Understanding under-scarves

I know it seems pretty simplistic, but there is a rhyme and reason to wearing under-scarves and many models out there. For those of us who have not been raised amongst hijabs and headscarves, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out how to get the most out of your under-scarves. So here’s a little guide through it all.

Under-scarves have multiple purposes:

  • Keeps all those little stray hair from falling out of your headscarf.
  • Gives you something to pin your scarf onto
  • Covers what your scarf style might not cover otherwise
  • Adds to the style/colours of your scarf style
  • Prevents the scarf from slipping off your head

Many different under-scarves can be found at Islamic clothing stores locally or online. If you are unable to put your hands on pre-made under-scarves, you can easily use a large headband to achieve similar looks, but be careful not to leave any cracks between your scarf and the headband!

DSCF3553The tube style is by far the most common. It is a large tube, much like an oversized headband, which covers the entire head. You can find them in a number of stretchy fabrics, including lace, and sometimes embelished with bead work. Some variation of the tube style exist including what I call the capped headband. The capped headbands are the size of a regular/large headband but include a larger piece of fabric on the forehead area, much like a cap but flat on your forehead. Using the technique from Tutorial # 8 – Totally Twisted Turban in the headband style, you can get a great look with a twist.

Another popular style is the bonnet also known as skull cap. As you Snapshot_20120620_2are probably picturing, the bonnet is covers the entire head. It usually ties in the in the back to further secure it. Just like the tubes, bonnets can come with embelishments, either bead work or “beddazled”. There is also a version of capped bonnet which is similar to the bonnet but includes a small cap, this time not flat on the head. The capped bonnet is particularly practical on warm sunny days as it creates necessary shade for the eyes. For those who want the coverage but can’t find bonnets, the Basic Scarf Bun gives great volume.

Less common but particularly practical are the full under-scarf and the ninja under-scarf. The full under-scarf and the ninja both cover the head, the neck and part of the chest to ensure the greatest coverage possible; however, the ninja tends to be tighter or closer to the neck than the full, and leaves the ears uncovered. I have tried replicating the style of the ninja-underscarf in “Home-made” Ninja Under-Scarf, it’s aNinja do-it-yourself tutorial for those, like me, unable to put their hands on a true ninja under-scarf.

Of course, not all styles require under-scarves. Use them to your advantage to change up the look of your favourite style. Try different combo and see how it changes! 🙂


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