How to tie a scarf or bandana

For a basic headwrap, you will need a scarf at least 75cm x 75cm (29.5in x 29.5in). For more elaborate styles, it needs to be 100cm x 100cm (39in x 39in).

1. Lay a square scarf flat, wrong side facing you. Fold the scarf diagonally into a triangle.

Headscarf
Headscarf

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2. Place the scarf on your head with the folded edge about 2.5cm (1in) below your natural hairline and the point at the back.

Tying a headscarf 1
Tying a headscarf 1

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3. Tie the ends into a double knot behind your head and over the triangle point (if you’re doing more than the basic headwrap you may only need a single knot). The flap should be underneath the knot.

Tying a headscarf 2
Tying a headscarf 2

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4. Pull any excess scarf out from under the knot.

Tying a headscarf 3
Tying a headscarf 3

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Trying different styles

For variation, you can try the following:

  • Wear the ends of the scarf loose – particularly if it’s sunny or you are going to wear a hat on top.
  • Tie the ends of the scarf in a bow or gather all the ends in an elasticated ponytail band to help make loops and tails to form a bow. This can also look nice under a hat.
  • Twist the three ends together to look like a twisted rope and wrap them tightly around the knot like a bun, then secure the loose ends by tucking them through the centre of the bun.
  • For a different twist, pull all three ends together and tuck them securely over and under the knot to look like a French hair roll.
  • Twist the long ends separately, bring them forward and tie them at the front of your head, then continue twisting and tucking the ends in around your head. At the back, twist the short end and tuck it in. You can vary this by twisting in coloured cord, beads or a contrasting scarf to match what you are wearing. You may find it helps to twist one end at a time and secure it with a hair grip, paperclip or elastic band while you twist the other one.

How to tie a bandana

  • For a simple bandana fold, you will need a bandana at least 56cm x 56cm (22in x 22in). Some people prefer a larger size.
  • Lay your bandana flat, with the wrong side facing you. Fold the scarf diagonally into a triangle.
  • Place the bandana on your head with the folded edge about 2.5cm (1in) above your normal brow line and the sides of the bandana above the ears. The point will be at the back.
  • Tie the two ends of the bandana behind your head twice so it does not come undone.
  • Tuck the point under the knot so it doesn’t stick out.

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