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How To Tie a Head Scarf

Magicians make colorful scarves disappear and reappear with crafty sleight of hand. Movie stars and celebrities wear designer scarves with great panache. Scarves are perhaps the most versatile and magical fashion accessory in a woman’s wardrobe. If you are suffering from hair loss, knowing how to tie a head scarf will likely be as important to you as making it disappear and reappear is to Merlin. Scarves are available in fabrics, colors, and patterns that are as varied as the farthest reaches of the imagination. You can tie square scarves, bandanas or rectangular scarves to create stylish fashion statements. Here are some of our favorite ways to tie a head scarf.


Selecting Head Scarves for Tying

Head scarves come in many sizes and shapes. Choosing a shape simply comes down to preference.  To determine your favorite look, it's helpful to browse these head scarves on the model and see which ones appeal to you. There are basically three types of head scarves:

We will go into depth about each type of headscarf below.

Square Scarves: How to Tie a Headscarf 

how to tie a square head scarf styleshow to tie a square head scarf styles

Square Head Scarves are the easiest to work with and the most popular. They are an ideal choice for beginners as they are the easiest to tie, and are more manageable than long scarves for most women. They offer many styling options.  For a cancer scarf or head covering, you are going to want to achieve full head coverage. To do so, you will need a scarf that is at least 28 X 28 inches. For those who prefer to have a generous amount of fabric hanging down their backs (giving the illusion of hair), we offer oversized square scarves.

Here are a few of our favorite styles to tie a square head scarf.


1. Classic Square Scarf Style 

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Place the folded edge of the triangle along your forehead
  • Take the two ends back to the nape of neck
  • Tie in a know above the triangle and continue to a square knot or a bow


2. Vintage Head Wrap

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Place the folded edge of the triangle along your forehead
  • Cross the ends of the scarf under chin
  • Bring the ends to the back or side of neck
  • Tie ends in a square knot

Featured in video: Pure Silk Headscarf


3. Rosette Twisted Scarf Wrap

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Place the folded edge of the scarf along your forehead
  • Position and gather all loose ends
  • Twist the ends together into a spiral
  • Wrap the spiral into a bun to form a rosette
  • Secure by tucking the loose ends into the folds


4. Square Scarf Turban

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Place the folded edge of the scarf against the nape of the neck with the pointed triangle towards face
  • Bring the two long ends towards the front of the head and tie into a knot over the triangle
  • Take the two long ends and bring them to the back and tie in a knot again and tuck the ends up into the wrap
  • Now take the triangle in front and tuck it up into the knot and adjust as needed 


5. Bows Away Scarf Turban

  • Fold scarf into a triangle 
  • Center the folded edge at the nape of neck
  • Bring each side over the ears and up to the top of your head
  • Tie a bow with the long ends 
  • Tuck in the triangle and ends of the bow to the sides 


6. Square Head Wrap

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Place the folded edge of the triangle along forehead
  • Take the two ends back to the nape of neck
  • Tie in a single knot
  • Bring ends back up to forehead and tie a small square knot


7. Hat Wrap (Works Well on Brimmed Sun Hats & Turbans)

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Roll the folded edge towards the point of the triangle 
  • Lay the rolled edge across the crown of hat
  • Take the two ends of the scarf and pull them around sides of the hat’s crown
  • Tie them in a square knot or bow at the back or on the side 


8. More Square Scarf Styles

In addition being great headcoverings, square head scarves can be tied in many fun ways to accessorize your look. This makes square scarves even more versatile. Get creative! Some popular ways to tie a headscarf are: 

  • As hair accessories, such as headbands and scrunchies
  • Tied on a purse to add a touch of color
  • Around the neck as a neckerchief or necklace
  • Worn as a wrap or komono

Featured in video: Pure Silk Headscarf

Tying a Long Head Scarf

how to tie a head scarf rectangle styleshow to tie a head scarf rectangle styles

Rectangular Head Scarves (also called oblongs or long scarves) are also a good option for women who like the look of extra fabric hanging down in the back, similar to a ponytail. While squares are easier to tie for beginners, rectangle scarves allow you the most styling versatility. You can achieve the looks you can get with a square head scarf, but the dimensions also allow you to create more intricate style options. The generous amount of material allows the wearer to tie various styles, from pretty head wraps and turbans to flowing side ponies. They can be worn alone or multiple scarves can be layered to create more complex and beautiful wraps. Oblong scarves take just a little more practice, but with the help of our tutorials below, tying a rectangular scarf can be as easy as tying your shoe laces.

