Here Comes the Wrap!

Ahhhhhhhhh! The day is here! You’re about to publicly affirm your love for another soul in front of witnesses. You’re making a life-changing commitment to your most special, treasured one – and should you lean towards the spiritual, the presence of a Higher Power is palpable. Many women will, for reasons of religious obligation, marital status, medical adversity/hairloss issues or just pure choice, choose to cover for the first time ever, or to resume covering, on their wedding day.

My personal story was a combination of some of the above, with a twist, but we all have our own stories. 🙂 I had been married once before, ten years prior to my second marriage, and had covered for the most part with hats during that first marriage. I did own a few scarves, but they didn’t become my primary covering style during that time. I tried sheitels (wigs) too, and I still do not ‘get along’ with them!

While preparing for my second marriage and wedding ceremony, and meeting with my Rabbi in Baltimore, we had a discussion about how I would wear my hair for the special day. After my divorce, I had no desire to cover whatsoever, and decided to wear my hair ‘out’ when my religiously-granted divorce became final.

However, my sweet fiance and I had been making a spiritual journey together to Orthodox Judaism, and I wanted, by covering from our wedding day onward, to honor our commitment to each other, to our (often difficult at times!) journey and to our One and Only G-d by covering my hair. For this second wedding and marriage, I was a bit shocked when I blurted out to my Rabbi that I wanted to begin covering again ON the big day. I surprised myself – and I think I may have surprised my Rabbi as well. So, after arguing with the Rabbi a bit when he refused to allow me to wear a hairpiece of bangs, I set out on my search for the perfect dress and tichels to top it off – and this was way before we had even set our wedding date!

Being an ‘older,’ plus-sized bride with a very limited budget and a definitive personal style, I began the trek. Bridal shops and online bridal sites carrying very ‘typical’ wedding styles were a wash for me. I wanted something different, yet something ‘diva.’ After lots of looking i found, on a plus-sized clothing site, the perfect short sleeved, fully-lined dress in a sheer, flowing ivory fabric, ornamented with large metallic gold roses. It had a lot of silvery bling added on. It was so me and so perfect for me – and anything ivory with metallic gold or silver could coordinate; jewelry and tichels. The dress was delivered and found a home in my Rebbetzin’s closet until I became engaged and a date was set. I also found the perfect shoes shortly thereafter. I wound up wearing them for a big 5 minutes on the big day – using them for a gorgeous, artistic photo – and returning them to the seller as soon as I could! OUCH!

Now the hard part. To find the perfect tichels. I had never heard of a Shaper before to use for height and volume. This was all in the year 2012, when Wrapunzel wasn’t even around! I saw many styles that I wanted to imitate, many ideas that I had found mostly on websites geared to formal wraps for Muslim women. There were pleats, rosettes, bling, netting creating tails and braids – none of which I knew how to create. I thought I’d enlist the help of a super-spiritual lady and the best head wrapper in Baltimore at the time, Rivka Malka Perlman, to help me on that day. And help me she sure did! These two videos will show (and tell!) you everything!

Procuring my wrap supplies was fun. I shopped online until I found the perfect open-weave, ivory scarf with gold threads subtly woven through. I went to my local fabric store and found netting in gold and silver metallic. I still felt, however, that something was missing. Brides…..lace and pearls! At that same fabric store I found a wide lace ornamented with pearls. But alas, it was bright white. So I called my sister who happens to be a crafter, and she suggested that I tea-dye the lace. So I did, turning it a perfect shade of ivory, a length of which i secured to the part of my tichel that would rest on my forehead. I was now ready to get ‘coiffed’ for my big day!

Rivka Malka came up with a gorgeous combo to get me to the chuppah (wedding canopy) in style. Blinged up, too, with a pin from my best friend’s mother in law, it lasted all the way through the first dance, at the end of which all of the excitement and jumping up and down brought it tumbling down. Time to re-wrap! So I enlisted the help of another friend and head wrapper in the community, Esther Gur, who had hosted a “tichel shower” for me a few weeks before the wedding, growing my collection. Esther created a lovely ‘do’ for me to wear for the remainder of the reception.

But ladies, this is only my story, and I wanted to find out about some of yours! So I went to the ladies of the Wrapunzel Community Group for some added material:

Jordan A., married three years and from Arizona reminisces:

I didn’t wrap full-time before getting married, but I did wrap for church and for some private prayer. I knew that the wrap I wore on my wedding day would be important because of a particular moment that occurred while dating my husband. He and I were praying together after a particularly rough day, and this is hard to put into words, but you could say I was feeling emotionally drained and empty spiritually. As he prayed, I got a strong feeling that I needed a scarf, so I dashed upstairs to retrieve one. He told me later how that struck him, and how it clearly influenced what was going on both between us and beyond. Knowing that he knew the power of wrapping definitely made me feel more confident choosing to wear a wrap over a traditional veil for our wedding day.

How did I come up with my wrap style? Actually, my husband was involved in the process of choosing the wrap. I kept my whole ensemble a surprise for him, but I asked him some questions about his preferences. He wanted me to use a scarf or scarves that I could wear after the wedding, and he wanted it to actually fully cover my hair, as opposed to most traditional veils that you can see through. Finally, he wanted me to wear my hair down underneath. It was a bit of a tall order!

Other than commemorating my wedding day itself, I didn’t have any milestones to celebrate by wrapping that day. At least not anything I can sum up in a few words! There was so much going on during that time frame as far as my “life journey” was concerned… way too much to put on paper at this time!

Check out this absolutely stunning pic of Jordan A. and her husband on their special day. It truly radiates the peace, love and spiritual depth they shared that day and beyond!

