Questions About Wearing a Hijab That You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask.

I love when people ask me questions about Islam. LOVE. IT. It means you’re showing an interest in who I am and what I believe instead of making assumptions. It gets me thinking about why I believe or do the things I do. I love it – keep them coming.

Over the years I’ve been asked some pretty adorable questions about wearing the hijab. I’m going to answer them for you in case you’re too embarrassed to ask. (If you want to know about why I wear it, you can read more here. )

The Luxy Sisters (http://www.luxyhair.com/pages/our-story) - I learned everything I know about hair from them. Even Muslimahs want to look fabulous.
The Luxy Sisters (http://www.luxyhair.com/pages/our-story) – I learned everything I know about hair from them. Even Muslimahs want to look fabulous.

Are you bald?

This is my absolute favourite. It has been asked so many times and it makes me laugh every time. No, m’dear. I’m not, there’s hair under there but it’s just all covered up. Muslim women will have all the same variation in hairstyles as your regular woman will. We do the long hair trends and short hair trends the ombre hair trends and the blonde streak trends.

So what do you do to your hair then?

Well! Okay this is my other favourite question. We’ll all do different things, depending on what’s comfortable. I like to tie my hair into a loose-ish bun. It keeps it all neat and out of the way and I don’t have to worry about a pony tail sticking out of the end of my hijab. I told one of the people who asked me if I was bald that the lump at the back of my head was just loose skin, and that’s why I wore a hijab. Oh dear. I’m sorry, girl. I was joking 🙁

How come your hijab doesn’t fall off?

I wear a cotton cap underneath all my hijabs that keeps my hair in place. Not all women do this. I know my mum doesn’t – in fact, it makes her feel suffocated. I love them because it means I can play with the colours and match them up with the hijab and outfit. The cap keeps it all together for me.

I sort of explained how I wear my hijab here (I also told you about other weird things I do with my hijab, so have fun).

Cotton cap - as you can imagine, it's hard to get this picture off a real Muslim girl.
Cotton cap – as you can imagine, it’s hard to get this picture off a real Muslim girl.

Have you ever pinned yourself with all dem pins? 

Never ever! I’m not even that careful – it’s just really difficult to pin yourself when you can feel and sense what you’re doing. Because I wear a cotton cap, most of my pins sit in the cap. The main one that falls under my chin to hold it all together is just a safety pin. Mum always says I’m going to choke on a pin – I tend to hold them in my mouth while I’m pulling it all together, but I’m learning to be better with that.

Do you have sex with a hijab on?

I should stop saying any of these questions is my favourite, because they’re all great. No, no we don’t. Well maybe, I don’t know – it may be a kink for some people. Women wear hijab when they are in the presence of males who they’re not related to, namely, anyone who isn’t their brother or father or uncle or son or nephew or husband. We call these mahrams ( محرم), which basically translates to non-permissibles which refers to marriage – you can’t ever marry those people so you don’t have to cover up around them. Cousins don’t count – you cover up around them because you could actually marry them.

Thusly, you can infer that you don’t cover up around your husband so you don’t have sex in a hijab (remember, no sexual relationships before marriage or you will die).

Can I see your hair?

Are you a woman? Are you my mahram? Sure. Otherwise, I’m sorry. You’re going to have to marry me.

Do your hijabs have to match your outfits?

No, I’m just incredibly stylish.

How do you colour-match all your hijabs with your outfits so well?

See above. Also, I’m smart. My mum and I go to this suburb in Sydney called Cabramatta. It is filled with drugs and fabric stores. AMAZING fabric stores where I can buy a meter of gorgeous fabric for about $4. When I go, I buy 30 or 40 scarves. I get insanely good discounts. I can pick all the amazing colours in all the fabulous shades I want. Patterns that I could’ve never imagined and textures one could only dream of. Each hijab costs me about $6 or $7. There are hijab shops all over the place too where they sell weird and wonderful hijabs with lots of glitter and things. It’s amazing.

Where do you get all your hijab-friendly clothes?

Well, we get resourceful. Know a place that sells plus size, maxi dresses? Me too, and I’m probably their walking wardrobe. City Chic used to be great. Asos makes me happy. There are plenty of hijab fashion stores too. A really popular one is Inayah, which is pretty popular or global hijab fashion which is just so full of beautiful styles. Hijab couture is a thing.

So… like. When there’s a special event, what do you do with your hijab?

Hijab styles are as varied as hair styles.
Hijab styles are as varied as hair styles.

You can get hijab-styles. I’m not even kidding. You go to a special salon where the lady does cool things on your head. These ladies are all over Facebook, like this one. It’s pretty bloody amazing.

What if you just want to do your own fancysmanchy hijab?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube. I mean, look at this one – it’s called ‘Hijab Tutorial Pretty Bow Turban – From My Ariana Grande Makeup Tutorial‘. There are hundreds of thousands of them. Be warned, lots of ‘brothers’ go onto these pages to tell the women what sluts they are and that they are helping create an Islamic community of miscreants. Just don’t read the comments. Smart videos like this prevent people from commenting. YAY.

Do you wash your hijabs?

Yes.

How do you wash your hijabs?

My washing machine really liked to eat my pretty hijabs. To prevent that, I now wash my hijabs in those little lingerie bags. Keeps ’em nice and happy and in one piece.

