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Let me be really real with y’all for 2.5 seconds. Before attending an HBCU (HU!…the real one), I wouldn’t have imagined that I’d ever feel inclined to wear a head wrap. Before I truly had an appreciation and felt connected to African culture (thank God I went to a black school), I thought head wraps were reserved for girls with teeny weeny afros or those who couldn’t afford to get their hair done. Don’t even judge me, because I’m being candid af right now.
I remember even as an upperclassman at Howard, myself and my a couple of my friends would see girls walking around campus with them on and we’d give them the side eye and talk about how tacky they were. We were ignorant as hell and at the time didn’t appreciate this cultural gem for what it was.
I have a best friend who is Nigerian and I think she was the gateway to me appreciating headwraps. I haven’t seen her really wear head wraps per-say but being around her I became very intrigued by African printed fabric that she often wears for special occasions.
For a brief history of the African Headwraps, watch this video above or read more here.
As I’m getting more serious about taking care of my natural hair and getting it to flourish, I have stepped out the box trying new things that may help me along the way. Wearing African head wraps is one of them.
Why do I love it as a protective style?
I can deep condition and Greenhouse/baggy method my hair underneath
I have 4B/4cish hair and moisture and deep conditioning keeps my hair manageable and not dry or brittle. Being able to throw a conditioner/pre-poo and a plastic conditioning cap under my head wrap and go is heaven sent. For the most part, no one would ever know.
If you’re not familiar with the Greenhouse/baggy method and have dry/brittle hair, definitely check it out.
My hair can remain in twists/braids that I would probably never wear out the house
My hair flourishes in twists and braids, keeping my hair moisturized and tangle-free. However, I’m not one to step foot outside in them. Maybe one day but today is not that day my friends.
They double as a beautiful accessory that has a connection to African Culture
While some people are mad at African Americans for “appropriating black culture“, others see the head wraps that we wear today as an ever-evolving connection to our ancestors. I’m one of those people.
They make for a get-up and go style
It may take you 5 minutes to put on a head wrap in the morning versus taking the time to style your hair.
Hair stays protected from harsh weather conditions
Don’t quote me on this but I’ve read that wearing head wraps can protect the hair from the harsh cold and extreme heat weather conditions. Cold weather can make hair dry and brittle and hot weather can cause heat damage. In New York City, we have both extremes.
If you’re wondering, I purchased my African fabrics from Kaarta Imports in Harlem.
What are your thoughts on African Inspired Head Wraps? What are your favorite ways to wear them? Comment down below or share with me on Facebook or Twitter
I think they’re great for all the things you mentioned. I love wearing them when I have to run out to the store and also when I’m conditioning my hair