The Fascinating and Beautiful Heather!!

Our lady wrap star, Heather (yes, our second last lady wrap star is also Heather – I couldn’t plan this sort of thing if I tried!) has been part of the Wrapunzel community since… well.. since before it was the Wrapunzel community!  Over the years I’ve caught bits and pieces of her story and about whom she is.  She always came off as such a warm, stable, articulate and just, well… such a cool person that I really wanted to know!  She is all kinds of awesome and I’m so happy to introduce her to you officially!  In a word, her story is FASCINATING.  A must read.  Here’s Heather!


First, I am INCREDIBLY honored to be asked to write for Andrea’s blog. It is definitely a high point for me in my covering journey! It’s been a rather bumpy one, and something that is not seen often where I live, in Southern West Virginia.

You don’t see many women like me in this community and buying from the store: women with beautiful tichels and adornments covering their hair. I’ve not had any rude comments as of this writing, but I HAVE had many compliments. My family is a mixed bag of support and reluctance. My husband is supportive of me covering (now), my father hasn’t said anything for or against it. My mother, though, is okay with it, so long as I don’t wear it in places that it would be seen as unusual. She asked me if I was going to “wear that thing” to a job interview. I told her that I was, that it was my head and if they had an issue with that, then I wouldn’t want to work there in the first place.  I have many cousins who love my tichels, and have expressed interest in purchasing and wearing their own (and I have offered my time to help them as soon as they want me to!) I see a few ladies covering their hair; it’s rare, but I have seen them. They wear the hijab, and it’s lovely, and I think quite brave of them, in all honesty. I always brace myself for a nasty comment when I leave my house, and while I HAVE gotten strange looks, I have yet to hear a snide remark. Good thing, too. I’m not as apt to take it as I was when I was younger.

As for religion, I’m not Jewish. I’m not Christian or Muslim either. I’m a very secular lady who has no religious reason at this time to cover. I did have one at one point, but I have done a lot of soul searching and found that religion is just not something that I feel is necessary in my life right now. It took a long time for me to admit, even to myself, that I fall into the agnostic atheist category, but I’m there, and I feel perfectly happy (though I do wish I had a local community to be a part of sometimes). I won’t reveal what religious beliefs I had after I left Christianity (I don’t want certain people to see this and decide they wouldn’t want to be part of my life anymore), but I will explain my coming to my current position as best I can.

Photo collage by Heather's husband - Heath!  He is a graphic artist and does awesome work!
Photo collage by Heather’s husband, Heath! He is a graphic artist and does awesome work!

So, where to begin the story of how I came to covering my hair? Well, I’ve heard that it’s best to start at the beginning, so here goes:

I have always had a love/hate relationship with my hair. Ever since I was a child, I would take a lock of my hair and place it between my index and middle fingers and let it slide through. I loved (and still love) the silky, cool feeling of my hair moving between my fingers. A few strands would come out, but nothing major. It drove my parents up the wall, and they would always tell me to stop if they were in the same room with me. I also never could fix my hair properly. I tried so hard, and got so upset every day. It got to the point where I was begging my mother to help me fix my hair – and this was all the way into high school! I was just terrible with my hair. Makeup, I could do that! I rocked out makeup, manicures, etc. I even got asked to do prom makeup for people! But my hair just never did anything I asked it to do. So most of the time, when I was in college, I would just pull it back into a tight bun or a ponytail and let it go at that.

I also love coloring my hair. My natural color is a light reddish brown, but it’s currently dark brown/black (I’m a community theatre actress and I colored it for a role last summer). I have always wanted to wear funky colors in my hair, and I even went so far as to bleach it and color it teal in 2004! I LOVED it. Every morning I would get up and look at my hair, and was just amazed at how gorgeous the color looked. Unfortunately, it was a wash out color, and when it started looking dingy, I colored my hair black. It stayed that color until I moved home from college.

Well, that covers (no pun intended) how I feel about  my hair. Now let’s discuss how I came to love covering my hair:

I was raised Christian. I went to church, belonged to Christian school groups, read the Teen Bible, etc. I started seeing a guy who had books about OTHER religions. I had no idea that anything else really existed. We don’t have much religious diversity here (other than different denominations of Christianity). Anyway, I found a book that struck a chord in me and I devoted myself to the religion within its pages. I won’t elaborate on what that religion was, as I am not totally open with a lot of people in my area. (Following a different religion usually gets you harassed here.) During college, I grew apart from practicing ANY religion, mainly due to depression and sadness (I married the guy I was seeing and he became abusive). I left him in 2006, right after I gave birth to a son. After I met the man who would later become my actual husband, I began practicing my religion again, and I did so until recently.

During my reawakening, I began reading about the priestesses of Hestia and Hera, the Greek Goddesses of the hearth and home, and marriage and family, respectively. I have always been fascinated with ancient Greek mythology/theology and in all the research I did, I discovered something: both of those Goddesses wore VEILS! Their Priestesses wore VEILS! They all covered their hair! I was fascinated. I still am! I had never thought about covering my hair aside from doing it to keep it out of my face, but I saw that women used to cover their hair, that they would wear it like a crown. They were the Queens in their homes, in their marriages. That appealed to me greatly, and is a reason why I cover. I am the QUEEN of my life, and these tichels are my crowns! Then I found Andrea’s and Rivka Malka’s YouTube channels. I was absolutely smitten! I started wearing bandannas frequently around the house, doing my chores with a smile on my face. I felt much more connected somehow, and I couldn’t figure out why.

I was on Facebook a lot (as I still am) and a friend and I discovered a group that was for women with similar beliefs to me who covered their hair. I decided to give it a try, both the group AND the covering. The group wasn’t really for me, I found, and at the time, I wasn’t very good at covering. I didn’t have many scarves or veils, and I felt a little silly covering outside of the house because you just didn’t see that sort of thing here where I live. Not to mention that my husband wasn’t too keen on the idea (then anyway).

So, I stopped. For nearly 3 years.

During that three years, I became an agnostic atheist, which is to say that I am unsure if any higher power exists, and while I doubt, I cannot prove or disprove it. I lean towards the belief of no Deity at the moment, though I still believe Nature itself is divine and I celebrate the passing of the seasons, and mark the days with celebrations, even if it’s just a small acknowledgement of it. Because of that, I have no religious reason to cover my hair. None whatsoever.

But I rediscovered my love for it.

One day, out of the blue, I started covering again. It wasn’t something I set out to start doing, but I revisited Andrea’s blog and YouTube channel, and discovered Rivka Malka’s blog and YouTube channel. I went into my room and dug out my scarves and Israeli tichels (as I mentioned above, I didn’t have many at the time) and immediately began covering.

I suppose you could say I heard a call, not with my ears, but with my heart. I don’t believe it was a call from a Deity, personally, but more of my own desire to acknowledge something beautiful within myself. Right before, though, another group that I’m in had a couple of girls who decided to try and cover during domestic duties. They began to ask me about it. That reaffirmed my desire to start covering again. I cover every day, even at home, as it keeps me from sweeping up hair all the time and pulling my hair as well. Plus, it makes me feel gorgeous, and since it sits on my head, it keeps me mindful of things. It reminds me to use my head when I would rather use my heart when reacting to things. I am a very emotional person, and I have issues with anxiety and my tichels and headcovering practice helps me deal with it by giving me something to focus on rather than what is causing my anxiety. It also reminds me that I am a QUEEN – and I mean capital Q-U-E-E-N! I use that term to remind myself that I am in control of myself, my body, my mind, my spirit, my entire being. My tichel is my crown, and now my husband is on board with me covering (as he put it, it’s  my head and he would love me no matter what). I love discovering new combinations, new ways to tie. I even made a tie myself, that was inspired by The Girl with the Pearl Earring painting.

I have begun to do tutorials for women who are just starting out, because I can show my hair. I can show from beginning to end how I do it, and give them tips that they may not be able to see anywhere else, because I am able to show my hair as a secular woman with no commandment from a Deity to keep my hair to myself. Of course, I’m not knocking those who DO. It’s just not my particular calling, and if I can help a woman who feels it IS her duty to keep her hair for her husband but doesn’t know where to begin, I will do so. And I will love every minute of it!

Lady Wrap Star – *Yael* !

I am so excited to introduce Yael to you!  I was lucky to get to see her during my recent whirlwind trip to Israel, and during our time together, so many beautiful thoughts about hair covering spilled from her mouth that I had to whip out my video recorder.  There is so much to say about this woman, so instead of telling you all about her, I will instead let her speak for herself:

I know, eh?  Our first Lady Wrap Star on video!

Can you believe that Yael’s married name is Sunshine?  How perfect is that!  Here are some photos of her with her husband:

Yael is incredibly vibrant, warm, and honest.  I’m sure y’all want to ask questions and hear more from her, so please tell us what you think in the comments section and Yael will do her best to respond!

Introducing… Batsheva!

