A friend posed an interesting question the other day: How did you learn to wear hijab?
I’m sure that for a few years after I started wearing hijab, I probably looked rather weird. It takes some time to find your own style. Even now I don’t always have a handle on my scarf. There are bad hijab days, and that’s all there is to it.
But it seems that each girl I know who wears hijab has a very distinct style. I use two straight pins to put one flap on top of my head. It’s the easiest for me to do, and it keeps my scarf on pretty securely throughout the day. But I don’t remember when I realized that was best for me.
I also found that plain bandanas worked best for me under my scarf. The cloth, elastic umtas that are sold at hijab stores simply don’t keep my hair in place. But it took a lot of trial and error for me to figure that out. I think most of us just take notice of what other people are wearing and try out a few different things until we find what’s comfortable.
But did any of you have someone actually teach you how to wear your hijab?
I’ve never been able to get a handle on dupatta, or sheila, styles. No matter how much I try, that style just doesn’t suit. I’ve tried to have people teach me, and it still doesn’t work out. It’s a bit frustrating, since other people look so good in those hijabs, but some styles only suit certain people, I guess.
If someone asked me to help them put on hijab, I don’t know how helpful I would be either.
In fact, my sister started wearing hijab just a year after me, but she wears it in a completely different way. But I’m sure there are friends out there who help each other out with styles or sisters who teach the other one.
So where did you all learn? Is your hijab style still changing after many years? Or are you comfortable with the one you’ve found?
Pop Culture Hijabi is a weekly column by Nadia Malik. Malik is a former newspaper reporter based in Chicago who’s now making her way as a freelancer. She spends entirely too much time watching TV and reading pop culture, fashion and TV blogs. She also occasionally consumes serious books and news. No, really. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org with “pop culture hijabi” in the subject line, follow her at www.twitter.com/nadiamalik or simply leave a comment below.