To sum things up, no matter what the occasion, but especially on days associated with life-cycle (and life-changing) events, covering one’s hair creates an indescribable, highly personal aura that radiates from a woman. It is an aura that is perceivable to all around her – her spouse, her family, and her friends. It is an aura that connects her to the divine within herself and with the Divine. It is an aura that bestows a bit of the Holy Presence upon our world, and for that, so many of us are eternally grateful.

Headwrapping and Headaches – A Conundrum: To Wrap, Wrap Differently, or (GASP!) Not To Wrap?

Here’s our worksheet summary for you to refer to while reading the following article and use for yourself afterward.

Whether you suffer headaches chronically or occasionally, it’s very wise to have as much information at your fingertips which you can then access in making informed decisions regarding your head wrapping. This blog article is meant to provide the essential information you’ll need to answer some of the questions below. All personal testimonials have been shared with permission, and this article is not intended for use in diagnosis, treatment or cure of any medical ailment:

  • What is a headache, and what actually is happening to my body when I have one? Are there different types of headaches?
  • Could wearing a headwrap bring on a headache?
  • Can wrapping my head provide headache relief? Can headwrap factors such as overall weight, fabric texture and breathability make a difference for headache prone wrappers?
  • Are there certain wrap-traps that I can avoid if I am prone to headaches?
  • What does a Neurologist have to say about all of this and how do I wrap my head around all this information?

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, yourdictionary.com defines a headache as a ‘pain in the head, or something, such as a problem, that causes annoyance or trouble.’ Certainly, headaches are a problem! They’re painful and bothersome, and can even put a person completely out of commission for up to a few days, as in the case of migraines. Medically, the Mayo Clinic, on their website, mayoclinic.org gives a more detailed definition. They define a headache as pain in any region of the head. Headaches may occur on one or both sides of the head, be isolated to a certain location, radiate across the head from one point, or have a vise-like quality. A headache may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly, and may last from less than an hour to several days.

The Mayo Clinic goes on to classify headaches in two categories; primary and secondary. A primary headache carries its own diagnosis, and doesn’t come about from a pre-existing illness or other possible medical cause. It is simply brought on by overactivity of, or issues with, pain sensing structures in the head. Brain chemistry, nerve endings, blood veins and vessels around your head and neck, or a combination thereof, can play a role in the primary headache. Genetic tendencies may also signal a predisposition to primary headaches. The most common types of primary headaches are the cluster headache, the tension headache, and the migraine headache (with or without the experience of seeing ‘auras’). Less common types of primary headaches may include specific features, such as an unusual length of time with pain, pain caused by certain activities, or pain brought on from lifestyle factors, such as stress level, drinking alcohol, or improper nutrition.

Secondary headaches signal an underlying illness, allergy or disease and trigger these same pain receptors in the head and/or neck. They vary greatly in severity and length. A secondary headache, for example, may be caused by anything as medically treatable as dehydration or a sinus infection, to more medically catastrophic illnesses such as meningitis, stroke, brain aneurysm or tumor, G-d forbid. The more common types of secondary headaches include, but aren’t limited to, sinus headaches, spinal headaches (from receiving a spinal tap or epidural), the dreaded “brain freeze” that many experience when enjoying their favorite frozen delights, or, and this is where things get interesting, external compression headaches, brought about from headgear causing pressure around the head or neck areas.

Yes, head wrappers may be setting themselves up for a headache simply by donning their daily ‘do,’ whereas others may find relief from previously diagnosed medical conditions. Certainly if one wraps too loosely, their wraps are doomed to slip, and if they wrap too tightly, they do chance an external compression headache. In a video interview entitled “How Head wrapping Relieved My Medical Condition,” Dani, who suffers from a medical condition causing regular bouts of ‘non-headache’ head pain that she describes as an ‘internal pressure or pounding,’ together with Andrea Grinberg, Owner and Founder of Wrapunzel, LLC, explore head wrapping as a possible treatment for headache associated with a medical condition. Dani describes to Andrea a certain style of tight headwrap that she has found to alleviate the annoying head pressure that she experiences on almost a daily basis. To help other women experiencing the same, or similar, medical issues, Dani has made her own video tutorial demonstrating exactly how to create this style that she has found so soothing. Please note that Dani’s condition is not a ‘regular’ headache, and that tight headwraps are counter-indicated for most headache sufferers.

Of course, Dani’s wrapping techniques and suggestions could be helpful for some wrappers with headache issues, but let’s take some time to explore more headache-specific tips and tricks from actual headache sufferers who wrap.

Andrea Grinberg, Owner and Founder of Wrapunzel, LLC, has been asked innumerable questions through the years regarding the ins and out of head wrapping. Questions regarding head wrapping and headaches – for new wrappers and more seasoned wrappers – were prevalent, as well as questions regarding how to wrap (or not) if these symptoms occur, or while they’re occurring. When she was a teenager, Andrea suffered from horrifically painful, debilitating migraines and thank goodness, with her ‘miracle’ cure of Vitamin B2, a treatment mentioned in the National Headache Foundation Blog, these subsided as she entered adulthood. Needless to say, the memories of the pain and knowledge of how migraines can affect people stay with her to this day. Surprisingly, Andrea found that her migraines were less frequent when she started wrapping, so when she was approached by wrappers who suffered from headaches more frequently when wrapping, she set out to clarify the reasons why this might occur.