Are you allowed to wash and cut your hair?

Hell yeah, girlfriend.

Can I compliment your hijab?

Of course you can. Beats you trying to rip it off or spitting in my face because you think I’ll spontaneously explode!

Can I touch your hijab?

Are you a woman? Are you my mahram? Sure. Otherwise, I’m sorry. You’re going to have to marry me.

Is it offensive to try on a hijab?

Not at all! In fact, it’s quite fun for everyone! I was wanting to have a ‘try a hijab day’ anyway. Let me know if you’re interested.

I have another weird question. Can I ask it?

Yes, of course!

Even if it’s inappropriate?

Especially if it’s inappropriate! 😉

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314 comments

  1. Hi there! I absolutely love this blog and I absolutely love your personality~

    I’d just like to say thank you for giving us a straight answer about the bits of hair not tucked into the hijab. I had been searching for quite a long time specifically about that, but nothing gave me a straight answer. I wanted to draw and write a Muslim character but didn’t want to offend anyone >~<

    Thank you <3

  2. Im 16 and im not muslim but im a boy and I like this girl or woman really and shes also 16 but I just wanted to know if like since we dated in 8th grade she had shown me her hair and I was wondering if that is okay because I do think about if I just gave her a one way ticket to like being a horrible person for life and it upsets me because we have been in touch for years and she feels comfortable sending me pictures with her hair out.

    • Hi Norri

      Thank you for sending me a message. I think it’s very sweet that you are concerned about the impact that you may have had on this girl who showed you her hair.

      I think if she is comfortable showing you her hair, then there’s not really anything that you can do about that 🙂 It’s her choice. If you think that maybe it’s not the best idea, you may wish to tell her that she doesn’t have to show you her hair if she doesn’t want to. That way if she is doing it because she feels like she has to, she will know it’s okay not to.

      I hope this helps!

    • I am so sorry for the delay in this response. I have just found over 50 comments that have been marked as spam going as far back as 2015. It’s possible that I have responded to this already – but I’ll answer again in case I haven’t!

      I personally feel a little bit uncomfortable about any questions that males ask about my hair. I’ve answered questions but it isn’t something I enjoy doing. I think it depends on the relationship that you have with the person wearing the hijab and her own personal comfort levels. It’s a question that I think you should avoid with most hijabi women.

  3. Thank you for this post!

    Quick question—there is a woman in a college class that I see every day as I go in for the next class. She always has the most beautiful hijabs and I would like to compliment her on them (I’m a woman). I was reading on some sites that some Muslim women would find that offensive or uncomfortable if I were to say something like, “You always have the most beautiful hijabs. They’re very tasteful.” Or that some Muslim women don’t want attention regarding their appearance.

    I tend to wear neck scarves quite often, and have a love and admiration for fabric. So I would like to pay her a compliment, but I do not want to offend her or make her uncomfortable.

    Am I just overthinking this entirely too much?

    Your insight is much appreciated. 🙂

    • Hi there!

      I think you are totally overthinking it – but it’s a very sweet and considerate form of overthinking. If more people took the time to figure out whether their actions had a negative impact on people, the world would be a much better place.

      I receive compliments about my hijabs and the way they match what I’m wearing quite often. I don’t find it at all offensive when people do that. The world is filled with so much negativity that is directed at Muslims; so when someone is saying something nice to me, I am always totally appreciative 🙂 Feel free to compliment her!

      Best wishes!

  4. Hi….I contact you yesterday but you didn’t send me anything….I really enjoy this website and this web was really helpful and exciting
    Think about my offer about making a page on Instagram to contact people more I really love to help people to know more about Islam and hijab so then please help me to help people
    Perfect wishes for you and your blog

  5. Hello there :). Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I am a filmmaker and am writing a short film/teaser that will be than looking for more funding to make it into a feature. Okay please forgive my ignorance on this matter, I grew up in a muslim country and have a muslim grandfather, but still have a lot of questions about hijab culture. The lead in the film will be a muslim woman that wears a hijab, she will eventually befriend an Argentinean man and it might or might not be a love story, we are still writing it hehe. However, I wanted to ask, if our character indeed will be wearing a hijab, will intimidate relationship outside of marriage with a non muslim man be completely out of the question? I just started researching this topic so again forgive my ignorance. We want to push boundaries with this film but we want to push realistic boundaries, not stereotypical ones. Thank you so much.

    • Dear Lidiya

      Thanks so much for your message. It sounds like a really interesting production.

      I think the story of ‘forbidden love’ between a Muslim woman and non-Muslim man has been overdone. It’s something that happens, sure, but it’s mostly unheard of.

      Unfortunately, racism is still rampant amongst some groups in the Muslim community. Thus, you could get the effect of pushing boundaries by making it a story about an interfaith couple where both are Muslim. That would be enough to set a lot of families off. It also means that your audience is more likely to connect. A lot of us know couples where the parents disapprove because one of them comes from a particular village or a neighbouring country etc. Potentially!

