a cotton bandana (folded in a triangle and tied as an underscarf. I have very long hair braided and wrapped in a bun on the back of my head. I never really had a problem with this looking any worse when taking my scarf off as my hair is already straight and pulled back. A couple years ago I decided to give myself bangs for interest. These do get flattened by being under the bandana, but they're fairly thin so I can usually "fix" them by wetting my hands and giving them a little curl again (my hair is straight, but I can curl it a little bit if it's short and moistened). If I'm just hanging out at my parent's house or something, I just leave the bandana/underscarf on most of the time. It keeps all the wisps out of my face. I don't like my hair down very much as it gets in the way. But, if I do want to take it down, if I unbraid it it doesn't look flattened anymore because it's wavy from being braided. I don't use hairspay at all. Maybe it's just that I'm not really going for a dressy look.

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