Wearing a scarf or bandana

Scarves and bandanas are options for coping with hair loss. They are available in different colours and materials, and are light and easy to wear. The best fabrics to use are cotton, light-weight wool, or blends. Satin-type materials tend to slide off the head too easily.

How to tie a headwrap

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

Follow the steps below on how to tie a basic headwrap.

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

Image of a square scarf folded in half into a triangle.

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

Image showing a person tying the ends of a scarf into a double knot behind their head and over the triangle point of the scarf, with the flap underneath the knot.

3. Tie the ends into a double knot behind your head and over the triangle point. The flap should be underneath the knot. If you are doing more than the basic headwrap, you may only need a single knot.

Image showing a person tying the ends of a scarf into a double knot behind their head and over the triangle point of the scarf, with the flap underneath the knot.

4. Gently pull the triangle point downwards, so the scarf fits closely to your head.

Image showing a person wearing a basic headwrap where the excess scarf has been pulled out from under the knot.

For different styles and looks, you can try the following:

  • Leave the ends of the scarf hanging loose, particularly if it is sunny or you are going to wear a hat on top.
  • Tie the ends of the scarf in a bow instead of a knot. Or pull all three ends into an elasticated ponytail band to help make loops and tails to make 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. 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.
  • Twist the long ends separately. Bring them forward and tie them at the front of your head. Continue twisting and tucking the ends in around your head. At the back, twist the triangle 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. Secure the end 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 56 x 56cm (22 x 22in) in size. Some people prefer a larger size.

Follow the steps below on how to tie a bandana.

1. Lay your bandana flat, with the wrong side facing upwards. Fold the scarf diagonally into a triangle.

2. Put 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 your ears. The triangle point will be at the back.

3. Tie the two ends of the bandana behind your head twice so it does not come undone.

4. Tuck the triangle point under the knot so it does not stick out.

Image showing a person wearing a bandana. It is tied in a double knot behind their head. The point of the bandana is tucked into the knot.