Covering my head

Posted on August 13, 2011 by

It’s been a few months since I began covering my head all day, every day, as a devotion. I put a wide headband or scarf on in the morning, and take it off in the evening. Now that I’ve had more experience with it, I’d like to offer a few impressions:

  • I feel more reverent in church. I used to attend Mass bare-headed, and it always left me a bit unsettled. Now I am sure that I am showing proper reverence to the Eucharist, and that I am not distracting the men around me with my bouncing curls and hair-tossing.
  • I feel more deferential outside of church. My headcovering is a constant reminder of my wifely submission and religious adherence, and it serves as a walking guilt-trip. I’m finding it more difficult to be rude or unkind, as my association is clearly marked and I worry about making a bad example. It also makes my prayer life more intense, somehow.
  • Head coverings make having longer hair more convenient. I used to have my hair cropped quite close to my head, but now it’s nearly shoulder-length. As I possess a wild mess of curls, this was usually the length were I would give up growing it out and chop it all off again. This time I haven’t even noticed my hair growing, except when washing it at night (it doesn’t dry as quickly anymore).
    That might not seem like an important point to make, but it might help explain why shorter hairstyles became popular among women at the same time that head coverings went out of favor. My hair no longer seems like a time and energy consuming burden. I just wake up, brush it through, tie it up, and I’m done.
  • I get stared at a bit more, but I have not received any negative feedback except from my mother (who says I look like an “Amish girl”). I have also not had any questions, which disappoints me.
  • Head coverings are comfortable. I suspect the different styles will appeal to different people, but I find the Cecily style stays in place without pulling, pinching, or pinning. It keeps my hair out of my face and off my neck, covers my head, but allows a bit of my hair to peek out at the bottom, so it looks less severe than some other styles. On cooler days, I wear it open like a scarf. On really hot days, I wear it bunched up like a headband. Marvelous. I admit, I spent two month’s worth of my pin money on these coverings. One must be matching, you know.
  • My husband likes them. At first he was a bit weirded-out by the whole thing (What’s my crazy wife up to again?), but he’s since gotten used to them. He’s surprised me by declaring that a rather old-fashioned brown crepe with lace is his favorite. He says it’s romantic. I came home from Easter Vigil with a beige pashmina shawl pulled up over my head, and when he opened the door he just stared for a moment, and then said, “You look like the Virgin Mary.”
  • My hair has taken on a more sensual aspect than before. I have noticed that he’s more inclined to notice and touch my hair, now that he only sees it for a short period every day. He used to not notice it at all, even when it was longer, and now he takes my scarf off and plays with it.
  • I don’t put any “gunk” in it anymore, since I don’t have to style it. I’m also more inclined to leave it curly, rather than tame it with my flat iron. Because it’s protected all day, there’s no frizz, no bleaching out, and no tangles, so it feels softer and smoother.
  • I am treated with more respect by strangers. Men are more inclined to open doors for me, or to offer to help me with something heavy. Women are also more pleasant, and often even deferential. I am assumed to be more mature than I am, and my opinion carries a heavier weight than before. Paradoxically, my profession of submission grants me more authority.
  • At the same time, I look younger than without a covering. I have long noticed that women in feminine headcoverings look more demure and sweet to me, and I appear to not be the only one who sees them that way. I’ll occasionally catch my husband looking at me, and he’ll smile and say, “You look cute.” Sometimes he caves completely and adds a kiss on the cheek.

All in all, covering my head has been a wonderful experience. I am going to continue to cover, and I heartily recommend it to my female readers.

Posted in: Homemaking