Batsheva is our newest lady wrap star!  You may remember another Batsheva being featured on Wrapunzel (the one that makes gorgeous jewellery), and this Batsheva also lives in Israel!  So don’t get them confused…

I met this lovely lady through the wonders of the internet, since she also happens to be friends with Tamar, another previous wrap star.  I was immediately taken in by her honesty, humour, and insight, and after looking through some of her photos, I had many questions that I wanted to ask her!  Here she is!

batsheva lady wrap star wrapunzel

Hi Batsheva!  Can you tell us a little about yourself?  (Ie: where are you from?  Where do you live now?  How to you choose to spend your time?  Family, friends, special interests, etc.?)
Hi Andrea, and Wrapunzels!
I’m so excited to be featured as a Lady Wrap Star.
A little about me: I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and currently live in the City Center of Jerusalem, Israel.
When I’m not working, I love spending time with my friends, exploring new areas, catching up on my sleep (I’m going to be honest here), and cooking, and enjoying the company of my husband and kitty!!!
How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering my hair is November 23rd, 2012. This was the first day after I was married, and on this day, I started my ticheling adventures.
Tell us a little about your hair covering adventures;  What do you usually cover with?  What are your general feelings about covering?  How do you feel about the way other women cover and societal pressures, etc. and how has this affected you?
I have over 150 individual scarves, 12 flowers of different colors, hijab caps, and little pins to accessorize my tichels. 
On a daily basis, I wear a solid scarf and a patterned scarf together, with little something extra, currently I’m into the flowers.
I LOVE covering my hair. 
While I have always had very pretty hair, this is so much more fun.
I am able to match what I’m wearing with scarf colors, add little accessories that show my mood, like flowers verses spikes, and sparkles are always fun.
(I also love the reaction I get to my pretty and adventurous tichels!)
I love living in such a creative area, where women cover their hair a million different ways.
You can see women who wrap like me, wear sheitels (wigs), snoods, scarves that just cover part of their hair, and the list goes on.
I wouldn’t say that I feel pressure to cover my hair, or cover it in a certain way because of other women. I do look at the beautiful sheitels that I see around me, but I won’t be getting one unless my Fairy Sheitel G-dmother gets me one. I think I’m sticking to tichels.
How do others in your community cover their hair?
My husband and I daven/pray at Chabad of Rehavia, and so there is a great majority of women who wear sheitels, but other women like me wear tichels. Many of the younger women show some of their hair, whether it be the first inch or two, or the ponytail.
I cover all of my hair, and try not to let even the stays show, but I still love how other women wrap.
What are your favourite ways to tie your scarves?
I haven’t figured out my favorite way to wrap my scarves, but my husband loves and requests the twist! If I don’t have the twist, and I ask his opinion, he says “It’s beautiful, but where’s the twist?” He says it’s royal, classic, and just makes the whole tichel look better.
What do you look for when shopping for scarves?
That’s a great question!
I try and remember the colors that I don’t have, and believe me, they exist. But in the end I have just been buying patterned light scarves, because it’s getting very hot here.
I have been collecting scarves since 2004, and so I have everything from thick to thin, every solid color I can think of, and now accessories, and from all over the world.
I try and examine the scarf when I’m in the store, make sure there are no snags, and no holes. 
I also try and think to myself “Do I have any clothes to wear this with?!’, but if I really want it, I assume that a black outfit will work…
Let’s hear some of your hair covering advice + tips and tricks!
Sheitel bands! Buy them, buy more than one, and make sure you also have it on correctly!
Don’t worry about what other people are doing, or what others think. It’s easy for me to say that because I can work in an office and wear a tichel, and in America it might be harder to do so, but overall, make sure you’re happy.
I have a friend who gets a lot of problems from people for how she covers her hair, but in the end, she has to be okay with the mitzvah she’s doing. And everyone else should bud out.
Going from displaying your hair one day to covering can be hard and traumatic for some women.
Don’t cover for anyone but yourself, and don’t cover any way that you don’t feel comfortable!
Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with other religions/ways of life?  How has this influenced you to grow and how does it affect you as a Jew?
I love this question.
I grew up in an amazing area of Chicago which is very mixed.
I learned about different cultures, religions, sexual orientations, and way of life for as long as I can remember.
When I went to university for my undergraduate degree, I saw the real Chicago. Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the United States, and while the city might not enforce this separation anymore, people tend to live by others that look, feel, and relate like they do.
Long story short, I made a very serious effort to befriend and get to know the Muslim girls on campus. I love Islam, and saw the connection between it and Judaism.
I also was becoming religious, and was trying to find my place in the Jewish world.
My Muslim friends, especially the girls, taught me that I could be modest/tznius, but still be fashionable. 
They also taught me about a connection to G-d, how important it is, and that it’s not the outward appearance of being tznius that is what’s important. It’s what you do inside.
I also got great wrap ideas and skill from them! 
And it was re-enforced a lot to match match match! Hijabis have an amazing way of making the extra color of their shoes, purse, strip in their shirt to their hijab. I only try.
Has hair covering enhanced these relationships?
I believe that if I lived in America, closer to my Muslim friends from university, that we’d be able to share tricks, scarves, etc. Now I just look on Facebook, Twitter, and follow Hijab tutorials on Youtube.
While I’m here, ladies look at one another, and give that look of “nice tichel”. It’s in the eyes, but it’s the look of approval and understanding.
 A cute story was when I was in Phoenix, Arizona for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I was in a mall when I saw this woman with this HUGE wrap on her head.
I have a twitter-feed, all about all kind of women who wrap, so I asked her if I could take a picture.
I also complimented her on her wrap, and she looked me up and down and said “You’re pretty fly yourself!” I was very proud at that moment.
What are your hopes and dreams for Jewish women and the future of the world?
I don’t hope for only one group of people. I’m not sure I know how to. 
I would say in general, I hope that we can all just get along.
In so many situations, differing groups live side by side, ride the same trains and eat in the same restaurants, and shop at the same stores. Yet they never speak to one another. How different could they be, if they are so similar as well.
I just think energy could be used better, than mindless hate. 
In many occasions in the past, the women have been the game-changers. I can only hope, as women, and hopefully as Jewish women, we can rise to the occasion.
batsheva lady wrap star wrapunzel
What are you grateful for right now?
I’m grateful for my health, my happiness, the ability to live in a world so far away from my home town, without calling home every day…
I’m grateful for my amazing husband who puts up with a lot from me, my unbelievable relationship with my parents, and their health and happiness.
I’m so grateful for my friends here, and all around the world, and all the joys and adventure this year will bring, and all the years to come.
I’m also very grateful for the confidence I have covering my hair, and how it makes me so happy!
Here is her twitter feed! – @togetherwrapped

Introducing… Nava!

wrapunzel nava
Hello, world of Wrapunzel! I’m Nava – I am a graphic artist by day, and a musician by night. This is actually how I met Andrea a few years ago, and we have been great friends ever since. A few years after meeting Andrea, I was fortunate enough to meet my wonderful husband, Jonathan, and we have now been married for just over one year.

My husband and I identify with a community where not all of the married women cover their hair every day, and this is what I have chosen to do because this is what usually makes me feel most comfortable . I always cover my hair on shabbat, chagim (Jewish holidays), and at Jewish events (such as weddings, bar mitzvas, bris’s, etc). I cover my hair at these events because I feel it is important for me to send a open signal to the community that I am a married woman, and it makes me feel more comfortable when I know I am making this clear (eg. not every guy does the finger check). I also feel that by covering my hair, I am acknowledging the religious importance of the event and am making an extra outward effort to show respect for that fact (rather than an inward effort) – just like I make an effort to wear nice clothing on shabbat and chagim to make these days special, I also want to cover my hair in beautiful ways for the exact same reason. As well as being a sign that I am married and devoted to my wonderful husband, covering my hair also gives me a way of portraying a membership to my community that I also love very much and am most grateful to have in our lives.

I have always loved scarves and have been building up a collection for years. Before I was married, I always wore these scarves around my neck, but now that I am married, this is what I use to cover my hair!

I love all of the different ties and combinations you can do – I really love mixing colours and textures, and using different accessories. Every dollar store or used clothing store trip is a treasure hunt for new accessories or scarves to add to my collection! I also love incorporating braids into my ties, I find them so wonderfully regal-looking. And since I was never really able to make beautiful braids in my own hair (since it is so curly and knotty), I enjoy having the chance to make braids in my tichels (headscarves)!

Lady Wrap Star Melissa!

Meet Melissa, a woman with an infectious smile and well-thought-out Modern Orthodox Jewish perspective!  After discovering her blog through a friend’s post, I knew that we had to have her on here as this week’s Lady Wrap Star.  [drumroll]… here she is!

Wrapstar Melissa

Hi Melissa, can you tell us a little about yourself? Such as how to do you choose to spend your time, interests, family, where you live, how you describe yourself, etc.?
Hi! I feel like there are so many possible answers, but I don’t want this to become the whole post. So the short answer is that I currently live in Jerusalem with my husband and am learning full time at Nishmat (and next year I will be joining my husband to learn at Pardes). I am a social worker by education, a Jewish communal professional by vocation, and a writer and educator by passion. My primary interests are women’s issues, halacha, and social media and my long term goal is to combine them – so stay tuned to see how that pans out over the years!

How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering my hair in some fashion for over five years now! I started working up to it before I got married, and then transitioned to full coverage thereafter. I actually wrote about that recently here

You have a blog where you have written some of your thoughts on hair covering already. Could you share with us links to those articles?
This is such a fun question because it got me to read back into the archives of the blog to see all the various posts I have made on the topic, and it made me realize that I don’t write about it nearly as often I used to when it was new and unusual – both to me and my community. (I identified as a “Traditional Conservative” Jew when I got married, and even after moving to the “Modern Orthodox” world full time coverage with anything other than a wig was very uncommon. But now I’m in Israel and its just so normative!)

