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Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Bad Scarf Day

Man, I miss my hair. I mean, letting it all hang down, that is, when I go out, or anywhere. I saw a commercial in which the actress had very soft-looking, long wavy hair, no make-up, just very natural-looking beautiful, as it blew in the breeze on a beach. And I missed that feeling of looking naturally beautiful--letting the hair just be free in the wind. But I think it's weird that I felt like I was missing that because then as I tried to remember how I wore my hair before the headscarf, I wore it tied back in a bun 90 % of the time. But the thing is, the woman in the commercial looked very feminine. And that's what I miss, I think. Wearing the headscarf makes me feel foreign instead of feminine. And I think this feeling also has to do with not only the scarf itself, hiding my hair, but the way I wear it. Recently, I chopped off my hair so that it is short, but now I realize that it makes the scarf fall differently on my head. When the hair is long and it has to be put up in a bun under the scarf, it creates that bump in the back under the scarf that looks more feminine in style. Mine usually falls flat in the back now. And if it's wrapped tighter to eliminate that "big fabric effect" (when the scarf's fabric gathers in a big pile in front)that I don't like, it looks less feminine too. It sort of reminds me of a swimmer's cap or even a chemotherapy patient that way. Ugh.

And I know there's also a way to wrap and pin the scarf so that it actually resembles the look of long hair, especially if the scarf has some fringe on it, the way the character Rayann often wears hers on Little Mosque on the Prairie. I want to figure out how to do that, because that's what I miss--looking feminine. I don't like how her scarf "gathers" in the front like that, but I like how it hangs on the back. You can catch some more pics of her style here, at HIJAB CHIQUE, here's a view from the back:
And I don't think looking feminine is against the rule of hijab as you know by my previous posts. But still, even if I can get the scarf to flow to look more like long flowing hair, it's still a scarf--I miss my hair! One the few occasions where I did where my hair down in public, I got lots of positive feedback, "Wow, I've never seen you with your hair down--you look..." Apparently I look quite attractive that way (or at least I did--back in the day). Basically, as I get older and my youthful beauty fades--I miss looking attractive! And the scarf is hindering that "attractive" feeling too, of course. Hmm. Younger girls can look attractive even in the scarf, but the older one gets, the harder it is to feel..."pretty," but if one does not do hijab then she can use beauty "tricks" to enhance her beauty--the kind of tricks that do not work with hijab (hair highlights, a cool hair-cut, an outfit that highlights whatever physical assets she has left). So this blog is not just about wearing a headscarf in America--it's about getting OLD with a headscarf! But I know I'm not really old, my husband says I'm in my beauty "prime," although I don't feel like it these days. And I wonder, as I get older and will the scarf fit into my life? It seems silly for an old lady to worry about her hijab doesn't it?

I know many might say, "well, a hijabi can "let it all hang out" in front of her husband or family or a party full of just women," but I do not seem to do that very often. As a mom of 2 young kids with a husband that works full time and volunteers full time, it's not like there is any time (or any reason) left over for me to get all pretty--most of the time I'm in my grubby house clothes and I have my hair pulled back again because who can do housework with their hair all hanging down? And even when I go to all-female parties, I usually have my scarf on and if I wanted to let it all hang out I'd have to go prep myself somewhere after I get inside the party, again, something that takes effort so I don't usually do. And plus, I'm not talking about the "dressing up" kind of beauty, I'm referring to that, walking on the beach with your hair flying in the wind kind of thing (not that I ever did that--but I want to now!)

It's a good thing that I was never really into styling my hair before the scarf. I know girls who go all out with the monthly highlights, haircuts, straighteners, etc. Their hair looks great, but I'm sure they miss it more once they cover it with a headscarf. In fact--their investment in/attachment to their hair is probably one thing that keeps them from wearing a headscarf in the first place. Some religions and/or cultures consider the woman's hair her crown and glory to be displayed. And how about those girls who start crying when their hair gets cut short--I was never "tied" to my hair like that--fortunately. But even still, I do "miss my hair", I mean, it was not hidden for so many years and now it is. So I don't look the same obviously.

