I’ve recently received a number of questions about how I style my boho head wraps, so I thought I would put together a little “Head Wrap 101” for anyone who isn’t quite sure where to start. While I love the boho “flair” that a head wrap instantly gives any look, I also appreciate its functionality. I’d also like to mention that although I prefer to wear my hair down, I’m also not a huge fan of having it cling to my face like some sadistic octopus either. Going a step above the traditional plastic headband, you can take almost any scarf or bandana and turn it into a chic accessory that helps to keep your mane in place.
So let’s say you’re ready to take the plunge into head wraps but you have no idea what to look for when shopping for them or how to tie one on without looking like Rosie the Riveter. No shade to Rosie, but I strive for a look that is a little less “Americana pinup” & little more “island hippie.” The first thing I think about when I’m buying a new head wrap is the size & shape. This may seem obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: the larger the scarf, the bigger your head wrap will end up. Shape also plays into what style of head wrap you’re looking for. To keep it simple, I have styled a few different options with corresponding images for a visual reference. After considering size & shape, the next feature to keep in mind is fabric. There isn’t a whole lot to explain here, but just know that silk or satin may not stay in place as well as cotton.
Square is the most low-key shape there is because you won’t end up with a huge bow or long tails hanging down. Typically, I either tie the bow in the back of my head or off to the side. I tend to avoid placing the bow in the center because, as I mentioned before, it can lean more towards the Rosie the Riveter look. If it’s a small bandana, I like to do a one-loop bow, which is the same as a traditional bow but you pull one side completely through so both tails are going in the same direction.
Depending on the size of the scarf, I usually like to style rectangular head wraps in one of two ways. Either with the bow tied off center (if I want to make more of a statement) or with the bow tied behind my head with the scarf tails hanging down. Also, if it’s a particularly hot day, I’ll tie the knot under my hair to keep those crazy locks off my neck.
TWILLY [long/skinny scarf]
My favorite way to style twilly scarves is by placing the center of the scarf at the back of my head, bringing both of the ends around to my forehead, cross over one another twice to create a small twist & then tie off at the back. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.
Gather your hair into a high bun, holding into place with one hand, and with the other hand tightly wrap your bandana around the base of your bun & tie off. Ta-da! You’re sloppy mane will be instantly transformed into a chic style—you’re welcome.
SHOP MY STYLE
SQUARE/SMALL BANDANA: Black & White | Neutral & Blue | Blue Tile Print | Tropical Silk Scarf RECTANGLE/LARGE SQUARE: Mix Print Scarf | Mix Print #2 | Striped Peach Scarf TWILLY: Vintage Silk Twilly | Bird of Paradise Silk Twilly | Gucci Flora Twilly
A habit I’ve adopted that I find useful is whenever I’m leaving the house, I tie a bandana to my purse so it becomes my go-to hair accessory, if necessary. As an added bonus, it also serves as a cute bag accessory when it’s not in use (which I think we can all agree is much more stylish than the janky black hair tie that’s cutting off the circulation to your hand).
I hope this answers some of your head wrap questions & gives you a little inspiration! So take a bandana with you to the beach or pool next time & see if you don’t fall in love with this look… trust me, you will. As always, sending lots of tropical vibes your way!
Xx – Rachael