Here are some of my favorites:

It’s all about the Hattitude!
Head covering in the hospital
When the personal is public
How much is enough
Reflections on a year of hair covering

Sneakily Styling Scarves
Happy hair-aversary

Life without a sheitel
I’m only going to say this once

What is your favourite aspect of covering your hair?
Honestly, I love that I get an extra accessory! Even better is that I get a spiritual and religiousness connection from putting it on.

What do you dislike about hair covering? (This can be personal or communal.)
Ironically, the only thing I can say I truly dislike is both. I dislike feeling personally judged by communal norms and expectations about covering. There are often ideas of “if you cover like X than you must be Y” or “if you are A you must cover like B” – and I generally don’t fit any of those ideas, expectations, or boxes.

How do you usually answer people when asked about why you cover?
Now that I am living in Israel, it obviously doesn’t happen nearly as often so I’m having a hard time remembering how I used to address it!
I do find that more often than not a simple “I cover my hair for religious reasons” tends to be enough to strangers, and to those looking for a more real answer, it can be catered to the moment and the person. When it is old friends who ask I answer very differently and more emotionally, while to people I am interacting with in a professional environment I am apt to keep it more simple and legalistic. As with anything, I like to be cognizant of where the other person is coming from and how I can make something which can seem so bizarre make sense in their world view.

Have you feelings about covering changed over time? If yes, how so?
Yes and no.
On a personal level my feelings about the big picture have remained very stable, but there are small things which shift frequently like how much I am comfortable showing and what types of coverage work best for me. I’ve recently accepted that I don’t have to have just one model and its ok to interact with it differently on different days or in different settings – so now I anticipate even less changes.
On a communal level, this is another area where being in the middle of Jerusalem after being in a community that was not so diverse has also been a really interesting experience. My understanding of the variety of ways in which women interact with hair covering has greatly expanded.

What is your favourite way to cover your hair? Do you have preferred scarf/accessory type?
I love to wear scarves during the week and hats on Shabbat, though in the winter I wear more knit beret style hats. How many scarves I wear and how I tie them depends on the weather, my planned activities for the day, and whether or not I have a headache. (I also always keep an extra plain cotton tichel and/or knit beret in my bag in case I need to change if I overheat or get a migraine.)

What do you look for when selecting/shopping for scarves?
I look for fun and interesting patterns, designs, and colors. Some of my favorite scarves were purchased from Target or other similar stores where they were clearly not intended to be headscarves!
I also look for random things which can serve as accessories, like fabric belts, pretty ribbon, or fun hair-ties. I am of the mentality that head-covering inspiration is everywhere – you just have to look for it!

What have you learned about hair covering in regards to your personal style, face shape, colouring, hair type, etc.?
I look best with a bit of hair showing on my hairline, either my bangs out or tucked back but with a finger or two’s worth of my hairline exposed and have to put my scarves behind my hears because of my piercings. (I have six holes in my middle and upper ear.) I also have a lot of hair, but it is very fine, so I like to wear a wig grip and something to add volume, but what that is also depends on what sort of scarf style I am tying. I also don’t like having a lot of height on top of my head (I’m tall enough) or bulk to the sides (I’m pretty narrow), and I don’t like having tails hanging down (distracts me) – that means I often wind up with a lot of bulk on the back of my head.
As for hats, I look best in the cloche style hat which sits close to the face. As much as I love big floppy hats, they just swallow me up!

Wrapstar Melissa

Can you share with us one of your happiest and/or most vidid hair covering memories?
I have to share two, ok?
I remember having a huge dilemma for my wedding. I had already been wearing wide headbands for months and couldn’t imagine not having some sort of head covering on my wedding day – despite people reminding me that it was my last chance to not cover my head. So, I knew I needed a veil for the ceremony, but I didn’t really want to wear a veil all night because it just wasn’t going to work with my style. Eventually, I decided to wear a birdcage veil and just folded it back on top of my head for the reception and got my wide headband look and veil in one, and it worked with my style! It was a total win-win.
The other distinctive thing is a total Israeli thing. Here I have discovered that if I am wearing a knit beret or a hat, people tend to speak to me in English or give me an English menu, but if I am wearing a scarf I am approached more in Hebrew and always given Hebrew menus. One day, I told someone I didn’t understand what they were saying and they repeated it in Hebrew, and I again told them I did not understand, and the person yelled back at me “but I am speaking Hebrew!” to which I had to clarify that I don’t speak Hebrew well. So sometimes now when I want to just want to do my errands quickly, I intentionally wear a hat and don’t respond in Hebrew and get to play tourist a bit.

You have a very interesting and informative blog that you and another woman have created. How did this blog come to be? How has it evolved and what are your hopes for it?
We actually wrote a post recently for our third anniversary about how the blog came to be:
As for my personal hopes, I have to say that they have all been vastly exceeded at this point. We wanted a fun outlet to share our thoughts and hoped we’d get a few readers, well we have many more than a few now and are constantly amazed and humbled by the community which has developed from it. I can only hope that I continue to have things to say which other people are interested in reading, and give a unique perspective which adds to the conversation.
I do also hope to have a spin-off project (for lack of better vague description) in the future which has largely been inspired by the wonderful conversations and connections which Redefining Rebbetzin has provided.

What are you grateful for right now?
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to live and learn in Israel for two years with my amazing husband.
I also want to thank you, Andrea, for adding your blog to the communal conversation. We need more women who are willing to stand up for the beauty in covering and the meaningful ways to enhance this mitzvah. It is an honor to be included in your Wrapstar project amongst these other fabulous women!

Meet Myriam!

I am happy to introduce you to a woman that knows a lot about looking beautiful with very little time required.  Here is Myriam and her marvelous hair coverings!

wrapunzel lady wrap star miryam

Hi Myriam, what is the most memorable thing that has happened to you today?
I am running a lot of errands today instead of working (my office is closed for maintenance, what can I do ) but I am also cooking and bringing a meal to a friend of mine who just had a baby (last week). Our community organises a meal rota for new moms. The best thing: this friend asked if she can also be on the rota for the next two of moms who are due in a couple of weeks! Some women are incredible!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am French but have lived in Israel, Ireland and now England for the last 7 years. I am doing a PhD in international law which I am hoping to finish in the next 6 months. I am hoping to lecture at university and be a consultant on my main expertise, which is counterterrorism.
My husband and I hope to move to Israel in the next couple of years, where my four sibblings already live.
I also absolutely love baking and, when I have time, I make costume jewlery.

How long have you been covering your hair?
Since I got married, almost three years ago.

Have your feelings about hair covering changed over time?  If yes, how so?
Before I got married, I wasn’t sure how often and how I would cover my hair. My husband always said I had to do whatever I felt was right and once I got married, I actually didn’t even think and covered all the time (although not when alone at home with him). What has changed is the way I cover: I used to have short hair and so would cover most hair but have some sticking out.
I have now grown my hair, so I now ‘put it all in’ and cover everything.

What is your favourite aspect of covering your hair?
I never particularly loved my hair so it wasn’t too hard to cover. I love the variety of it, and also, I never have a bad hair day! I have always loved hats so it’s mainly fun.

How do you normally cover?
I tend to wear hats/berets during winter and scarves during summer, although I have light cotton berets and warmer scarves. I quite like the seasonal aspect of my covering.

How do you cover your hair on formal/unique occasions?
I have a couple of fancier scarves which I tend to wear at all formal occasions. I do buy expensive scarves and hats in general because I am not original at all and am useless at ‘wrapping’ with various colourful scarves. So I tend to be lazy and buy scarves and hats that are already a bit special. I am always so impressed by what Andrea comes up with, and the jewlery etc, but I guess I am either too lazy or not brave enough to try. I’ll tend to go for a scarf which has a wow factor already. My bank manager would probably prefer I didn’t….

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Has covering your hair affected your work/study?  How so?
Interestingly, no one has ever commented or asked about why I started covering my hair (although the Brits are way too polite to ask anything anyways 🙂 My thesis supervisor never mentioned anything.
I must stress though that I am a student and even if I attend conferences and teach, I do not work as a lawyer, or have clients. I do think that if I did, I might feel more comfortable with a wig, even though I do not want to wear one (and don’t have one). I also know that I always feel more ‘normal’ covering when I am in Israel.
I have had a couple of muslim colleagues ask for recommendations of where to buy scarves.

What is your most vivid hair covering memory?
Presenting a paper at a conference and having a couple of people commenting on how nice and elegant my hat was. One even said ‘women used to cover their hair when they went out in public, things have changed’. It just felt funny to be discussing such things in the middle of a very serious conference on state sovereignty and the european union. I guess everybody needed a break!

What kind of community do you live in, in terms of hair covering practice?  How does this affect you?
In my community, most women only cover their hair for shule, if at all. There are only a couple of us who cover entirely and all the time. I have always been a very independant person so I don’t really care what people do and think, although most people comment on how nice my hats are, which doesn’t hurt 🙂
Our community is very intellectual and cultured so I feel that this is what matters most, not particularly the physical appearance or the religious practice.

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What is your favourite hat?
Hard to choose, usually changes on the season. I have a favourite designer though (see below).

Can you recommend some of your favourite places to find hats?
I buy A LOT from Chirelle D, a former student at my Jewish school in France, who makes scarves and hats. They are all unique and handmade creations, which means they are very expensive.
But because I cover everyday and feel like I have to look professional, I have invested in many of her creations, which always make me feel glamorous, original and professional at the same time. She has such an amazing creativity and, as I said, for those of use who can’t make it beautiful wraps, her scarves and hats are the answer. She has people who sell her creation in France, the UK and Israel and will soon sell online. I usually try to wait for sales but it is my guilty pleasure (on the contrary; I have like 3 pairs of shoes…)
I have bought hats from arts fair in Toronto, shops in Jerusalem and brands like H&M, etc. Israel is always a great place for diversity and price.