And another thing off this topic--now if someone knocks on my door (usually a delivery man), I have to frantically run around trying to find where I left my long robe and then put on a scarf. By the time I get it all on, the guy is long gone and so is my package! And we have a little back porch in our apartment that my kids sometimes play on, and I usually sit inside by the door. But sometimes I need to rush out to help my kid with a toy or something and the same thing happens, I have to pull on my robe and scarf and it annoys me! I wish I could just quickly run out there without worrying about the cover-up. And actually that's what I do sometimes. I just us ally bend down so I am not totally visible to any passers-by. And what about having the drapes/blinds open during the day? I do that too. And I don't walk around in hijab in my own house. I just assume that it's difficult to see inside during the day. Hmm.

Anyway, back to the main point here. Bad hair days? How about bad scarf days. I went to a party and in the pictures I noticed that my scarf (which was an oblong one that I had pinned, one side hanging down and the other flipped to my back) had lost its shape and was sort of "balooning" around my neck, plus there was a part of my skin that was showing between my scarf and shirt. And what's worse---my scarf had become pointed on the top! Ugh! I hate that. Pointed on the tip, like an arrow pointing to the sky or like a pointed roof of a house. Blech. Why didn't anyone tell me? It's like walking around with spinach in your teeth every time you smile and no one tells you! Ugh.

Well, inshaaAllah...I'm going to grow my hair out long again. And then I'll wear it all down and lovely at the next all-female party. Hmm. But I'll have to dye it now since I'm getting lots of grey hairs now--good thing my scarf covers that up now ;-)


Carib Muslimah said...

ASA, I hear you about the wind in your hair. You know what I do? I sit on the enclosed veranda at night. No one can see me. Other than that, I can't wait to get a house with a yard so I can put up a high fence. Insha'allah I'll be able to chill in the back yard.

As for the aging, I have to say I'm surprised that you feel old at 31!!!! My mom always said, "you're as old as you feel." I'm 33 and fabulous dahling (mashallah). I have the 20-year olds asking me where I got my clothing from and how I styled it. It sounds like you just have to will yourself to make the effort to do the little extra things that'll make you feel fabulous too. I have a friend who has 4 kids and she's always fashionable. I told her she's my inspiration. She responded by saying, "Me without beautiful things is like having no air! I can't help it, it's just a part of who I am." Love that sis!

BTW, I hate when my scarf has shifted and no one tells me. I understand that maybe non-muslims don't know how it's supposed to look but Muslim women?! I'm like, c'mon sis, you know it's not supposed to look like that.

*~Ange~* said...

to do that hijab-hair trick you need a very long scarf - enough so it covers the front and then flows at the back..
i hear you also about the hair thing. even when its a warm day and youre in the car.. its so nice to have the breeze going through your hair.... ahhh i miss it

LisaM said...

Seems to me that you and your Dear Loved One need to find you a secluded beach (or other windy place) to walk. :) I don't think that would be against what you believe, if no one else would be around, right? I personally have watched too much Bollywood, and find the flowing dupatta scarves just as lovely as the flowing hair - and easier to fix after the wind blows. ;) Another sweet and honest post - so glad you shared.

That Rayanne (sorry, I accidently closed my browser and forgot how to spell her name) from LMOTP - I like how she dresses too - so lovely!

Basbousa said...

What I miss the most is swimming :(
And after 3-4 months of wearing the headscarf, I must say I was tired of it! Whenever I went shopping, I was imagining wearing this or that (NOT VERY SKIMPY CLOTHING, BUT THE IDEA OF NOT HAVING TO LAYER)... Then it took some time, and I found my style. Now I can't imagine going out without it..

