I want to tell you, why I started covering my hair as a Christian.
It wasn’t a decision made in about a few days or some weeks, actually I thought about covering my hair a long time ago. Fear and a fearful voice in my head made me think in negative ways about covering my hair.
The main thoughts were = covering your head/hair leads to impressions that I converted to another religious believe as to Islam or Sikh, or that I have a hairloss sickness or else? To be really honest with you, in my past I had thoughts about women covering their hair as being oppressed or with less value to be forced into covering.
I’m really glad and blessed that my holy father allowed me to see that this is not the truth, yes sure there are women and girls being forced into covering but also women with strong faith and obedience to worship God only and not this world.
When I started realizing that my heart is seeking information and truth about my own way covering or not covering, I started googleing it. Sure it is easy, and the main results showed Christian nuns, wearing head covering, or muslima’s headcover hijab. I continued searching the Scripture which leads me to 1. Corinthians 11:6 „For if a woman is not veiled, let her also have her hair cut short; but if it is shameful for a woman to wear her hair cut short or to have her head shaved, then let her be veiled.“ I know that this biblical verse is read and discussed a lot, pro head covering and against. I kept studying and searching for truths, reading about women in the time of Jesus, the way they were dressed, especially their hair. Jewish women used to wear tunics, with a sash or rope or a leather belt and they were covering their head and hair.
I’m not living back then, or in Israel, still I felt my heart longing for more information, for more insights about their living and their fashion, well their clothes. As they were living in times were the clothing was also functional they used materials to comfort them in the different season weathers. Materials to keep their skin from burning through the sun, materials to keep them warm in cold night times. Still Gods word says
1. Timothy 2:9-10 „Likewise, the women, when they pray, should be dressed modestly and sensibly in respectable attire, not with elaborate hairstyles and gold jewelry, or pearls, or expensive clothes. Rather, they should adorn themselves with what is appropriate for women who claim to be worshipping God, namely, good deeds.“
It’s stated “when they pray, they should be dressed modestly..” I can only talk about myself but I like to pray during my day, starting in the early morning times when I wake up, standing up going to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to the childcare, the shoppingcentre, driving the car on the highway – everywhere. So after google supported me with all this informations I checked Pinterest and Instagram for some visual offers, which led me to beautiful Headcoverings called Tichel. Jewish headcover, and their technique to wrap them. At the time I started using a headcover myself, wrapping it around my head like the Jewish women on Wrapunzel. For me, headcovering is a visible obedience I give to God, while he is securing my thoughts. „Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.“
The beginning was a challenge, not only the wrapping and the problem of slippery scarves, but also reactions and questions of people around me. More about the slippery Problem later. How about the different reactions in my surrounding.
- “May I ask, do you have cancer?” For some, it’s quiet a sensitive question, I do understand and respect this. One close relative of mine has cancer and she lost all her hair, beside the fight against cancer and all her therapy she has to fight the feeling to be unattractive or with less value because of her hairloss. Just about my decision to start wearing my tichel, I decided to donate my hair to a charity for children fighting cancer. The company is supported with hair and money donation and provides natural wigs for kids. It is such a beautiful work and I was really sad I didn’t know earlier in life, as I had many haircuts from hip long to really short always throwing away the hair.
- “Did you convert to Islam?” This is a quiet interesting question, as it is mainly asked by European, let’s say German friends. It’s nothing negative or they didn’t meant any negativity, simply the fact I saw clearly, that for some people headcovering means “Islam”. Even Muslim women and men, talked to me in the city thinking I’m an arabic speaking Muslim. Well I’m working on the Arabic speaking point, but this will be another topic. As my family in Indonesia knew from the beginning that by the way I wrap the headscarf I can’t be Muslim. (Indonesia had a 87.2% population of Muslims in 2011)
- “Is this new fashion?” Yes, I also got these comments, if it’s just a fashion thing, because it’s nice for today, or because I got a “bad hair day”.
- “Is it because of religion or culture?” Well culture rather no, because the German culture does not cover hair any longer, long time ago they used to, while working on fields and to protect the hair and head from dust, dirt and sun, but I won’t say a normal hat is culture.. well “because of religion” this one is slightly tricky. I would say no. I don’t cover my hair because of religion, I posted 2 biblical verses which I needed for my journey to find out what is right for me only, on the path whether to wear a tichel or not, but it might be a total different meaning for my sister in Christ sitting next to me in church.
Honestly I had positiv respond to my new life-headstyle, because as soon as people in my surroundings realized that I do cover my head not because of a husband or a father or brother or a city or country or culture who told me to do so, I can see in their expression either interest and/or acceptance. I don’t care much about acceptance as I don’t harm anyone by wearing my tichel, it’s similar if I would wear a cap, or a sun hat or just a headband, it’s not offending anyone, and my main intention is to serve and obey God, not human, so my first thought is always, do I serve God, or people? Coming to the interest part, this one is more of a value for me. You may have read about refugees coming to Europe, Fear is a dangerous weapon and ignorance is an easy game for it. When the feeling and my interest in headcover began, it was months before the first refugees came. Today I know, covering my head is not only for myself and my relation to God, it is an instrument to fight ignorance and fear. To open eyes, to open topics without being scared, to open minds. Inside myself the feeling became bigger to clear things up, to show people that fear of the unknown is not necessary. Sure not everyone I met outside is asking me why I’m wearing the tichel, not everyone is asking if I’m sick or Muslim, or what kind of believe I’m actually in. But the few who already have or who will are exactly the ones who should and were led by the Heavenly Father!
It’s been a year now, wearing a tichel when I leave the house. It’s not 100%, but I try at least 98%, sometimes my kids pull it off, or I just run outside quickly to check the mail or throw the rubbish. I’m looking forward to my upcoming tichel-year 2017.
Going back to the problem I mentioned earlier, the slipping problem. First when I decided to wear a headcover I tried different styles, sure you have a wide branch of how to do your hijab, and then I finally found some on how to do your tichel. I started to put my hair into a bun, then I tried the wrapping… and yeah it looked okay, but as soon as my head was moving my scarf started slipping too… I checked the internet, and found one woman telling to help yourself out with a baby cotton blanket, you usually use to wipe away things baby spilled, things baby grabbed and I used it to cover my baby while I was breastfeeding. I tried this method and it was working well. Okay, except I had this under my scarf and as soon as my kid pulled off my tichel it would come visible. So I tried different headbands I bought in shops nearby, but it didn’t work, then I tried to buy an undercap from a Turkish hijab shop, but I think they are not meant for Tichel or the turban hijab, just for hijab purpose. Then I found the Wrapunzel Homepage with lots of beautiful scarves, pins, and tutorials!! I bought my Volumnizer and I’m so happy about it! Right now I’m using scarves I already owned or I got some from my sisters in Christ and friends and family to start with – but as mentioned before, the scarves and kits at Wrapunzel are so beautiful, think my next order will be made soon! And with this volumnizer I can even wear my tichel with short hair, while it looks as if I still have my long hair under the scarf. The volumnizer creates a nice and beautiful shape as well and it’s easy to wrap your scarf around. And the most important point for me – it’s a non-slip-band included!
After this problem was fixed I started to work on different wrapping methods and styles and still am learning and working on new looks.
So I’m not at the end of my story why I start wearing a headcover, what thoughts and fears I went through. I thank you for taking the time to read my tichel story. Always feel free to comment below. God bless you!