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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261 comments

  1. 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.

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    • 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!

      Like

  2. 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?

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    • 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!

      Like

  3. 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…

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    • 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!

      Like

    • 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)

      Like

  4. 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?

    Like

    • 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!

      Like

  5. 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?

    Like

  6. 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!

    Like

  7. 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?

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    • 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?

      Like

  8. 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?

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    • 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 🙂

      Like

  9. 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?

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    • 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.

      Like

  10. 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.

    Like

    • 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!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. 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!

    Like

    • 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

      Like

  12. 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?

    Like

    • 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 🙂

      Like

  13. 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.

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

  14. 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.

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    • 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 🙂

      Like

  15. 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.

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

  16. 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.

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

  17. 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…

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

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