By the way, if I wear something else than a turtleneck underneath my scarf, I always make sure to pin it to the clothing to avoid peek-a-boo's

Aisha La Estudiante said...

Sallam Sis,

Lol... you said so much I don't even know how to reply to it all.
First I'm with CaribMuslima on the private porch moments at night. That way you can enjoy your hair out in the breeze.
My non-Muslim friends are all now trained to tell me when my hijab is askew. It's like, hey real friends tell each other when they have boogers hanging out their nose... and when their skin shows or their hijab is peaked :)
I like to have a coat rack or chair near the door or on the way so I can throw on a hijab or even a hoodie (I'm all easy hijabi style there).
When it comes to one's hair flowing on the beach, perhaps you can go sometime late night..?
My hair is so freaking long, thick and wavy/unmanagable that I could not even leave my hair down on a regular basis if I wanted. I'm more of a pony tail/pig tails type anyways.
Getting old? you are in the lovely prime of your life.

erica aisha

muslimahh said...

I sooooo hear you! I was having the same feelings this weekend. I was looking at pictures of my pre-hijab days. The last hairstyle I had was sooooo cute. I had the most ADORABLE bangs!! But I have to wear a scarf all day at would be stupid to come home and "style" my bangs. Plus my husband works full time and goes to he doesn't get home until I'm in bed. Who am I going to style my hair for? My 2 year old?? YEAH RIGHT! I'm so glad somebody else is feeling the same way as me...I was feeling really guilty about it! :(

And by the hair is short too (well I'm growing it out so its not THAT short anymore) but here's what I do to avoid the chemo look. I don't know if your hair is long enough or not but I use those huge 80-style scrunchies to give me some body back there. And use 2 or 3 if you have to.

Anonymous said...

Im 28 with two kids and all I do is feel old. I think its the exhaustion. Then I look at all the young fashionable hijabis out there and I am like sit next to me so you can rub off some of that style. Or maybe don't sit next to me because I'll only feel worse just send the vibe my way.

bibliophilezing said...


Those one piece amira hijabs are great for quickly putting on and answering the door.

I hope you are doing well!


Anonymous said...

maybe you could wear a sweat shirt with a hood in house so you can cover your hair quickly when answering door

Scarf Ace said...

thank you all for sharing your comments and suggestions! i loved reading them all.

Anonymous said...

I do feel the same soo often, I really miss the feeling of the wind in my hair

estrellazul said...

I've bookmarked your blog because i feel very interested in the beauty that Musilman clothes show.

I am Mexican and im used to live showing my hair, shoulders and legs in regular basis because the weather is very hot, and as an occidental culture it is normal to do it.

But 4 years from now i choose to baptise as a Latter Day Saint and without going to the obvious diference or a religious debate I can tell u im very happy whit my choice and i had have to change my way of living as you have had to.
we dont drink alcohol, coffe or smoke, and when you get married by the LDS church you cannot show your legs above your knee, or sholders becouse u have to were a special clothes underneat your regular clothes.

Im about to marry in the temple, so i have to get ride of everithing that is not apropiatte

I feel very touched by your blog, living in the spiritual way that your heat and mind tells you is the rigth way is much much better than living the way the publicity and fashion tells you is rigth.

We have our own mind, we are different and we belong to a unique group of people and we share our goals and whishes

Inspired Muslimah said...

WOW sis is all I can say! You take the words out of my mouth. I feel SOOOOO incredibly guilty because I am not excited about hijab like some other girls. I do not wear a scarf everday, I am working my way up too, but let me tell you how hard it is for me! I love my hair and honestly I do not feel pretty with hijab, though i see other muslim woman with there hijab and they look pretty. Also I am not very comfortable with it and all the added stares do little to help. They just make me more insecure about it. I really enjoy your blog, your very honest, and exactly what I needed to read so i dont feel like the worst muslimah ever!

Anonymous said...

hijab isnt abt looking pretty, if u dont hav a pure intention u might do more harm then good