The trouble with headscarves

Linking the words ‘trouble’ and ‘headscarves’ suggests a current issue which is religion related and has caused fierce debate. Well, that is what most people might think of, reading the title.

However, in London in the early 1970s, everyone was aware of the ‘Sloane Ranger’ – young and not-so-young smartly dressed women, denizens of Peter Jones in Sloane Square, who were seen out and about in the environs of Chelsea and Belgravia, wearing an expensive silk headscarf, tied ‘just so’, under the chin.

I wasn’t a ‘Sloane Ranger’ but sometimes I wore a headscarf. It had to be silk because that both tamed my hair and made it shiny. I trawled the charity shops for them and it was an ongoing search, often full of disappointment, which made the triumph of finding one, both in silk and in an acceptable pattern and colour, all the sweeter.

I haven’t worn a headscarf for a long time but I’d quite like to take it up again once in a while. Especially during this wet and windy summertime. It’s just that all those connotations relating to wearing headscarves make me feel uneasy. Especially when my own reasons for wearing one are to show off the beautiful pattern and/or colour, while making my hair smooth and shiny. All reasons which I find compatible with my personal ‘raison d’être’. My old, well loved scarves are carefully preserved – washed and ironed a hundred times. Silk is the most beautifully strong and softly seductive material, which never seems to wear out. I need to delve into the history of the silkworm. I have never seen one at work.

Maybe I’ll just stop footling around now and just put one on. I could be ‘spotted’ as a new fashion statement and then headscarves will again have their day. A different sort of day. A day celebrating the beauty of silk and those who weave it into beautiful apparel. It is a wonder of the natural world, after all – even if the silkworms are not aware of how clever they are.

This is just an extra passing thought but of practical use:-

If you want well groomed, shiny hair at the drop of a ‘hat’ (!) (and I assume it is clean hair),
just put on a silk headscarf for five minutes and walk around and ‘voilà’, your hair will look stunning. I was told this once when dressing models for a fashion show – and it works for me.
In fact, if you have soft, fine hair, two minutes will do.


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