What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for having a really supportive family and an amazing husband; for my good health and for the internet that allows me to share my passions (cooking, hats, etc) with so many people and which allows me to connect with everyone dear to me.

Meet Rivki :)

This week’s Lady Wrap Star is Rivki Silver!  I discovered Rivki through her blog, Life in the Married Lane, and after reading her “about me” and seeing that she was a fellow musician (clarinet and piano) and also liked Star Trek, I had to send her a message!  My husband and I recently met her in person during a recent trip to where she lives, and I must say that she is even more lovely and inspirational in person!  I was very excited to ask her some interview questions:

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Hi Rivki!  Can you tell us a bit about yourself, ie how do you choose to spend your time, where do you live, hobbies, family etc.?
Let’s see, where to start?  We currently live in Baltimore, though we’ve also lived in Cleveland and Memphis.  My “official” occupation is a stay-at-home-mom, and much of my day is spent with my three kids, the oldest of whom is four years old.  So, that keeps me pretty busy!  In between the meal-preparation, diaper-changing and playtime, I’m also in charge of the laundry, cooking, and general tidiness.  It really is a full-time job to keep a house running, but our home is our own little sanctuary, and it gives me pleasure to work to create a happy space for my family.
So, in the free time which somehow still exists, I also write and play music, do a blog and vlog for Partners in Torah, try to post weekly on my personal blog, Life in the Married Lane, participate in Rabbi Aryeh Nivin’s chabura, learn with my Partner in Torah, and play in a community band.  Wow, that seems really crazy, but somehow it works.

How long have you been covering your hair?
I started covering my hair when I got married a little over five years ago.
When people ask you why you cover your hair, how do you usually respond?
It’s been a while since anyone asked me why I cover my hair.  If someone does ask, I usually offer a brief explanation about how Jewish law teaches that once a woman gets married, her hair becomes spiritually charged, and she keeps it covered to protect the holiness.  The only man who gets to see it is my husband, and it’s like a special treat just for him.  If the person seems interested, I’m happy to talk more about it, but generally, I keep it relatively short.
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What do you tell your children about it?
My children are still small, so we haven’t gotten beyond “Mommy covers her hair.”  They know the difference between my different hair coverings (sheitel, tichel and hat), but that’s pretty much it at this point.
Can you give us some scarf tying advice, based personal experience?  (ie you hair type, face shape, colouring, lifestyle, etc.)
I started out using square-shaped scarves, folding them in half to make a triangle and doing a basic bun-style tichel.  Sometimes I would put a stretchy headband underneath to hold it in place more securely.  I like cotton-blend scarves because they don’t slip as much.  In the past year or so, I branched out to rectangular-shaped scarves, which gives me a little more height, as opposed to the bun-style, which tends to be flat to my head.  I have an oval-shaped face, and I’ve found that both styles work with my face.  For the rectangular scarves, I like to work with a cotton-based material, as opposed to jersey.  It also helps  to do a big bun-style tie underneath the rectangle, to provide some volume in back.
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What are your favourite kinds of scarves and colours that you like to wear?
My current preference is to use colorful scarves.  I used to stick to more neutral colors (they match more outfits!), but I’m trying to make my wardrobe more vibrant, so now I keep my eyes out for scarves will more personality.  I gravitate toward navy blue, purple and teal.
How did you feel about hair covering before you got married? What about now?
Before marriage, I never really thought much about hair covering; it was just something I was going to do.  Now it has become such a integral part of my life that I feel a little naked if my hair is uncovered.  It’s like a part of me is missing.  I love how each hair covering gives me a different look.  My absolute favorite part is that it drastically reduces the amount of time needed to get ready in the morning.  When I’m running out to take my four-year-old to his preschool, I can get stick my hair in a bun and pop on a hat.  It is the best.  If I want to be a little fancier, I can put on a beautiful tichel, and it makes me feel so regal.  Much better than the washing, drying and straightening routine I had with my hair pre-marriage.  Also, my hair is super-healthy now that I’m not constantly abusing it.  Bonus!
Do you have any funny or inspiring hair covering stories that you would like to share with us?
When I was newly married, I worked in an office where I was the only Jewish woman.  It was in a town that does not have a large Orthodox population, and it’s likely I was the first (and perhaps only) Orthodox women my co-workers had encountered.  At the time, I only owned one sheitel (wig), and the time came for it to be washed.  It wasn’t ready by Monday, so I wore a tichel to work.  One of my co-workers asked me how many times a year I had to cover my hair.  When I told her “all the time,” she responded, “but I see you with your hair all the other days.”  So I revealed that it wasn’t my hair, but a wig, and she wouldn’t believe me until she was able to inspect it the next day!
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You have a beautiful blog called Life in the Married Lane.  What made you start blogging?  How has your writing style and the topics you choose to discuss evolve over the years?
I started blogging when I was studying for a year in Israel.  That first blog was called “Inspirations from the Holy Land.”  Its purpose was a way for my friends and family to keep up with me while I was abroad.  When I came back from Israel and got married, I started a new blog (I was no longer in the Holy Land, unfortunately), and it served the same purpose.  That was over five years ago, and slowly, it has grown into a beautiful community of women who I am so glad to have in my life.
My style has evolved because now I’m aware that people I don’t know personally are reading my blog, and that I’m kind of representing Orthodox Judaism, so it’s a certain level of responsibility.  I would say I’m more thoughtful about my posts now, and take more time to try and clearly express my thoughts, to make sure that I’m accurately representing Judaism, and myself.  I’ve also scaled back on sharing details about my personal life, unless I think they would be helpful or inspiring to others.  I’ve started writing a lot more about Judaism than I intended, but someone my religious posts seem to be my most popular.  So that’s what I’ve gravitated toward.
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What music are you loving lately?
 Lately I’ve been really digging Anat Cohen, who is a phenomenal clarinetist/saxophonist/composer.  She plays jazz.  I heard her on Fresh Air, and I was smitten.  I purchased her newest album, Claroscura, and it has been in heavy rotation.  I’ve also been listening to Shalsheles Junior, which is simple and upbeat, and gets my energy flowing.  Also Beethoven’s 4th and 5th piano concertos, Chopin’s preludes and etudes, Ast by Pachora (another jazz combo with clarinet) and some Yosef Karduner, who really speaks to my soul with the simplicity and devotion of his music.

Meet Sarah, this week’s Lady Wrap Star!

I discovered Sarah when a friend directed me to a post she wrote for Worn Journal.  I was immediately captivated by her beautiful writing, evocative stories, and genuine insights on hair covering and modesty.  I left and comment on the article, asking if she would like to be featured on Wrapunzel, and here is the result!  It made me very happy to finally get some answers to the questions I had about the Muslim ideals of hair covering.  She’s also a fellow Canadian!  Enjoy!

(All photographs are from the article Cover to Cover; My history with a headscarf from Worn Journal.)wornfashionjournal sarah

Hi Sarah!  How is today treating you?
Hi Andrea! Today has been great, although I’m a bit sick of winter. Other than that, I’m great!

How do you choose to spend most of your time?
I’m a part time student and a full time worker, so most of my time is occupied by one of the two. I’m an English major, so I get to spend a lot of my time reading and writing which is enjoyable for the most part.

We found each other because I stumbled upon the article you wrote for WORN magazine.  Have you shared your thoughts on hair covering in a public forum before?
I actually have never shared my thoughts on a public forum, ever. A friend of mine is the web editor of Worn and she sent me a message on Facebook asking if I wanted to write something for their blog. I jumped at the chance because I’m a huge fan of Worn, but also I’ve always wanted to share my thoughts and beliefs on covering publicly. It has always gotten on my nerves that most of what I read in news stories were usually written from a negative point of view concerning head covering, and also they were always written by those who don’t even cover!

Can you tell me a bit about why you cover your hair?
First and foremost, I cover my hair for religious reasons. It’s a part of my religion that is very important and personal. A lot of Muslim women wear it for different additional reasons, but what it comes down to is that it’s a religious obligation.  I wear the Muslim head covering called a hijab. Hijab is an all encompassing term for covering your hair and body. I feel like it really gives me ultimate control over my body and what others are able to see. Also, I feel like wearing a hijab makes me easily identifiable as a Muslim woman and that way people will know what I stand for.

What does the Muslim religion say about when a woman should start to cover her head?  Is there a particular right of passage that happens around the time she starts doing so?
In Islam, Muslim women are advised to start covering around the time puberty hits, however, it’s up to the woman as to when she starts. There’s no particular right of passage that happens, probably because there’s not a set age of when a woman should start covering.

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Are there any specific rules that you follow when you cover?  (Aka how much skin, colour, material etc.)
There are specific rules and guidelines within Islam for covering. Although a lot of people have their own ideas, I try and stay as close as I can to my religious guidelines. I cover my hair, ears, neck and bosom and I try to wear loose clothing that doesn’t show too much of my figure. A lot of people assume Muslim women have to wear black, but that’s more of a Middle-Eastern cultural practice rather than a religious obligation.  I mostly wear long skirts and dresses, but I try not to be boring in my choices. I make sure that even though I am covered, my personality still comes through in my clothing. I try to wear a lot of different colours and even though I follow certain guidelines, I think I still am able to be stylish.