Another great thing about long scarves? Even if you are new to hair loss or covering your head, odds are good that you already have a rectangular scarf in your wardrobe, just waiting to be transformed into a one-of-a-kind head covering.  

Here are a six basic long scarf styles to get your creative juices flowing:


1. Long Tail Bow Scarf

  • Fold scarf lengthwise (only if your scarf is wide).
  • Place the center of the scarf along your hairline with equal lengths on either side
  • Tie the ends into a knot
  • Tie the knot into a bow
  • Adjust loose ends and style as desired
  • The bow may be worn to the side or to the back


2. Twisted Crown Headwrap

  • Center the scarf on forehead
  • Tie the two long ends in the back 
  • Bring the ends forward over shoulders 
  • Tightly twist the sides
  • Continue to twist as you wrap around the crown of your head
  • Tuck the ends under the beginning portion of the twist


3. Side Scarf Ponytail Style

  • Center the scarf on forehead
  • Bring the sides to the nape of neck like a low ponytail
  • Tie the knot at the nape of neck
  • Bring scarf ends over shoulder and loosely twist them
  • Bring each twist to the top of your head
  • Find where you want your pony to be and tie a square knot
  • Wrap the twists around each other two or three times
  • Tuck the short end up into the knot 
  • Fluff out the long end left 


4. My Little Pony Scarf (requires an elastic hair tie)

  • Center the scarf on forehead
  • Bring the sides over the ears and to nape of neck like a low ponytail
  • Pull half of the scarf through the hair tie and twist the tie
  • Bunch and pull a little more of the scarf through the hair tie


5. Rosette Low Bun Scarf Wrap

  • Hold the scarf horizontally
  • Center the scarf on one side of your head over the ear
  • Tightly twist the sides about one quarter of the way down
  • Coil the twist around itself to create a bun
  • Keep twisting and coiling around the bun until you get to the end of scarf
  • Tuck in the ends


6. Middle of Everywhere Twisted Turban

  • Center the scarf at the nape of neck
  • Bring the ends forward to front of forehead 
  • Tightly twist the ends together
  • Bring the twist back down the center of your head
  • Tuck the ends up into the scarf at the nape of neck

Adding Body And Volume to Head Scarves

scarf pad is a full cap made from soft organic cotton terry cloth that can be worn under a scarf or headwear. A scarf pad provides fullness and volume to the top of the head, giving the illusion of hair underneath. This is especially important for cancer patients or women with total hair loss to provide a flattering appearance.

The scarf pad prevents your scarves from slipping on your head when you tie them. This makes your scarves much easier to tie on the head. Because it absorbs and wicks away sweat, the scarf pad also allows you to wash your head scarves less often.

Add Volume - Scarf PadAdd Volume - Scarf Pad

The Padded Headband is a soft bamboo viscose headband with lightweight padding designed to provide volume to the sides of the head under headwear and scarves. This is a cool, lightweight option that provides an ultra flattering look, especially on women with thin heads and longer faces.

Add Volume to Headscarf - Padded HeadbandAdd Volume to Headscarf - Padded Headband

Our Meridian Beanie is a unique and stylish turban that provides volume under scarves, and can also be worn on its own. Generous pleating and light padding in the crown of this comfortable beanie expertly add body and volume—especially at the top of the head—after you tie your head scarf. This option is particularly flattering on those with round or wide faces, or short, "flat" heads.

