Lately, there has been a huge movement of Pagan women who have begun covering their hair. It is done for many different reasons. Some women do it when they go out in public, some do it when they are engaging in worship, others have their own personal criteria that they abide by.
As a teenager, I would wear scarves on my head regularly. I didn’t do it to cover my hair entirely – it was more in the ’50s housewife style, keeping my hair out of my face while cleaning or working. It was practical: it kept my unruly hair from getting in my way, and kept it tidy. I wore a black scarf while working backstage as tech crew for my high school musicals. I wore simple cotton bandanas while working outside. I wore bright colorful scarves at other times – not just on my head, but around my waist as a belt, or around my neck.
It was never a spiritual act for me. It was practical or fashionable. I still have most of those scarves, bundled up in a bag in my room. They’re not fancy, most of them – picked up from craft stores or bargain bins for a dollar or two. But in curiosity, I wandered up to my room earlier and tied one on again. I tied it so that it covered all but my ponytail — and I was largely unimpressed. It didn’t feel special, and I looked sort of silly. I couldn’t imagine myself being taken at work with my head wrapped up. Not with my mostly Catholic coworkers, anyway.
I will probably try again in a spiritual context, and I will make a mental note to try again when I start working in counseling. I may do it my way – cotton bandanas, a la Rosie the Riveter – in the summer, when yard work and hot summer excursions beckon. We shall see. In the mean time, here are two interesting perspectives from the Kemetic community, at Syncretic Mystic and Fire of the Serpent. The Pantheon blog at Patheos has a good amount of information on the subject too, with links to other perspectives. I’ll come back and give more on my opinion once I’ve tried it in different contexts myself.