Coping with Stress

WRITTEN BY: Meira E. Schneider-Atik, Contributing Author

What with everything going on right now, we’re always looking for ways to cope with the stress of it all. 

I love clothes and accessories so my favorite way to cope is to wear real clothes and accessories and not spend the days in pajamas. Aside from jewelry, my favorite accessories are my wraps.

Meira in Brown Print Scarf with Red Wrapunzel Sari Scarf

 Normally, I reserve sari scarves for special days. But this past Sunday, I just wanted to feel good so I wore this sari. I love the combination of brown texture-y print with the textures and prints of the red sari. 

Meira in a Turquoise Green Layering Top and Layered Wrap

This past Friday, I had errands to run and I needed an energy boost, so I chose my favorite color- green. A layered wrap of print scarf plus green 2-in-1 added that extra element of fun. 

Meira in lovely outfit of Light Blues, and a Sari Turban

As a precautionary measure, my shul (synagogue) is closed. However, Shabbat (Sabbath) doesn’t stop just because I’m not going to shul. Putting on Shabbat clothes and a great wrap helps me get into that mode. A sari turban (worn over a 2-in-1) feels fancy and fun. 

Meira in Light Greens plus Print Scarves

One of my wrapsisters recently posted that the only reason she wore a particular scarf was that it brought a smile to her face. I told her that there’s no better reason to wear it. This combination of green flower print scarf plus Watercolor 2-in-1 puts a smile on my face (especially since green is primary here) and there’s no better reason to wear it. 

As you can see, great wraps have been helping me cope with the stresses of this time. If you love wraps, this is a great time to play around and have fun.

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!

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!

Olivia’s 7 Day Challenge!

We are so excited to introduce you to Olivia! Olivia is an amazing Wrapunzelista who recently shared a personal challenge that she created for herself on the Wrapunzel Community Page. We loved her challenge so much that we wanted to share more about it and her story here! Enjoy! 

A bit about me…
Hello my name is Olivia Henderson. I was born and grew up in the Baltimore area. I have been married to the kindest and most loving man for nineteen years and have had the pleasure of raising three strong and beautiful young adults.

The question of why I Wrap is complex. I could simply say it’s because  I am a married Jewish woman, that it makes me feel pretty, or that It creates boundaries. My daughter tells me it’s just who I am. All of these answers are true, but I think the biggest reason for my wrapping journey is that I find it empowering.

Wrap-spiration….
I have been on this wrap journey for many years beginning with the snoods and special hats bought for holidays, but I truly embraced covering full time when I saw a beautiful Israeli lady at one of my daughter’s ballet performances in a tichel. I was mesmerized by her simple elegant style. Soon after I discovered Wrapunzel and haven’t looked back. Now just because my family accepts my covering now, doesn’t mean it’s been smooth sailing. I thought most of the issues concerning my covering would be from strangers, but sadly it’s the ones we hold near and dear that are the challenge. During this time I got a lot of practice in patience, persistence, and perseverance. Lol. I say this to give fellow wrap sisters whose families are struggling with their choice to cover hope. They will come around given time.

The Marrakesh Turban Challenge began as a fun way to test my skills with different kinds of scarves and maybe use those scarves that just sit and look pretty. After the first day I realized that I wanted to do more… in our collections there are scarves that are only for this wrap or that wrap and it’s probably the style that sold us the scarf.

I met the Marrakesh Turban in the last 30 day challenge and liked it, but this uses a pashmina and that’s not warm weather friendly. It is also too fancy for everyday wear. Recently I got it in my head that I needed to challenge these ideas and that maybe by doing this it would push the imagination to see just how many other wrap boundaries I can change.

 


Day one is the Scarf of the Month from November. I had to use this one with all of its splendid colours and details …. including a strip of Magen Davids!!!!

Day two was chosen because of its simple elegance. Cotton fabric with a hint of shimmer.

 


Day three was chosen to truly test my skills with this silk stunner. A bit of patience goes a long way with this scarf. Lol

Day four was chosen because of necessity. Two days before a holiday means comfort and ease maintenance of scarf cleanliness is vital. Of all, I was surprised the most by how lovely this one turned out.

 


Day five was all about a return to glamour. This scarf is smooth as silk and wraps like a dream.