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. Hi there! I hope this isn’t an odd question, I’ve seen a few of your posts about wearing the hijab as a non-muslim (im an Indian Hindu woman) and I see you mentioned that you believe it’s okay for women to wear the hijab for modesty reasons etc. but I was wondering what your thoughts would be if someone wanted to wear the hijab or particularly like a turban style head cover for a purely style reason? I find the hijab and turban to be very beautiful and I want to try it out, aesthetically speaking, but I wonder if this would fall under appropriation as it’s just for style and doesn’t carry the same religious weight as a Muslim woman wearing it for religious purpose. I’d like to hear your thoughts – whatever they are, so I can make a much more informed decision about it! I absolutely do not want to appropriate culture at all and can easily abandon the idea of trying a turban if it is in fact appropriate because I can understand how harmful it can be. Thanks!

    • Go for it! Style, modesty, religion, for fun – whatever reason. I don’t think that women need to justify why they wear or don’t wear a particular thing. I want to advocate for women to feel completely in control of their bodies.

      I don’t think that it’s cultural appropriation or anything like that. Wearing a head-covering is something that has been done across cultures and religions throughout human history. No one owns the concept; well, except for the individual choosing to cover up at any given time 😉

      Go for it!

  7. Hey! I really liked this post! I just had a quick question- I want to get my friend a couple of hats but she wears a hijab.. I don’t know if it’s a stupid idea or not.

    • Lots of Muslim women wear hats over their hijabs. I don’t personally do it because I’m just not stylish enough to pull it off – but if that’s a thing you think she could be into, go for it! I’ve seen some hijabi girls in really pretty, big hats. A quick Google search will give you some inspiration for styles that compliment the hijab really well. What a lovely friend you are!

  8. Hey, i would like to know whether wearing those big flower clips in head under the hijab is allowed or no? I mean can we tie our hair totally in a bun n then wear hijab?

    • I am so sorry for the delay in this response. I have just found over 50 comments that have been marked as spam going as far back as 2015. It’s possible that I have responded to this already – but I’ll answer again in case I haven’t!

      I know the clips you’re talking about – I know a lot of people have said that they are haram because they create a bump in your head. You can definitely tie your hair in a bun because that’s one of the only ways to keep it up and out of the way but I’m unsure about ‘enhancing’ it all with a flower clip.

  9. I am an atheist white male and honestly I just don’t care what anyone wants to wear on their heads. I do think hijabs are elegant though. I love the fabric patterns I’ve seen on some of them too. I love the design of the and colours of it. I honestly do think people especially here in the US think “muslim = terrorist” to which I don’t think that way. Because one the most respected people who influenced my life and my way of thinking was a Muslim man. He was my counselor in high school. After I graduated I still keep a relationship with him and I occasionally head over to his place we just discuss stuff sometimes I go over for dinner. (His wife one hell of a cook and really made me love Pakistani and Indian Food in general) She wears one when I come over and is really intelligent too. She works as a Teacher taught me a lot about the history of Pakistan and India too.

    Maybe I am just not a judgemental sod or just don’t care cause I know its cultural and I am not one to judge. I was brought up that way. I feel like sometimes I am a rarity here in the US because I just want to learn and experience stuff rather than be scared of it.

    • Hi Thomas

      I think you’re very lucky that you had that sort of support in your teenage years. The man and his wife sound like a lovely pair. I think it is beautiful that your experience means that you’re willing to treat people based on how they treat you and others, instead of their culture or religion. I hope that more people like you can pop up and show the world some love and understanding.

  10. So, Im normally a very modest person. Even in the summer, i am uncomfortable wearing short sleeved shirts. Ive always worn boy clothes, so it wouldnt shape to my body, etc. I love covering up n it makes me feel comfortable. As the past year has gone by, i feel more and more embarrassed about not covering my hair(i was raised atheist by my dad, and traditional christian by my mom, but i am agnostic. im so curious about other religions, particularly polytheistic ones). Well, my question is, do you think anyone would be offended if i started wearing one? And how could i explain why i wear it? I go to a christian church every sunday. But ive always really admired the hijab. I guess, whats your advice for me? I know a lot of ppl, i think would really struggle with it, that i see very often too. :/ i live in a really really small city.

    • Hi Kelli

      As you may know, a lot of Christian women also wore hijabs so head-coverings have been worn throughout the ages for many different reasons. I would encourage you to do whatever makes you the most comfortable, for sure, but your explanation will depend on what you’re comfortable with sharing. You may wish to just tell people you’re experimenting with head-coverings because they’re stylish, or you may want to say you’re connecting to a more traditional Christian practice of headcovering. Just make sure that you’re doing something that you’re comfortable with and that you have the right support around you. Good luck!

  11. Hi,
    I have an islamic friend who always has really pretty headscarves.
    Well, Christmas is coming up, and I want to make her a hijab. I know she won’t be offended by the gift, but I can’t find any information on what the dimensions are supposed to be.

    How big should a hijab be?

    • Hi Hannah! I am so sorry for the delay in getting back to you!!

      Hijabs are of so many different dimensions. Most of mine are 150cmx150cm which allows me to fold them in lots of different ways. Others are about 1.5m x 50 cm – these are longer, shawl-like hijabs which wrap in a different way. It just depends on her personal style. What a kind present!

