What Do Other People Say?

This is one of the most popular questions that I get!  If you’re considering covering your hair in a visible way, here are some answers to the questions you might be asking yourself.  Take a look!

I should add that even though I have had some negative experiences, the reaction of the Jewish community has been overwhelmingly supportive.  I just wanted to say in the video that the only issues I’ve had so far have been with other Jews, and that we should be more sensitive towards how they feel.  However, I’ve also gotten the most support and encouragement from other Jews, and I really didn’t make that clear in the video… oops!  🙂

What have your experiences been from covering your hair?  Tell us about other’s reactions, funny stories, inspiring comments, etc.!

49 Comments

49 thoughts on “What Do Other People Say?

  1. Hi, I have been wearing tichels for over a year now. My husband has decided to become more religious and my son is converting into an Orthodox community. I am not Jewish. When my husband and son asked me if I would cover when I attended community events, I had to think about it long and hard, but now not only do I wear them to events at the Kollel, I wear them every day. Work was the hardest. I told my immediate coworkers what I was doing and why. I didn’t want them to think I was ill or something. The Orthodox community where we live is quite small, and all of the women wear sheitels. I work in a large office so everyone has comments and some of them have not been kind, but I am happy with my choice as is my family. My religious house of worship asked questions, but for the most part have been accepting.
    The changes in my family since I have been wearing tichels are amazing. We are much more peaceful. Not that it was bad before, but my son is 15 and well, he acted like a teenager. Now it is better.
    I know that Judaism believes that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory. I have had horrible hair (thin, kinky and brittle) for many years. I can feel for the woman who had heard that you had a beautiful head of hair and covered it. I would have never been told I was beautiful for my hair, but I have been told many times that my tichels are beautiful. My very first compliments about anything on top of my head!!
    You are an inspiration, even to those of us who aren’t Jewish.

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    • Dear Velma,
      Thank you so much for your words. I hope you know how incredibly lucky your son is to have a mother like you – someone who has been so supportive of his journey. I actually had the chance to share some of what you said with a friend today who is dealing with something similar, and it was very inspiring!
      I agree… tichels are so beautiful! It makes me so happy to hear that you wear scarves in a community that wears wigs. I do that too, and instead of making me feel insecure, it has made me love it even more! (I don’t think I would have ever felt the motivation to create this site had we stayed in Jerusalem.)
      It is people like you that keep me motivated to continue sharing – thank you so much for letting me know!
      Andrea

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  2. I wanted to second the part where “what people think at work” is often not as big of a problem as we anticipate- it wasn’t for me, in my current job, where I work with people of all different faiths, as a provider of spiritual care. It can be a bonding experience with women of different faiths and backgrounds who share this lovely practice. And the criticisms that I have received have been remarkably gentle, and the comment that “actually, I find it really meaningful” has created a change in their reactions…

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    • You are so right. We often worry much too much! I have also found that telling people how much I love it has created a change in reactions (to the few that are negative, which is less than a handful!)

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  3. Shalom Andrea, I wanted to thank you for your inspiring videos…you have no idea how people get encouraged by what you say. I have been covering my hair since my husband and our boys were in Israel last April. I was thinking whether I should cover my hair or not for a couple of years, and when we arrived in Yerushalayim I didn’t want to offend other people (we stayed in a neighborhood near Mea Shearim) and so, in order to feel free to connect to other people I started covering my hair.
    My husband asked me (without any pressure) if I wanted to continue to cover my hair when we got home, and I started to search for answers. I found your website as well as Rivka Malka’s website. I am so thankful that HaShem led me to you and gave me some real answers as wel as the very practical ‘how-to’s’…
    To me, personally, covering my hair has become part of who I am and it feels quite natural to do so. Sometimes, when I try to tie a tichel very nice and everything slips of my head (again!!) I get a little discouraged (just a little!!) and then I promise myself I’ll watch one of your video’s to get inspired again…My husband appreciates very much what I’m doing and thinks I’m very beautiful. The things you speak of in your video concerning reactions of other people are recognizable to me…most people think I look different but beautiful, people ask me how I do it etc. Even at work, I work at a hospital, my collegues accept it and are not offensive at all, except for my team leader. She’s not so happy with it and gives me certain ‘looks’ and does not understand at all any of the reasons why I cover my hair. December 19th I have a meeting scheduled with her about my work. At first I was real nervous about it but I learned to see that everything is in the hands of HaShem and I will see what questions she will ask and how I will respond.
    This reply has been a lot longer than I intended to…but what I really wanted to say is ‘thank you’ for your inspiring talks, texts and videos….blessings to you and your husband and your lovely new kitty 😉
    love, Linda

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    • Dear Linda,
      Your story is so amazing! It’s wonderful that your husband is so supportive and loving.
      In terms of slippage, have you tried one of those velvet headbands? It completely fixed all of my slipping problems.
      As for your leader… there is always going to be that one person that doesn’t get it. Don’t feel like you have to rationalize and explain to her. If she’s truly interested, she won’t make you feel defensive. Tell her that this is something you’ve chosen to do, that you love it, and ask that she please respect your choice. Could you send me a message a few days before December 19 so I can remember to be thinking of you on that day?
      All the best,
      Andrea

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      • Dear Andrea, thank you so much for your reply! Yes, I have a velvet headband and it works fine, although at the and of the day my head is starting to itch a little under the headband. If I loosen the headband a little it starts to slip and if I tighten it it gets itchy. Do you wear it only on your hair or does it also cover your forehead?
        As for you other advise, thank you so much…you helped me see it through different eyes and that helps a lot!
        Shalom,
        Linda

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        • Hi Linda,
          I also find that when the headband is on my forehead, it gets a bit itchy. I wear it only on my hair to combat this (even if I put the tichel a little forward of it. Let me know if this helps!
          Andrea

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  4. Andrea, I have a scarf that looks just like the one you have posted at the very top of this article. It’s many strips sown together, about 10 different ones I think. Could you please give me some pointers and tips on how to tie this thing? It’s so amazingly beautiful and I want to wear it so bad, but it’s giving me a fit. I just started wearing my tichels to work a week ago this past Tuesday and at the end of the week I attempted that particular scarf. I’ve never felt so defeated by fabric in all my life! Looking back, i know it may only work out better with the volumizer (that’s still on back order :/) But you’d definitely be the one to know!

    Thanks ahead of time!
    Mary

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    • Hi Mary!
      Yes, this one can be complicated… what material is yours made of? Mine seems to be some kind of middle eastern silk. Here is what I did in this picture – I tied a basic tie (all the ends tucked in to create a smooth line) using an Israeli tichel (anything cotton, thin and one colour should work!) Then I took the layered scarf, arranged it so all the folds were looking good, then simply tied it on top with a knot at the bottom. The one I have isn’t wide enough to cover my whole head, that’s why I have to wear the cotton underneath. You have to make sure the folds are lining up – make sure a flattering colour is by your face! Then I just let the end hang over my shoulder. Does this make sense? Let me know if it works for you!
      Love, Andrea

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  5. Andrea, I have the same question Mary has. I had seen this scarf in a catalog my mom gets called “Signals”.They said it was made of Idian Saris. Anyway it’s lovely and I’ve had my eye on it for a while but wasn’t sure if it would cover well enough. I think this is the one you had on in the video where you’re playing the cello? I’d love to see a video of how you pull this off before I take the plunge. Thanks for being such a light : )

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    • Hi Birdie,
      Thank you for letting me know! You should definitely get it… totally worth every penny and looks amazing! Mine does not cover completely but I wear a tichel underneath. I think there are quite a few pictures of me on here wearing it!
      Andrea

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  6. Hi Andrea,
    I love both your blogs. I am not jewish, my religion does not require women to wear headscarves, even if some do. But I always liked scarves, headscarves, hair wraps, that’s how I found your blogs. I remember visiting my younger brother in Vienna many years ago, when he was student at Vienna University. He lived next to a jewish bakery, and I always admired the jewish ladies with their beautiful headscarves.
    Unfortunately, where I live headscarves are frowned upon. My place of work actually has a no headscarf policy.
    So, I will keep reading my way through your blogs. Thank you for providing pleasure and food for thought.
    Paulina

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  7. Hi, folks! I’ve been covering my hair for two years now (just had our second anniversary this month!). During the majority of that time I was teaching at a college where there was no policy re:headscarves, (and my students seemed to think I was covering up dreds!), or I was in Israel. So, it never seemed like that big of a deal, even though few people in my USAmerican community cover with scarves.

    However, I just moved to a small town with very few Jews. And I’ve never seen anyone around town covering, for whatever reason. Two people have directly asked me if I was sick (I’m thinking of getting some bangs to avoid this in the future)! Anyway, I’m on the job market, and I’ve had a few interviews but no offers…I have an interview on Monday and b”h it will go well….but just now I was on the phone with my mother and she suggested that covering with a tichel could be making people uncomfortable 😦 She said it seemed very ‘ethnic’ and I should let them get to know me as a person before I start openly being different. I disagreed, arguing that I wouldn’t want to work in an environment where I felt uncomfortable covering anyway.

    But, I’m now somewhat conflicted. I don’t want to take a poll on FB or something, so I’m wondering if any of you had thoughts. Has it been your experience that outsiders are ‘weirded out?’

    And Good Shabbos to those who celebrate it! Happy Friday to everyone else 🙂

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    • I would really love to hear people’s thoughts on this. I haven’t had a problem (yet) in terms of jobs… it’s usually something I mention up front because I know people are wondering. Let use know when your interview is so we can be thinking of you!

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      • I got the job! LOL I guess it didn’t matter after all because I wore my tichel anyway. I don’t have a nice sheitel so it was really the only option in the end.

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        • Congratulations on getting the job! While I was doing my internship at an assisted living facility here in the US, in an area where no one covers and there are not even any temples for 50 miles, I found it convenient to wear a crocheted beret as a snood. I was teaching exercise classes, and I didn’t have to worry about it falling off or coming undone. It never occasioned comments from the senior citizens except “I love your hat”. This is still my go to cover for basic things like stepping out into the yard on days I am not going out (I don’t cover in my house, unless I am already covered.)

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        • I am so happy for you. Not only for getting the job but also for finding it in an open minded company that is not threatened by your personal choices. May you always be as well appreciated.

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  8. Hello! I love your website! So many beautiful things to see! Anyway, I wanted to let you know what things I’ve experienced with other people. Actually, since covering (and wearing skirts!) the response has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from the men! When I started covering and wearing skirts men would all of the sudden start opening doors for me, helping with a burden I had, those kind of general “manly” manners that we seem to have lost. Can you imagine if EVERY lady covered and wore skirts? I’m sure America would be a better place! Anyway, the only negative responses have been from close family, who are humanists, so they don’t understand even what planet I’m on. Haha And children! I love them! They ARE so honest and innocent, and it’s a blessing to be asked a question about why I do what I do.. Plus I get to hear what their parents have been telling them! Haha just kidding. In a small rural town you get some looks but if you smile people just kind of shrug their shoulders and go on about their business. 😉

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  9. My question might already be answered but I’m having a hard time deciphering from the comments if it has. I have no Jewish background in my family and I don’t know anyone that is Jewish. But, I came across tichel’s somewhere on the Internet a couple of years ago and thought they looked really neat, not to mention, really pretty. So, my question is, am I going to be offending anyone of faith if I’m wearing a tichel since I have no religious background? I do have a basic understanding why they are worn which actually intrigued even more when it came to wearing one.

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    • Hi L-mp,

      I actually asked Andrea basically the same question not too long ago, and this is what she said:

      “These head covering wraps are not limited to Jews only. Yes, the styles that I wear are mostly attributed to Judaism, but if you examine other cultures you will see that hair covering is done in some form in most places in the world. There are many women on this site that cover their hair for various reasons (hair loss, fashion, general modesty, other religions) and no one Jewish will be offended if you do it as well.”

      Although I asked whether wearing head wraps this way would offend anyone Jewish (I’m not Jewish either) because the styles are Jewish, I think Andrea’s answer would apply to your question as well. No one will be offended if you wear a tichel.

      I hope this answers your question!

