Fashion: It’s A Wrap! Turban Hottie Coming Through!

My sister and I being silly. She brings out the best in me

My sister and I being silly. She brings out the best in me

Wraps and turbans are beautiful accessories not to be understated and definitely worth the investment besides your everyday  favorites. They can make you look ethnic, edgy or just funky-chic depending on your mood. They also possess a certain charm of old Hollywood glamour while maintaining touches of modern-day elegance.  Turbans and head wraps come in a variety of textures, patterns, designs and fabrics so you are guaranteed to find something that pleases you.

I have been wrapping my hair for the passed ten years. My greatest influence is probably the American soul singer and songwriter Erykah Badu; the “Queen of Neo-Soul”, who is the epitome of the urban Afro-chic culture. Badu set herself apart on the music scene not only through her electric sound, but also for courting the exaggerated head wraps which became her trademark.

Photo via

Photo via

A trip down memory lane..the beat of the drum on this track mixed with the base guitar is so refreshing, I love this song…


Wrap it. Love it. Wear it.

The head wrap is a God-send method for covering up un-tamed, unwashed, uncombed, ‘could-not-be-bothered-to-do-my’ hair while still maintaining style and decorum. What I love most about  head wraps  is their versatility and sophistication.  Over the years I have owned numerous styles of head wraps; from the countless African print designs relentlessly stolen from my mother, to the numerous silk ones I have bought and misplaced. Personally, I favour the African head wraps simply because of the way they make me feel: zealous, empowered, commanding and self-assured. Moreover, they keep me connected to my African roots. I am always complimented and often given nicknames by passer-byes when I wear it; most common names are Nubian Queen, Mama Africa or  My African Queen (got to love the streets for a morale boost).


Bag yourself an Alpha Male!

For my sistas who are looking to bag themselves an alpha male, I would definitely recommend the African head wrap. It exudes boldness and confidence which a certain type of man is drawn to; seriously, no wacky  adolescent or dysfunctional so-and-so ( not that I am looking). I have observed over the years that when worn, people address me with more esteem and things get done much quicker (I think there should be a study carried out about the causes and consequences  of wearing the African-print  head wraps!)

Turban Runway Resurgence. Put your stamp on it.

In true fashion-comeback glory the turban has made a resurgence onto the scene with everyone from musicians to stylists embracing the trend with open arms. From Prada’s Spring 2007 ready to wear collection…

to  the modern-day twist displayed in Daniella Issa Helaye’s 2011 Spring Collection.. issa ss11 Jason Wu’s Spring Collection 2011… I love this entire outfit.

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Photo via

and Giorgio Armani’s Spring Collection 2011, to name but a few…

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photos via

Sharing is Caring.

Here are my x7 fundamental rules for turban/wrap-wearing success:

  1. Eyebrows must be immaculate! Whether you like them threaded, waxed or plucked, make sure they are nicely shaped as they define the structure of your face.
  2. Make-up must be immaculate too. Remember your face is the focus. Set your foundation and concealer very well. Eye make-up and blusher are also necessary (although I tend to settle for a black crayon/eye pencil at most times); alluring is the key word here – the subtleness will obviously vary according to the occasion and the outfit you choose to wear.
  3. LIPSTICK! Yes, I can hear you loud and clear, it is make-up too. However, it is very important so I felt that it should have its own section. Nude, Red, Orange, Coral, Pink,  Aubergine, Brown; Lipgloss or Vaseline – Just apply it!
  4. Clothes: If the wrap/turban is a combination of bold colours and patterns, then your outfit should be minimalist  (and vice versa). Preferably block colours – Avoid too many patterns at once unless you know exactly what you are doing! Yes, some people just have ‘it’ and can get away with runway murder. You do not want to look like a clown.
  5. ACCESSORIZE!!! (stands up in church congregation again and shouts AMEN!). This is the most important stage to tie in the entire look you are going for i.e. Nubian queen, bohemian-chic, 1940’s avant-garde fashionista, urban-street-chic, look-at-me-i’m-just-fierce -chic [insert relevant adjective here then add the word chic to it] etc. From the earrings, necklaces, bags to the nail polish colour..please do not let the team down! It is a desperate plea but I mean it damn it! (points to self: accessories freak over here!)
  6. Shoes: Need I say more? Just do it; and do it well I beg -ohh (Mama Africa speaks!)
  7. CONFIDENCE!!!!! Work the runway sidewalks, pavements, exude confidence in the workplace corridor on your way to the photocopying machine; whatever, wherever; just own it! Sell it to me! Make me believe in it! Make me envy you! ..Sorry I should calm down now!

