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Atalanta’s Inspiring Story!

The Wrapunzelution has the power to change lives and nothing warms our hearts more than hearing about this process first hand, from the women positively affected by our message to “Inspire Happiness”. This movement brings together a diverse group of women from all over the globe and many have truly incredible stories to share! Meet Atalanta- Wrapunzelista and blogger, who’s life has truly been impacted by wearing tichels. She recently shared this incredibly inspiring post from her blog with us and we just HAD to share it with you all!

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“This is what I wore today.

I’ve been extremely reclusive for the past few years, but last year it got a lot worse. A bout with severe anemia had me feeling too sick and weak to leave the house, which reinforced my agoraphobia. From late spring of 2015 to late November 2015, I did not venture further than my mailbox. From November 2015 until today, I did not go out for more than a hurried visit to the convenience store.

In addition to weakness, fatigue, and severe anxiety, my hair (always fine and wispy) thinned to the point where my scalp was clearly visible. I’ve always had a lot of identity issues with my hair. As a child I had frequent struggles with my mother over being allowed to grow it long. As a teenager, an abusive boyfriend threatened to shave my head if I dyed my hair a color he didn’t like.

In early November 2015, I decided to start wearing a headcovering. While not observant, I am Jewish, so I went in search of tichel resources. I found Wrapunzel, a blog/community online store. A friend suggested I check out their tutorial videos. Many of them seemed impossibly complex, but I kept trying, and experimenting on my own. I bought scarves from Wrapunzel, eBay, and Amazon, and friends sent me some as gifts. I took awkward selfies with my phone and posted them, here on Tumblr and then on my Instagram as well.

I started building a collection of scarves, and slowly gained skill using them. My selfies got likes and compliments, first from friends, and then from strangers as well. I even had a couple of friends tell me I looked confident!

Well, I didn’t feel very confident in general, but I was developing confidence in my tichel-tying skills! The tutorials that baffled me at first became easier to understand. I gained a little familiarity with some of the techniques, and kept trying more. For May, Wrapunzel posted a challenge to try a different style for every day.and I decided giving it a shot. Not all the styles would work on me (many of them really need a volumizer and I don’t have one, at least, not yet – not only are they a little pricy, but since my hair’s always been pretty scanty, a look with a lot of volume just wouldn’t seem like me, and identity is a big issue!), but I’ve been giving each one a try, and gaining a little skill with styles I hadn’t tried before.

I skipped ahead this morning to practice tomorrow’s style, The Gigi Knot. I’d experimented with it before, but never really been satistfied with the results. This time I tried it with one of my favorite scarves from Wrapunzel, The Duchess, and one of the lovely scarves I got as a gift from @thestarstone. I really liked how it turned out.

I mean, really liked it. I didn’t want to waste this gorgeous tichel on just sitting home with my cats.

This morning, I went out to a nearby restaurant for breakfast. I ate from a plate, sitting at a table, not from a delivery container sitting cross-legged on my bed. A polite and pleasant waitress brought me coffee, took my order, checked to see if my food was ok. As I ate, I could hear snippets of other diner’s conversations. When I paid for my meal, the waitress thanked me for coming.

Simple, everyday things, that I hadn’t experienced all year. Because I wanted to take that nice tichel out into the world, even if I had to go with it.”

Lady Wrap Star: Meira!

Every once in a while in our Wrapunzel universe, we come across a woman with a really amazing perspective, one who inspires us with her stories. Everyone has a different journey toward hair-covering, and hearing someone else’s journey is both fascinating to read and comforting – often, we find something that reminds us of what we ourselves have gone through. And that’s why we’re so excited to introduce you to our latest Lady Wrap Star, Meira – this is her story. We hope it will enlighten and inspire you as much as it did for us!

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“When I was growing up, our neighborhood was “ultra-Orthodox” Jewish, and in that world, I did get to see some hair covering. At that time, and in that place, the women who covered their hair outside of shul had only two options. They wore shaytls (wigs) whenever they needed to look good and they wore tichels whenever they didn’t need to look good. Those tichels were kerchiefs- small triangles of fabric tied around the head. They weren’t ugly, but they certainly weren’t pretty.

However, I grew up in a “Modern Orthodox” Jewish household. My mom never covered her hair outside of shul (synagogue). Neither did my grandmothers, my aunts, or my married cousins. So with the exception of the Rebbetzins I knew who wore shaytls, hair covering was off my radar. I never really considered it as something relevant in my world. And that led to some confusion. My teacher for Jewish studies in 1st and 2nd grade would show up in school with dark brown hair in a shoulder-length heavily layered hairstyle. It was very flattering on her. But this teacher also lived in my neighborhood and I would see her in shul on Shabbat. Same face, but here, her hair was gray, straight, and worn in a beehive updo. Naturally, I was a little shy about saying Shabbat Shalom to this person who had the same face as my teacher but who might be a totally different person.

