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A Hijabi's Guide on How to Take Care of "Hijab-Hair"

Posted on November 01, 2012

This Ask Haute Hijab post comes from Saamia who asks, "Can you give us tips on how to take care of hijab-hair? How to avoid flattened-hair lines and what hair cuts are an absolute no (bangs?!)"

Hijab hair: [hih-jahb, -jab] [hair] the limp, flat, sometimes painful hair that results after a long day of wearing hijab. Needless to say, hijab hair can be a total bummer so read on for our tips and tricks to help with limp, flat, lifeless hair!

1) The right ponytail

                             Slicked Back Ponytail                                    vs.                           Side-part Ponytail

I've found that a side-part ponytail, shown above, is a better alternative under your hijab than a tight, slicked back ponytail. Sleek ponytails pull your hair back tight and often give you pain at the roots at the end of the day when finally releasing it. Side-part ponytails help alleviate pain and are healthier for your hair (and hair loss) for the long-term. One thing to be careful of with the side-part ponytail is bangs! They'll often fall with this pony so be sure to secure them with bobby pins if you don't already wear an undercap. 

2) Frequently change your part

Changing your part every so often allows your hair to get out of its rut. When wet, give yourself a side part on the opposite side of your natural part and let it dry this way. The side part naturally gives your hair extra volume which helps with hijab-hair when letting it loose at the end of the day.

3) Deep Condition Weekly

Deep conditioning is a great way to put moisture back into hair, strengthen elasticity, and help with the overall health of your hair and scalp. If you're using a store bought deep conditioner, make sure you shampoo first. If using a homemade deep conditioner with any type of oil, (olive oil works brilliantly!) apply to dry hair.


4) Trim your ends regularly

When your hair is constantly tied back, especially in a bun, it accelerates hair damage at the ends. In order to keep your hair healthy between cuts, try trimming your ends every couple months or as necessary. Check out the video below to show you a fool-proof way to trim your own hair in between cuts.


5) Let it Breathe

When your hijab is off, let it breathe! Avoid putting it up in a ponytail or leaving it in a bun and let it loose! If you're someone who can't stand hair in your face, use a headband or clip the front of your hair up, but let it down and let it breathe as often as you can!


6) Show Your Hair Some Love

A great way to combat hijab-hair is to show it some love! Massage your scalp frequently to help improve blood circulation around the scalp area which is vital for ensuring optimum hair growth. Spend a few minutes of your time daily and you will notice a better head of hair. (Not to mention scalp massages have shown to increase the production of endorphins and serotonin, which help put you in a better mood, reducing your stress and creating an environment for relaxation!) Here are a few tips on scalp massage:

A good time to do it is after showers. Make sure your fingers are sufficiently clean before you begin.

1) With your fingers tips (not your nails) start from the forehead hairline on both sides. 

2) Applying sufficient pressure, massage the area with your fingers in a circular motion for about a minute.

3) Continue this pattern towards the top part of your scalp until the back of your scalp.


As for haircuts, there are no cuts off limits! Some just take more maintenance than others. I once sported a super short Edie Sedgwick cut that I thought would be a disaster with hijab but it was surprisingly amazing! For months I never had to worry about a bun or oddly shaped ponytail in the back of my head. If you have bangs, you'll most likely need to wear an undercap to keep them in or pin them back with bobby pins. In short, don't let hijab keep you from getting the cut you've always wanted, or experimenting with different styles. There's always a way to make it work :)

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