Day six was Harvest gold. This scarf is usually wrapped in partnership with its sister scarf in brown, never alone. It’s a rather simple scarf and yet it puts pizzazz into this wrap.

Day seven I wanted to pick a special scarf to end my challenge and this embroidered silky scarf fit the bill. Due to its contrary nature I must admit this one is the most underutilized scarf in the closet. That may change.

 

Check out the Marrakesh Turban tutorial here! 

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Meira: Matching Prints and Solids

Ever wondered how to match a scarf or top with a bold print to your other clothing? Not sure what goes with what? This is a common question! Check out Meira Schneider-Atik’s tips and tricks:

I’m a stylist. Among other things, I help women put together new and different outfits using what they already have. One of the questions that comes up time and time again is how to put colors together.

While I have a lot of different suggestions of how to not be afraid of trying new and different color combinations, there’s one suggestion that always works- use a print to anchor the whole thing.

If you have a printed clothing item that you love, then you know that the colors in the print go together. So use that as your base. Choose colors from the print and wear them in the outfit. You know they go because they go together in the print.

Here I am (below) wearing this awesome print dress that I found shortly before Pesach. I wore it for the first Seder and I paired it with my dark brown and taupe 2-in-1s. Those colors both show up in the print, so they work here (they’re also both neutral, so they go with everything).

You don’t necessarily have to wear a full-on print base outfit to do this. Your print could be just a subtle accent to your outfit. Here I am (above right) wearing my Bohemian Dreams scarf (one of my favorite prints) as an accent to my navy 2-in-1. My dark teal top and rich green earrings are both taken from colors in the print.

There are tons of color combinations that look amazing. Play around and find the combos that work for you. Use prints as you need them. Try to have fun with it. You can do this!

 

What’s your favorite way to combine prints and solids? Share with us in the comments!

Meet Paola, Lady Wrapstar!

I’ve been wanting you to meet Paola for a long time! Read on to find out more about this incredible Lady Wrap Star from the Netherlands!

 

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Paola! ❤

 

I found out about Wrapunzel in 2015. As a Muslima the scarf and I have a special relationship. I simply love scarves and have way too many of them. I wear them all year round, Summer and Winter, it doesn’t matter, around the neck but also on my head. In the beginning of 2015, I was thinking about wearing the headscarf again. I was looking for a different way to wear it (i.e. not like my granny haha) and started searching on the internet for inspiration.

I watched a lot of so-called “hijabi” tutorials but I also watched a couple of videos in which a young lady wrapped her scarf in a way that was totally new to me. She used words I did not know, like tichel and sheitel, but I liked what she did and wanted to know more. I needed to know more.

I watched video after video and learned a lot of new ways to wrap my scarf. But not only about wrapping scarves, but also about why Jewish women wear the headscarf or mitpachat. Soon after that, I joined the fangroup on Facebook and I was hooked.

From that moment on I learned so many new ways to wrap the scarf, especially the turban look, which I love and is my all time favorite now. But I learned so much more. I had never realized that it is not only Moslim women who wear the scarf. I found out that a lot of Jewish and Christian sisters wear it too and I was eager to know why.

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I learned how you could easily style your scarf, even when your hair is short (in those days my hear was often very short) using shapers and velvet headbands and all other kinds of accessories. But more important than that, I met a lot of ladies from all over the world and found out about a sisterhood, not only in the umma, the Moslim community, but beyond borders and beyond belief.  

Since I was a little girl I was interested in the world and its cultures. My granddad was the only one who really understood my fascination and he gave me books to read and took me on trips into town. He lived in the big city, Rotterdam, and I was growing up in a little sleepy town in which our Moslim family was an attraction itself haha.

Through the Wrapunzel Fangroup I met so many lovely ladies, from all faiths with whom I could talk about the things in life that are important to us. About headscarves of course, but also about so many other topics. The ladies in the Fangroup encourage each other, give each other tips and tricks, but most of all, are there for each other.

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And that is what I love about the Wrapunzel Fangroup. It is not only scarves, it is beyond scarves. It is about our lives, about our struggles (do I wear the scarf or not) but also about our victories. And most important it is beyond Faith. And in these days of hatred and blaming others I am really glad there is still something like sisterhood.

