Hide Your Terrible Hair And Life Choices By Learning To Tie A Scarf

When there's no time to shower, dry shampoo alone isn't cutting it, and it's just too damn hot for a beanie.
Publish date:
April 30, 2013
How-To, hair accessories, bobby pins, accessories, brushes, dirty hair, scarves

I’m assuming that I’m not the only one who wakes up some mornings with a piece of toast perched on her hip and her laptop open next to them with an episode of The X-Files still playing and that essay open that you were supposed to be doing an all nighter for.

No? Just me?

And in the 20-minute rush to put some terribly formatted citations on that essay and hiding my under-eye circles, washing my hair does not even cross my mind. But my hair looks like someone decided to pour a giant jug of olive oil over

a bird's nest if I haven’t JUST washed it.

And so then I get to that point where I’ve spent just as much time massaging dry shampoo into my roots as it would have taken to actually just have a shower--and now my hair looks like someone decided to sprinkle flour over oily nest.

Luckily, I have a springy/summery, not totally suffocating version of the put-a-beanie-on-it approach that manages to disguise the fact that you had a sad, sad night alone staying up till five wishing that Scully would just BELIEVE (and also stop wearing long coats that make her look three feet tall).

It's called a SCARF.

What you’ll need to hide your shame:

  • A square scarf, about 24 inches big
  • Dry shampoo, so the bits poking out the front don’t give the game away
  • Brush
  • Bobby pins so you can make sure your disguise doesn’t slip off

First, put in some dry shampoo to the very front of your hair, brushing it in so you don’t get any telltale white cast. I like the Lush No Drought because it lasts forever, even though I find its nonaerosoliness is a bit annoying. Plus it smells like limes!

Tie your hair up in a loose bun, or if your hair is pretty short like mine, into a low pony and then bobby pin the hell out of it onto the back of your head.

If you have a fringe, cool; just keep it out, it will probably look adorable. However, as photographic evidence of me at fourteen with straight bangs and bright green braces shows, some people need to resort to snazzier tricks to make the front of their head look good.

I sorta twist the front bits to create some volume on either side of my part and then follow that twist all the way back to the ponytail.

Then, fold your scarf in half on the diagonal so it looks like a big triangle, and secure the middle of the long side to the base of your neck.

Tuck the tip of the triangle under until it sits on your head tightly with a bit of hair showing; then use a bobby pin to fix it there.

Now I usually bobby-pin behind each ear so bits of my hair at the back can’t poke out...otherwise the whole thing tends to ride up as you're running for the bus.

Now you have fabric stuck down all over your little skull, and two adorable silky pigtails. However, I advise you to continue on, because these very same adorable silky pigtails turn into droopy sad dog ears once you stop holding them above your head.

So, grabbing onto the ends, and sort of tucking the edges inwards, bring the tails forward, tie them tight, then tie again, making sure that your knot is sorta going straight across, because if you bend the knot then one of the tails is going to flop down onto your face and it AIN’T GONNA LOOK CUTE, LADIES--like a large green eyebrow camping out on your


Now just fiddle around a bit, tucking in edges, maybe another bobby pin, and TA-DA: you look 1000% cuter than you did two minutes ago.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this on a day where you know you’ll be lying down a lot. Last week, I did an impromptu blood donation, and as if that 30 minutes isn’t uncomfortable enough with the big needle stuck in your arm and gross hospital smell stuck in your nose, lying on a head full of bobby pins majorly sucked. So strictly upright situations, OK?

So, anyone up for some fabric origami to hide your greasy shame?