Can wearing a hijab everyday affect the health of your hair?

By . - Monday, November 22, 2021

What is a hijab and why is it worn?

A hijab is a veil worn by certain Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which covers the head and chest for modesty.

How the hijab may affect your hair.

Even if you cover your hair for the most part of the day, it’s still important to care for it properly. Many hijab wearers experience frizzy or greasy hair and even hair loss due to wearing one, which are things you clearly want to avoid. These problems boil down to the use of toxic and unnatural textiles to cover the hair, incorrect hair tying, poor hair care routines and the use of unnatural products. So, for lush looking locks, here’s how to care for your hair if you wear a hijab.

Choose an appropriate hairstyle

Styling your hair right can help you tie your hijab properly and maintain your hair health. You want a hairstyle that keeps your hair secure all day without any escaping strands. However, tight buns can cause tension at the crown of your head, making it sensitive and sometimes painful to touch. This strain on your hair can even cause hair loss at the temples, which you want to avoid. Opt for a low bun or ponytail instead of high ones as these don’t pull on your hair as much. Other good ways to style your hair include the french braid, as this helps prevent tension and holds your hair in place, or a more simple braid, which creates less tension than a regular ponytail. If you are going to tie your hair up in a ponytail or bun, we’d recommend using scrunchies instead of elastic bands, as they reduce tension and are kinder to your hair. You can even use larger scrunchies, which can add more volume to your finished hijab style.

Use natural materials to form the base of your hijab style

A good hijab base is important for many reasons. You will feel more comfortable throughout the day, avoid headaches, irritation, hair pulling and have a beautiful shape if done correctly. If you choose to wear a hijab cap, bonnet or underscarf, remember that this is the first thing that will be in contact with your hair. Stay clear of underscarves which are made from synthetic materials or are a blend of synthetic and natural fibres, because as your body temperature rises, the chemicals from these toxic textiles will be absorbed by your hair and skin, which is not what we want! Instead, choose cotton, silk or bamboo hijab underscarves and hijab scrunchies as these are natural and hair-friendly.
Use a hair-friendly hijab material

It’s best to choose a hijab fabric that is soft and breathable, such as chiffon, cotton or silk. These natural materials are your best option as these are kind to your hair and scalp. The best material for this is silk, as it lies smooth against your hair, without causing any friction. Avoid fabrics like nylon and polyester, as these can rub against your hair, and the friction can cause it to break, frizz, or even make your scalp and hair look greasy. Synthetic materials like these make it hard for your skin to breathe, raising your temperature if you’re active. Heat also helps release chemicals like formaldehyde which are absorbed by the skin and can cause a range of problems for your hair, scalp and skin.

Change and wash your underscarf regularly

Underscarves are worn all day under your hijab, making them susceptible to collecting dust, dandruff, sweat, and the natural oils from your scarf. This can build up quickly, causing it to smell and even make your hair greasy. It’s important to regularly change out your underscarf and wash them between uses, ensuring they’re dried completely before using them.
Let your hair breathe

Keeping your hair tied up all day restricts it and doesn’t let it breathe. This prevents your scalp from getting the nutrients, moisture, and oxygen it needs. It’s important to let your hair and scalp breathe in the evenings. Take the time to give yourself a gentle scalp massage in the evenings, which helps stimulate blood circulation to boost hair growth. You can use hair oils for this to nourish your scalp. Ensuring you have a healthy scalp is the best way to guarantee healthy hair.

Wrap your hair while you sleep

While this counteracts the previous point about giving your hair room to breathe, wrapping it in a silk or satin scarf overnight will help control your hair sebum, especially if you have curly or coily hair. Sebum is a natural oil that helps sustain the quality of your hair, benefiting the texture and appearance. However, your scalp’s sebum can sometimes fall out of balance, especially due to sustained friction, making it appear greasy. If you have cotton sheets, you should consider wrapping your hair in a scarf or bonnet to protect your hair from the harsh cotton friction, which can cause your scalp to produce more natural oils while also causing hair breakage. If you don’t want to wrap your hair, you should use a silk pillowcase, which offers the same benefits.

Establish a hair care routine

Having a proper hair care routine is essential. This is aided by knowing your hair type and buying the right products. Gently detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb and plenty of conditioner when you’re in the shower, and make use of a leave-in conditioning product for added moisture. You should avoid washing your hair every day as this strips it of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. Washing your hair too frequently with shampoo also means that your scalp overproduces sebum, to make up for the oil being stripped on a daily basis.

Hot showers are discouraged as the heat can be harsh on your hair and scalp, while cold water temporarily closes your pores and flattens hair follicles, increasing their ability to grip to your scalp, helping to reduce hair loss. 

Natural products are highly recommended as they’re more gentle on your hair and scalp, and gently cleanse without stripping any natural oils. You should also consider deep conditioning treatments at least once a month, as a way to boost moisture to your hair, improving the overall hair health. Products like coconut or argan oil can become your hair’s new best friend, preventing it from becoming dry while improving its appearance.

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