What does the word “modesty” mean to you?
Modesty means to me, being empowered. Being able to dress in a way that allows me to keep my dignity and makes me feel comfortable. It’s different for everyone, but I find that lately aspiring for modesty is something that is looked down on. To me, it’s what I strive for.

What are your thoughts in regards to one’s self worth and covering hair?
Personally, it has given me a great feeling of self worth. I can’t speak for others, and maybe this isn’t something that works for every woman, but covering has really made me feel very confident. In high school, it wasn’t always very easy because of that desire every teen feels to “fit in”, but the more I thought about the reasons why I cover, the more I realised how good it made me feel.
The older I got, the more I started noticing how objectified women are and it made me realise that from the moment we’re young girls, we’re told that a woman’s worth is based on how attractive she is. I feel like covering my body goes against those principles and that I’m focusing less on my physical self and more on who I am as a person.

Do your friends also cover?
My friends I see the most often don’t cover, mostly because they aren’t from religions that follow this practice. Out of my Muslim friends, most of them do cover but there are also some who are not ready to take that step just yet. It really isn’t an issue for anyone as it is a personal choice.

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What is your most vivid hair covering experience?
The most vivid hair covering experience was probably getting to write the article for Worn. I never thought anybody would be interested in my experiences with covering my hair, but I don’t think I’ll forget such an empowering experience

Funny/ironic hair covering experience?
Yeah, there have been a few for sure! A lot of funny questions have been asked, and honestly I find it very hard to answer some of them with a straight face. Sometimes people ask me if I have to shower with my hijab or if I sleep in it. Also, I think some people assume that because I cover I don’t speak or understand English. I’ve actually had people ask me when I learned English and how I speak without an accent. They usually get a little embarrassed when I tell them that I was born here in Canada!

How do your friends react to your covering?  Your family?
Luckily, I live in a very diverse city so there has been no backlash from my friends and I can’t think of many cases where it has stopped me from making friends. I started wearing a hijab when I was 12 or so, and people asked me questions at school, but it wasn’t a big deal at all. It was definitely something I was more self conscious about when I was younger, just because of that need to look “normal”, but I came to the conclusion that if someone is going to judge me negatively based on my beliefs, they aren’t worth my time. Most of my friends are used to seeing head coverings of all sorts, and it’s really a non-issue. I’ve made some friends at school who are from small towns and have never seen a woman cover her hair and they had a lot of questions at first, but they’re very supportive of my choices. I find that even though obviously someone might not agree with why I cover or my beliefs, they’re still able to respect me and my choices.
My family also had no issue with me covering, but it was a bit of a surprise to my parents. My sisters had waited until much later to start covering than I did, so my parents were a bit scared that I was rushing into wearing one to copy older sisters. I had to assure them that it was something I wanted to do for myself.

Has covering affected you professionally?
I haven’t really had a “real” job yet since I’m still a student, but I don’t think it has affected me in getting any of the jobs I’ve had. I’ve had jobs that have required uniforms and usually employers are lenient. I do worry that at some point in the future, certain employers might be uncomfortable. I don’t really see it being an issue in my future, mostly because our society is getting used to this sort of thing and it’s becoming more and more common.

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Please tell us a bit about what covering has done for you internally.  Any noticeable changes?
I guess internally one of the biggest changes is that I’m now more of a representation of my faith. Before, nobody would really know I was a Muslim woman but now, it’s very obvious. I know I don’t speak for all Muslim women or Islam in general, but I try to be a good ambassador of my faith by countering stereotypes and negative images. I guess it’s the same for all minorities; even though you can’t represent everyone you still can be the first experience someone has of someone of your faith or race.

What do you look for when searching for scarves?
I usually wear the longer pashmina type scarves as they’re the easiest to wrap around my head and luckily they’re available almost everywhere! I try and find ones that are appropriate for the season, thicker materials for the winter and light ones for the summer.

Do you have a favourite scarf and/or accessory?
I don’t have a favourite scarf or accessory. I don’t really accesorise much, and I have too many scarves to pick just one!

Any covering tips or tricks you would like to share?
For a while I was really annoyed with my scarves made from silkier material falling off my head. To avoid that from happening, I always wear a sort of underpiece to have a little friction between my hair and my scarf. Also, I was having issues with storage so I bought the KOMPLEMENT scarf hanger from Ikea. It really has made storage so much easier!

Do have any nicknames?  Where did they come from?
No nicknames! There are a lot of Sarahs out there, so a lot of people just call me by my last name.

What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for so many things. Most days, I’m used to the privileges I have over many others on this Earth and take a lot of things for granted, but sometimes I see something that makes me feel very grateful just to able to walk down the street and feel safe. Above everything, I’m grateful for my parents. The older I get the more I realise the sacrifices parents make for their children and I’m grateful I have two people in my life I can go to for anything. I’m also grateful to have grown up in Canada where I’m exposed to so many different ways of life.

Lady Wrap Star, Cynthia!

I am excited to feature Cynthia as this week’s Lady Wrap Star!  Cynthia contributes so much to this community, with her lovely comments and ideas, as well as her photos that she shows us on the facebook group to give inspiration.  I love her use of different shades and soft colours, and was not surprised to hear that her thoughts on hair covering are just as beautiful as the wraps she wears!  Read on…

Lady Wrap Star known as:
Cynthia Doniger

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How do spend your time?
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist (18 years) and a Certified Aromatherapist—After a long full career, I now see a few private clients, do consultations and teach continuing education workshops with Cross County Education. When on a teaching tour I am in 3 cities in three days. Lots of travel!

How long have you been covering your hair?
Since I married my best friend in the world!

 Have you changed how you cover over time?
I began covering my hair at shul after marriage by wearing hats…I had an extensive collection which I only wore once a week. I was hat shopping and  having a conversation one day with a very liberal Jewish friend—we were both trying on hats and she put on one that was gorgeous for her. I told her so and her reply was that since she normally wears a kipah & tallis, she would feel hypocritical wearing a hat or covering her hair. This chance remark began some significant soul searching on my part. I decided to cover my hair all the time, I gave away my hats because I felt like putting on a scarf (or two) was similar to my husband putting on a tallit…it was an opportunity for me to grow closer to Hashem. BTW-the friend who started all this later tried to apologized for her remark, but I wouldn’t let her because she spoke the truth as I needed to hear it,

What is your favourite scarf and/or accessory?
I have shared the pictures of my collection….I love them all! I discovered that I like volume and invested in a volumizing cotton cap for under the scarves…best accessory EVER!

 What are you wearing on your head today?
Today is a lazy day wrap a heavy square gold & black square folded in a triangle just tied & tucked. I have this scarf in black & red also black & teal.

 How has covering your hair affected your professional life?
It may sound crazy but I feel authentic. Because it is obvious that something is different, my students & clients all know that I am Jewish. I seems that somehow this actually gives them permission to be authentic too. So far, professionally it has been a good thing.

 How did your family and friends react to your covering?
Most of the family said nothing. Either it didn’t matter or they were following the old adage –“if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” There were a few whispered remarks from liberal relatives & friends- “Well, that’s just ridiculous!” and “Where do you think you are…in the shetel?” Some Jewish friends who had not seen us in awhile took my husband aside to ask if I had a “medical condition”?!?

 Any funny or inspirational covering stories you would like to share?
What I want to share (especially after that last question) is the JOY I get when I am out and encounter another woman who cover. I have to travel 2 hours to buy kosher meat. When I first got to Detroit this last time I pulled up to fill the gas tank at Costco. As I was standing there the woman at the car behind me peeked around her open car door, our eyes met (after taking in the mutual head coverings & skirts) and we shared the secret smile!

 Any recommendations to someone that has a similar face shape and/or colouring?
Don’t assume that you can’t wear a particular style until you try it. I was stuck in a simple wrap style until I met Andrea and her awesome videos—now I have a wonderful time trying new wraps!

 What are some of your hair covering tips/tricks/secrets?
Allow yourself some “play time” to experiment—not all wraps will be sucessful….but the more you do the more you learn.

How do you store your scarves?
My wonderful husband made a rack for me out of a wooden strip with cup hooks and I use binder clips to hold the scarves!

What is your favourite colour?
I tend to really like to match my head wrap to my outfit and so my tendency is to gravitate towards black, ivory, gold and other neutrals, but Andrea’s artistry has got me experimenting with more colour.

What are you grateful for right now?
I am grateful for finding this group of women. The Jewish community in Grand Rapids, Michigan is small. The observant Jewish community here is even smaller. Sometimes it gets a little lonely….it’s nice to connect to so many beautiful women!

Lady Wrap Star: Batsheva!

Meet this week’s lady wrap star, Batsheva.  Batsheva hails from the beautiful land of Israel, and has some very unique insights about hair covering to share!  She welcomes any questions we might have about her post, and will answer all comments!
[Tichel=the Yiddish word for head scarf.]
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Hi!  What do people usually call you?  
 My name is Batsheva Tova. I use my middle name often, but most people call me Batsheva. There is quite a story behind it. My father fought in the 1982 Lebanon war and lost 7 of his friends. When I was born in October ’83, he named me after them (sheva=seven in Hebrew).