Add Volume to Headscarf - Meridian BeanieAdd Volume to Headscarf - Meridian Beanie

Adding Security to Headscarves

Our unique creation, the Scarf Gripper is a headband made of a lightweight gripable fabric that can be worn under a head scarf. The addition of this simple headband will keep the scarf from slipping on your head when you tie it. They are great for tying silk scarves or other fabrics that tend to slide or move more easily.

Scarf Gripper to Secure ScarvesScarf Gripper to Secure Scarves

Velour Grip Band for ScarvesVelour Grip Band for Scarves

The Velour Grip Band is perfect for holding both scarves and wigs in place. The velvety fibers of this headband "grab" onto fabric and keep it securely on the head all day long. This headband is also adjustable at the back to provide the perfect fit.

Instant Hair Headband with BangsInstant Hair Headband with Bangs

Our  Instant Hair Headband allows you to instantly attach bangs or other hairpieces and wear them underneath a variety of scarves and hats. The headband has a sewn in "hook & loop" or "scratch" fastener to easily attach hair. This headband not only helps to finish off your look, it also adds additional security under your headscarf.

Choose a hairpiece to accompany your head scarf. Hairpieces are a great option for hair loss and cancer patients. A hairpiece can be as simple as bangs that are worn under your scarf. Bangs are a great option for warmer climates or situation where you don't want to cover your entire head with hair.

You can wear various "hats with hair" hairpieces underneath your headscarves. They come in several styles and colors. You can choose a color that matches your own hair or have fun and go with an entirely new color. Many of our cancer patients choose to buy our "hats with hair" hairpieces instead of a wig.

Tying Pre Tied Head Scarves

Untied scarves allow you the most styling versatility. When you are done with chemo treatments and no longer need a head scarf, your untied scarves can be used to accessorize in many other ways. However, some women like the look of a scarf but don't like tying scarves. This is where pre-tied scarves come in.

Benefits of Pre-Tied Scarves

  • Pre tied scarves are a great option for those desiring a quick, easy look.
  • They give the appearance of a square scarf that has been tied by hand, with less hassle.
  • These are excellent for individuals going through cancer or chemotherapy treatments or who simply aren't good at tying a scarf.
  • Pre tied scarves are also a great option for women who are suffering from arthritis or surgery or women who are experiencing fatigue or fine motor difficulties.
  • They can be slipped on quickly and come in a variety of styles, colors and patterns.
  • Pre tied scarves are the perfect choice for women on the go.

We have created a number of options to make tying your scarf much easier. Some of these scarves come completely pre tied, while others require only a small knot to secure them. All pre-tied scarves fall into one of three categories: Triangular, Minimal Tying, or No Tie.

Triangle Shaped Pre-Tied Scarves

The triangle shape is a scarf that we developed for our customers. It is similar to a square head scarf but is the easiest of all untied scarves to tie. Our Padded Carol Head Scarf, available in cotton interlock, cotton prints, and bamboo fabric, is one example. 

When you begin tying square head scarves, you must fold the square in half to create a triangle. By designing the scarf in a triangular shape, we have eliminated this step. The triangular shape creates two tails that are easily tied in the back. The disadvantage to triangle shaped scarves is that they offer fewer tying options.

Triangle Pre-Tied Scarf - Padded CarolTriangle Pre-Tied Scarf - Padded Carol


Minimal Tying Pre Tied Scarves

To style scarves that require minimal tying, all you need to do is tie a simple knot or a bow to secure the cap in place. This is the most common type of pre-tied scarf. Some of these pre-tied scarves can be tied in multiple ways to achieve different looks. An added benefit of this type of scarf is that the additional ties allow for minor size adjustments to give you the perfect fit. Our Easy On Scarf, Reversible In a Snap Headwrap, and So Simple Scarf are just a few examples of this type of scarf.