It is true that I am a little absent in the Fangroup nowadays. My job takes a lot of my energy (too much right now I sometimes think) and in the house, there are still construction activities going on. But I still read everyone’s posts and I am still inspired by the pictures and the sisterhood amongst the members.

I still love my scarves although I do not wear them on my head every day. That is my own struggle, my personal battle, something between Allah and me. But there is one thing I know. You will be there for me sisters xxxxx.

From Day into Evening

Read on for some awesome outfit transition advice from Wrapunzelista Meira Shneider-Atik!

A lot of fashion gurus talk about the “day into evening” dilemma that pops up a lot. You have your regular work during the day, but then you have a dressy event afterward and you don’t have time to go home and completely change clothes. This dilemma is easily solved by planning ahead and using a base and changing your accents.

I had this dilemma myself on Sunday. I had to take my daughter to a high school open house in the morning and then I had to go to an engagement party in the afternoon and another in the evening. But I planned ahead and used color and accents and it wasn’t difficult at all.

I started with a black base- shell and skirt- and just added colored accents.

For the open house, I wanted to look polished and pulled-together but also warm and approachable and not overdone. So I chose olive green for my accents. I wore my red Cranberry scarf with the olive green side showing and I wrapped it in a 1920’s style turban (favorite everyday wrap). It coordinated nicely with my olive cardigan. Olive is a color found in my irises and so it’s soft and warm and not too formal.

Once I got home, I just changed into my teal cardigan and teal Cranberry scarf (again in a 1920’s style turban). Teal is a much more dramatic color on me, so it comes off dressy, making it perfect for the engagement parties.

In all of those, I looked and felt just right. And I didn’t have to drive myself crazy.

Yes, these situations do happen, but with a little planning and strategic use of color, you can do this.  

Love, Meira

Head Wrapping in the Professional World by Lila H.

Here it is! Part 2 of “Head Wrapping in the Professional World” by government agency worker, Lila Halpern Besser! Enjoy and take notes!

Hi ladies! Andrea graciously asked me to write something about wrapping in the professional world. I understand not every “professional” environment is the same, but I wanted to share my personal feelings so that it may help someone have the confidence to wrap for work.

A little about me-I’ve been wrapping since my wedding almost 2 years ago, and I live near Washington DC with my amazing husband. I met Andrea shortly after I got married through a mutual friend, and have been inspired by her in my wrapping. Some of you may recognize me from the Wrapunzel website (I had an awesome time modeling the midsummer line with Yehudis) and from the fangroup, where I post almost daily. Sometimes I need to see myself through a camera lens to see the outward image I am projecting for the world to see, and what better way to do that than sharing with the amazing and supportive Wrapunzel community.

What makes an outfit professional? (including my shopping tips)

Everyone has a different definition of what is considered professional. I work for a government agency where all of the men (and some of the women) are in suits every day. Dress pants and blouses and sometimes sheath dresses are present as well. That is what “business professional” standardly looks like. And yes, while I love to rock the sheath dress as much as the next girl (see pics below), that isn’t the be-all, end-all of dressing professionally.

First and foremost, confidence and tidiness are key. Even if you are in a suit, if you don’t hold your head high and your clothing is disheveled, you won’t look professional. And while wearing your tichel proudly, you allow your confidence to shine through. It may take a little practice to get a tichel looking neat and tidy, but master the Beginner’s Luck, the Regal wrap, and maybe a turban if you want and you will never go wrong.

My fashion tastes tend to be a little loud at times (pattern mixing, bright colors), but I keep it all professional by following a few simple rules:
1- A sheath dress with a cardigan or jacket, regardless of the color or pattern of the dress, is always an easy way to look put together (especially when your tichel coordinates with colors in the dress.
2- A line, pencil, or flared skirts, even in colors or patterns, are flattering and look great, but it always depends on the top. An outfit can hinge on a corresponding top.
3- Tops with collars, whether form fitting like dress shirts or a little more flowing, are amazing closet staples. Personally, I love the sleeveless, loose fitting button down tucked into a flowy or pleated skirt with a cardigan for a polished look. It’s pretty much my go-to most days.

