I’ve had a pixie cut, or something a lot like it, for nearly two decades.  Unfortunately, it’s not  conducive to the beautiful hair gardens that ATS® dancers build on our heads.   I can build a beautiful hair garden if I use my Diva Dreads, but that can take forever. And as you’ll find out in another post, I don’t like to take too long to get ready for gigs.

Occasionally, though, it’s worth it, if only so I can wear my amazing peacock hair comb:

with Jesse, backstage at Tannourine

with Jesse, backstage at Tannourine

Thankfully, Carolena gave me an idea for a quick, lightweight headwrap that gives me a really similar shape as my dance sisters.  It’s not the same, but it does give the impression of being unified, with a smooth top, bun, and flowers.

It also has the effect of taking me out of my normal appearance, so I’m not just “that person from the office,” but an entirely different creature with an entirely different presentation.

Here’s where I start:

photo 1

… and here’s where I wind up.

At Something Tribal This Way Comes. Photo courtesy Stray Things Photography.

At Something Tribal This Way Comes. Photo courtesy Stray Things Photography.

Such a dramatic look for stage! Here’s how it’s done.

1. Choose and cut your fabric.
This is maybe the most important part. Choose a very lightweight stretchy cotton. You’ll need about one yard. Then, cut it into a fat T-shape. You’ll see why shortly.

photo (48)

2. Get your pins.
You can use turban pins / hat pins if you want, but I found that for this application, “tidy pins” work better. These are square-shaped pins that are typically used to hold sofa slipcovers in place. They have them in the fabric store by the dressmaker pins.  They help keep the bun attached to the wrap part – like hairpins, but for fabric.

image (5)

3. Tuck your hair away, and put the longest part of the head wrap over your head. You can’t let bangs show, unfortunately – you need to pull the head wrap down far enough on your forehead that it will stay.

photo 3

4. Tie the arms of the T in back, on top of the middle part. Tie tightly enough that it will stay, but don’t give yourself a headache. If the fabric is stretchy, it will do a lot of the staying on its own, and you don’t have to tie it as tightly as you would a turban.

photo 4

5. Braid or twist the three ends into a bun, and secure with your tidy pins. I started by braiding them, but after a couple of gigs I decided that I preferred the looser, softer look of just twisting them together. Either way, the tidy pins secure the bun.

6. Attach a scarf or headband, and arrange your flowers. Done!  Go have fun and dance with your sisters!

with Tribe Elation in San Luis Obispo, CA

Performing as a special guest of Tribe Elation in San Luis Obispo, CA


17 thoughts on “Headwrap for the short-haired ATS® dancer

    • Thanks for your comment, Anastasia! The silver spiky necklace was a birthday gift from my fiancee. She bought it at a local shop called Nathan and Company, on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland, CA. Not sure who the designer is, but it’s one of my favorites too!

  1. Thank you so much for the idea! I always had a difficult time with the flower garden… I looked like a throwback to my flower child days, and I miss wearing a turban. Also thank you once again for the fantastic workshop in SLO. You are a great ambassador for FCBD®

    • You can definitely wear Diva Dreads, even with a cut like yours! I will write a blog post on that too, just for you. 🙂 I started by going to her booth at Cues & Tattoos last year and just said “what can you do for me?” She got me started, and then I iterated on her concept until I liked the shape. Stay tuned…

  2. I love this. I’m ITS and have never wrapped my hair for a performance before, though some of our girls do. I have long hair, but it’s super fine and thin and bitchy, and I typically cheat with yarn falls and flowers. I can’t wait to give this a try.

    On a side note – I had no clue that slipcover pins existed. I hate my slipcover because it always falls off, so I will be running out to get these pins both for my wrap and my couch. Sweet! 🙂

    • Thanks for asking! Roughly 1 yard long (maybe one and a half yards, just by looking at it) by however wide the fabric bolt was, probably 45″. I estimated where to place the cuts, and didn’t bother hemming, since it’s jersey knit.

  3. We do full turbans for performance in my troupe, but I really love this pared-down version. It would be great for summer shows.

  4. I love this idea. I too wear a pixie cut. I am slowly loosing my hair to health condition and not wanting to buy a wig. This is a stylish way for me and can be done in many different fabric patterns. So looking forward to doing this. Thank you. Wonderful idea.

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