How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering since I got married, 8 1/2 years ago. My mother covers her hair, so I always knew I would too.
What kind of climate do you live in?  How has this affected how you cover?
I live in the beautiful Golan Heights in the north of Israel (y’all are welcome to visi!) The winters here are quite cold in local terms, and I tend to wear more ostentatious arrangements in the winter. Summers are boiling hot and therefore minimalistic.
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Have you always covered your hair with scarves?
Mostly scarves. I had a couple of hats when I got married, but they didn’t last long. When I am not in the mood, I wear berettes.

Have you changed how you cover your hair over time?
Oh, yes. When I was newly married, the tichels and the way to wear them were very different. The tichels were all made of thickish cotton, and were monochromatic. No patterns, unless a gradual hue counts.We used to tie them in various “Rachel Imenu” styles; We wore square-triangles and we switched the ends behind our head and across the forhead. Some took one end under the hair and the other one over it. We sometimes did it with two tichels, one was the cap on top and the other one went around it. If anyone ties them this way today, they look very dated. When the scarves first came out, we use to tie them in a special way too, creating a kind of sack holding our hair and going above it. There were other covers too. There was a time when women wore small hats and wrapped their hair in black fabric like a black snake down their back. I saw a woman doing that the other day and thought:”Boy, we were peculiar”. Today, many women here wear “designed” tichels which are sewn from several fabrics with laces and decorations on them. They cost at least four times the price of a plain scarf.  Back when I started wearing them, there were only square-folded-into-triangle type tichels. I must sound like a tichelosaurus. If you ever do a retro-tichel post, I would be happy to demonstrate!
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Can you share with us some advice about the technique of hair covering? 
I always wear a tricot (tshirt material) triangle tichel under anything I put on. It prevents slippage and gives a nice smooth shape to my head.

What is the most important thing you have learned/realized from covering your hair?
Honesly? To always be comfortable. The rest doesn’t matter. And also to follow your belief. I believe that I should cover all of my hair, even though around me most women do the ponytail-out look.
How did you figure out how to wrap your scarves so beautifully?
A LOT of trial and error,and also jealousy of my sister. She has only been married for 9 months and is already a Ph.D. level tichelist. And obviously this site and Rivka-Malka’s one have inspired me.
How do you wash/care for your scarves?
Most of them are hand-wash only. I also fold them an extra fold in the front so they stretch a little less over my forehead. I included a photograph of the AMAZING tichel cupboard my husband got me for my birthday. The drawers underneath store my pins, brooches, lace ribbons etc.
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What are some of your recommendations that you would give someone with your hair type, face shape, colouring etc.?
I am quite pale, but lucky enough to be olivish toned. Most colours look good on me. The only colour that I should really keep away from my face is black. I don’t like black, so this is rarely an issue for me. In my experience, black tichels make pale women look sick and swallow up the dark-skinned ones.
My face is roundish and quite full, so I like volume in my tichels. If there isn’t enough volume, I feel I look like a balloon, or a bald person!
My hair has nothing unique about it, just a wavy brown. I do recommend keeping it long – it helps holding up the whole thing. I know a girl with very frizzy long hair, and she doesn’t need a volumizer or an extra scarf or anything – if some of you disliked your frizzy hair, you’ll have a lot of fun when you start covering. For extra volume I use big velvet scrunchies on myhair, and also use a special sponge shaped like a bagel which is quite popular here.
One more pointer – I have a big head, so I always try to get the longest scarves/biggest squares, otherwise I have to work really heard to make them fit…
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What do you love most about covering your hair?
I love having this neon sign on my head declaring that I am an observant Jew and a lawfully wedded wife.
To me head coverring is as much a part of tzniut as wearing a shirt is.
On a more materialistic view, I feel it help sme complete my outfit and make a match between garments that wouldn’t go together without it.
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What is your favourite way to wrap your scarves?  What is your favourite scarf/accessory?
My favorite way is when I get a “chassidic” look, with a lot of volume – like the Breslev women do. My favorite scarves change from time to time, but it is always an item which I like for being comfortable more than the colour or any other criteria. I have many accessories and I also make some (such as the brooch on the pink-and-gray do photograph). I don’t know if I have a favorite, but there are some I wear often like the bobby pin with the creamflower on the mint green-and-maroon look.
What are you wearing on your head today?
I haven’t gotten dressed yet, so I am still wearing the dark green berret I sleep in.
Do you have any stories (funny, meaningful) you would like to share about hair covering?
I don’t have many stories, though I do remember as an inexperienced newlywed wearing a silk scarf to shul.  It slipped off and I ran out to rearrange it. I also remember at my wedding, during the dancing, knocking the hat off my newly married friend. You can see it quite clearly in the DVD. She doesn’t wear hats anymore…
Before I gave birth 4 months ago, I had a serious discussion with a friend about what to cover my head with in the delivery room. We decided on either a berret or a snood (I love charedi snoods – very lite and comfortable) or a very comfy tichel. When the time came it was shabbat morning, and I couldn’t stand the thought of getting in the ambulance in plain clothes. So I put on a shabbat dress, tied a sparkly shabbat tichel with a lace ribbon and got on the ambulance. I only changed in the delivery room.
batsheva lady wrap star wrapunzel
What are you grateful for right now? 
I am grateful for the biggest treasures Hashem has given me. A lovely supportive kind-hearted husband, and my two beautiful daughters, aged seven years and four months old, and for the being a stay-at-home mom. I am grateful for the lovely house we have built recently in which we live, and for our loving families and friends.
Thanks for giving me this opportunity for self reflection. It was very interesting.  Have a lovely day!!

Introducing the Amazing Stephanie!

I am so happy to introduce you to this wonderful woman.  Stephanie and I found each other over the internet when she was searching for hair covering resources, and recently we got to meet in person when she made a 4 hour drive to my hair covering workshop!  You can see some pictures of her at the workshop here.  Anyway, we talked for hours before and afterward, and I am so grateful to now call her a good friend.  She is hilarious, wise, warm, giving, and tells great stories!  Her journey and reasons for covering her hair are quite compelling, as you will read, and she does so beautifully!

wrapunzel stephanie lady wrap star

Hi Stephanie, do you have any nicknames?
I do, Steph, Stephers, Step-on-me (when the kids – church or family – wanna rough house), sweetie, hon, hey you, and on it goes. 🙂 The newest reference of me that I’ve heard was some little kids who couldn’t remember my name from church calling me “the lady who covers her head”.  I like that one.

How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering since approximately Nov of 2011, and I only cover part-time (we’ll get to the why).

What led to your decision to cover?
Well for me it’s an obedience thing.  I felt as though I was being led to do it after praying and studying on it for about 6 months.

When people ask you why you cover, what do you say?  Do you have a long and short version of what you tell people?
Yes there is a long and short version depending on how interested someone is.
Short version:  I choose to cover because I believe it has been asked of me in the Bible and i want to obey.
Long version: I wear one because I believe we are held accountable for what we know. In studying the Bible one night I read this: “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head” (the second word ‘head’ is referring to the order- God being head of Christ, Christ head of man, man head of woman- its explained right before that verse) 1 Corth 11:5. I certainly don’t want to dishonor my husband or God so I cover. Now there is a lot more to the verse (so please take a look at 1 Corinthians 11:3-16) but that specific part struck me. So I prayed about it for about 6 months and in that time I felt like God really wanted me to obey. I kept having “just obey Me in this” going thru my head. I did and I have felt like God has really blessed me for doing so. I wear them in church or anytime I’m in leadership or going to be publicly praying (and I let my husband define “public” for me). I have gotten to the point that if I am without my husband in public I will typically wear one (I go bare headed with him [unless we’re praying] since he loves my hair and I wish to respect him). I have tried many styles of covering but this one just fits me best. 😀

How has your community responded to your covering?
I live in a small town and to my knowledge I am the only non-muslim that covers in about a 50 mile radius (maybe more). That being said I do occasionally get the odd stare but typically no one seems to notice or care much, either way not a lot of attention is drawn to it, except for in church- I get ALOT of nice comments about it then – just this last week I had one of the older ladies look at my tichel and exclaim “you have GOT to show me how you tie those.”  Needless to say that made my day.

Any cool experiences/realizations you have had since starting to cover?
I’ve realized just how much I wish to be more modest- not that I wasn’t considered modest by general standards but I desired modesty more. I realized that modesty does NOT have to be drab and boring black – but about how wonderful the things are, big or small, that you share with just that one person that makes you whole.

What are your favourite scarves and accessories?
Oohhh thats a toughie!! I think for me my favorite scarves are the variegated ones (I have a brown, blue and pink variegated ones) the wonderful thing about them is you don’t have to exactly match the color since all shades are included. My favorite accessories hummm I have too many to decide!! I strongly suggest a silver and gold thin scarf since these make wonderful additions in color, I make my own flowers and often pin them in on the side or back on my bun. Stick pins are terrific!! They are getting harder to find, so again I started making my own, then I make matching earrings so I have a nice cohesive look. Regular pins/brooches work – they just can be a bit harder to get in, however any pin will help hold together your layers to keep from slipping!

What do you find is the best way for you to tie your scarves when you consider your colouring and face shape?
I like height in the back, the BIG bun look. I don’t like height so much on the front half of my head –  it seems to make my face MUCH rounder looking (so I stay away from the crown/dutch crown look). I also do a lot of the hanging tails (braided or not), I find that style helped me get used to not having my hair down to play with since I’m a hair twirler.

