We love the versatile, yet stylish, African headwrap (also known as the head-tie, head-scarf and turban).
Originating in Sub-Saharan Africa, the headwrap symbolizes spirituality, wealth, prosperity and class. While during slavery in the United States, the headwrap took on the meaning of poverty and enslavement. Despite these various forms of symbolism, the headwrap has signified communal unity, as well as personal identity.
Fast forward to today where the headwrap is worn all over Africa and the world in different styles. Most famous are the grandiose Nigerian geles, which are worn by Yoruba women during special occasions. Traditionally, the gele was the symbol of a woman’s socio-economic standing, using stiff brightly coloured fabrics that allowed large and extravagant shapes to be achieved.
In many parts of the world, the headwrap has become a fashion statement for women who admire its look and its rich history. The African print fabric is known by many different names across the African continent, but the most popular being ankara, kitenge or kanga. The vibrant colours and patterns of the fabric make the headwrap the ideal accessory to compliment any outfit. The versatility of the cloth makes it easy to tie and create unique shapes.
- There’s no perfect way to wrap your hair, be creative and adventurous. The African prints allow it to look flawless from any angle.
- It’s perfect for bad hair days, nobody needs to know that your hair is a wreck under there. They’ll be too distracted by your stunning headwrap.
- If you notice people staring on the bus, they’re simply admiring at how complex your headwrap looks. Smile back, they don’t need to know you did it in less than 3 minutes and in the dark.
- Rock the wrap everywhere! You can wrap your hair for a party, to the office, for a date or any event. Just be mindful of your headwrap size before you go to the movies. The person behind you may not be impressed.
Don’t know where to start? Read our latest headwrap styling posts and our Headwrap Styles 101 playlist below for some inspiration: