Head coverings in ancient times- practical and traditional uses
Historians have found evidence of headscarves in ancient Egyptian tombs and artwork as far back as 1350 BC. The Egyptians covered their heads with fabrics made of fine linen to protect from the sun. They were often adorned with gold or other precious materials to signify the wearer's wealth and status.
Functional and spiritual purposes
Headscarves were also commonly worn in ancient Greece and Rome. Greek women would wear a veil called a kredemnon, which covered their entire head and shoulders. Roman women wore a similar veil called a flammeum, which was traditionally dyed bright red. Wealthy women wore these headscarves to demonstrate their piety, but prostitutes and lower class women were not allowed to wear them.
Headscarves in the 20th century- from Hollywood to the factory
In the 20th century, headwraps became an important fashion accessory, worn by women from all walks of life. In the early years of the century, scarves were used in the film industry to create glamorous looks for female movie stars–like the iconic headscarf worn by actress Greta Garbo in the 1930 film Romance. The headscarf became a symbol of the golden age of Hollywood and was often seen on the heads of stars like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.
Multi-purpose head scarves are both stylish and useful
With the advent of the automobile, headscarves became a a practical accessory, particularly for women with long hair. In the 1940s and 1950s, headscarves became popularamong women who wanted to protect their hair from the wind in open vehicles.
During World War II, women who worked in factories and other industries wore kerchiefs to keep their hair out of their faces and machinery. In the 1960s, these scarves took on a new meaning as a symbol of the feminist movement. Women protesting for their rights and marching for equality often wore headscarves as a way to demonstrate their solidarity and unity.
A modern accessory: from medical hair loss to the red carpet
Today, women continue to wear headcoverings for a variety of reasons.. As fashion accessories they can add a pop of color or pattern to an outfit or cover up a bad hair day. Headscarves are also a practical accessory for women with hair loss due to medical treatments, illness, or aging.
Fashionable accessories with practical advantages
In my own experience, head wraps have been a powerful tool for self-expression and a way to embrace my own unique style–from a vintage-inspired scarf tied in a bow to a sleek and modern turban. Headcoverings have allowed me to feel confident and stylish in any situation, whether that’s just a bad hair day or regrowth after cancer treatments.