  12. I love you! I’m Christian and I want to wear a hijab in support. I got a scarf but I can’t keep my hair from showing. If it shows is that a big no-no? I could just wait to get an underscarf…

    • Hi Ceep, I wondered if you were familiar with the Christian tradition of covering the head? I’m a Christian and wear a headcovering, but I’m in the minority although it’s been the norm for women throughout Christian history, and most Orthodox ladies still wear coverings, at least for church. If you want to know more, you can check out http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/, which is non-denominational. There are lots of different styles you can wear, just like there are for hijabs (and there’s some overlap, particularly if you look at the eastern traditions – look up some pictures of the Starobryadtsi or Russian Old Believers and take a look at their coverings!), and it’s really up to personal taste… Christian headcovering is about covering the head, not the hair, which is a bit of a semantic difference and amounts to the same thing, really, but it does mean you don’t have to worry if your hair’s showing (once you get the hang of it, it’s easy enough to cover it all if you’re wearing an under-the-chin covering). There’s nothing wrong with wearing a hijab as a Christian but you will get asked about it so it’s good to have a Christian reason for doing it, too!

    • Also, if you can’t find an underscarf, try a normal headband – or a wider one like a pre-made bandanna type. Or cut the back off a t-shirt and sew it into a tube the diameter of your head. If you’re having trouble with forehead-hair, that will fix it. If your problem is the hair at the temples/ by your ears… well, if you pull the headcovering around and tie it under the chin, that should cover it. If you’re not using a headband or something to anchor it, make sure you have really, really non-slippery material. (LOL, at Open Mosque Day the girls put the slipperiest hijab on me I’ve ever encountered… I think if I didn’t already have a headcovering on to pin it to, it would have fallen off the moment I moved)

  13. I have a similar question to the previous one.

    I’ve recently met a refugee family from Iraq. I don’t know them well, but the mother and daughter were dressed very conservatively, in hijabs and loose robes. Winter is coming, and I’d like to knit them some woolen winter hats. Would the hijabi women find this useful? Would I be better off knitting them shawls or scarves they can wear under their robes instead?

    • Hi Rachael

      What a kid and generous thing for you to do. I wear beanies over my hijabs in the cold, because in Canberra it can get quite freezing. I put it over my hijab because it means I can easily take it off when I go inside. I hope that helps!

  14. I am going to visit a friend who has recently converted to Islam and married a Muslim man. She is now hijabi and I am very supportive. Should I wear hijab myself when I visit her at home and meet her husband?

    • Hi Jamie

      I apologise for the delay in responding. Generally, I would say that you don’t have to wear a hijab in that sort of circumstance – but how did you go? Were you expected to cover up?

  15. I just wanted to thank you for writing such a loving, funny piece. It is so important for people to feel comfortable asking questions about things that they may not understand. Fear of the unknown can lead to assumptions or worse, hatred. Thank you for making people feel comfortable to ask. You have a BEAUTIFUL spirit!

  16. Hello! I was wondering if women who wear hijabs could instead just wear wigs to cover their real hair. Or would that defeat the purpose?

    • Hi Selena

      I could have sworn that I responded to this already but I can’t find my response – so here we go again! You are right in suggesting that wearing wigs would sort of defeat the purpose. However; it’s not a practice that is unheard of. Some Jewish women, for example, wear wigs instead of covering their hair. I guess it just depends on the person’s reason for covering up – is it to cover their own beauty so that only people they know would know their ‘real’ identity, or is it to generally cover up?

  17. Hello!
    I just stumbled across this article now- hope I’m not too late 🙂
    I am currently working within a theatre group, and my character does wear a hijab. I’m wondering whether it would be appropriate for me, since I am a white, non-muslim teenage girl. Although I know that there is no mention of it in the play in order to offend, I’m still a little bit on the fence about it. What do you think?

    • Hi Macy

      I apologise for the delay in responding to you. Hopefully I’m not too late, but I figured I’d answer in case someone else was in the same position as you are.

      The interesting thing with wearing the hijab in the Islamic context is that it’s not a practice that is restricted or limited to just one cultural group. It’s supposed to be a practice that can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their nationality. So there is absolutely no problem with you wearing one 🙂

  18. Hey just found your site. It’s really great so thanks for that! Anyway I just started college in a big city (I’m a small town girl) and have seen several women walking around in hijabs. I had a class with two women who wore very beautiful ones and they were talking about styles and such. I am too shy to speak to them without before hand knowledge but here are some of my questions: Are dupatta and hijab the same thing? Does wearing a hijab make one feel more confident (cause it certainly seems so to me)? And if I chose to wear one should I wear a long flowy dress (like the ones the women in my class wear and the ones that are in virtually every picture I’ve seen with a woman wearing a hijab) with it?

    • Hello there!

      Dupattas are cultural south-Asian pieces of fabric that are traditionally worn over the shoulder. A hijab is a cloth that covers the head and hair.

      Wearing the hijab, for most women who wear it, does create a sense of confidence and comfort. When people talk about banning the the hijab I get really uncomfortable because I can’t imagine not wearing mine.

      For the most part, women who wear the hijab wear flowy clothes. Maxi dresses are the easiest (that’s what I wear too!) because you can always count on them being beautiful, flowy, and modest.

      I’m sure if you chat to the girls in your class they’d be more than happy to answer your questions! Who knows, you might end up with a bunch of new buddies.