 Any secret tips or tricks that you have?
ABSOLUTELY!! 3 big ones! 2 smaller one.
1) It sounds odd I know, but honestly I never use an undercap, headband or wig grip (my head is too round they slip right off), I use a pair of pantyhose!! You can leave the legs on or off- your choice (if you leave them on you can make a bun of them). When I use that I have to work pretty hard to get it to slip off.
2) You can make it or buy it, but if you have thin or short hair and want it to look nice and bigger at the back get a ‘bun enhancer’ (I bought mine at icing by claires’- and they come in multi colors and sizes) I have heard of others making theirs from a bath scrubs and even socks, so the choice is yours!
3) I know you have heard this from many sources (including our dear Andrea) but really don’t forget to wear earrings (and maybe a necklace) they REALLY help finish off a look! Personally for my round face I find teardrop or dangles work best (I try to stay away from hoops, loops and studs) if you don’t have dangle earrings you can find a great set of gold,silver and black teardrops at target for $5 and it will go with ANYTHING! (love mine they were a present from my father-in-law.)
4) If you wear glasses and you keep your ears ‘in’ then make sure you don’t tie it too tight or you will end up w/ pain from the glasses digging in above your ears.
5) If you want your hair to look pretty decent when u take off your wrap DO NOT wrap while your hair is still wet. You will end up with weird frizziness and VERY flat hair.

Do you match your head scarf to your outfit or the other way around?
Well it depends I suppose. usually match the outfit to the scarf but if I get something new then I work the scarf around the outfit. Usually I go by mood – if I’m feeling pink or purple I’ll assemble an outfit and scarf around that.

What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for new friends, for my WONDERFUL husband, and a good day. 🙂


Lady Wrap Star Anna!

Meet this week’s Lady Wrap Star!  I used to call Anna my mentor, and now I am very proud to call her my friend!  I made sure to ask her some specific questions about Judaism and hair covering, since many of you have asked.  For those of you that don’t know, many Jewish women also cover their hair with wigs (sheitels).  Anna covers with both wigs and scarves, and refers to both in the questions she answered.  And yes, in one of the photos she sent, that is me standing beside her before I started covering my hair.  Anna and her husband, Marc, and twin girls, Nechama and Zissie live in Toronto.  When you are finished reading her interview (and checking out her lovely head coverings), you should take a look at her blog called Double the Fun We Are One 🙂

Anna Marc Tichel

Lady Wrap Star also know as: 
Anna Sherman

Tell us a bit about yourself!  How do you choose to spend your time?
Thank G-d, my life is filled with things that I love!  Most of my time is spent taking care of my 9-month old twins, Nechama and Zissie, working on my Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy to become a marriage therapist in Boulder, running our household, preparing Shabbos for our many special guests, working on shidduchim (matchmaking) and writing for my blog.  When I do find some time to myself, I run out to Zumba class, spend time alone with my awesome hubby or meet a friend for coffee.

What is the best thing that has happened to you today?
My daughter, Nechama gave me a hug and a kiss!

How long have you been covering?
Since the day I got married, almost three years.

What is the one thing that you like best about covering your hair?
For me, covering my hair is about more than just the actual halacha (Jewish law) of covering.  My hair was always something I loved about myself and something that made me feel more attractive to the world, especially to other men.  My husband really loved my hair when we were dating and would always compliment me on it.  The act of covering my hair is about saving that special and unique part of my identity just for my husband.  Covering my hair identifies me as a married woman to the rest of the world and I’m proud of that!  I’m extremely proud to be married to my husband, for people to know that I am his wife and I am proud that we have an amazing marriage.  The first week of our marriage when we went out in public, my husband looked at me and said,” I love that you are covering your hair and the whole world sees it.  I love that they know that you are my wife and I am so proud to be your husband!”

Can you tell us a bit about Judaism and why you cover your hair?
The halacha about a married woman covering her hair comes from the story in the Torah about the Aishes Sotah, the adulterous woman.  In the story of the Aishes Sotah, the Torah states that she is forced to stand up in front of the entire community and if she is found guilty, she is put in the most embarrassing situation.  Her cap is removed, and her hair is unbraided and exposed in front of the entire community.  From this story,we learn that a married woman’s hair is covered in public and that it is embarrassing for her to uncover her hair in front of others.  There is much halachic discussion regarding what is the appropriate way for a woman to cover her hair and how much hair needs to be covered.  Some say, she only needs to cover the crown of her head, some say all her hair needs to be covered, others say that a tefach (hand breadth may be showing.)  I personally feel that the amount of hair and the way a married woman chooses to cover her hair is a very personal decision that should be made by the woman herself.  A woman’s hair is part of her identity, as is the way she covers it.  The way she chooses to cover it is an extremely personal decision which happens to be made very public.  Therefore, I think that everyone needs to refrain from judgment and respect a woman for the choices she makes regarding how she covers her hair.

Any funny/vivid hair covering experiences that you would like to share?
One hair covering experience that vividly stands out in my mind is when I made the choice to uncover my hair.  Sounds crazy, right?  You see, before Marc, I was previously married to someone else for one year.  It was a bad situation and I was lucky to get out of it unharmed, with no children.  I always covered my hair during my first marriage and when I got divorced, I was faced with the decision whether I would continue to cover it (as many divorced women do) or chose to uncover it.  Shortly before I received my get (Jewish divorce) I was visiting a rabbi whom I am very close with in Toronto.  Without me asking him, he told me that I should uncover my hair when I got divorced.  He felt it was the right decision for me.  When I asked him why, he explained that for many divorce women, he felt that it was the right decision for them to keep their hair covered, especially if they had children.  However, he explained that in my case, since there had never been a real connection or a decent relationship with my first husband, it was almost as if I had never been married at all.  And since there were no children keeping me connected to him, he felt that there was no reason to hold onto any other reminders and have all these painful memories “hanging over my head.”  So the day I received my get I uncovered my hair.  It was liberating!  I felt free of this burdensome life I had been carrying around, free to be myself and alive again.  A week later, I was in a shoe store in Brooklyn and the Israeli shop owner asked me if I was single.  I said yes, and he answered “Perfect!  I have mamash excellent shidduch for you!  (I have such a good match for you.)  A wonderful Israeli boy, twenty-two years old!”  (I was twenty-seven.)
Of course, now that I am married to the right person, covering my hair has an entirely different meaning, one of pride and connection, instead of burden and hidden secrets.
The only other thing I want to add to this point, is that as I mentioned before, just like the way a woman chooses to cover her hair is a very personal decision,  so is the decision whether to uncover or to continue to cover her hair if she gets divorced.  For me, it was definitely the right decision to uncover my hair when I got divorced, however, I did receive a number of very insensitive comments from people, ranging from “Who told you it was ok to uncover your hair?”  to “You got divorced and you uncovered your hair????  We’re going to have to talk about this.  I gotta hear the whole story.”  After something as painful as a divorce, I was not in any shape to answer these questions, nor did I feel the need for everyone to be privy to my personal decision on this topic.  The best thing to do when you see a woman who just got divorced uncover her hair is to tell her she looks great and ask how she’s doing.  That’s it.  Short and simple.

What are you wearing on your head today?
A warm and cozy grey wool beret with a flower on it.

Do you remember the first time you wore a head covering?  What did it look like?  How did it feel?  What did others say?
The first time I wore a head covering after Marc and I got married was the day after our wedding and we went to meet his extended family for brunch.  I wore my beautiful, long, Shabbos shaitel (wig) and my mother-in-law said that she wouldn’t have recognized me if she walked past me on the street 😉

What is your favourite scarf?  Favourite accessory?  Favourite hat?
I don’t really have a favourite scarf, I have so many beautiful scarves which I picked up in Israel on my many visits there.  My favourite hat is a fuzzy, grey cap-style hat with a decorative ribbon flower in the front which I got in New York.

What are some of your hair covering suggestions?  Any secrets you would like to share with us?
Although I love how some women wear fancy tichels layered one on top of another, or with the volumizer underneath, I am someone who gets a lot of headaches and these fancy tichel arrangements never worked for me.  I have found that when it comes to tichels, I’m better off wearing one or two at a time, and if I want that volumized look at the back, I take a cotton cap and stuff a pair of rolled up socks in the back.  Then I tie the tichel over top of that for a more elegant look.  I also always wear a velvet headband called a wig grip under my tichels to keep them from slipping.
I find that if you choose to cover your hair with tichels or hats, earrings and make-up can make a world of difference to the way you look and feel.  The right earrings and a little make-up can brighten up your face and change your whole appearance.

What are you grateful for right now?
So many things.  Mostly my amazing husband, my beautiful girls and my supportive family and friends.

This Week’s “Lady Wrap Star” !