How do I express my creativity while still remaining professional?
Part of it is the clothing I choose to wear, but tichels play a major part it in. Sometimes I want to do a fancy wrap with multiple scarves and feel creative, and some days I just want a simple Beginner’s Luck with my favorite sari scarf, or a turban with a T-shirt tichel. It all depends on how I feel, but my color choices in both my clothing and my tichels allow me to express myself and show the face I want the world to see.

Do I feel constrained or more free in my wardrobe choices due to wearing a tichel to work?
I think sometimes it’s both, but more often it makes me feel free. I’ve woken up some mornings wanting to wear a particular scarf and decided nothing matched, or had a hard time matching a scarf to an outfit I wanted to wear (in these situations, my husband usually comes to my rescue and suggests some fantastic combination. Don’t be fooled, ladies, some of my best outfits were chosen by him). But most of the time, I love being able to match scarves to outfits, pulling in some small color from my dress, or wearing a neutral outfit and brightly colored scarves. I also believe that accessories pull and outfit together and make it look polished. Tichels are as much an accessory and part of my outfit as makeup, jewelry, shoes, or a jacket, so I love to coordinate whatever bling I’m wearing on my tichel (headband, pin, sash) to the rest of my jewelry
to pull it all together.

What would I say to someone nervous about wearing a tichel on her first day of work?
To be completely honest, I’ve been there. I started my job two months before my wedding, and the first day going back to work, I had a really hard time getting dressed. I had been planning on wearing a wide headband, but somehow it just didn’t feel right. My husband was watching this dilemma, and he told me to just wear a scarf. So I chose something neutral and understated (black/white/grey ombre 2in1 with a silver headband), and went to work. The first week, I got a few questions from my supervisor and co- workers, but I was ready with my response: “Some Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair after marriage, and that is what I have chosen to do”. And everyone accepted that. Over the next several weeks, as I became more comfortable, I started branching out with brighter colors and more intricate styles, and no one batted an eyelash. Do I still get funny looks in the bathroom sometimes? Of course.

Do people occasionally ask why I cover my hair? Absolutely. Do random people stop me in the halls? All the time. But when I smile at staring people in the bathroom, they smile back. And I tell the people who ask that I cover my hair to signify my status as an Orthodox Jewish married woman and it is a part of my religion. And the people who stop me in the hallway? They usually just want to tell me they like my scarf, ask how I tied it, or where I got it.

What are some of my favorite professional outfits I’ve worn?
Check them out!

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Sometimes a solid dress in a color you feel confident can be a neutral. I paired it with a teal aviary scarf for complimenting colors and pearl jewelry (Wrap: regal with a teal aviary and headband)

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Bright colors are the best way to beat the Monday blues! This shirt is one of my most worn, and this skirt gives me the ability to pull so many colors! (Wrap: 2-scarf regal with a pin)

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Sometimes a belt completes an outfit! I love this color pairing, and the scarf pulls out the blues and reds from the whole outfit (Wrap: Regal with scarf of the month scarf and clip)

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Some people don’t mix red and pink, but the darker pinks in the top match the burgundy of the skirt! And even though the florals aren’t on the same background color, they coordinate well (Wrap: turban with a pin)

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Sheath dress is fun colors is still professional. I chose a sari that had two colors from the dress, and toned it all down with a black cardigan. (Wrap: beginners luck with a pin)

 

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Pattern mixing can be intimidating. This is a simple take with a top with a small pattern and bottom with large pattern, using two neutral colors and red. The shades of red sari is a perfect compliment (Wrap: beginners luck with the tail tucked)

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a simple business-like top paired with a bright and colorful skirt allows for some great scarf color combos! (Wrap: regal with t-shirt tichel and lace sash)

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This pattern mixing is very bold, but the peach in the top matches the skirt really well, and the black cardigan tones it down. The scarf color int a perfect match, but its in the same family (Wrap: angled regal with a Ray of Sunshine scarf)

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Sometimes I love to pair a neutral color with a bold scarf and accessories! (Wrap: turban with a signature)

Meet Elena from Åland!

Everyone, I am so excited to introduce you to Elena Isabella, a woman who takes head wrapping to a whole new level! Love her story, her sense of style, and knowing that she is out there on her tiny island rocking these awesome scarves!

