How to Wear an Orthodox Head Scarf

by Lindsey Landis ; Updated September 29, 2017

Instructions for tying this classic tichel are listed below.

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In the Eastern Orthodox Christian and Orthodox Jewish faiths, it is common for women to cover their hair with a scarf as a sign of modesty. Jewish scarves are called tichels or mitpachats and are worn at all times in public after marriage, so women may not be a temptation to any men other than their husbands. Eastern Orthodox and even some Catholic women wear a simple veil or hat to cover their hair during church services. Amish and Mennonite women may do the same. All of these coverings, because they are utilized by the Orthodox faiths, can be referred to as Orthodox head scarves. Many women view them as a way to display their inner beauty without distraction.

Pull all of your hair back into a bun behind your skull. Secure with the hair elastic and bobby pins.

Fold the square scarf in half diagonally so that it forms a triangle.

Align the longest edge of the triangle along your forehead, just below the hairline. The top point of the triangle should be facing toward your back.

Grab the two side points of the triangle and pull them down so that the scarf is tight against your forehead. Tie these two points together at the base of your skull.

This will leave a loose flap of fabric created by the top point of the triangle. Fold the point underneath the knot you created in Step 4 to fully enclose the hair.

Take the two remaining strips of fabric and wrap them up over the crown of the head. Tuck the ends underneath the knot at the base of the skull.

Many of the more Orthodox organizations require that women cover all hair, as well as their ears. If it is permissible by your community to show some hair and your ears, use bobby pins to secure the scarf in place along your hairline.


  • Fit an old pair of pantyhose with the legs cut off around your head before donning the scarf. This will hold all of your hair in place.

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About the Author

Lindsey Landis has more than seven years of combined writing, editing and marketing experience in the book publishing and media industries. She holds a journalism bachelor's degree from Indiana University and studied art history at the Universita di Bologna in Italy. Landis currently works at the Chicago Reader and manages her own author development services company.