  19. What a great blog! I’ve been very interested in learning more about the hijab especially since Nadiya rocked the Great British Bake Off. During the show, she wore coverings that covered from her chin to her front. Since the show I’ve seen her on talk shows where she wears coverings that look like a scarf bun (if that makes sense?). What is the difference? Is it just a matter of style/preference? Thank you in advance.

    • Hello there!

      Sorry for the delay in responding. Since I’m in Australia, I didn’t really see Nadiya on the GBBO but I’ve watched her subsequent interviews and what an articulate, eloquent, gorgeous woman she is!

      I know the exact style that you’re talking about because it was one of my favourites in my mid-teens. I suppose the way that a woman wears her hijab depends on two things – her stylistic preferences and her interpretation of the religious element. So, for some women, over-stylising the hijab goes against their religious interpretation of the purpose of the hijab. For other women, they interpret the obligation as being one to cover, so how they do it is up to them.

      Hopefully that answers your question!

  20. Hello! I love this article so much, it was very helpful! I’m here doing some casual research on this topic for a character and I have a few questions I was hoping you could answer. First of all, what is the dress code for the rest of the body? Can someone be wearing a hijab headscarf but still show their arms, legs, etc. if they are religious and the intention of the headscarf is there? …I know that’s probably really dumb and showing skin defeats the purpose but I’m just wondering… Also, what age do young women start practicing this? I’ve seen some places that say around puberty but I’m still not sure if that’s a suggestion or not and what age that really means. Thank you!

    • Hi Rori

      Thanks for your question! Based on the intention you’ve got for your character, if they’re wearing the headscarf for religious reasons, it’s very unlikely that they would show any skin or hair. Puberty is the right age at which people typically start wearing hijabs, but others do it before or after. I started mine when I was about 11 – so I guess it depends!

      Hope that helps!

      A

  21. Hi! I am going into high school and thinking of starting to wear hijab. I’m moving to a different state so I really think this would be a perfect opportunity to start fresh and be a better Muslimah. I am wondering: If I wear hijab, can I still go swimming at the pool? what would i wear? Also, can I still get haircuts? Do I have to cut my hair at home so nobody sees it?

    • I am so sorry for the delay in this response. I have just found over 50 comments that have been marked as spam going as far back as 2015. It’s possible that I have responded to this already – but I’ll answer again in case I haven’t!

      When I go swimming I wear long pants and a long shirt with an easy drying hijab. I’m going to invest in a burkini though because I think it would be more comfortable and dry better!

      You can still get haircuts too. I’ve always had my hair cut by my talented dad, but there are a lot of hair salons in my area that have womens only rooms/sections that allow them to cut their hair in privacy. There are also mobile hair stylists that will come to your house and cut your hair, so feel free to do a Google search in your area to see what’s available 🙂

  22. Hi!!
    There’s a girl at my school who is muslim and she wears a headscarf. However her headscarf is not wrapped it kind of hangs down behind her ears. Is there a reason for this or is it just a variation in different ways you can wear hijabs?

    • Hi Summer!

      Most women have their own individual style of wrapping a hijab. Often, you can track cultural influences and almost guess where the woman’s from based on the way she wears her hijab.

      Your friend probably just decided to go with that style because she likes it 🙂

  23. When you mentioned videos on how to style your own hijab you also mentioned that men may use videos to find women to verbally attack:
    ” Be warned, lots of ‘brothers’ go onto these pages to tell the women what sluts they are and that they are helping create an Islamic community of miscreants. Just don’t read the comments. Smart videos like this prevent people from commenting.”

    First – the thought that women wear hijabs because they are oppressed wouldn’t follow any sort of logic if men specifically ridicule women who are being modest.

    Second – what is their motivation? Why do they feel that sharing ideas about hijabs reflects negatively on a woman’s character? Do these men feel that hijabs should make women feel submissive and confined, and they are angry that women have become empowered by them?

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I am often frustrated as being identified as my busy, waistline, hairstyle etc.. and have contemplated various coverings. I know they would bring other types of attention, and I am unsure which types of negative attention are easier to cope with.

    • Hi Sarah! Thanks for your comment and insight.

      You’re absolutely right about the lack of logic that comes from the action of these men. It is for this reason that I am opposed to the idea that anyone, other than the individual herself, has a right to dictate a woman’s actions. To some, wearing a hijab makes us oppressed, to others, it makes us sluts. There is no logic, rhyme or reason behind this and these actions all work together to oppress women and our ability to make decisions for ourselves.

      Generally, the motivation for these men is this false belief that they have a right to dictate what women can and can’t do. It’s the same as politicians who think they have a right to legislate about reproductive rights or anything else relating to women. It’s a sense of power brought on by centuries of patriarchy.

      I am so glad that you’re enjoying my page. I hope that you area able to find a way to deal with the rubbish that society throws your way.

  24. Can someone wear a hat or a wig instead of a hijab? I ask because I wonder what women that don’t feel safe to wear them in public do.

    • Hi Ford

      Good question! Some Orthodox Jewish women wear wigs or hats instead of hijabs. I suppose, from an Islamic perspective, wearing a wig would defeat the purpose a little bit.

