As hijabi’s we can often neglect our manes & let our hair take a side step and we believe that just because the whole world isn’t seeing it, we shouldn’t bother with it. We end up sticking it in a dreadful bun & letting it suffer in silence! This is wrong on so many levels because we are only damaging our hair further & then putting the blame on the hijab… it ain’t the hijab sister, it’s the way WE are treating it!
Depending on your hair type, there are a million & one ways to care for it, I’m not going to go through every hair type, because, quite frankly, what works for me, may not work for you!
I’m mixed race, my hair is course thick/curly & prone to frizziness but it’s not exactly tight curled “Afro Caribbean” hair, its long & the curls are loose masha’Allah, so I can do a lot with it, but I don’t, I’m simply not “girly” never have been. It looks amazing when blow dried straight outta the salon & equally nice when it’s naturally curly, but I neglect it, simply because I say to myself, “meh” I have hijab… no need – wrong on my part!
My daughter has much thinner smoother hair, my husbands family have very thin straight hair, completely the opposite of mine, so my daughter’s hair, although silky & thin… it’s very unruly & is a nightmare to brush! She only needs to breathe & it gets tangled. So I use a very different care routine for her hair, but that’s another subject.
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Today I want to touch on hijabi hair & how to prevent it thinning out, receding & getting frizzy or greasy. Who knew keeping it under wraps would bring on a whole list of complaints? I’ve spoken to a few hijabi’s to get their opinion on what hijab hair care means for them, it’s mixed reviews because we all have different hair types, but there are a few steps we can take as a whole no matter the hair type.
Caring for your hair as a Hjabi & preventing hair loss –
I want to clarify that it isn’t actually your hijab that is causing hair to become greasy, creating hair loss or frizz, the main reasons for hijabi hair problems are a tight bun & no air/moisture to your hair & scalp.
To stop the receding hairline, dry & frizziness problems you want to follow these steps –
Wearing your bun under your hijab
- Pull it low – Seeing as I have thick hair I always pull my bun up quite high to avoid me feeling hot & sweaty around the nape of my neck & also to prevent any hair falling out accidentally, if its low you’ve got more chance of that happening. But I noticed when you pull the bun/ponytail high… it pulls tighter on the front of your hairline causing it to recede easier, so now I pull it low into a half bun/ponytail which is kinder to my hairline & does not feel so slick back. Simple and loose hijab styles are the best for the health of your hair as they allow air circulation.
- Bands – Scrunchy that baby into place! I never use elastic bands & can’t understand those that do because they are like the devils work! Trying to get one of those out of your hair is a nightmare, not to mention the snagging it does throughout the day. A nice thick scrunchy or any other soft band that has a good quality covering will work well to keep your tresses in check & not give you that – still got a band in my hair “bend” look when you take it off 😛 it will be kinder when you’re taking your hair out at the end of the day.
- Brushing – Do you still have visions of your mum brushing your hair & you screaming the house down with every stroke?? – no, just me then? Well I regret to say I have turned into my mother & am lethal when it comes to brushing my daughters hair! Brushing the hair needs to be done gently so the best way is when your hair is tame & relaxed, like after you’ve slathered on some conditioner & let it penetrate a while.
- Washing – First thing I do when I hit the shower is shampoo my roots & scalp, I don’t put any shampoo through the ends as its very drying, once I’ve rinsed off the shampoo, I then apply the conditioner, or masque, whatever conditioning you do, then I clip it up & continue with my shower taking care not to rinse out any conditioner until I have finished my shower, this way the steam & heat from the shower helps the conditioner penetrate the hair shafts & seals the moisture into the strands
Co – Washing
I definitely do not, nor have I ever been the type of person to wash my hair daily, 1 – because I’m mixed race & we already have really dry hair, don’t need to add to the frizz! and 2 – because my mum always told me it would strip the essential natural oils from your hair & scalp and 3 – you’ll catch flu….. ok maybe that was just an old wives tale of hers, but you definitely have more chance of catching colds if your running about with wet hair all the time! SO how do I do it? Co-Washing. If I need to make Ghusul (full body cleansing) obviously I need to wash my hair & if it’s daily, seeing as it dries out easily I’ve found rinsing, adding conditioner then rinsing again at the end of the shower helps to keep it moisturised & then wrapping in a microfiber turban helps it dry & keeps it out of my way while I do other things, or if I’m going to sleep then I towel dry & lay it out behind me with a towel on my pillow & let it dry naturally. If your hair is relaxed or chemically straightened, you may only wash every 2 weeks, extra care to the loss of moisture needs to be taken here, masks, leave-ins & oils are the many ways to overcome dryness, just see which products work best for your hair.
To stop getting lank greasy dull hair follow these steps –
- Before having a shower – comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb to untangle any knots. This is quite important because wearing hijab means your hair is almost always in a bun or ponytail, so this helps to reduce tangles & hair fall
- Use a mild shampoo on a daily basis, if you have straight, thin hair, being covered it can tend to get oily and damp. Using a mild shampoo will stabilise your scalp and prevent it from developing dandruff, which can trigger hair loss.
- Let your hair dry naturally and completely after washing and before wearing your hijab. If you need to use a hair dryer, set it to a low to medium.
- Don’t tie it while wet – You may be running late but tying up your hair when it is wet is a bad idea. Wet hair makes your strands weaker as the hijab pulls against them leading to breakage and split ends.
Letting it breathe
We spend a good amount of the day under the hijab, your hair needs to breathe, especially if its prone to getting greasy. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, taking off the hijab as soon as you’re home is good for the hair, take a few minutes to give your scalp a gentle massage too! Lots of people say massaging your roots makes hair more prone to greasiness, but after a whole day under wraps, it needs a little revitalisation & a wake up, so try a dry shampoo if your hair is flat & greasy after being in hijab all day.
We know wearing hijab can protect your hair from dangerous UV rays & pollution, but the hijab fabric you wear can also have an effect on your hair health.
Even under the crepe, chiffon, polyester or rayon hijabs, wearing an under scarf made of silk will stop friction breakage from wearing the hijab.
Nylon & other fabrics can rub against your hair causing it to either break, frizz or make it greasy. So you want to choose a fabric that is kind to your hair & scalp, especially since they are going to be on your head for an amount of time. Try using pure cotton, satin or silk hijabs that are more gentle on the hair & scalp. Keep them loose in order to maintain air circulation for your scalp. Simple and loose hijab styles are the best for the health of your hair as they allow air circulation.
Getting some much needed Vitamin D
Lastly, this may not be something you can do if you don’t have a garden or outside space that isn’t overlooked, but you can always open the windows and find a spot in the house that gets some sunlight. Do this as much as you can, or for at least 30 minutes in a week if you don’t have much time, your hair will thank you later! 🙂
Would you like to have your say & add something to this article? If so, tell me, what your go-to hair care secrets are? Do you have any hijab hair woes to add? Let me know in the comments below & don’t forget to share!