Meet this week’s Lady Wrap Star and be inspired by her beautiful scarf creations!
Lady Wrap Star also known as:
Mary Burkholder:
Tell us a bit about yourself!  How do you choose to spend your time?
I work in the shipbuilding industry as a 3D AutoCad/Catia designer. When I’m not at work, I am home chasing after my two boys, ages 6 and 17 months. When my babies are asleep I enjoy crocheting and spending time with my husband.
How long have you been covering?
For about 6 months now. Prior to that, I was completely unaware of covering and it’s significance until one evening when I came across Rivka Malka’s channel on YouTube. Her tichel’s are so gorgeous, and I was completely intrigued, so I started watching her how-to video’s to see how it was done. I was instantly hooked, and the desire to cover started growing in my heart until it became something I deeply wanted to do and couldn’t stop thinking about.
What is the one thing that you like best about covering your hair?
I don’t know if this will make sense to anyone else, but there is amazing dignity that comes with covering. I’ve heard it said that it’s like a crown, and that’s probably the most accurate description I can come up with. I feel an overwhelming sense of value and love for my own self when I cover. There have been more than several times when I finish my tichel and stand back to evaluate and all I can say is ‘wow, wow, wow!’. I don’t know about the average woman, but I’d venture to say, “wow” is not an emotion we frequently experience when standing in front of our mirrors. But when you cover, it happens, and it’s surprising and pleasant.:)
The very first time I ever wore a covering here at home was on a Friday night Shabbat. It was a simple brown sparkly triangle with no volumizer or other layers, very simple. My oldest son, Caleb who was 5 at the time, came in the room where I was, took one wide-eyed look at me and said “Mom you look so beautiful, you look like Shabbat!”. With one simple comment about one simple covering, he sealed in my heart that the beauty wasn’t in how great I could get it to look, but in keeping it simple enough for my children to always be able to recognize the spirit of Shabbat in what I wore. 🙂
I notice that you wear glasses – has that affected the kinds of head coverings that you wear?
No, I don’t think it’s affected the type of coverings I wear, however when I go to choose new glasses in the very near future, how they look while I’m wearing a head covering will determine my choice.
What are you wearing on your head today?
Today I’m wearing an apron style tichel from Judith de Paris coupled with a cream colored scarf. 
wrapunzel lady wrap star mary
Do you remember the first time you wore a head covering?  What did it look like?  How did it feel?  What did others say?
Yes I do! 🙂 This wasn’t the very first time wearing a head covering, but it was the very first time wearing one to work and it was a huge, but very significant step for me. I work in an environment that is majority male, but a good amount female in my immediate group. I was self-conscious at first, but the response from my co-workers was so overwhelmingly positive, that I felt at ease very quickly. As you see in the picture, it was two Israeli tichels, one white one purple, and a multi-colored black/purple/silver scarf wrapped around. Still one of my favorite combinations!
wrapunzel lady wrap star mary
Your favourite scarf and/or accessory:
It is so hard to pick just one, but this is my favourite. It’s cream, brown and teal, with gold shimmer lurex woven throughout. I love shimmer. 🙂
Add a brown scarf and a butterfly pin that my mother gave me and now it’s really my favourite!
Could you share a unique experience (or two) that happened to you due to covering your hair?
It’s amazing the conversations that get started. I’ve had women at work thank me because now they feel free to cover, whereas before they were really concerned about what the response would be.
What are some of your hair covering suggestions?  Any tips you would like to share with us?
To don’t be discouraged when you can’t seem to get it just right. I’ve turned my arms into rubber on some looks, and on others gotten it right the very first time. What’s amazing is when you find your favorite style. Mine came after I received my volumizer from Judith de Paris. How I lived without that and my velvet head band, I will never know. But it was after that point when I stopped being afraid of “too much” volume. I don’t know now if there is such a thing for my head shape. One tip for the headband is a tiny bit of mousse. My hair is super fine and sometimes, especially after the headband starts to stretch, I find that everything wants to start sliding again. I fixed this one day by getting everything pulled into the elastic band, and then smoothing a small bit of mousse all over before putting on the headband. It gives you an extra secure feeling that really does last all day.
What is your favourite colour?
Purple is top, but I gravitate a lot towards browns, blues, teals, etc 🙂
What are you grateful for right now?
I’m beyond grateful for those precious boys of mine sleeping peacefully in the next room. I could kiss those noggins right off.
And today especially, I’m grateful for answered prayers. For a G-d who not only sees and hears, but responds. I’m super grateful today 🙂

Introducing Maya: This week’s “Lady Wrap Star”!

maya wrapunzel lady wrap starThis week’s “Lady Wrap Star” is someone that I really want to meet in person one day and get to hear her life story.  Meet Maya, a woman that I have had the pleasure of finding through the internet and has some VERY interesting things to say about hair covering and modesty.  I will say no more!  Read on…

Lady Wrap Star also known as: Maya Resnikoff

Tell us a bit about yourself!  How do you like to spend your time?
I work as a hospital chaplain.  I’m actually doing my residency right now, which is a one-year program involving nearly full-time work, plus clinical pastoral education, which makes it a fairly intense process.  I have a long commute, and spend most of it reading- I love science fiction and fantasy, and that’s what I stick to, for the most part.  In my free time, I crochet, watch (mostly old) TV with my husband, bake bread, play boggle and blog at about- you guessed it, head covering.

How long have you been covering?
I’ve been covering my head for something like 9 years.  First, I would wear kippot or folded scarves, when I was single.  When I got married, I started to cover the vast majority of my head and hair.  So now my coverings are dual-purpose items, for me, although sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

What is the one thing that you like best about covering your hair?
I love the creativity that I can apply to my covering.  I have always enjoyed playing with fabric, and this is just a lot of fun.  I like the way that it looks and feels, too.  It’s a lot more fun than doing my hair used to be.  I have all these possibilities, and they don’t involve hair spray.

I notice that you wear glasses – do you have any suggestions for fellow glasses wearers that wear head scarves?
I never thought of the combination as being complicated.  Actually, I’ve found that my scarf helps to keep my glasses on.  I have to push them up much less often now than I did before I was married.  I think getting your glasses settled comfortably before tying your scarf is key.

What are you wearing on your head today?
I’m wearing an Israeli square scarf with the ends loose, and a braided purple scarf over it.

maya wrapunzel lady wrap star
Do you remember the first time you wore a head covering?  What did it look like?  How did it feel?  What did others say?
I’m going to give this two answers.  The first time I wore a noticeable head covering on a regular day, back in college, I think that it slipped by as a one-off.  Really, I started by carrying a kippah for meals, but I started forgetting to take it off.  So it was a pretty blurry boundary.  But the first time I saw my parents after that, they definitely noticed.
The first time I covered fully was evening after my wedding.  We had a late morning wedding, so afterward, we went to the hotel, showered and napped, and then realized that we needed dinner.  So we went out, and of course, by that point it was 9pm or so, and everything in New Haven,CT was pretty much closed.  We had frozen yogurt for dinner.  Covering to go out felt pretty strange.  I’d thought about it so much, and now here I was, putting it into action.  I felt very conscious of it, and pretty self-conscious too.  My husband and I talked about it, and how I was feeling as we went out.  Then, of course, we didn’t see anyone we knew that evening, so I had that outing to sort of adjust a little bit.  By the next morning, when we had brunch with my in-laws, it already felt a little less awkward, although it took some time to really adjust to.
Could you share a unique experience (or two) that happened to you due to covering your hair?
I’ve had a lot of people be quite shocked that I am, in fact, a Conservative rabbi, given the hair covering.  But I’m not thinking of much else, right now.
Your favourite scarf and/or accessory:
I have a scarf from my mother, one she had and never wore, that I just adore.  It’s brightly colored, and cotton, and I don’t know why it’s my favorite, it just is.  I really enjoy accessories, and variety, but this one’s just my favorite.
What are some of your hair covering suggestions?  Any secrets you would like to share with us?
I think my best tip is not to get tied down to any one style or approach.  Let some days be “crown” days, and other days be “get it out of my way” days.  Keep on playing, and have fun with what you do with your head.
What are you grateful for right now?
In the big picture, I’m grateful for my husband.  In the small picture, I’m grateful for having just finished making a pair of crocheted socks, and for eating bread and butter.

Say “Hello” to This Week’s LADY WRAP STAR!!

Introducing Elizabeth, our latest hair wrapping inspiration – who loves creating beautiful colour and texture combinations!  Here she is, answering some questions and showing us some of her creations.  Read on for some beautiful and fascinating insights!


Lady Wrap Star also known as:
Elizabeth Caldwell
Tell us a bit about yourself!  What do you like to do?
When I am not busy with my Husband and son I really enjoy spending time with my friends and helping others.
How long have you been covering?
I started covering with hats last spring but quickly switched to scarves exclusively.

Do you remember the first time you wore a head covering?   What did it look like?  How did it feel?  What did others say?
When I first started wrapping I was surprised by the reaction of others.  My husband said I looked glamorous like a movie star. Strangers in public suddenly treated me with an extra dose of respect that I didn’t get before.  My parents are a bit baffled but have stopped asking and looking at me like I have seven heads.
When I cover my head I am reminded of something deeply personal to me.  So that is a constant good feeling.  I also find that I have a lot less mean self talk.  I was really surprised to realize how much I used to say I hated my hair or hated that it would not do what I wanted.  Now that my hair is a non issue I don’t put myself down so much.
I also put more care into how I look over all now.  You just cant take the time to pick out a pretty scarf (or 2 or 3) and not take the time to match a pretty top and put on some lipstick!
What are you wearing on your head today?
A navy blue pashmina and an oat colored stretchy headband.
What is your favourite scarf and/or accessory?
My favorite is a yellow and green flowered tichel with the hot pink border – it is in the picture of me with my son.
What is your favourite colour?
What are you grateful for?
My family first, and the women friends, both here in my everyday life and in my virtual life.  I have friends that I have never met in person but who I have loved and cared for for over a decade!
What is favorite scarf secret?  
 My bath scrubby volumizer. [left of drawer, below] and the velvet headband!
Take a look at Elizabeth’s scarf storage idea!
Thank you, Elizabeth for contributing your love and  and many of your beautiful ideas to this site!  You are an inspiration!