      If I was forced to stop wearing a hijab where I live (and couldn’t move somewhere else) I would probably try and use a hat. So yeah! I guess it’s possible 🙂

  25. Why is there a picture of you without a hijab here? To make us feel more comfortable? Thats my problem with Muslims, they really seem to be a bit two faced. they have a public face, and a private face. The public face is friendly, and fun. The other face is Muslims blocking French streets, praying in the street, breaking the laws, and being allowed special treatment because the demand it so forcefully. So why do you really wear a head covering? I don’t believe that it is modesty. I believe it is loss of identity. A woman in a hijab looks much like all other women in hijabs. Its difficult to tell them apart. Add in a long drab, shapeless cloak, and it becomes impossible to tell if the women is young, or old, or thin or fat, or anything else. I have red hair, and the way most people recognize me, is seeing my hair from long ways away. Often I hate it. It makes it hard to hide. So I know very well what you take away from people by forcing them to cover up; Their identity. Their individuality. Tell me why you enjoy covering up your hair. And don’t forget, if Muslims were really in charge it wouldn’t be just your hair, would it? It would be every inch of you except for your face. Like the nuns habits nuns stoped wearing many years ago. Do you know why nuns wore it? As penance.

    • Mate, you’re on a little bit of a rambling tirade – and it all stems from your assumption that there’s a picture of me not in a hijab. For your information, that’s not me; it’s one of the Luxy sisters (as it says). Chill out, buddy. No one is trying to ruin your way of life. Just don’t try to interfere with what I do and don’t wear.

  26. I have a Christian friend who always commented on how she couldn’t understand Islamic women’s dress. She just wanted to tell them to free themselves from having to wear it. I finally had enough and asked her if she would say the same to an Amish woman? Stopped her in her tracks. Apparently long dresses and head coverings are ok for Christians. Don’t know if she got the point, but she has stopped commenting on it around me.

    • Eeesshh. These sorts of stories make me kinda sad because the women making the comments mean well and have all the right intentions – they are just misfiring. I sometimes wish that women who feel this way would just come and tell me what they thought and allow me to share my opinions with them. They don’t have to change their minds, but surely they at least want to know how I feel.

  27. Hi there.
    From the pics above it seems some fashionable women are using their hijabs exactly as they would their hair – to draw attention to their beauty. Add the heavy makeup, pouts, etc. and you’re saying “hullo sailor!”
    Which is kind of missing the point the Qur’an makes about drawing attention to femininity in public…

    • Hi there

      I get asked this a lot and I definitely can see where the question comes from. However, I think that the way a woman presents herself and defines modesty depends on her own interpretation of the religious texts in the context of her world. Although some of us may look at a woman and deem her actions immodest, she may think that her hijab and make up are fine. You can never really know where a person has been or where they’re going, so I suppose it’s best to let people do what makes them happy.

  28. Hey.. umm im salma im a muslim at the age 20 but still did not wear hijab my family and everyone even my friends says that i have to wear it yet there are others who still didn’t wear it, but all my family members wear it even the youngest of them they are making me stress over it really, im just confused cause as we know in islam if you wear a hijab and took it off again it would be a sin, and i really wish to wear it but right now i dont think its my time, basically im just confused yet bit scared of it, i dont care about whatever people say but no matter what they keep on nagging me to it, its like by force… i just dont know sorry to disturb but wanna know your opinion for real.. thanks.

    • Hi there

      This is a really troubling situation to read about and I’m so sorry that you are under this pressure. Like all religious beliefs, I think that wearing a hijab is a personal choice. If you are a forced to wear it, you are likely to feel suffocated by it. I think you should try to talk to your family about how you’re feeling and that you don’t want to be pressured into wearing it because you want to find your own way to it.

      If later down the line you would like to discuss wearing the hijab – feel free to talk to me. It’s up to you if you believe it is a religious obligation or not.

  29. Hello! Thanks for this cheerfully informative article!
    My weird question: Have you ever slept with your hijab on, or would you under certain circumstances? For example, being invited to a mixed-gender sleepover (or would that just not happen)? Do the rules for covering change if you’re injured?
    I’m mainly curious, but I’m also thinking I’d like to write a story about a hijabi superhero and her mixed-gender crime-fighting team who all live in the same house. I want make sure I’m not making mistakes in the very idea.
    Thank you again for your honesty and good humor 🙂

    • Hi Angie

      That’s really funny and sweet!! I HAVE slept with parts of a hijab on – the headband under the hijab. I’ve done it for different reasons: sometimes it’s because my ears are cold, other times it has been to hold my earbud headphones in. I’ve also done it to keep my hair neat – so y’know, I do it.

      Generally, Muslim women don’t sleep in mixed-gender environments if the men aren’t related to them. I’ve had distance relatives stay with my parents and hijack my room – this has meant that I end up sleeping on the couch. When this happens, I sleep with the hijab on but it’s not a very secure situation because y’know. We all roll around in our sleep.

      Hope that helps!

  30. Thank you so much for sharing honestly and openly with such a kindness of spirit. I sometimes like to cover my hair when I feel like holding a little piece of me away from the world, or when I have a fabulous new scarf! I started wearing one occasionally when my sister-in-law was experiencing chemo, and it occurred to me that head scarves have been a part of European tradition and shouldn’t mean you are either suffering from an illness or a member of a ‘minority’! (This is Tasmania,
    Jacquie Lambie territory.) Plus, they’re a practicality in chilly Launceston. I guess I resent a woman being defined by her appearance. However, in choosing to rock out the elegance of a head scarf, I have been nervous of treading on ‘cultural appropriation’ – after all, those gorgeous hijabs you have in your photos are still worn for a personal, spiritual or cultural reason, not for my fashionable gratification. (Although I suspect that most women enjoy looking good in their own way.) It may come down to a matter of opinion, and I don’t replicate hijab itself, but I wondered what your thoughts were.