Andrea found that the most obvious reason this occurs is due to wrapping or securing either one’s hair or scarf too tightly. To pull one’s hair back into a tight ponytail or bun and fasten it with a tight elastic can only lead to headache symptoms. A velvet scrunchie, when secured loosely, alleviates hair loss from pulling, and also lessens tugging on the hair due to the scrunchie’s soft, yet secure hold. A Wrapunzel exclusive product, the No-Slip Headband, should also not be worn too tightly on the head. It needs to fit snugly, like a gentle hug, but not too tight. Just recently, in October of 2019, Wrapunzel released a tutorial video on how to correctly measure one’s head circumference in order to ensure purchasing the correct size of No-Slip Headband and related products.

And even after securing one’s hair comfortably with one of Wrapunzel’s velvet scrunchies and a properly-sized No-Slip Headband , one may still be tying one’s scarves too tightly, causing headache issues. There’s no need to do this. One must also be concerned about possible ‘pulling back on the head’ or heaviness caused by certain wrapping techniques. Andrea finds that a way to alleviate this is to, while wrapping, hold the hands palm-up more often and to feel a more ‘forward’ momentum towards the face. Do not pull downwards or backwards, as this can only cause your wrap to pull in that direction later, causing symptoms. Wrappers who employ these techniques may actually find their symptoms to improve, as did Andrea.

Another wrapping technique that Andrea found may exacerbate headache symptoms is how one ties one’s knots (check out the great video from Naomi Rose below). Firmly tied double or even single knots at the middle back of the neck can cause an instant, banging, tension headache for some. First of all, as we’ve already mentioned, there is no need to tie so tightly, and it’s so important to remember this as rule number one. For some, not even tying a knot, but rather doing a simple criss-cross of scarf ends could provide just the relief you’re looking for in those tension-headache prone locations.

Yet another potential cause of pain is where and how your ends are tucked in. If you bunch your scarf up and simply tuck it under at the nape of your neck, you’re asking for trouble. Rather, you should try figuring out how to position your scarf ends so that you may tuck them into the scarf itself, perhaps at the top or side of the head, nice and smooth and not bunched.

Perhaps the most obvious obstacle to pain-free wrapping is undergarment, scarf and hair weight on the head. Obviously, you don’t want to put on two or three pashmina weight scarves if you have headache issues and it would benefit you greatly, if you’re a multiple scarf wearer, to opt for lighter weight scarves for comfort. However, a lot about weight on the head actually lies with how your ponytail/bun is positioned, and this can vary from person to person. Many say that securing their hair in a low bun is best to avoid headaches or lessen the pain, but for Andrea, she prefers her pony to sit medium high. Some may even feel that a ‘pixie pony’ way up top and center on the head is the best for them. To figure out what is best for you, you must experiment with this until you find the right place for the weight of your hair to lie.

Lastly, one should experiment with different undergarment options, wrap styles and varying levels of ‘wrap heat.’ For example, a style where a scarf wraps around the head fully, with merely a criss-cross in the back, which provides an overall ‘head hug,’ can provide relief of head pain symptoms for some, while sticking to lightweight, breathable coverings of natural fibers may be just the thing for others, such as Rachel Weintraub Stein, a thirty-three year old wrapper of almost six years from Silver Spring, MD, finds that using simple, one hundred percent cotton “Israeli”-style tichels helps her to avoid headaches due to their light weight and cool feel and breathability.Some prefer the comforting snugness of a fabric with stretch, whereas others prefer fabrics that lie flat on the head with no stretch.

Numerous ladies from the Wrapunzel Community have commented regarding a variety of options. Kelly O., a forty-something newbie wrapper of approximately ten months from West Virginia shared that:

..when I’m feeling a headache coming on or already have one, I prefer a Wrapunzel Regal Wrap (a simple, around-the-head style that distributes scarf weight evenly around the head) or other similar style that puts an even pressure over my entire head.

–Kelly O.

Kelly also shared with Wrapunzel that her husband has also found relief from headaches by donning a lightweight scarf in an around-the-head style.

Cynthia Al-zageruri, a thirty-one year old residing in New York with her husband and children has been covering hijab-style for eight years, since marriage. A very regular presence on the Wrapunzel Community Group, Cynthia shared with Wrapunzel that most of her headache issues come from the length of time she wears her hijab, how tightly she wraps it, and how she wears her hair in a cap underneath. She isn’t able to wear her hair in a tight ponytail under the cap without having symptoms, so she leaves it loose or in a low, extremely loose ponytail. If her hijab is wrapped too tightly, she will loosen it when pain symptoms strike, but she doesn’t feel any need to change her actual hijab style – which she wears to cover her head and neck/collarbone area simultaneously in accordance with Muslim religious law. Cindy has found the head and neck covering hijab style to provide even balance and weight to her wraps. In this style, wrap weight doesn’t pull backwards or forwards, and therefore lessons headache symptoms.

Heather Fullerton, who is in her mid-thirties and resides in Tennessee, has been covering full-time for almost two years. Heather suffered from occasional migraines as a teenager, and after the birth of her second child, was diagnosed with an endocrine disorder which only made her migraines worse. She now has migraines at least one to three times per week. Heather remarks:

As far as alleviating symptoms, I’ve noticed that not only does the ‘no knot’ technique help, but also the way you wear your hair under your shaper. Unfortunately, some shapers make my headaches worse, especially those with a band of grippy velvet that’s wider at the top of the head and tapered at the back of the head. I’ll wear that shaper only for special occasions, or when I know I won’t be wearing it for long. In general, wearing any kind of velvet tightly around my head feels like a vice squeezing my head.

