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What Is a Bandana Hijab?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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The term “bandana hijab” is used to describe a particular way of tying a headscarf on the head. Traditionally, a bandana is a square of cloth that is worn either around the neck or over the head. When worn as a head covering, it is typically tied at the back of the head, covering the scalp and holding the wearer’s hair, if any, off his or her face. Some women who wear the hijab, the headscarf worn by Muslim women or women living in Muslim countries, will wear a headscarf tied bandana-style as part of their head covering. Women and girls who live in areas that forbid the wearing of the hijab in public may also wear a bandana in place of a traditional hijab.

A bandana hijab can be worn one of two ways. The first is to tie a scarf bandana-style over the head as an under-scarf and then wear an additional, longer scarf over the first scarf. This style of bandana hijab uses the under-scarf to cover and control the hair, while the over-scarf provides coverage to the neck and, in some cases, the shoulders and chest. By wearing two scarves together, a woman can match or contrast their colors and patterns, creating a fashionable, attractive look.

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The other style of bandana hijab is to wear a long, stretchy under-cap that provides full coverage of the neck. These under-caps are similar to hoods, covering the head but exposing the face. The wearer can then tie a smaller scarf bandana-style over the under-cap. When wearing this style, a woman may need to take care that the clothing she wears meets the edges of the under-scarf so as to provide necessary coverage.

The wearing of the hijab is a subject of some controversy, with some Islamic scholars insisting that women are religiously obligated to cover their heads in public while others believe that covering is primarily a cultural practice. In fact, some countries have instituted laws that prohibit the wearing of a hijab in certain contexts, such as schools or government offices, or that may even forbid wearing head coverings in public altogether. In such situations, women may choose to wear a bandana in place of a traditional hijab. While the bandana may not provide the same amount of coverage as a full headscarf, it does provide coverage of the hair, representing a compromise option that may be acceptable to both women as well as some government officials.

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