The effects of head covering or Hijab on the hair and scalp - Best solutions

Most women in the Islamic world, and particularly in the Arab region, commonly wear the hijab on a daily basis, sometimes for specific periods of the day when they are out. This covers and conceals their hair from view. However, wearing the hijab or head covering daily doesn't mean you should neglect your hair just because it's out of sight. In fact, your hair still needs special care, perhaps even more. So, this article will explore the impact of the hijab on hair health and whether it truly damages the hair. We'll also discuss a range of tips that include correcting common unhealthy behaviors and adopting healthy habits for hair health and growth when wearing the hijab, while avoiding potential problems caused by common, unhealthy practices associated with wearing it.

The Impact of the Hijab on Hair Health

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There are many beliefs claiming that wearing the hijab is harmful to hair and the scalp, and it's one of the main reasons for hair problems, including hair loss. However, this is not true, according to some studies and research on this topic. They have highlighted the benefits of wearing the hijab or head covering, as it serves as significant protection for hair and the scalp, particularly against various environmental and external factors that can negatively affect hair. These factors include UV rays from the sun, wind, dust, and polluted air, which can carry germs and bacteria harmful to hair, among other factors. Therefore, the hijab can only harm hair through improper and unhealthy wearing, involving wrong behaviors that should be avoided due to their negative effects, eventually leading to hair loss and scalp issues.

8 Essential Tips for Healthy Hijab Appropriate for All Hair Types

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1. Proper and Healthy Wrapping of the Hijab

One of the most damaging habits to hair health is tightly and forcefully wrapping the hijab or headscarf around the scalp to ensure it stays in place when you're outside. This is detrimental to the scalp's environment and hair growth, as it hinders proper airflow, leading to weakened hair and hair loss.

2. Wearing Hijabs Made from Natural and High-Quality Fabrics

It's always advisable to choose soft headscarves and head coverings that are gentle on the scalp. Look for fabrics primarily made from natural fibers like cotton, silk, and chiffon. These materials allow the scalp to breathe properly. In case your hijab is made from synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester, which should generally be avoided, consider wearing a cotton bandana underneath as a protective layer for your hair. This reduces the accumulation of sweat and dirt on the skin or scalp, as contact with these synthetic fibers can cause hair to become frizzy, brittle, and even lead to the absorption of potentially harmful chemicals by the scalp, causing various issues for both the scalp and hair.

3. Avoid Covering Wet Hair

Always avoid covering your hair when it's wet because doing so prevents proper drying of the hair and scalp. The moisture retained on the scalp after washing can lead to the development of dandruff and the growth of fungi. It's also recommended not to use hot water when washing your hair because high temperatures can be harsh on both the hair and the scalp, resulting in dryness and hair loss. It's better to wash your hair with lukewarm water, which is gentle on the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth. Additionally, avoid daily hair washing as it strips away its natural oils, leaving it dry and fragile.

4. Regular Hair Massage and Combings

Doctors and specialists always recommend spending around 5 minutes daily combing and massaging your hair using a natural hair-friendly oil to stimulate and enhance blood circulation on your scalp. This practice also ensures the even distribution of natural scalp oils for a clean scalp and healthy, soft hair.

5. Opt for a Comfortable and Healthy Hairstyle When Wearing the Hijab

It's advisable to avoid pulling your hair tightly back when tying it, especially before wearing the hijab, as this can lead to a receding hairline and hair loss. It's also a major contributor to the development of traction alopecia in women. So, it's essential to choose a hairstyle that preserves the health of your hair and scalp and isn't too tight or uncomfortable, as some hairstyles can be painful, particularly when touching the scalp. Therefore, consider low bun or ponytail hairstyles rather than high ones, and use slightly larger hair ties to avoid headaches, irritation, and hair breakage caused by thin hair ties.

6. Daily and Intensive Care for Your Scarf or Hijab

Changing and washing your scarf or head covering daily with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser is essential because it's exposed to dust, dandruff, sweat, and various oils.

7. Let Your Hair Breathe

Tying your hair all day prevents your scalp from breathing, denying it the necessary oxygen and nutrients. Therefore, it's advised to let your hair down, especially in the evening before sleeping, to ensure a healthy scalp.

8. Follow a Suitable Hair Care Routine

It's crucial to follow a proper hair care routine and not neglect your hair by understanding your hair type and acquiring suitable products while adhering to all the guidelines provided in this article.

No study suggests that wearing the hijab negatively impacts hair health. Instead, it acts as a protective barrier for your hair and scalp against various harmful environmental factors. The hijab can only harm your hair when accompanied by certain incorrect behaviors and habits, which primarily start with neglecting hair care due to constant covering. Various hair problems, such as dryness and hair loss, begin to surface in such cases, exacerbating with poor choice of hijab fabric and improper wearing techniques. In essence, the hijab doesn't cause hair loss; it's the incorrect behaviors associated with wearing it and neglecting hair care that lead to these issues.