I also tend to wear my hair in a loose bun and wrap scrunchies very loosely. The bun is under the wrap, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Any type of wrap that causes pressure points makes my headaches worse, so not only do I not tie knots at the back, but I don’t tuck ends between my shaper and scarf. The only time I will tie an actual knot is if it’s a slippery scarf. If I do tie a knot, I try to make it as loose as possible, while still trying to make the wrap secure. I believe most people think that if they don’t tie a tight knot, their wrap will fall off. That’s just not the case, and I’ve had ‘no knot’ wraps last for more than eighteen hours without budging.

I’ve also noticed, for me anyway, that lighter scarves and scarves made of t-shirt material work best. They are forgiving and you don’t have to tie them tightly to get them to stay put. Cotton ‘Israeli” style scarves and printed viscose scarves are great for summertime. Wearing too much bulk or weight on the head makes things worse, but I’ve noticed I can get the look of a two or three scarf wrap with a simple ombre scarf, if it’s pleated the right way. Less is more. The more weight I have on my head, the worse the headaches. I also stretch out any headbands before wearing, stretching them out using a shoebox, otherwise I get the vice grip feeling again. For adding embellishment, therefore, I tend to stick to pins. Also, a good scalp massage before wrapping is helpful. If anyone is like me and sometimes wakes up with a migraine, pre-tieds, slip-on turbans and berets are also a great option. And, as always, if your headaches persist after trying all of these tips and tricks, see your doctor. Also, Stephanie Halapija’s video on headaches was a real game-changer for me when I was still new to wrapping and I highly recommend it.

To sum it up, no knots, no tight shapers or velvet headbands, keep embellished headbands to a minimum, and always aim for lightweight scarves and one-scarf wraps to reduce bulk.

-Heather Fullerton

Lisa R., a 50-something wrapper of several years, shared the following with Wrapunzel:

I have discovered that when I get migraines, which I haven’t had in a long time, but have begun to return, if I put my shaper on in one way it helps the pain, and if I try it another way, it doesn’t.  Also, I have discovered that if wrap my tichel in certain ways, it will help, but in other ways it just aggravates the migraine or headache…whichever I am having that day.  On the days with no migraines or headaches, I can wear my tichel any way I want and I am fine.  Something else I have noticed that affects my headache symptoms is how and where I place my shaper on my head.  I have both Signature and a Cloud9 shapers.

All these things make a difference for me.  On headache days I make sure I have a dark, solid scarf with no pattern other than the weave of the fabric.  Usually I choose an even weave instead of textured so my eyes do not wander to points where the light might hit the texture of the scarf.  I usually choose a heavy weight, such as a Solid Pashmina, although at times I will choose a lightweight scarf, such as the Cornerstone.  The material plays a big part in helping me through my headaches.  There are times where I will wear both a Cornerstone and a Solid Pashmina scarf.  Why two?  Doesn’t it weigh on my head?  Actually, no.  Not if wrapped properly.  If wrapped according to the size and shape of your head, and the pressure points, it will help greatly.  There is much relief which can be gained just by relaxing your shoulders, and tilting your head back a little bit and letting the scarf or scarves do the work to begin to help alleviate the pressure.  Also, for me, wearing them together provides for wonderful comfort and natural “air conditioning.”  

I usually like to wrap my head a little tighter or more snug than a gentle hug on headache/migraine days.  For me, putting pressure on my head from the outside, takes pressure off it on the inside.  For instance, think of a dot inside a circle.  Think of the dot as the headache or migraine, and the circle as the outside of your head.  When we get headaches or migraines usually they are localized, although sometimes they can be in more than one place or travel.  In order to fight that, everything tenses up and goes to fighting that at that location.  When we put pressure on the outside of our heads, then it feels as if our nerves go into overdrive to figure out what that pressure is, and how to get it off.  Little by little they leave the localized headache and spread themselves out around the perimeter of the scalp.

All of a sudden, we put pressure, just a little bit, but all of a sudden some of the pain goes away.  Why?  because the nerves have gone to see what they can do about getting this pressure off so they can go back to work of being stressed in one location.  Some stay and try to hang on, but depending on the conditions and situation, sometimes it takes just a little bit to work their way out, and other times, it takes a bit longer.  Yes, mine have hung on longer while using these tips, however, during the time I had the headaches and migraines, I was able to get a bit of relief here or there…before they came back.  

I do have migraines again, but I am so thankful that they are not nearly as bad as they used to be.  At times they are still debilitating, but now I know I can do something about them.  When I was younger I would try to pull my hair out, or touch my fingers together from either side of the temples of my head.  That was how hard I was pushing.  No, it never happened, and I cried and cried that I couldn’t make the pain go away.   Now, I don’t have to, as I have different techniques for different times or parts of a headache or migraine. 

-Lisa R.

We asked a Board Certified Neurologist and Headache Specialist, Sara Crystal, M.D. who practices in Manhattan, New York and resides in New Jersey, for her medical expertise and input regarding how head wrapping may bring on a headache, exacerbate one, or even relieve one. Here’s what we learned in speaking with her. Headache triggers are caused by compressing of the nerves that travel over the skull (see Diagram – nerves are in yellow).

As to why so many wrappers are prone to tension headaches from triggers along the several sensitive areas in the back of the head, this is caused by the location of the occipital nerve. The occipital nerve travels over the back of the skull. Pressure over this nerve, particularly along the bony ridge at the back of the skull, can cause pain that may radiate to the back of the eye on the same side.  Also, irritation of the nerve branches of the upper cervical spinal cord can contribute to headaches.  What may be interesting to many wrappers is that in the scalp itself there are few muscles (there are no muscles at all over the ‘crown’ of the head, but rather tendons and ligaments securing the forehead muscles), but many nerve endings.