      Oh, and I hope you don’t mind that I answered it Andrea! After all, it is really your answer anyway 🙂

      Rebecca-Joy

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  10. Thank you Rebecca-Joy, I think that its safe to say Andreas answer to you answered my question as well. Thank you 🙂

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  11. I came out wearing a triangle tichel i made myself, and my friend absolutely LOVED it! She asked me to do hers with the scarf she was wearing around her neck. Though she did mention i looked like a cancer patient when i cover all my hair (im very pale), which i agree with, and from then on worn tichels with about an inch of my hair showing. Its wonderful to have truthful friends!

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  12. I was also concerned about offending Jewish people by wearing scarves in the same way that they do, but I had some Jewish students last year (from Israel) and they convinced me that it was OK! I lost my hair and it is now growing back but I feel ugly and not feminine (I used to have long, dark, thick wavy hair down to my waist). However, as soon as I have a scarf on my head, I feel like myself again. Thanks so much Andrea for everything!!! You have changed my life to the better, I am serious. I am so happy that I feel like myself and be happy looking in the mirror. I also find that wearing a headscarf improves my posture!

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  13. My own mother said I “looked like a foreigner” & questioned why I looked the way I looked. I told her it was something i was called to do from 1 chor. 11. I then followed it up with, you csn read it & there are many different ways to interpret it but this is what I feel it says. My dad pipes in & says “there is only one way to interpret it, but whatever”. These are true reactions to first experiences showing my obedience in small ways in my life. Even my own parents had to open up their hearts & learn to love in uncomfortable unfamiliar ways. Just like when you start wearing glasses or dental braces, everyone noticed them, talked about them & were distracted by them. Now, I can tell they are learning to look at my inner beauty rather then my wraps. They are looking beyond the external. You could tell they have gotten over whatever & embraced. My daughter hss a friend that keeps asking my daughter why her mom wears her hair this way. She keeps explaning it to her that it is something G-d wants her to do. My daughter apparently is annoyed by her asking & says “I wish she woukd just get over it & move on, I was a little embarraced at first but now I understand & love it, but she just keeps being annoying about it”. My husbands family hasn’t asked me directly but rather tries to educate me on what im doing on my head is “called” babuska, turban, etc. To make themselves feel less awkward and seem more accepting. This is nothing I didn’t expect since we live in a very rural community, so anything out of ordinary is going to be questioned & stereotyped by many. After everyone got the gossip that I wasn’t dying of cancer I get less “looks”. I get many compliments on how pretty the scarves are or how beautiful I look. In fact much more than I did before I covered. I think it is because I myself have learned to embrace my own inner beauty & experienced the blessings that come from obedience in small ways. I feel more like who I really am meant to be now & covering has allowed me to share my faith, opened up more bibles to share scripture & more conversations about Christ than I could have ever dreamed. It has been more of a blessing than a burden & I am so thankful for the blessings. I feel more connected to the spirit & I never want to let that go.

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    • Thank you for sharing your story and struggle. (I just found this site )
      I too live in a small town …in Texas…with lots of opinionated cowboys…sigh
      How do you deal with the loneliness? I am the ONLY one in my community that covers whenever out in public ( not just at services…and even then there is only one other woman who covers her hair to pray ) my husband says that we (me) should do what we feel led to do despite anyone else
      but…I feel soooo lonely at times

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      • Hi There!
        I am from a rural farming area in Minnesota. I am, to my knowledge, the only one covering in the entire area. I have to drive over an hour to see women who are covering in our nearest big city and I think most are Muslim women. I have one Christian friend who lives an hour in the other direction that covers. It is lonely. I am so grateful for websites and online support. Stay strong in your convictions! Know that you aren’t alone! Women everywhere find freedom in covering and a kind of sisterhood comes from that. Peace Sister. 🙂 It is worth it,

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        • Hello

          I’m also from Minnesota and am new to covering. I’m getting a lot of questions, and finding sometimes I don’t want to answer. Not because I’m ashamed of my beliefs but rather the feeling of “why is it such a big deal”. I know that these can always be learning experiences but sometimes it’s hard when you know the person is going to be negative.