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Only when I was 12 did the concept really enter my consciousness. My cousin got married and covered her hair. She has a small head and thin hair so she could wear department-store hats which are usually too small for full hair covering. To this day, she is the best hat-wearer I know. Several months later, a young woman from my shul got married and she too started covering her hair with structured hats. But I saw her show up in shul a few times with what looked like nothing on her head and that left me wondering ‘aren’t married women supposed to wear something on their heads?’ It wasn’t long before I figured out that she was wearing a shaytl.

Finally, when I was 16, I attended a shiur (lecture, class) in my shul and the rabbi was discussing hair covering. He went through the sources and his take was that covering the hair was simply a custom, not law. As it was, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of wearing a shaytl and having people wonder if I was covering my hair or not. Plus, I imagined that many coverings would be hot or otherwise uncomfortable. So I figured that if it’s not law, then why bother?

The good news was that I was already active in NCSY (a Jewish outreach group for teens and tweens). I had a lot of friends and a lot of leaders whom I admired and respected and I wanted to emulate them. The married women all covered their hair. That made me more comfortable with the idea. But I still couldn’t stomach the idea of a shaytl. At that time, if you covered your hair, you had many more options than just the tichel and the shaytl. But you still had to wear a shaytl for work and for special events- you’d look weird otherwise.

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Two weddings changed everything. I went to a wedding in New York where the bride’s sister walked down the aisle wearing a beautiful hat that matched her gown. Then I spent a year studying in Israel and while I was there, I attended a wedding in which the only women wearing shaytls were the kallah’s (bride’s) mother and a few of her American relatives. All the other married women were wearing hats, berets, or mitpachot (Israeli scarves) and they all looked beautiful.

For me, that was it. I decided that once I got married, I would cover my hair but that I would not wear a shaytl. More good news: when my husband and I were dating, the subject came up in conversation and I found out that he didn’t prefer shaytls either, nor did his mother who favored hats, berets, and snoods. For our wedding, my mother-in-law wore a hat made to match her gown and she looked wonderful.

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I started covering with hats and berets, but something about mitpachot appealed to me and I tried them, but I had trouble finding wraps that I liked. The first wrap I discovered was the basic crown wrap. I liked it, but I wasn’t excited about it. Then, my husband and I went to Yerushalayim for our cousin’s bar-mitzvah and it was there that I saw a wrap that I loved. One of the relatives at the bar-mitzvah graciously showed me how to do the Yerushalmi twist. That wrap became a signature look for me for a long time. After a few years, I even took the plunge and began wearing mitpachot for special events. I felt more elegant and beautiful than I ever did before.

About 2 ½ years ago, a friend directed me to Wrapunzel. That was a watershed for me. Not only did I discover a plethora of scarves and wrap styles, but I found a whole community of women who love scarves as much as I do. That community has given me so much encouragement and support in so many ways.

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Along the way, I’ve learned two important things involving hair covering:

  • Hair covering is a very deeply personal mitzvah. Therefore, every woman needs to find the method of covering that works well for her and leaves her looking and feeling her best. Otherwise, she’ll resent it. Some women are more comfortable wearing hats in shul and that’s it. Others are more comfortable wearing hats or berets and showing their own hair underneath. Still others wear shaytls. To be clear, I have nothing against shaytls on other women as long as the shaytl flatters the woman wearing it. I just don’t like them on me.
  • As Jews, we have to live within Halacha (Jewish law), but within that realm, there are so many options. No one should feel that hair covering or modest dress has to look frumpy or unattractive. Yes, married women have to wear hair coverings, but we can look wonderful in our hats, berets, shaytls, or wraps. And when we look that good, it makes for a wonderful Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s name).

As I wear my mitpachot, whether they’re Israeli square scarves, 2-in-1s, pashminas, and all the variations, I feel that they express my creativity and individuality in ways that I never experienced before. And I’ve found that when I express myself that way, it draws people in and commands respect.

I am so proud to be a part of the Wrapunzelution. Thank you to Andrea Grinberg and to all my wonderful friends for giving me a place to really express myself and feel good about it.”

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Hello Hedva!