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Hello!

 My name is Elena and I live in Åland, a small island in between Finland and Sweden. I live here with my significant other and two cats. My mother lives right next door, it’s kind of like a sitcom at times. Lots of shouting and there’s always coffee brewing.

Except for the two years I lived in Sweden studying to a makeup artist (among other things. I also took social psychology classes), I’ve lived here all my life.
It’s quite isolated, everyone knows everyone and we’re always about two years behind, but I can’t think of a better place to live, really. Instead I travel as often as my bank account allows me.
I like cats, tea, cake, colouring books, scarves, video games and music (everything from Edith Piaf to King Dude)
My favourite colour is teal and I will never miss an opportunity to make a bad joke or tell a random anecdote.
I started wrapping a little more than a year ago. I’ve always liked the look of wraps, like the retro turbans and the flowing scarves from the 60’s and 70’s, but I could never get the fabrics to stay on my head, no matter the amount of bobby pins and hair grips.
One day I found a video of Andrea tying a tichel. I had no idea what that was or who she was, but I binge watched pretty much every wrapunzel video available at that time, and shortly after, I orded my first velvet headband and a whole new world opened before me.
My main reason for wrapping at that time was to let my hair rest. I hade fried it with bleach for the second time in 5 years and didn’t dare to do anything with it anymore. I had experimented with extensions and wigs for some time, but in the end it was too much of an effort, and a bit uncomfortable really. I used to say that I suffered from a chronic case of bad hair day.
After some time I felt that I still couldn’t do the awesome wraps shown in the videos and went all in and ordered a Wendy and a bunch of scarves to experiment with.
I found the Fan group and after many days of hesitating, I finally dared to join.
After some months of weekend wrapping only, I realised that the scarves ment more to me than just covering bad hair (that was starting to improve whohoo!), I had, in a way, found myself again.
Flashback a few years, I had a rotten divorce that left me alone, confused and not sure about myself anymore. Style has always been a big part of me and I’ve always loved experimenting with my looks. But suddenly I didn’t feel like dying my hair bright orange anymore, makeup didn’t look right and I felt -old-. I didn’t want to be seen anymore, I was tired and just couldn’t be bothered to make any effort anymore. I just didn’t care.
The scarves made me feel “cool” again. I felt more put together, more age appropriate and proud, and even if I didn’t realise right away, covering my hair has helped me let go of the bad times more than anything else. Life is fun again!
It might have been noted that I like to wear makeup. Lots of makeup. The scarves inspired me to use colours again and be creative. I usually try to match my makeup to my scarf, so if you ever see me in a total miss-match, there was a tantrum that day 😉
I know living in a small area can be tough for someone looking different, but I’ve been lucky. I’ve always looked different, everyone knows who I am, one way or another. I’m either the tattooed postman-girl, Pia’s daughter (My mum used to work in a tax free store. Things like that will make you famous around here.) or simply “the makeup girl”. This is just my current “thing”.
The wrapping community has given me the opportunity to learn more about the world, religion, philosophy and totally random things, like what to do with a butternut squash.
I’ve found some amazing ladies I would now consider friends, that I probably would never met without this community, and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know them.
Love to all
//Elena Isabella

Can You Wear A Wrap as a Professional? Yes You Can!

Hi everyone! Meet Arrianna, second year medical student who is rocking the wraps while doing training in an environment where professionalism is strict. This is Part 1 of our blog series on Wrapping in the Professional world. Enjoy!

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I’m a second year medical student. We had our first clinical exercise of the year at the VA hospital today. I almost didn’t wrap, concerned as we always need to be about strict professionalism while in our white coats. But in the end I did with a simple 2-in-1, and gold rose headband. My classmates loved it, and one patient’s wife even asked me how I did that, as her hair was thinning and she’d been thinking about starting to wear scarves. I didn’t have time to show her how to do the wrap right then, but I wrote down some information for her, and I hope that now Wrapunzel’s youtube channel has a new fan.

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My advice? Keep it simple, especially in the beginning until you really know your work audience and they’re used to you. In my situation, medicine is a fairly conservative profession and I deal with people of a huge range of ages, backgrounds, beliefs, socioeconomic status, hopes, and needs. I want the image I present to be professional, but not austere. When people see me, I want them to see a competent medical provider first and not to be distracted by my scarf, much like I wouldn’t want people distracted by my jewelry or my clothing.