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  14. Hello! I loved listening to your experience wearing the hair covering. As a Muslim woman, I can say that absolutely everything you said applies to us as well! While I don’t cover my hair (yet), I have thought of it often. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    Miriam

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  15. I’m currently in Philadelphia for a conference and I’m noticing wrapped and covered women everywhere! I’ve seen Muslim hijabis, Jewish women, women with no visible religious affiliation all over the place with all styles of head coverings. I’m loving the fact that I’m rarely the only covered woman in a room or particular place. I’m really liking the experience of not being so unusual. It’s also wonderful that these women, regardless of background, often reach out to converse with other women who cover and it becomes a conversation starter and a point of commonality between different people.

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  16. After graduating with honors from an ultra-conservative Christian college, working at Christian schools, and living a double life, I finally realized I needed to act what I believed and not try to manipulate the Word. Years later, when I discovered Wrapunzel and started wearing “Jewish” head coverings during the week and veils at Mass, I learned what Andrea meant about being separate and different. That is what God calls me to do. I am the sole head coverer both at Mass and anywhere else around this northern Maine town. Not even my husband wants me to cover my head at home, at least. I have decided to stop coloring or cutting my hair, which is starting to grey naturally. My husband wants it long but not grey! Since my covered hair demonstrates a way I subject myself to him, at home, I go uncovered with an emergency ball cap at the door in case I need to cover. I also wear hats, not just scarves, and try to tuck all my hair under the lid.
    It isn’t just Jews who create a stir by covering in such bright, bold ways. I follow the New Testament as far as covering my hair, but the root (so to speak) is the same: a right relationship with my husband and with God.
    Each head covering I use, I say a prayer before I put it on, for God to be my head, for the gladness to do this because I have a husband, and for the courage to go out the door and the bright smile and right words to face a world that is not necessarily receptive to the feelings my appearance evokes.

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  17. I’m a Christian women and have been wrestling with the covering my hair for sometime.
    I’m just afraid of being judged or misunderstood (I live here in Toronto where there are many MANY women who cover, mostly Muslim).
    If there are any online support groups for Christian women who cover?
    I feel it’s right for me. But…it’s a big step.

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    • I am a 21 yo college student. Non denominational Christian. I started covering after watching many how to videos. I thought about what people would say or think but it didn’t really bother anyone. I really think we don’t allow ourselves true freedom based on others opinions. If you haven’t covered yet maybe you just need to find your style of covering. I like the tichels. I get cold due to anemia so aside from pleasing my Lord god , it is really convenient. May the lord help with finding what is right for you. 🙂

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  18. so my question is my husband is not on board with the idea even though I have a prompting to do so I am Christian actually LDS and that in its self gets a lot of back lash unfortunately and I hope that does not hunter my feelings on the site. Parents are also not okay how can I make them understand my feelings so troubled with this hug. Help and advice would be great. Thanks

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  19. Hi there! My name is Katie and I’m a Christian interested in covering. I have tried some of the wonderful styles shown in the tutorial videos and have come to find turban type looks the most comfortable and flattering to my face. However, I am worried about being offensive and insensitive. What are people’s thoughts about white women wearing turbans as a comfortable way to cover?

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  20. Thank you so very much for your honesty. I have what is known as alopecia, so therefore I have not hair at all on my head. I have been this way for about 25 years and have been wearing weaves. I have been married 34 years and have been so ashamed of my head that my husband and children have never seen me without a weave. Recently I have been struggling with continuing to wear a weave, my husband must have picked up on it, because he has asked me to not wear them anymore, but also stated it is up to me. I work in a very public job and I am somewhat afraid of just going to work with the tickles (scarf), but after watching your video. It reminded me of an old saying and it TO THY OWN SELF BE TRUE. So I am placing a order from you and I hope and pray that I will get up the nerve to where them to work. I already wear them in my everday life. I have been doing this for a week or two and it fills so liberating. I watch all your videos, so I pray that you continue to make them and much success in your future endeavor. Love and peace Michelle

