Things that will make your life easier: Undercaps and Straight Pins

Salaam y’all, and happy Friday!

This is one is for all the brand- new “hijabis” out there, or even those that are just considering taking the step into practising hijab. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, it may be a bit dull for you—sorry.

When I first started out, I had, like, minus 3 ideas what I was doing. My hijab looked different every single day, as I tried to figure out how to wrap the scarf, which materials to use, and, most importantly, how to get it to stay on my head without slipping back for more than two consecutive minutes.

So, one day, inspired by The Sewist’s video on what to have in your “new hijabi” kit, I set out to try my hand with undercaps and pins. And let me tell you, those things changed the game for me! No more tucking and hoping, and no more tugging and re-arranging all day long.

That’s why today I wanted to share some of my tips for someone new to the head-scarf business on how to get the most out of undercaps and pins to keep your hijab intact all day long.

Undercaps

These don’t actually need to be the stupidly expensive ones that you have to buy from an online Islamic shop. Unless you really want the kind that covers your whole head, or the ones that cover head and neck, you can totally use plain old wide headbands.

My first tip here, though, is to be careful of the fit. If you are prone to headaches, I do not recommend using something very tight. And if you do use something very tight, I also don’t recommend pulling it down over your ears as well. Lessons learned the hard way…

You also want to make sure whatever you get isn’t to big and loose either, because then you are going to end up having the same problem with it slipping around. The whole point of the wide headband is to have something to anchor the scarf to that will help hold it in place.

As for material, I actually just used the old cotton ones that I used to wear to the gym when I was first starting out. They were wide enough to cover my hairline and keep the scarf in place, plus not too tight and breathable to boot!

Depending on the material of the scarf you are using, you may be able to get away with just using the headband/undercap underneath it to give it some more traction. Jersey, for example, is pretty good at staying put all on its own. I’ve found though that scarves like pashminas or the light, airy chiffon type ones tend to need a bit more security to stay put.

Enter, hijab pins.

Pins

There are all sorts of cute little pins available out there in the world of Islamic clothing stores. I have also seen women use pretty brooches to keep their scarves in place over their chests as well. If you don’t have access to those though, or you just want something cheap and quick, straight pins are the way to go.

One of my favourite pass-times is sewing, so when I first started wearing hijab, I got out my sewing kit and, since I was in my last year of my bachelor’s degree and didn’t have time to sew much anyhow, appropriated my sewing pins to be hijab pins. They were the kind that is just a long, straight pin, with a pointy side and a little ball on the other. Bonus: my pins were the ones with the ball that looks like a little pearl, so they were totally pretty enough to wear. I kept the ugly yellow ones that I have in the sewing kit!

At any rate, these work great because they not only hold the material of your scarf in place, but the little ball on the head of the pin keeps it from popping out every two minutes (because if it did that we would be back to square one.).

Where you place the pins is up to you and how you wrap your scarf. I used to throw the scarf over my head, wrap one side up under my chin and pin it to the undercap, and then wrap the other side around my head and pin it at the side to keep it in place. This meant I got plenty of drape over the chest area, where, by the way, you can also stick a pin or two for extra security, plus my scarf was secure on top and I didn’t have to worry about my hairline being exposed.

I’ve seen different women do it differently though: some pin by the chin, some pin nearer the cheek on the side the wrapped it around, some pin on the top for a nice little fold-y effect that I never was able to achieve. Hop over to YouTube, there are about as many scarf-wrapping tutorials as there are hijabis!

I hope those couple of tips from my experience will be helpful to some of those sisters just starting out, and naturally I would love to hear from y’all what your experiences were; was it an easy transition? Tips and tricks that you figured out along the way that may be useful to someone new? Awkward stages and funny moments?

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2 thoughts on “Things that will make your life easier: Undercaps and Straight Pins

  1. Here’s a tip if, like me, you aren’t very good at getting straight pins to stay under your chin so use a safety pin: these things can damage your scarves by getting caught in them and creating holes. What I have done for about a year now is I get the backs of earrings, you know those squidgy meant-to-be-clear but really greyish ones? Anyway I put one of these on my pin before pinning it to my scarf and voila! This stops your scarf from travelling to the end of the pin and getting caught in the spirally bit.
    Not much of a tip but it’s saved many of my scarves! Hope it helps others hahaha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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