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Women who have recently converted to Islam or who plan to travel to Muslim countries that require all women to conform to Islamic dress standards often need help getting used to wearing a hijab. For converts, also known as reverts, consulting with other women in the Muslim community as to how to select and wear a headscarf can be quite helpful, as can clerks in shops that sell Islamic clothing. Tourists can benefit from doing research as to the standards in the countries where they will visit. Selecting a hijab that is comfortable to wear and easy to maintain is also important, as is using accessories that can help keep the hijab in place.
The term hijab can be used in two ways. The first is a reference to the obligation of every Muslim to dress in a modest way. Hijab is also used to describe the headscarf that covers a woman’s head. Modesty standards vary considerably within the Muslim community. In some predominately Muslim countries, a very strict standard of modesty is enforced upon all women, while other countries permit women to choose the degree to which they dress. Travelers to countries that require or encourage wearing a scarf should research local customs so as to understand whether a hijab is required of all women as well as the styles worn in that country.
Women who live in places or who are part of communities that offer some flexibility in wearing a hijab may wish to consider their lifestyle and aesthetic preferences when selecting a headscarf. If a woman is concerned about minimizing bulk around her head, such as when exercising or playing sports, she may wish to consider wearing a hijab that fits closely around the head. She may also want to select headscarves made from light fabric so as to keep her head cool. In situations where a woman travels to a more conservative country or is part of a more conservative community, she may have fewer options in wearing a hijab. In such cases, she should ensure that the headscarf conforms to community standards and provides enough coverage of her head, hair, and collarbone.
Properly wearing a hijab may take some practice. Women who are new to Islamic dress may wish to ask a shop clerk or a Muslim woman for assistance in properly folding and clipping headscarves so that they will stay in place. Some stores that sell Islamic garments also sell clips, tight snoods, and under-scarves that can help keep the hair covered in case a hijab slips or falls off.
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