    • Hi Emma!

      This is a really great question and it comes up quite a bit. Headcoverings are currently associated with Muslim women, but women from all over the world and throughout human history have been wearing hijabs for many different reasons. I feel like this means that wearing hijab isn’t a practice that should be owned by Muslims. Additionally, Muslim women come from all different cultural backgrounds and interpret and adopt the practice in their own ways.

      These two things together lead me to believe that a non-Muslim wearing a hijab simply can’t be classified as cultural appropriation. I may personally cover myself as an act of worship to God; but many other women do it for other reasons.

      I think most Muslims feel the way I do and would actually be excited to see someone wanting to wear a hijab. You should be able to wear what you want, when you want, and to feel comfortable in that choice 🙂

  31. Hi! I have a friend who has been thinking about converting to Islam and we’ve been talking and researching together for quite some time, wearing a hijab is a choice right? like it depends on the preference of the girl in question? Is it allowable for someone to wear a Hijab on one day and not wear one on other days or does it all have to be consistent wearing? And if yes, how consistent should wearing a hijab be?

    • Hi Annie

      The answer to this question will depend on the woman that you talk to. For me, wearing the hijab is about wearing it all the time irrespective of what social pressures come my way. But many women wear the hijab at different points in their lives for different reasons.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that women can wear headcoverings without being Muslim or wearing them for Muslim reasons. So there can be different motivations for covering up which will influence whether someone does or doesn’t wear a head covering every day 🙂 Your friend should do what makes her most comfortable.

  32. Hello, I’m a muslim girl that always has her hijab on. I go to an only girls school and i want to know if it is aloud to take off my hijab since there are no boys in my school?
    I would really like your advice and opinion?
    Thank you

    • Hi Falilat – thanks for your message! I went to a girl’s school also but couldn’t take off my hijab because we had male teachers and male visitors to the school. It would be too hard to keep track of who was around so I (and all the other girls who wore hijab) just wore it all the time. I know that in some schools in the Middle East – all the students and teachers are women and so they’re able to take their hijabs off while they’re at school.

      I guess it depends on the situation in your school 🙂

  33. Hello! I’ve got a possibly silly question for you that Google has thus far been unable to answer for me.

    I am not Muslim, but I wear very modest clothing and a headscarf (usually turban-style rather than a traditional Islamic hijab) on a regular basis because it makes me feel more comfortable & protected when venturing out into thr world. However, I have some various hearing issues that make life rather difficult when my ears are covered by fabric! Do you have any advice or quick fixes for this? Any headscarf style that does not cover my ears seems to be more precarious and prone to slippage, but I cannot do my job if I’m half deaf due to my scarf!

    💙 and thanks to you for all you do.

    • Hi Elizabeth

      Thanks for taking the time to message! Many of the ‘looser’ hijab styles allow the fabric to either loosely drape over the ears or not cover the ears at all. There are many styles but most might look a bit more like traditional hijab than the turban style. I would suggest Googling ‘loose hijab’ or ‘earrings hijab’ to get a sense of these looks. A friend of mine wears her hijab like this http://www.hijabiworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Easy-loose-Hijab-tutorial-2.jpg and to do that she just starts with a long shawl on her head with both ends dangling down her chest. She then takes one side, wraps it around the back of her neck and lets it drape back down on the side which it started. It seems to sit relatively securely! Try out some styles and see what works for you <3

  34. Hi I’m an a artist/writer and I have a new character with a hijab and I was wondering if women wearing hijabs have a certain process, such as pinning parts of the hijab while doing something where long or flowing clothing could get in the way?

    • Hi Em! I guess that is determined by the circumstances. I personally pin my hijabs so that the front part just covers my chest but haven’t really had an experience where I’ve needed to then re-pin. I have had to adjust my skirt or dress when walking in precarious circumstances – like over somewhere slippery. If it’s bad enough, I hitch the skirt/dress up and tie it at my knees. I’ve always got leggings on underneath so it’s always safe.

      Did you have a particular circumstance in mind though?

  35. Just happened on this. I suppose I already had the impression that women could ask more about this without making the “askee” uncomfortable due to past experience with women in certain sects of other religions, but thank you for pointing it out. I am …confused is a good word…about the reason for wearing one. I’ve talked to women who said they wore it because they felt safe when it was on -from men that would harass or attack them if they did not. I’ve also been told separately by various men that women only wear it as some kind of commitment to Allah (each man who said this put it a different way). and by a couple of those men that I was a racist for thinking that the ones who were also relieved it kept them safe from men were oppressed in any way. (Just to be clear, I DO consider it oppression for the women who told me they wore it only specifically to feel safe around men.) I’ve heard and read explanations something like yours -that it involves keeping your hair covered around the opposite sex who are not family, essentially- which brings back memories of certain Christian sects that expect/expected women to always cover their hair except for family and husband because it was considered entirely their fault and they were seen as the Devil’s tool is any man saw their hair and became attracted sexually. That has always been a form of oppression as well, in my mind, as it puts the responsibility for men’s actions on the women. Does all this help you understand why I am confused? Are all of these right? And if they are all right, where does the religion come into it, exactly? What does the religious rule say?