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  21. I love this website. I’m Jewish and I’ve been tying tichels for years since I’ve been married but until now I never tied anything but a couple basic ones. I have loved all the videos and tutorials!
    I work for FedEx express as aircraft ground support and I rock it there. One of the women calls it harassment prevention, working in an industrial environment isn’t always female friendly. The men in charge have mentioned respect for me covering my hair. So I don’t get bothered or get my hair stuck on aircraft hull rivets! lol

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  22. I’ve been covering for a year now. The Jewish community has actually been a lot more accepting that non Jews to my wrapping. I live in a very small community and have been called very bad racist slurs. Meanwhile every once in a while I get a nice comment. I actually directed a lady to your blog from the drs office when she had so many questions 🙂 There has been some confusion in my Shul as we are reform and people tell me ‘You don’t have to do that’ and it has nothing to do with have to it’s because I want to.

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  23. Hi,
    I’ve felt like God has been leading me to cover my hair for a while now, and I came across your blog a few weeks ago. Seeing how many ladies feel the same way I do has really been encouraging. I just recently started covering my hair after seeing that, and praying about it, and i feel so confident and comfortable! I’ve gotten such wonderful support from my significant other, and thats been amazing. I have had a few negative comments though, but i know this is right for me. I have some hearing problems, so when i wrap my hair, it obstucts my hearing a bit, because the only way i can get the scarves to stay on my head is if theyre wrapped around the tops of my ears. Is there anything i can do to remedy this? Thank you!

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  24. I am Catholic and am purchasing tichels, veils, headscarves, etc. In menopause the hair thins especially on top and these beautiful scarves (cotton for hot flashes) add fashion and modesty. As an older lady, I keep my hair short but I like the privacy of tichels. I watched some youtube videos of young Jewish married women who wear tichels and I wish I had known about them in my 20s. I believe that these garments can reduce unwanted attention by strangers (aka harassment). I work in the public sector so we are unionized and they dare not have a policy against hair coverings. I believe that if more women wore these, cancer patients would not be as self conscious about head coverings. In laboratory classes students have to tie back long hair for safety. I can eat Chinese food although I am not Chinese. Why should there be any concern about me wearing a tichel? Let’s take cultural elements that work and share them. I also had a recent scare with skin cancer – the doctor said it looked like a basel and I need to cover up more. Luckily it was not cancer. Modesty is more liberating since we may actually live longer and have a lower incidence of skin cancer. I may need another walk in closet for tichels. No hair dye chemicals for me – my color comes from tichels. When people mention that hair coverings are a way for women to be constrained – I would ask – since head coverings have been worn by women in the hotter countries, how many cases of skin cancer have been prevented over time? The ozone is thinning, and UV of 8 and 9 are common even in North America. Perhaps this is ancient wisdom that more people could adopt. Longer life is liberation.

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  25. Hi,

    Thank you so much for your videos. Though I am not a Jew or Muslim I have started to cover my hair for Religious purposes I struggle a bit from time to time to get it just right but your videos help a lot..it is kind of strange for caucasion women in South Africa to cover their hair so it is something to get used to.. but I do enjoy it very much..

    Shalam.

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  26. Head scarves have always had their place in women’s dress, since forever, and everywhere. I saw them in the 50’s and 60’s Hollywood films. Many out there probably don’t remember Gina Lolabrigida or Audrey Hepburn in their scarves and sports cars and then there is Queen Elizabeth with her headscarf on a horse. I have always worn headscarves or bandanas when I couldn’t do anything with my super fine hair; since the 60’s I never even heard of a tichel until just a few years ago and I never saw a moslem in a hijab until I was in my late 30’s or early 40’s But there are different ways of wearing a head scarf that makes different statements. I think that must be the issue. I moved to a small town area by the sea (in Sweden) and people here associate head scarves with moslem women. But when I pop up everywhere in this very windy place with beautiful scarf on my head, I start to see a few other women starting to wear them. I have bought scarves and volumizers here, but I don’t wear it like a tischel. I would look out of character. But there are many other ways to wear a scarf similar to a tichel. By the way the jewish women look just stunning in their tischels; just beautiful. So, the head scarf is the property of all women across cultures of the world and all time. We can all be gorgeous together. Women all over the world could use the headscarf as a symbol of peace and unity as an example for the world!!

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