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Defined: Every Way to Say "Headscarf" We Can Think Of

Updated: May 4

Headscarves, bandanas, durags, turbans... and every other way to say "creative head covering."

We’re guilty of this the most: Using words like headscarves, bandanas and head wraps and others interchangeably -- when, in fact, each have their own definition and purpose based on how they’re cut and styled. Below is a list of definitions we use on this website. We tried to think of every way to say “creative way to cover the head” -- but did not include hats or hat-style options because we feel those are already understood. Besides, we’re all about being creative with pieces of material on our heads! If we’ve left any out (which we’re sure we did!), just let us know at headscarves@yahoo.com and we’ll add it.


Headscarf - A square piece of material worn on the head, often folded into a triangle, and tied under the chin or behind the head. Can be written as one word (headscarf) or two (head scarf). Get some headscarf inspiration here.

Bandana - A square piece of often brightly patterned fabric that can be worn on the head or neck. Also known as a handkerchief. Can be written with one “n” (bandana) or two (bandanna).

Headwrap - A piece of fabric of any shape, such as a scarf, a strip, a triangle, or a square, usually secured by a knot. Can be written as one word (headwrap) or two (head wrap.)

Headband: A narrow strip of decorative cloth worn around the head usually to push hair off of the face or forehead.

Kerchiefs: A triangular or square piece of cloth tied around the head under the chin, or around the neck. Also known as “babushka scarf.”

Babushka - A headscarf tied under the chin, typical of those worn by Polish and Russian women. Also known as Kerchief.

Durag: A piece of material wrapped around the skull, with a small flap hanging down in the rear, over the neck. Also called a skull cap or wave cap.

Hijab: A headscarf worn by Muslim women to cover the hair and neck. Also known as a niqab or sheila.

Tichel: A Yiddish word for the headscarf that many married Orthodox Jewish women wear to cover their hair as a form of modesty. Also known as a mitpachat.

Snood: A type of headgear that holds hair back in a cloth or yarn “bag” often worn by married Orthodox Jewish women.

Turban: Fabric wound in folds about the head, often over a cap, without a brim (or a very short one). Similar to headwrap.

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