I am so happy to introduce you to this wonderful woman. Stephanie and I found each other over the internet when she was searching for hair covering resources, and recently we got to meet in person when she made a 4 hour drive to my hair covering workshop! You can see some pictures of her at the workshop here. Anyway, we talked for hours before and afterward, and I am so grateful to now call her a good friend. She is hilarious, wise, warm, giving, and tells great stories! Her journey and reasons for covering her hair are quite compelling, as you will read, and she does so beautifully!
Hi Stephanie, do you have any nicknames?
I do, Steph, Stephers, Step-on-me (when the kids – church or family – wanna rough house), sweetie, hon, hey you, and on it goes. 🙂 The newest reference of me that I’ve heard was some little kids who couldn’t remember my name from church calling me “the lady who covers her head”. I like that one.
How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering since approximately Nov of 2011, and I only cover part-time (we’ll get to the why).
What led to your decision to cover?
Well for me it’s an obedience thing. I felt as though I was being led to do it after praying and studying on it for about 6 months.
When people ask you why you cover, what do you say? Do you have a long and short version of what you tell people?
Yes there is a long and short version depending on how interested someone is.
Short version: I choose to cover because I believe it has been asked of me in the Bible and i want to obey.
Long version: I wear one because I believe we are held accountable for what we know. In studying the Bible one night I read this: “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head” (the second word ‘head’ is referring to the order- God being head of Christ, Christ head of man, man head of woman- its explained right before that verse) 1 Corth 11:5. I certainly don’t want to dishonor my husband or God so I cover. Now there is a lot more to the verse (so please take a look at 1 Corinthians 11:3-16) but that specific part struck me. So I prayed about it for about 6 months and in that time I felt like God really wanted me to obey. I kept having “just obey Me in this” going thru my head. I did and I have felt like God has really blessed me for doing so. I wear them in church or anytime I’m in leadership or going to be publicly praying (and I let my husband define “public” for me). I have gotten to the point that if I am without my husband in public I will typically wear one (I go bare headed with him [unless we’re praying] since he loves my hair and I wish to respect him). I have tried many styles of covering but this one just fits me best. 😀
How has your community responded to your covering?
I live in a small town and to my knowledge I am the only non-muslim that covers in about a 50 mile radius (maybe more). That being said I do occasionally get the odd stare but typically no one seems to notice or care much, either way not a lot of attention is drawn to it, except for in church- I get ALOT of nice comments about it then – just this last week I had one of the older ladies look at my tichel and exclaim “you have GOT to show me how you tie those.” Needless to say that made my day.
Any cool experiences/realizations you have had since starting to cover?
I’ve realized just how much I wish to be more modest- not that I wasn’t considered modest by general standards but I desired modesty more. I realized that modesty does NOT have to be drab and boring black – but about how wonderful the things are, big or small, that you share with just that one person that makes you whole.
What are your favourite scarves and accessories?
Oohhh thats a toughie!! I think for me my favorite scarves are the variegated ones (I have a brown, blue and pink variegated ones) the wonderful thing about them is you don’t have to exactly match the color since all shades are included. My favorite accessories hummm I have too many to decide!! I strongly suggest a silver and gold thin scarf since these make wonderful additions in color, I make my own flowers and often pin them in on the side or back on my bun. Stick pins are terrific!! They are getting harder to find, so again I started making my own, then I make matching earrings so I have a nice cohesive look. Regular pins/brooches work – they just can be a bit harder to get in, however any pin will help hold together your layers to keep from slipping!
What do you find is the best way for you to tie your scarves when you consider your colouring and face shape?
I like height in the back, the BIG bun look. I don’t like height so much on the front half of my head – it seems to make my face MUCH rounder looking (so I stay away from the crown/dutch crown look). I also do a lot of the hanging tails (braided or not), I find that style helped me get used to not having my hair down to play with since I’m a hair twirler.
Any secret tips or tricks that you have?
ABSOLUTELY!! 3 big ones! 2 smaller one.
1) It sounds odd I know, but honestly I never use an undercap, headband or wig grip (my head is too round they slip right off), I use a pair of pantyhose!! You can leave the legs on or off- your choice (if you leave them on you can make a bun of them). When I use that I have to work pretty hard to get it to slip off.
2) You can make it or buy it, but if you have thin or short hair and want it to look nice and bigger at the back get a ‘bun enhancer’ (I bought mine at icing by claires’- and they come in multi colors and sizes) I have heard of others making theirs from a bath scrubs and even socks, so the choice is yours!
3) I know you have heard this from many sources (including our dear Andrea) but really don’t forget to wear earrings (and maybe a necklace) they REALLY help finish off a look! Personally for my round face I find teardrop or dangles work best (I try to stay away from hoops, loops and studs) if you don’t have dangle earrings you can find a great set of gold,silver and black teardrops at target for $5 and it will go with ANYTHING! (love mine they were a present from my father-in-law.)
4) If you wear glasses and you keep your ears ‘in’ then make sure you don’t tie it too tight or you will end up w/ pain from the glasses digging in above your ears.
5) If you want your hair to look pretty decent when u take off your wrap DO NOT wrap while your hair is still wet. You will end up with weird frizziness and VERY flat hair.
Do you match your head scarf to your outfit or the other way around?
Well it depends I suppose. usually match the outfit to the scarf but if I get something new then I work the scarf around the outfit. Usually I go by mood – if I’m feeling pink or purple I’ll assemble an outfit and scarf around that.
What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for new friends, for my WONDERFUL husband, and a good day. 🙂