Now THIS is a story that will make your jaw drop. A story of coincidence (or how nothing is a coincidence), of the miracle of social media, and how you never know what your actions will mean for someone else, even years down the road. There are people that you meet, even if it’s briefly, that can have an impact on your life that is ever reverberating. I will let Stephanie’s poignant writing tell you the story of how we met, but let’s just say that it was a decade ago, back when I was Jew-“ish” with a capital “ISH”, wearing jeans, being a hair model (ironic, I know), and didn’t even know what a tichel was. Our in-person friendship was brief, taking place in the confines of this crazy elective that I decided to take, and while I had always remembered her warmth and laugh, I mostly remembered her thick, gorgeous hair. Here she is!
“First things first, I just want to say how much an honor it is for me to write this and be featured as a Lady Wrap Star. I have been ‘lurking’ in the community pretty much since the beginning of Andrea’s blog and if you told me years ago I would be writing a post, I wouldn’t have believed it! So thank you to the Wrapunzel team and Andrea for having me.
To tell you about myself, is actually to tell you the story of my journey into wrapping seven months ago. I currently reside in British Columbia, Canada but I am originally from Ontario. I moved across the country in January for my dream job: Curator and Director of the Nisga’a Museum. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be an archaeologist and one day, work in a museum. I grew up in the world of books, studying history, archaeology, science (eating up all of the fantasy and sci-fi literature I could get – Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars and Horror movies are still my life), mummifying Barbie’s in my back yard, and going to every museum I could convince my parents to take me to. It was the fall of my second semester of Near Eastern Archaeology in 2007 that I sat down in Biblical Hebrew 101 beside this really awesome, sunny and cheerful women named Andrea. At the time Andrea was at Wilfrid Laurier for music and taking the language as an elective (which I thought was crazy); it turns out we had a ton in common and before we knew it, we were study buddies and fast friends! She also went as Darth Maul for Halloween that year and won my admiration forever.
After Andrea and I graduated we moved away and fell out of touch, but I still had her as a Facebook Friend. I lurked on her blog for years, reading her posts about her conversion and enjoying her journey. Her posts were always inspiring and I found the content really interesting so I kept reading. Time went on and there were suddenly beautiful videos about scarves and interesting wraps . . . and then a whole company, tutorials and an entire world of tichels I knew nothing about! I watched avidly through Andrea’s social media as Wrapunzel and the community surrounding it grew. I remember admiring the tichels and elaborate wraps and thinking of how much I enjoyed covering my hair for function when I was in the Middle East (for archaeology). But I told myself that I couldn’t do that, it would be disrespectful, I’m not religious, I’m not that talented or creative. I am not.
I am not. Until I moved across the country, until I was challenged to be my best self, to be successful and confident in my work and personal life, and then I suddenly couldn’t be ‘not’ anymore. It was also around this time that hormone changes from PCOS and the lack of my trusted stylist started to wreak havoc on my hair (and growing it out of a super short cut). My once thick curly hair was usually a frizzy, thin mess and I felt absolutely terrible about it, at a time that I had to feel amazing and confident every time I left the house. I was tired of fighting my hair every morning, I had disposable income for the first time and I just wanted to feel beautiful again.
So I signed onto to Wrapunzel and thought enough is enough. I re-watched a ton of video tutorials over and over. I watched the video about wearing a tichel ever if you are not Jewish and felt a resolve that had previously been buried in insecurity and self-doubt. I can and I will! There is no more can’t in my life. I made an account on the website and put in my first order: a Wendy, several THE Shimmery’s and 2 in 1’s. I obsessively tracked it and waited for it to arrive. When it did, I used my Emerald Green Shimmery/Wendy and did a Waterfall Twist, the very first video I had watched. Suddenly…
. . . .
I could breathe again. I felt beautiful. I felt in control of my femininity. I felt regal and confident and everything that I was hoping for and more. It was only a piece of material on my head, but it changed how I moved through the world. Though I only cover part time, I find myself reaching for my tichels more and more. I started with 5 and now I have close to 40 and an ever growing wish list. That first wrap was such a memorable moment for me because it reaffirmed everything I was feeling and I have only grown to love my tichels in ways I can’t describe. What inspired me to cover, was the desire to feel beautiful and it delivered that and so, so much more.
I have always been pretty picky with my personal style and colour choices. This has proven true for me in my tichel wearing life as well. I don’t consider myself super creative in my wraps or colour choices because I am still a beginner and am only just starting to ‘mess around’ and discover my own new wraps. All of my favorite wraps include tails. I love tails! They feel like having long luxurious hair all day and I love to play with them. I also love braids and crowns, because they make me feel like royalty. I am discovering angles are my friend and I am starting to love any sort of zig zag, incorporating that into wraps whenever I can. Colour wise I mostly stick to the greens, purples and blues mostly because I love them and how they make me feel. The more I do wrap though, the more I want to experiment and find a way to make every colour in the rainbow work! I usually pick a scarf before the outfit, but I have a lot of dark colours and blacks, so the majority of my clothes work with all of my scarves. I don’t really have a favorite scarf because I love them all (though make me choose and it would likely be my Emerald Green Shimmery because of that first wrap).
I’m still learning a bunch of tricks when it comes to tying, the longer I wear tichels the longer I learn there is ALWAYS something to new to discover. I will however, pass along something that has helped a lot as a beginner. I always take my scarves out the night before, lay them on my bedside table with all of my accessories. If it is a wrap I am not familiar with, then I will practice the night before as well. I find if you leave everything to the morning and it doesn’t want to work out, then you are on a time schedule and stressed. It makes the whole process seem very discouraging. If you are just learning, stick with it! Check out the most popular category on the Wrapunzel store, stock up on some basis, watch the tutorials over and over and just keep on trying!
If you keep trying, keep ‘tying’ and are thinking about taking up wearing a head scarf, do it! I am more confident, more self-actualized and more considerate of myself and my appearance. I take pride in my wraps and have upped my make-up and clothes to match them. Wrapping has given me control of my femininity; I decide what is beautiful and how I want to present that beauty to the world. It’s a powerful feeling to be in the driver’s seat again and it has ramifications throughout all of the areas of my life. Though I haven’t been covering that long, I do see how it has changed how I present myself and how confident I feel. Having that confidence to be my best self is helping me kick my job’s butt, helping me plan for a wedding and generally adding to the contentment and well-being of my day to day.
It sounds corny to say but I am very grateful for the entirety of my life right now. I am grateful for the peace I get from wrapping, the challenges of my career and the support and love of my fiancé. I truly do think that things happen for a reason, religious beliefs aside, and sometimes the path is so simple in hindsight (even if you can’t see it at the time). I didn’t know that Hebrew 101 would lead me to a wonderful woman, whose passion/calling in life would in turn change mine through the wonderful art of hair wrapping. I think my story and why I wrap, is one of those things that make you pause and really be grateful for the twists and turns on our path in life and the uncertainty, changes, and surprises that crop up while we walk through this world. Though it might be painful or not have an obvious benefit in the moment, those twists often lead to something wonderful. In the end, through Andrea, I have a wonderful community to share wraps with, have made amazing friends and tackled the upheaval of my life with a confidence I didn’t think I had in me. I might not remember any Hebrew, but I am super thankful for the path that class took me on and the wonderful, inspiring women I have met in turn. So Wrapunzel-Nation go forth and wrap boldly, because the world is only better when we all dare to be bold 😉