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Certainly, making sure to keep wrapping undergarments and scarves loose, as well as giving yourself a thorough scalp massage before wrapping and after removing your wrap can be quite therapeutic, stimulating blood flow and easing tension. One should focus on the forehead, temples, and back of the neck from the occipital skull ridge downward. In addition, one should avoid their known headache pressure/trigger points, and stop massaging that or any other area entirely if there is pain of any kind.

Extremely common are headaches from seasonal allergy symptoms, and migraine headaches tend to be more common in people with seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis (inflammation of nasal tissues due to allergic symptoms). Allergies can also trigger more frequent headaches as well. The reason for allergies contributing so often to headaches may be the inflammation they cause, or nerve irritation.

To determine whether you are experiencing migraine headaches, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has a headache limited your activities for a day or more in the last three months?
  • Are you nauseated or sick to your stomach when you have a headache?
  • Does light bother you when you have a headache?

An answer of “yes” to two of the three questions above suggests a ninety-three percent chance that migraines are the cause of symptoms, and if things are getting difficult, you should consider seeing a doctor.  Otherwise, your headaches are likely tension-type headaches, and if they are occasional and respond to over the counter treatment, they may not require a doctor’s visit.  Should anyone ever experience any type of headache that has sudden, severe onset, or a ‘thunder-clap sound,’ it could very well benefit the sufferer to visit a hospital emergency room immediately.

Dr. Crystal stressed that headache sufferers who cover should always strive to wrap loosely, alternate the position of their ponytail or the style of their wrap often, and avoid pulling on the hair using any type of clips to secure one’s wrap to their head. For bad headache days, wrappers should avoid any and all accoutrements that may cause excess pulling, weight and pressure on the head, such as extra headbands for ornamentation. 

So where does this leave us head wrappers? Here is the bottom, or rather the top, line. If you’re afraid that wrapping is going to cause or worsen your headaches, you must take the time to experiment with ways to secure your hair under your wraps, new wrap styles and techniques and fabrics to find what works best for you. In incredibly rare situations, a person may find themselves (gasp!) absolutely unable to wrap without it causing pain, and we feel so badly for them that their finding joy in head wrapping may simply not be possible. For women who know they’ll be starting to wrap soon (as in a Kallah [bride] or G-d forbid, a cancer patient), now is the time to open your ‘wrap lab.’ For seasoned wrappers who may have only recently started experiencing headache issues, take some time behind closed doors to identify your pressure/trigger points and learn how to wrap in order to avoid them. Wrapping isn’t rocket science. Rather, it’s all about ‘live and learn.’ And of course, it’s really NOT a headache!

Fandom Headwraps!

Wrapunzel Community “Groupies” – your FANDOM WRAPS gave you the chance to put on your thinking caps (lol!) and create colorful, crazy, and yes some quite creepy headwraps to sing the praises of whatever “tichels” your fancy!  Be it a book, movie or television series, fictional character, sports team, college or university, favorite color, whatever, your heads carried the message of your unfaltering devotion to your fandoms.  You can read more about fandom below, but NOW, Wrapunzel sings YOUR praises!  GO WRAPUNZELISTAS! 

What is a “fandom?” Well, back in the ‘olden’ days, people with fandoms were called “groupies.” Groupies would usually show up at every concert a particular music band had to offer, no matter its geographic location. Some would take their “groupiness” on the road, traveling from coast to coast to see their faves perform their biggest hits night after night. The crowds would go wild – and the groupies would end one show waiting for the next time when they could eagerly worship their ‘heroes.’  Offhand, Deadheads (The Grateful Dead), Parrotheads (Jimmy Buffet) and Metalheads (Heavy Metal Music) come to mind, and they’re still roaming the globe today in hot pursuit of their beloved celebrity. 

Today, “fandom” seems to have taken on a broader scope.  Wikipedia defines a “fandom” as subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates “fannish” (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.

A fandom can grow around any area of human interest or activity. The subject of fan interest can be narrowly defined, focused on something like an individual celebrity, or more widely defined, encompassing entire hobbiesgenres or fashions. While it is now used to apply to groups of people fascinated with any subject, the term has its roots in those with an enthusiastic appreciation for sports. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary traces the usage of the term back as far as 1903.[1]

Fandom as a term can also be used in a broad sense to refer to the interconnected social networks of individual fandoms,[vague] many of which overlap. There are a number of large conventions that cater to fandom in this broad sense, catering to interests in film, comics, anime, television shows, cosplay, and the opportunity to buy and sell related merchandise. Annual conventions such as Comic Con InternationalWonderconDragon Con and New York Comic Con are some of the more well known and highly attended events that cater to overlapping fandoms.

Regardless of its definition, fandom is a mindset of celebration, an opportunity to let your creative juices flow.  A way for one to express love for anything at all.  A way to let others know a little of what YOU are all about, and each and every one of you is beautiful inside and out – others just can’t wait to know you.  OUR Favorite Fandom is YOU, Sweet Wrapunzelista!  Keep that in mind, and on your HEAD, each and every time you wrap!  

Wrapping in a Corporate Professional Office Environment: Part Three

Meet Susan from New York City, who finds herself happily wrapping in “Corporate America!”  Wrapunzel is honored to have her reveal her wrapping journey in a three-part Blogpost – Part One: Beginner’s Luck!, Part Two:  Storage and Structure, and ‘wrapping up’ the series, Part Three:  Corporate Me!

It’s Susan’s greatest pleasure to bring you her incredible tips and tricks – read on to see what might work for YOU!

