Tichel-tying is an art as well as a fashion statement. Do you go for a simple knot or bun every time, or do you go all out with layers and elaborate wrapping schemes? Do you have one thin for every day and another for special occasions? Or maybe you’ve been afraid to even try a tichel because you feel like you don’t know how to tie it right.
Fortunately, there are an infinite number of ways to tie a tichel, and it’s not hard to invent one yourself. All it takes is a little experimentation.
First off, a base layer might help. A tight-fitting snood or wig cap, a flat headband with some grip or texture, or a cotton bandana will keep a tichel (and the hair under it) in place. Play around with your ponytail or bun until you find the most comfortable way to tie your hair back, then top it with whatever you use as an anchor. I’m a fan of headbands. I have a very high forehead, so I can wear my tichels pretty low without looking like they’re on my eyebrows, but my hair is fine and slippery; I notice a major difference in how well my tichel stays in place when I put a headband on underneath.
If you’re a tichel newbie, start by watching our video on the basic ribbon (knot), bun, and crown styles. These are easy and straightforward, and are great for showing off a particularly eye-catching scarf, like our silver-striped paisley tichel. Tip: if your hair isn’t lon and you want to add some bulk to your bun, try wrapping an old-school scrunchie around your hair before you tie the tichel over it.
Once you’ve got those methods down, get creative. Layer two color-coordinating scarves over the other, so that your bun takes on a swirly effect. Tie a wide ribbon or headband around your forehead, and wrap or tie the ends in the back, for some contrast in front. Put your ponytail up high and layer your scarves for a dramatic, queen-like effect. I like to braid the tails down my back, or wrap them around my ponytail without tucking them in, for a tichel-tail – this works great on scarves with long or thick fringe, because you don’t have to worry about tucking the threads into a bun.
Just about any style you try with a square tichel folded into a triangle will work with a rectangular scarf as well; you may need to practice a little more to keep everything neat, is all. I like to twist the long ends of a rectangle a bit, which makes wrapping a little easier – or I wind one tail at a time, tucking that in securely before moving on to the other. Rectangles also make for dramatically large buns or turban-like effects, if that’s your thing.
I see a lot of women who stick to snoods and pretieds because they’re afraid that tying a tichel is too much bother. But don’t worry; all you need is a couple of minutes of practice to find the method that works best for you. As nice is it is to slip on a simple pretied (which I just did, since I have to run to the basement of my building to get the laundry as soon as I’m done posting this), I love the freedom to play with colors that a great tichel collection provides. Try putting on a bright yellow print tichel with a plain black shirt and a jean skirt; suddenly you’re transformed from running-to-the-store-hoping-no-one-will-notice to out-on-the-town-and-effortlessly-cool.