I do not know many women who wear hijabs but the one woman I knew, I met when I first entered University. Call me closed minded because that is just what I was when we first spoke to each other. She was different like many things were on my first day, my first week, my first year of College.
Here I was on a campus filled with diverse individuals, all from different walks of life, different religions and different races.
There were older women sitting beside me in class with so much wisdom about life but who had the same insecurities about being in an intense three year program just like I did.
As women we have so much in common but our impressions and assumptions about each other can make us feel like we are from different planets.
Hijabs are head coverings worn by some Muslim women while out in public. From my simplistic perspective the covering represented conservatism, respect, religeon and tradition. Things that I celebrated in other ways based on my own upbringing.
My friend wore one everyday, I wanted her to remove it so bad.. I just wanted her to come to school one day in jeans a t-shirt, hoop earrings and some red lipstick. But most of all I wanted her to remove her hijab, I was curious about her hair.
I can admit that here but I never once would have suggested any of that to her out of respect, but we did talk hair, one time! She told me about her hair practices and to my surprise there were things she shared that I have heard before.
I realized that it wasn’t such a big deal, we had some of the same hair issues and her hair care regimen was pretty predictable considering the fact that her hair was covered all the time. Here is what I learned.
1. If you wear hijabs you must make a special effort to sit in the sun
Because the hair is always covered women who wear hijabs tend to try to get some exposure to the sun when they can and when it is feasible.
Sitting in a sunny window or opening the blinds and exposing the sun to the hair and scalp will ensure that the hair is exposed to vitamin D* which is critical for healthy growing hair.
Most of us try to stay out of the sun due to harmful UV rays and while that is a problem for all of us Muslim or otherwise covering your hair all the time can deprive the hair of essential vitamins*.
2. My friend said most people assume she is bald
Women who wear hijabs are not bald under there, as a matter of fact the hair can be of varying lengths. Some women have seriously long and thick hair, others may decide to cut it all off.
I suppose this was one of the assumptions that bugged her the most about people who are not used to seeing hijabs. lesson learned