Part Three: Corporate Me!

As my work environment became more familiar with my wrapped presentation, I began to try more variations on my overall office wrapping theme.  The most common theme to wrapping successfully in professional office environments, in my opinion, comes from the countless observations made by those around me, especially, “Your wrap always matches your clothes!”  My wraps can be simple or  complex, but the matching of wraps to what I’m wearing at the time seems to make people interpret that the wrap goes with what I’m wearing, and translates as “fashionable.”

Add a nice pin or beaded headband and one becomes fashionable! If you are so inclined on a given day to give your wrap a special touch of creative interest, go right ahead. My workplace is a very conservative, professional environment, and I work at a senior level position where it’s necessary that I maintain a professional appearance at all times, for the clients and the professionals with whom I interact daily within the course of my responsibilities.

I should mention, too, that I do wrap for medical reasons.  With the extensive library of tutorial videos featuring Andrea Grinberg (Wrapunzel Owner and Founder) and the other gracious Wrapunzel ladies, who freely share their wisdom and experience with those of us interested in learning more, Wrapunzel enabled me to start off with manageable “beginner” wraps and expand my wrapping to  more interesting and intricate wraps as time went on (and when I invested the time to pursue and practice my wrapping). I then became more and more comfortable in presenting a consistently professional office ‘look.’

I share my experience of wrapping full-time in a professional corporate workplace to benefit anyone who may desire to do so.  In no way do I mean to suggest I have any rules or “musts.” Rather, I can only offer how I was able to incorporate my process into what was most effective for me, especially in the beginning.  Getting past the beginning and interacting with Wrapunzel helped me put things into reasonable prospective.

In looking to Wrapunzel for ways to evolve my new, daily headwrapping presentation at work, I never missed a day from work in “Corporate America.” I remain grateful to Andrea and all of Wrapunzel for creating a supply of beautiful scarves, accessories and fresh videos showing “how to” and even having conversations.

Upon attending a Wrapunzel Event in February of 2019 in New York City, Andrea asked if I would consider sharing my personal experience of wrapping daily in a professional corporate environment. I submit this blogpost with the very best of intentions and with some wisdom regarding how I managed to streamline my efforts in arriving at my own, personal, corporate and professional wrap style.  The reasons we wrap may differ, whether medical, religious, cultural, simple curiosity, a way to manage bad hair days/seasons, etc.  Whatever your reason for wrapping, Wrapunzel supports the ideal that each and every woman should feel beautiful in that effort.

I find that wrapping has made it possible for me to feel positive daily, and sometimes exceptional about my appearance (“Wow!  Look what I did today!”) as I enter my office.  It is my hope that some of my sharing can be helpful to others who are pondering how to get started.

Best wishes to all in your wrapping journey in or out of a professional corporate environment!

Note:  I wish to thank my friend and co-worker, Eleanor Healey, who was dedicated in helping me to capture visual images to submit to Wrapunzel in support of this article.  As a grandmother of 2, she’s developed a good eye!

 

 

Wrapping in a Corporate Professional Office Environment: Part 2

Meet Susan from New York City, who finds herself happily wrapping in “Corporate America!” Wrapunzel is honored to have her reveal her wrapping journey in a three-part Blogpost – Part One: Beginner’s Luck!, Part Two:  Storage and Structure, and Part Three: Corporate Me!

It’s Susan’s greatest pleasure to bring you her incredible tips and tricks – read on to see what might work for YOU!

Stay tuned for Part Three coming soon…

Part Two: Storage and Structure

In storing a large wardrobe of scarves, for easy access and for protecting the scarves from my kitten (who is sure that he can fly!), I store the majority of my “wear to the office” scarves in “gown” size multi-garment bags (54”, clear/see-through and heavy duty). I hang the scarves within the bag on hangers using cascading hooks so each hanger can hang from the hanger above, etc. Each garment bag is approximately 5 to 6 hangers deep, and with the garment bag being at gown size proportions, the scarves are kept where they are protected and easily accessible for choosing during your daily scarf search. For convenience and easy access, I also coordinate of my scarf color collections separately by garment bag. Because most of my scarves are stored by color range, they are stored in similar color tonalities, one each for:

  • Blacks, grays and muted silvers
  • Whites, off-whites, creams and beiges
  • Reds and burgundies 
  • Browns and earthy colors
  • Sunset Colors:  Gold, yellow, mustards, warm orangey, rust and sienna tones
  • Corals, pinks and purples
  • Blues:  All shades, including navy
  • Teals and turquoises
  • Greens:  All shades, and
  • Multi-colored (where the base color to match has more than one possibility to choose from)

When rushing to get out of the house early in the morning, I first select an ensemble color (suitable for the current season). Then, I grab the garment bag(s) containing the desired color ranges and then simply choose my scarf/scarves to wrap with from the selected garment bag. If winter, I will choose a heavier, winter-appropriate scarf. If spring/summer, then I choose from the lighter weight scarves in that same garment bag.  

I recently switched to one-piece stainless steel hangers (from Amazon) to hang my scarves because the “hook” portion of the hanger (constructed as one piece with a tip protector) does not pull out from the base when the hangers begin to feel the weight of many scarves. The clear zippered garment bags (multiple gown size) also serve to protect the scarves from my cat AND my kitten, not to mention other potential disastrous mishaps.

