May 26, 2022 - Clothing & Accessories

How to Tie and Style African Headwraps

African wax print fabric headwrap demonstration twisted top knot

Fashionable African style headwraps have become the go to hair accessory for many people in the warmer and cooler months due to their versatility. They help to bring colour and sass to any outfit and can be styled in so many different ways from simple to more complicated looks.

The wrap style you choose to wear as well as the colours and pattern in the African wax print fabric can help to highlight your individual personality and make you stand out in a crowd. Headscarves come in a variety of different sizes and shapes so you can experiment with different looks.

African style headband example model wearing

What is an African Headwrap?

Originating from sub-Saharan Africa, the African head scarf has truly stood the test of time, with women wearing them for centuries across many regions. The African head wrap was originally designed using traditional colours and patterns like Kente, with these styles continuing to appear across the globe.

The African headwrap is a versatile piece and can be worn for a variety of occasions, from a casual day at home to an extravagant wedding. African print headwraps are rectangular in shape so you have plenty of fabric to work with to create the style you desire including various wrap options such as headbands and intricate turban styles. The more you practice the easier and quicker you will become.

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Why Wear an African Headwrap?

There are many reasons why someone may wear a headscarf including protecting hair from weather conditions, fashion, warmth, sanitation, medical reasons or even religious reasons. Headwraps are also the perfect solution to a bad hair day! No matter what the reason, it’s useful to learn how they can be wrapped, worn and styled for best use.

Top 5 Basic Headscarf Styles 

There are so many different ways rectangular head scarves can be styled, from basic to more difficult wraps that might take more practice.

African style headwrap turban look model wearing

This is the beauty of wearing a versatile headscarf; they can either be dressed casually or dressed to give you the wow factor. You can choose the headscarf and wrap style that best suits each occasion.

We have consolidated our top headscarf tutorials to help you style your African print head wrap at home:

The Double Knot Headband

This is a great, simple headband look to start off with if you don’t want to cover your whole head. It is a casual style that can easily be worn when chilling at home or when meeting up with your friends for a coffee. It’s best to put your hair up into a high bun first.

Step 1 – Fold the headwrap in half (if you haven’t purchased a smaller width).

Step 2 – Position the fabric at the nape of your neck and pull the two sides forward so that they cover your ears.

Step 3 – Make a double knot in the centre just above your forehead.

Step 4 – Take one loose end around the side of your head and tuck in into the back of the headband. Repeat this step for the loose end on the other side of your head.

Step 5 – You might need to push the fabric back a bit on the top of your head so that it looks more like a headband style.

The Top Knot Turban Style

This is a beautiful headwrap style that can be worn with the twisted knot near your forehead or at the back of your head by your neck.

It looks great when positioned slightly to one side of your forehead or neck. This is a glamorous style that can be worn for many different occasions including a dinner with friends or a loved one.

Step 1 – Position the headwrap at the centre of your neck.

Step 2 – Bring both sides towards the front of your head so both ears are covered.

Step 3 – Twist the two loose ends together tightly. Keep going until you are near the end of the fabric.

Step 4 – Keep twisting while you make a spiral just above your forehead.

Step 5 – Hide the loose end by tucking it underneath the top knot until it feels secure.

The Big Bow Headwrap Style

The Big Bow is a cute style that is really easy to create and covers your whole head. It can be worn to help you stand out and attract attention if you are looking to impress.

This style is perfect to wear on a casual date showcasing your fun and creative personality. Make sure your hair is tied up into a top knot before you begin.

Step 1 – Place the headwrap at the back of your head at the nape of your neck.

Step 2 – Use both hands to pull the two ends of the scarf towards the front.

Step 3 – Tie the two ends into a tight knot in the centre above your forehead.

Step 4 – Tie the fabric into a large bow and fan out the bow flaps to make them look wider.

Step 5 – Tuck the loose ends into each bow flap to hide them from view.

Twisted Crown Headscarf Style

The Twisted Crown is a gorgeous wrap style that covers your whole head. This style is perfect for lots of different occasions including both casual and formal events. You could wear this look when out shopping in town or even to a wedding.

Step 1 – Position the centre of the scarf on your forehead.

Step 2 – Use both ends to tie a knot tightly at the nape of your neck.

Step 3 – Twist the two loose ends of the scarf tightly together until you have reached the end of the fabric.

Step 4 – Keep twisting as you wrap the crown around your head starting from the front.

Step 5 – Tuck the loose end underneath the headscarf at the back of your head.

The Knot Turban Style

The knot turban style headwrap is a really quick and easy look to achieve and covers your whole head. It is suitable for both smart and casual occasions from walking your dog in the park to a BBQ at home with family.

Step 1 – Fold the headwrap in half (if you haven’t purchased a smaller width).

Step 2 – Position the headwrap at the nape of your neck and bring the two sides towards the front so that your ears are covered.

Step 3 – Tie the two ends into a single or double knot at the top of your forehead.

Step 4 – Take both of the loose ends over the back of your head and tuck them inside the back of the headwrap so that your whole head is covered.

Step 5 – You might need to move the headwrap around slightly until it looks great and feels comfortable.

How to Wrap a Head Scarf African Style 

African print headwraps can be worn to brighten up any outfit and help you to stand out whilst looking unique and fabulous! Once you’ve got the hang of it they’re so easy to wrap, that you can start having fun experimenting with new styles and more difficult techniques.

The above style examples show just how versatile African print headscarves can be, with endless styling opportunities! Most headwrap styles start with a single knot on your forehead or at the back of your neck.

You can find lots more inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to help. Check out the video below for more great style ideas!

Browse Kitenge’s African Style Headwrap Accessories 

While you’re here why not browse Kitenge’s stunning African style headwraps collection? Our unique, original and high-quality Ankara fabrics are printed in Nigeria, West Africa. They are available in two different sizes in case you wish to cover only the sides of your head or your whole head.


Authentic African wax print fabric designs by Kitenge Store

Kitenge’s African wax print fabric collection for making headwraps

All Kitenge headwraps are made to order by our talented team of tailors in Tanzania, East Africa, which is more sustainable than making lots of stock in bulk. The African print head scarves are lovingly handmade within 5 working days and shipped worldwide to many countries from Tanzania.

We are currently offering a 10% discount when you purchase more than one (use code: HEADWRAPS10)! Please do get in touch if you have any wrapping, styling or fabric questions. As always, we’d love to hear from you.

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