    • I totally understand where you are coming from. One thing I should add before responding to your specific concerns is that the hijab is more than just a garment. The Islamic notion of ‘hijab’ involves the way in which one dresses, acts, and interacts with the world around them. In this way, men are also expected to observe ‘hijab’ and dress modestly. Men are expected to lower their gaze around other women i.e not to ogle at them. Muslim men who look at what women wear and complain about it are not following Islamic rules – their job isn’t to dictate how women dress, it’s to watch their own behaviours and be responsible for their own interactions.

      It’s interesting that you suggest that women were seen as the devils tool to mess with men. However; sex and sexuality in Islam is not associated with the devil or devilishness. It is seen as a healthy, holy part of human existence and partners are encouraged to enjoy each other. Early scholars encouraged healthy sexual relationships in which partners were to love and adore each other and y’know, give in to their carnal urges. The only difference is that this is encouraged within the confines of marriage and not as part of one’s day to day interactions with total strangers.

      I guess the thing that you have to be mindful of is your own projection of values and attributes onto other people who have different lived experiences to yours. In your view, it may be oppressive that a woman covers up to protect herself from a male view, but to others, it’s comfortable. We all have different levels of comfort when it comes to showing skin – some women are totally comfortable walking around topless, others would be mortified by the idea. Women on all sides of the spectrum could call the behaviour of others oppressive (e.g. “she is only showing people her boobs because sex sells and she’s now having to conform to this societal standard” or “she’s only covering up because sex sells and she’s not having to conform to this societal standard”).

      I’ve personally never felt like my hijab was oppressive in any way. As I’ve said in many posts, it’s a source of freedom and identity that I can control. It also provides me with a sense of connection to my faith that I personally enjoy. But women have so many reasons for wearing hijabs. Many of the women who write to me aren’t even Muslim and yet feel happier in a hijab. So all of these explanations are right for some, and wrong for others. I’ve written a post about why I wear hijab and what my view of the religious rule which you can read here.

  36. A very good site. I just wanted to say this. There’s a pharmacist in Sams where I live, she wears a hijab… one has to be so careful and PC nowadays… one time she wore an especially stunning hijab that was black lace, and between that and her makeup, so very beautiful. She really knows how to do her eyes. I wanted to tell her how beautiful it was but was afraid she’d think I was prying or inappropriate. If a woman I’m speaking with wears a dress or earrings I like, I am comfortable telling her, and people tell me when they like my earrings or blouse, and so on… But in the present touchy political climate… I felt inhibited. It’s different. I wish I could tell her how beautiful her scarves are but I don’t dare. How sad that we couldn’t just be two girls sharing a complement.

    • Oh dear – your comment made me feel so sad! You absolutely 100% can tell a Muslim woman that she looks beautiful – especially when you’re another woman. Muslim women don’t usually cover up around other women and we almost always make the effort to look pretty when this happens. I’ve received compliments for my hijab or eyeliner and they make my day. They’re a really nice change from the subtle (sometimes overt) racist comments that bigots comfortably make. You should tooootalllyyyyy feel comfortable about complimenting a woman in a hijab 🙂

      • Hi. I have a friend that wears hijabs to school and i have a very pretty scarf with a beautiful fabric which i was wondering if it would be appropriate to give her as a gift? I dont know if it would be ok to give her the scarf. Do you have any suggestions for me please? Thank you.

      • Hi Stephanie

        That sounds like a lovely idea 🙂 It’s totally appropriate for you to give her a scarf as a gift. I know that you already have a scarf in mind, but one suggestion is that you pay attention to the way she wears her scarf – does she typically wear longer scarves that cover more of her chest? If so, consider giving her a longer scarf. Also, if her scarves are generally not see through, place your hand under the scarf (or two layers of it) and see if it’s see through. If it is, it’s probably not appropriate.

        If your friend is anything like me she’ll appreciate your gift and kindness either way. If she doesn’t wear it like a hijab around her head, she will probably still be able to wear it as a neck scarf 🙂

  37. Hi,

    I am a new muslim woman and would like to start wearing the hijab. I have worn it out in public (errands and such things). I would like to start wearing it at school as well but am terrified due to severe panic attacks I have in the classes normally. Is it ok to wear a turban style in school until I become comfortable wearing the hijab in the classroom, or is this considered wishy-washy/ bad to allah. Thank you so much for everything you do!

    • Hi Katie!

      You’re very welcome! I hope that the transition to Islam has been a fulfilling one for you.

      As you get comfortable with your new life as a Muslim, you should definitely be easy on yourself! It is of course expected that you will be transitioning into the religion rather than crashing your way into it. In fact, most Muslim women who wear the hijab will start off slow – first, covering their hair, then maybe increasing the length of the shirts that they, loosening the fit of their clothes etc. No one would expect you to wear a full hijab right away.

      If it’s more comfortable to start with a turban style – go with that. Ease your way into wearing the hijab the way that you would ultimately like you. Remember that God knows your intentions and reasons 🙂

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