As mentioned above, I keep a separate garment bag of “multi-colored” scarves that have multiple  base colors, matchable to more than one ensemble, like

The exception to my garment bag storage method is my “special/delicate” scarves requiring special handling, such as metallic, glittery or patterned “accent” scarves. These “special” scarves are those that I find very delicate or easy to damage. These I store per style of scarf and not by color:

The end of the work day and evening are often tiring, and sometimes I just can’t find the strength to put all things back where they belong. I keep a clear container with a lid to simply fold my scarves and leave them protected until I can make the concentrated effort to restore them to their rightful storage places, whenever that may be!

Note:  I wish to thank my friend and co-worker, Eleanor Healey, who was dedicated in helping me to capture visual images to submit to Wrapunzel in support of this article. As a grandmother of 2, she’s developed a good eye!

Hijab in Healthcare

Meet Chaya! Working every day in the Healthcare field, Chaya was tasked by her current employer to research and provide documentation that her head coverings met the guidelines necessary for healthcare employees in sterile environments.  Here are her findings – they’re fascinating!  We hope you find them just as intriguing as we did, and helpful if you’re already in, or are considering, a profession in healthcare!

There are really two aspects to head wrapping in a healthcare environment- being the provider versus being the patient. The premise is, however, the same. The interesting part for me is that I work in an IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) laboratory these days, and similar to in an operating room, everyone covers their hair! But they wear those paper tissue caps and take them on and off, repeatedly, every time they go in and out of the lab – because they look ridiculous. And then they complain all day that their hair is messy. I don’t have that problem. 🙂 

I was wearing regular tichels and covering them with the paper caps, but I was concerned that this may not have been the best practice, and started researching where the concept of “scrubs” and head coverings in clean/sterile environments originated. There are two schools of thought behind it. First of all, you do not want to bring any unwanted “stuff” into the area – “stuff” being lint, pollen, bacteria, etcetera. Surgical clothing is designed specifically of low lint, low absorbency fabric for this reason. So a tichel with fringes was not the best choice.

And secondly, healthcare providers see many patients per day, and don’t want to carry pathogens from one room to the next. Again, the low absorption factor is important. This is also why in high-risk areas like an operating room, the facility provides the scrubs, and the facility washes the scrubs- so pathogens don’t leave the space to travel to peoples’ homes. 

My research led me to a position statement by the Association for peri-Operative Registered Nurses, who explored the needs of operating room staff members that wear head coverings. They acknowledged that ideally, head coverings in the operating room should be disposable or laundered by the facility, and loosely wrapped around the neck. They also understood that the typical caps used may be too transparent, or not cover enough (ears, neck) to satisfy the needs of some who cover. They state that it should be the responsibility of the facility to provide a head covering that meets standards both for the healthcare provider and the facility, whether that means letting someone layer two or three paper caps, purchasing a different style disposable, or ordering from their uniform supplier. 

These factors are what has led me to decide to have “work head coverings” and “home head coverings.” A bandana-like fabric would work just as well, but I went for scrub caps. Experience eventually led me to add back my Wrapunzel No-Slip Headbands underneath. (Yes, Wrapunzel No-Slip Headbands still meet standards! There was actually a study done exploring whether surgeons wearing socks and underwear contributed to increased infection rates. The consensus was that it did not.) 

My experiences in school with clinical uniforms and work with clinical standards taught me to know the guidelines and know my rights, as well as to inform employers of proper accommodations for my head covering needs. If there’s a facility policy, it usually isn’t hard to find. For example, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has a policy stating “For cultural or religious purposes, a solid navy blue, black, or white head-covering may be worn with the uniform scrubs.” And it’s right there alongside the rest of the uniform policies. In most encounters I had, I was either told something specific that was arbitrarily made up by the person I spoke to, or was told that there isn’t a policy, and to do my own research. 

When I was in school, I asked my instructor about my scarf and was told I needed to provide a letter from a religious authority (good thing my grandfather was a Rabbi with personal stationery!), and that my head covering had to be a solid color. I begged and borrowed for a burgundy scarf from everyone I knew. A year in, I met a student wearing what I’m pretty sure was the Wrapunzel Imagine That Scarf! When I asked her about it, she shrugged and said it didn’t occur to her to ask anyone, and nobody had ever approached her and told her a policy. When I worked in a hospital, I asked a coworker wearing a scarf. She said she had been working there when the hospital instituted their system of assigning a specific color uniform for each department. At the time, her supervisor had told her not to bring up scarves – she said “if they don’t talk with you about it, don’t ask! You’ll be the only pop of color left in the hospital!” At my current workplace, the Director of Nursing asked me to do the research and provide documentation showing that whatever I was wearing met guidelines, so that if ever there was a state inspection they could prove I was “clean enough.”

The result? Well, you’ve already seen a picture of me at work above, as well as other pictures of head coverings used by healthcare professionals. In addition, I’ve attached a very informative continuing education report that discusses my findings and more!

Wrapping in a Corporate Professional Office Environment

Meet Susan from New York City, who finds herself happily wrapping in “Corporate America!”  Wrapunzel is honored to have her reveal her wrapping journey in a three-part Blogpost – Part One:  Beginner’s Luck!, Part Two:  Storage and Structure, and Part Three:  Corporate Me!

It’s Susan’s greatest pleasure to bring you her incredible tips and tricks – read on to see what might work for YOU!

Stay tuned for Part Two coming soon...

Part One:  Beginner’s Luck!

Good day and thanks for stopping by.  I have been wrapping my head full-time since May of 2017.  I wrap daily in conservative, Corporate America.

Once I decided to wrap, I began my efforts with various YouTube searches for ways to cover one’s head if bald (my hair was falling out from what was eventually diagnosed as Alopecia). I was fairly ignorant as to why or how many women of various cultures were inclined to wrap.  During my initial searches on YouTube, I thought about getting a wig, but my physician advised me to avoid any potential irritation to my scalp which could potentially make things more challenging, at least at that time. 