Meet Hedva, a Wrapunzel head-wrapping maven!  I’ve been impressed by her creative and adventurous wrapping skills since I first met her online, but recently I got to meet her in person and… wow!  She’s also a lawyer, and has strong moral and religious values.  She’s honest, direct, has a lot to say, and is a PERFECT Lady Wrap Star.  Photos, you ask?  We have photos!  I just couldn’t choose which ones to feature so I’m sharing over 100 with you!  Check them out in the gallery at the bottom of this post and get inspired!  And now… [drumroll] meet Hedva!

Hello Hedva!

Hedva’s signature turban!

– Can you tell us a bit about yourself?  Some interesting facts, where you’re from, hobbies, work, etc.?  I was born in Israel and we moved to the US when I was 5.  But I think my heart stayed in Israel, the land where headscarves are a beautiful norm!  I was raised with a strong sense of individuality and have always followed my own fashion muse.  I currently live in NYC with my husband and our 4 sons.  I’m an attorney and my husband is a rabbi.  That sounds like the start of some joke, doesn’t it?  As for hobbies, I am very interested in health and natural living, especially natural childbirth.  I would love to become a doula someday, or some sort of a practitioner of alternative medicine.

– When did you start covering your hair?  I began covering right after marriage, 10 years ago.  As a Torah Observant Jew, I always knew I would cover my hair after marriage.  I loved my curly hair and cute hairstyle, but I enjoyed covering my hair from the very start.  I was in law school at the time and I received diverse feedback..  Although some comments were negative, a nonconformist streak in my personality helped me stick to my guns.  Covering my hair made me feel more connected to Judaism, to G-d, to my husband, and to myself.  I wasn’t going to let some small-minded people take that away from me!

11174796_10101048762598155_4155770027121680084_n– Did you start covering with mitpachot/tichels?  What prompted you to get into it?  Yes, it was tichels from the start!  I bought a wig just in case I needed it for interviews, but I hardly ever wear it.  I’m a very natural, no make-up type of girl, and the wig just feels very fake and “costumey”.  When I wear a headscarf, I feel so grounded and connected to Torah and Jewish history.   I am so grateful for this mitzvah (Torah commandment) that just keeps inspiring me more and more as the years go by.

– Please tell us about your style – how do your head coverings help you express your personality?  I’m all about comfort – I don’t wear heels and I don’t wear uncomfortable wraps.  My style is definitely bohemian and fun, but also elegant (I hope!), often with hanging tails and lots of color.  I try to make my wraps beautiful and interesting, not necessarily for others, but for myself.  See, I constantly struggle to view the world in a positive light, as I am very sensitive to all the negative things which I read and hear about.  A sad news story can put me in a funk for days or weeks, and I can start to think that the world is a terrible place and what exactly is the point in all of this?!  One of the things that really helps me stay positive is to focus on the natural beauty that G-d put into this world, and I remind myself that it’s proof that G-d really loves us.  I wear all those beautiful colors on my head as a constant reminder to focus on the positive.  An interesting wrap with twists and braids just add to the fun and beauty and further remind me of G-d’s love for us.

10699721_10100830266920245_1019891295822737883_o– What are your favorite colors/styles to wrap?  I love them all!  Thanks to Wrapunzel, I have discovered that I can wear any color, so long as I have a flattering color next to my skin.  But my favorite color has to be teal.  It is so incredibly rich and versatile and looks great with so many other colors!  As for my favorite style, that changes all the time.  I am currently loving the Liezl braid, but I wore Shira tails all winter.

– When you are in a rush, what is your ‘go to’ wrap?  I love the turban wrap for when I am in a rush.  I even made a tutorial!  I get a lot of comments about how “ethnic” I look, and I love it.  I feel like a queen, part of some holy plan, with the symbol of G-d’s love perched right on my head.

– What is one piece of advice (or more pieces if you want!) you would give to someone just starting to wrap?  Get a velvet headband and start simple!  Once you’ve mastered a certain style, try something a little more complicated.  Get some bling, in the form of headbands and pins, as they are a really easy way to add fun and interest.  Look for inspiration everywhere – in nature, in your own closet, and in other women.  Do not give up, and don’t let aching arms stop you!

10661648_10100830270313445_400201148768065952_o– What do your friends/family think about your wrapping?  Have you ever had any awkward/negative experiences?  How did you deal with them?  Most of my friends and family are super cool with my wrapping.  My mom used to bug me about wearing my wig, but she stopped that a couple of years ago – she realized it was a lost cause! My husband is my biggest fan.  He is constantly encouraging me to experiment with different colors and styles, and he always compliments my wraps.  My sons love them too!
Some friends have made negative comments in the past, but I tackled the issue right from the start and straightened it out.  I don’t like to let bad feelings fester – that’s not good for any relationship!

– Can you tell us a bit about your professional life, and how does hair wrapping connect to this?  I’m a self-employed attorney. I wear wraps all the time when meeting with clients, going to court, and going to depositions, and I’ve gotten only positive feedback.  My very diverse clients love them, and fellow attorneys usually compliment them.  I find that my wraps seem to garner more respect from my clients and colleagues.  For example, people will apologize for swearing in front of me.  I love that!

10686599_10100834184983415_1675124164092817573_n– How do you go about putting your scarves together?  Please tell us a bit about your creative process!  First and foremost, I am always taking note of great color combinations I see throughout the day, either in nature, on a bus ad, in someone else’s outfit, or just any random place.   And I love getting inspired by all the wonderful ladies on the Wrapunzel FB page!
My mornings are really busy, so I choose my outfit the night before.  I find the process really calming before bed.  I own lots of colorful clothes, so I look to them for inspiration as well.  For example, I have a great skirt with teal, light blue, dark red, and brown – any combination of those colors looks amazing!  If I’m wearing a monochromatic outfit, I try to add another contrasting or complementing color to my wrap to spice it up.  I then choose an accessory to add a little bling or to pull it all together.  I love my headbands and pins!  In the morning, I put the first scarf on and, depending on how it’s laying or how many scarves I want to wear, I then decide on a particular style.  So if I’ve chosen to wear 2 in 1s, I’m likely to do a double braid, a double twist, or a Liezl.  If it’s a pashmina that I’ve chosen, I’ll likely go for Shira tails.  If it’s a shimmery, I’ll do the waterfall wrap.  When I have extra time in the morning, I’m more willing to experiment and do something I haven’t really mastered yet, like a criss-cross wrap.

– What are you grateful for today?  It’s been one of those days that has made me realize how much G-d has given me and how precious it all is.  I am grateful that I have a purpose in life, and that I am part of a holy plan.  I am most grateful for my amazing husband and our adorable sons.

My Tichel Shaper Prevented A Concussion!

Meet Rachel, an inspiring kiddush Hashem and rockin’ Wrapunzel ambassador!  You gotta hear her incredible story of a Shabbat miracle!

Tova Speaks!

I am just so happy for all of you to finally meet Tova!

Tova is one of the warmest, funniest people I know… you can just talk and laugh with her for hours!  There’s so much I could say about her, but I’ll just focus on a few key tidbits; she happens to be an EXTRAORDINARY cook of Indian food (she also is a culinary genius at other things, but I’m biased) and this is coming from me, a total Indian food connoisseur.  She has a beautiful family and home, and she is very artistic.  She makes beautiful earrings by hand!  All this pairing of wonderful flavors and artistry comes out in her vibrant personality and beautiful tichel tying.  In this video, she tells us a bit about herself and how she wears her headscarves in the professional world.  She also has an incredibly important message for us about how to tie your tichels based on one’s face shape.  Listen up!

Penina Taylor’s Message to Wrapunzel!

Are you ready for our next FACES OF WRAPUNZEL lady? Penina Taylor has a message for us, all the way from Israel. She is a truly inspirational speaker and spiritual leader, and we are so excited to share this with you!

“The Wrapunzel community represents a microcosm of what the world should be.”

Rivka’s Poem

 

Last week, I posed a question on The Wrapunzel Page, asking what was making you feel renewed today.  The answers were beautiful, and it was so hard to pick just one to feature on the blog.  I decided to sleep on it, and when I woke up, one answer was resonating in my head, and that was Rivka’s.  She wrote so beautifully and simply, her words ringing poignant and true.  She has such a loving perspective on hair covering, and I knew that we needed to hear more from her:

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Rivka’s response to the question, “What is making you feel renewed today?”

I wrote to her, asking if she’d like to contribute more, and her response was an enthusiastic, “What a coincidence!  I just wrote a poem for the Wrapunzel community!”  I’m honored to share Rivka’s Poem with all of you, and I know you’ll join me in saying that we can’t wait to hear more from her.

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Soft thin strands,
Strands of yarn,
Twisted together,
Strengthening itself,
Into a thread.

A few special souls,
Brought together,
Over a love of a mitzvah,
Becoming wrapunzel.

So many threads,
Blue, pink and red,
Gathered together,
Woven,
Intertwined,
Creating a masterpiece.

So many woman,
Of all different faiths,
From all over the world,
Connect together,
Unite as one,
One wrapunzel community.

An oblong tichel,
Beautiful patterns,
Beautiful textures,
Tied tight,
Wrapped as my crown.

A community filled with beautiful women,
Women full of love and compassion,
Of understanding and respect,
Supporting each other,
Embracing each other to embrace their crowns.

– by Rivka Breuer