Tying a wrap can be tricky at first but practice makes perfect. Have fun wearing yours.

Tame this look as did..

  • Model Alejandra Alonso for Vogue Russia May 2011
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photo via

photo via

  • Singer/ song writer Solange Knowles
photo via Solange's blog -

photo via Solange’s blog –


  • Stylist June Ambrose


  • Stylist Catherine Baba
photo via

photo via

photo via

photo via

I asked a few friends to send me their best wrap/ turban pics:

Here is Miss Sandra; I love the print patterns of her dress. She won me over because of the way she accessorised. She combined the head wear perfectly  and is oozing with confidence.

Mrs Amour K.Z. is sporting an amazing safari inspired print-patterned head wrap which I am still plotting to steal from her wardrobe somehow without her noticing accessorised with three ebony wood bangles that she bought in the Massai Market in Kenya. Miss Nasha, whom I harassed for a tutorial is right up my street with the wraps; pure inspiration. (I apologise if her photos are a little bit fogy, they were taken on an iphone at night). She showed me a double whammy; the joy!! x2 complimentary silk scarves; in fact x3 of them since she wanted to create more height and volume. Just beautiful! collageA And finally myself, sporting my trademark  African-print wrap with a modern-day twist. I was surprisingly timid when asked to take the photo -not quite prepared but those moments are the best when captured.

More recent photos of my friends…


and of myself…



For more images of friends wearing head wraps, go to Kiyana Wraps fan page by clicking here.



  1. Zoe Ilunga · · Reply

    That’s a very good article, I am always in awe of the courtliness of the African head wrap!

    1. Thank you Zoe. Yes, the African head wrap can finally get the credit it deserves – traditional wraps in general throughout the continent for that matter. I hope that a few young people can embrace the trend without qualms of being alienated by their peers.

  2. Sandra Safi · · Reply

    African girls rock!!! lol I am loving it darling… keep up the good work and more to come.

  3. Ashlea · · Reply

    I loved this article! I had a conversation with my Mother over the weekend about head-wraps and her younger years of wearing them in 80s fashion. She offered pretty much the same tips that you did, give or take or a few. But I will have to attempt to sport the head wrap one day soon since I have never tried it.

  4. I like your picture with Sporah Njau.

  5. I LOVE love Love your blog. Id like to find a spot in Boston,MA or NYC my two homes where I can be taught how to wrap these on where they’ll stay on my head. Call me a fake black girl but I barely know how to wrap my hair at night with a silk scarf. ha ha !

    I am an African American woman and I’ve always wanted to find a way to be modern, hip and connect to my roots with out wearing a fro a lot being that I work in the hospital its draws too much unwanted attention when I do go natural.

    Thanks for this blog. If anybody has any suggestions on where to learn how to wrap, Please do tell.

    1. Some very good feedback.. I am very happy this conversation is pleasantly shared amongst many. Alexia check out Youtube there are plenty of very good tutorials for you to take your pick from (although most are more or less of the same styles 😦 I shall definitely do a ‘pictorial’ to show different styles very soon. Just play around with the fabric in front of the mirror, nobody knows the angles of your face better than you do; so in essence you’ll know which style will compliment you better. I’m not good with the silk scarf neither they always slide off my head; by the morning it is a hide and seek game lol

  6. these are all so goreous…

  7. Jolie Huie · · Reply

    fab work mads xx

  8. Visit us online at for you Duku headwrap from Ghana

  9. “Can make you look ethnic?” Wow.

    1. lol you seem surprised. I think it can add certain elements depending on the fabric you utilise and the meaning one places upon it i.e culture or religion even – (see the clothing of the Hui Ethnic Group for example). 🙂

      1. No, my surprise was this: I am of African descent. I can’t help but look “ethnic,” whatever that means, so I’m guessing this article was directed towards the non-brown folks?

      2. 🙂 Ok I see your point. There is truth in your statement; in all honesty, I didn’t have a particular ethnic group in mind when I wrote this. It is more so about one’s personal style sense or how they may choose to incorporate it in their wardrobe. The article was directed at all lovers of head-wrapping and those new to the territory regardless of ethnicity. In future I shall bear the audience in mind.. interesting point thank you.


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