To do my due diligence, I did try some of the many varied suggestions shared on YouTube, and learned that I could cover my head using old t-shirts and leggings, as well as by many other curious methods. After trying some of those, I found Wrapunzel (on YouTube) and have been a faithful Wrapunzelista ever since.  Wrapunzel stocks many gorgeous scarfs (for cold & warm weather), and also various accessory products to enhance one’s wrap.  They post an abundance of wrap tutorial videos on the Wrapunzel web site and also on YouTube, which is where I found this amazing company.  In these tutorial videos, Wrapunzel shows many ways how to begin wrapping, as well as how to improve and expand one’s wrapping technique.  

They also have conversations which help to support the emotional impacts of wrapping, such as how it makes all women feel beautiful, how it makes each woman’s uniqueness shine, how to handle questions you may get when you start wrapping, and many other interesting topics. These topics, plus others, were helpful to me as I started my wrapping journey.

After beginning my wrapping relationship with Wrapunzel, I felt really encouraged in decision I’d made to headwrap. It felt “natural” to me for the way I live my life.  From my perspective, the most important factor was to maintain an executive-level presentation in my company, as we interact with clients and other professionals outside of our company on a daily basis.  At the time, I was not aware of anyone else within my company who was wrapping.

Since I began wrapping, many have expressed interest in possibly starting to wrap themselves! I was often stopped at Grand Central Station with inquiries.  I began keeping Wrapunzel business cards with my monthly commuter ticket, so I had them at the ready when an inquiry was made. My personal corporate “uniform” consists of suit ensemble pieces and generally include a combination of either a suit, skirt, pants or dress with a jacket and sweater or cardigan.  Of course, I pair these with the classic ‘corporate’ pump, or with pants, often an ankle boot.  I match my headwrap to either the color of the skirt/pant/dress/suit, or to the blouse or tank I pair with them.

My goal in sharing my personal experience here is that it might prove useful to other women who also wish to wrap in a conservative, corporate, professional environment. Initially, I took what I learned from Wrapunzel and just figured it all out as I went along. 

In the beginning of wrapping, especially if you’re the only one doing it, it can feel unsettling.  Soon, however, you will realize that you are still you, and you can still execute all the aspects of your job while wearing a wrap.  I found that, as you become more at ease with being wrapped, those around you also become more at ease with it. Your wrapping will then stand out less and everyone will acclimate accordingly.  

At the start, some people in my office environment felt uneasy to express their curiosity and concern that health issues might be the reason for my wrapping.  I attempted to be at ease and make them comfortable to ask me anything, which then made their fearfulness turn into curiosity.  They became less concerned and this opened the conversations as to what or how I’d wrapped that day, with comments similar to “I really like your outfit today!” and “Wow, it matches!” 

If a particular day in the office is deemed especially conservative or stressful, then I am inclined to wrap conservatively with that in mind.  I might choose a turban style or simple wrap with classic tail(s).  If a more relaxed day, I might be a tad bit more creative in my wrapping.  My bottom line for my office ‘look’ is that I must always feel free to walk confidently into a conference room and engage accordingly.

Over time, wrapping my head has simply become a part of my “presentation” to my daily work experience.  Wrapping did not change my work ethic, my anticipated intelligence or my ability to conquer any project.  Many would compliment me on a scarf color or pattern, a particular “match” or style making me feel like the “Queen of Sheba” in their kind observations.  People would happily comment the likes of, “Blue is a good color for you!,” “ Well done!,” “Did you do THAT wrap yourself?,” “How do you always match your head wrap to your clothes?, ”I like what you have on top!” and such  (I then graciously shared that it was called a “wrap/headwrap”. The gentleman then responded that he didn’t know what it was called, but he liked it.)

Initially, I started simple in my approach to wrapping in choosing only one scarf and using simple wraps matching one color of my ensemble.  Later, I tried various kinds of scarves and combinations as I became more experienced and then more confident (thanks to Wrapunzel tutorial videos).  My ‘look(s)’ each day then became a topic of conversations, observations and expressions of curiosity. As long as I was comfortable with my wrapping, people had interest and would interact accordingly, also feeling comfortable with the topic.  Mostly, people would ask me, “Did you do that yourself?” and “How do you consistently match the scarf to your outfit?”

I respond with the answer “Wrapunzel.” Yes, I did wrap it myself. Wrapunzel taught me how to wrap and encouraged me to find my own style in wrapping. I purchased 99% of my scarves and wrapping accessories at Wrapunzel, and the rest were recycled from scarves that I used to wear around the lapel of my suit. Wrapunzel varies their stock seasonally, according to climate. They have numerous sales through the year. 

In starting my headscarf collection, I chose scarves that I considered would specifically match my work attire. The remaining items I might catch at a street fair in NYC and, occasionally, something will catch my eye at a store. Once I began wrapping full time, there were some items in my closet that I simply did not wear, until Wrapunzel stocked a scarf which I felt would match THAT particular color ensemble for work.  My office wardrobe ensemble was confined to that which also had a matching headscarf.  And so, I just waited.  Eventually, I did build a wrapping wardrobe that pretty much covers all of my office ensembles (across the seasons).  For myself, my wardrobe is sorted via color tonality, as are my scarves. 

Note:  I wish to thank my friend and co-worker, Eleanor Healey, who was dedicated in helping me to capture visual images to submit to Wrapunzel in support of this article.  As a grandmother of 2, she’s developed a good eye!