Being in healthcare and being around patients who may be losing hair for many reasons, I’m very uplifted by the fact that wrapping in this environment is going so well. Much of healthcare has an underlying theme of the effect of health problems on self-image, as hair (or the lack thereof) figures so prominently into our society’s idea of what makes both men and women attractive. Personally, I hope that wearing a wrap in the workplace will encourage those who may be too shy or embarrassed to talk to their doctor about hair loss to ask me questions. I would like them to see me and think: “there is someone who will help me without judgment”.

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Lady Wrap Star Nancy!

I am delighted to introduce you to Nancy! A regular face on the Wrapunzel fangroup, she has quickly blazed an inspirational trail for all stylish head wrappers! She truly knows how to put tichels and outfits together, and is such a warm and lovely person – I can’t wait for you to meet her!

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meet Nancy

“What a honor it is to be asked to be a Lady Wrap Star.

A little about me, I was born and raised in Southern California. I now live in Palm Desert, California about 20 minutes away from Palm Springs. I’m married to a wonderful man and have two children a daughter 42 and a son 40. I’m also blessed with three beautiful grandchildren. I’m so luck to still have my 89 year old Mother that is as spunky as a 40 year old! She’s my best friend, I love her so much.

I’m very active at my Temple. Im co-chair of the Social Action Committee, visit those confined to live in care facilities, pick up elders for Shabbat Services, deliver food to the needy every Tuesday and collect clothing and toiletries and deliver them to the migrant workers on the farms. Hashem has called me to do this and so I do.

One night about two years ago I was going through You Tube and I came across a Wrapunzel tutorial, a huge gift from Hashem, that night was the beginning of my Wrap journey. The next morning I placed my first order, ran to the thrift store to get some scarfs to practice with while awaiting my order and I was off and running never to look back.”

“Wrapping has literally changed everything about my life. I feel more grounded and centered. I feel more spiritual and closer to G-d.

My wrap styles vary depending on the scarf. Saris wrap different then 2n1s or Pashminas and so on. I think I wrap in a beginners luck and Amped up beginners more then anything.  I still look at tutorials everyday to get new ideas and to refresh my memory. Andrea has been a huge influence on me. I’ve learned about self esteem, modest dressing , Shabbat and of course beautiful wrapping.

I want to thank all the Wrapunzel ladies for all your love and support. You have been there for me in good times and bad. I feel you’re all my friends, REAL FRIENDS!!! I wish one day we could have a huge Wrapunzel  get together so we could all meet face to face.  Love and blessings!”

Check out Nancy’s beautiful outfits and how she incorporates her wraps!

Meira’s Wedding Disaster (turned success!)

My husband and I had a family wedding and we had to travel, first to Monsey to spend Shabbat with my parents, then to Baltimore for the wedding. Our sons helped me load luggage into the car and the four of us had no trouble getting to Monsey. But while traveling, I realized that we had forgotten to pack along my bag with mitpachot. The only head covering I had was my Artistic License scarf that I was wearing that day.
As it was, I had picked out a dress for the wedding, but I hadn’t chosen a wrap style. So I had packed a few different mitpachot and I figured that I would try a few wrap styles and see what worked.

But now I was stuck.

However, some of my most creative ideas come when I’m stuck. As soon as I realized that I only had my Artistic License scarf, the wheels began to turn. That scarf went just fine with my Shabbat outfit (navy top and black skirt- both classic neutrals which go with everything) and would go with my teal dress for the wedding (same color family). Now my challenge was to find a wrap style that would a) look appropriate for a wedding b) hold up well during dancing (Jewish celebratory dancing is very lively and aerobic).
After Shabbat, I tried on a few different wrap styles – here are the ones I didn’t choose:

Eventually I chose the rose turban. It reminded me of British “fascinators,” so if I’m ever in the UK and invited to a formal daytime event, I know what to wear. Meanwhile, at this wedding, the rose turban worked. My husband liked it and I got tons of compliments. More importantly, I felt great.
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Sometimes, the best ideas come when you think you’re stuck. Don’t give up.