Minimal Tying Scarf Easy OnMinimal Tying Scarf Easy On


No Tie Scarves

The easiest pre-tied scarf option is scarves that simply slip on the head, no tying required. This type of pre-tied scarf consists of a cap with an attached tail in a set style. Many women love "no tie" scarves because they are so convenient, easy to use, and don't need to be styled. Keep in mind that the size of these scarves cannot be adjusted like it can be when you wear pre-styled scarves with additional ties. The Slip On Slinky Scarf and Gathered Scarf Beanie are both easy no-tie scarf options.

Slip on Slinky No Tie Scarf HeadwrapSlip on Slinky No Tie Scarf Headwrap

Tips When Selecting Head Scarves for Tying


Selecting Prints: Scarves come in countless colors and patterns. You can find scarves in solids, stripes, paisleys, nature scenes and just about anything else you can imagine. Pay attention to the patterns you choose. What looks good on a clothing rack may not be suitable once it is tied on the head. All of our scarves are selected in patterns and in scale with what will look right when worn on the head and close to your face. Our designs are created to fall in place in a flattering way when tied.


Solid Scarves: Solids are versatile and can be combined or braided together when tied to create truly unique looks. Another benefit of solid scarves is that you can decorate, paint or embellish them to create your own look.


Scarf Fabrics

Headscarves are available in several fabric choices. All of these fabric options are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Here are the pros and cons to various fabrics.

Breathable and durable, silk drapes beautifully and it feels soft and luxurious on the head. Because it is made of natural fibers, it breathes and absorbs perspiration at the same time. The bows tied on silk scarves are especially pretty. Silk can be worn in all seasons, depending upon the weight of the fabric. It can be more delicate than other fabrics so must be handled with care. Tying silk scarves can be slightly more difficult than tying other fabrics due to the slick nature of the fibers. Styling silk is made much easier by wearing a scarf gripper to hold it in place while tying.

how to tie a head scarf silk fabrichow to tie a head scarf silk fabric

Cool, comfortable, lightweight, durable, and breathable, cotton head scarves also do not slip and absorb perspiration. The natural cotton fibers are appropriate for all seasons. Cotton also provides lots of body and volume to the head. Sometimes cotton can be too thick for tying on the head. The cotton scarves we offer are made of a lighter weight cotton that drapes easily. However, it is important to remember that cotton does not dry as fast as synthetic fabrics.

How to Tie a Cotton Head ScarfHow to Tie a Cotton Head Scarf

Chiffon headscarves give a dressier look than cotton. This lightweight fabric is often semi-sheer and naturally gives a beautiful drape, creating an elegant appearance. It is easy to wash and wear, as it is low slippage, durable, and dries quickly.  Chiffon is not a good choice for cold weather, but is wonderful for spring and summer. Some chiffon scarves may not be as soft as other fabric options; consider putting on a turban before tying your scarf for additional comfort and coverage.

how to tie a head scarf chiffon fabrichow to tie a head scarf chiffon fabric

Scarves made from viscose offer a nice drape and feel. They are typically very soft and descibed as feeling "buttery." They also provide a cool feeling to the head. Most are machine washable, but check washing instructions. Many pre-tied scarves and head wraps are made in viscose fabrics because it is often stretchy and flexible.

how to tie a head scarf viscose rayon fabrichow to tie a head scarf viscose rayon fabric

Lighter weight wool scarves are a great choice for cool weather. Wool and cashmere scarves are high quality natural,  breathable, and resistant to moisture. Be careful not to select scarves that are too thick because they will be too bulky when worn on the head

Scarf Tying Cashmere ScarvesScarf Tying Cashmere Scarves


Hand Made & Tie Dye Head Scarves

Hand made scarves feature dying techniques on 100% cotton fabric to create a completely unique look. Two of these techniques are woodblock printing and tie dye. Woodblock scarves are created by the ancient art of printing on fabric using hand carved wooden blocks, which dates back to 220 AD. To learn more about how wood block head scarves are made, click here.

Many of our scarves are tye died by hand, creating fabulous works of wearable art. Because each scarf is made by hand, variations in color and pattern are inherent to the design and add to the character of the scarf.

Hand Made Cotton Woodblock ScarvesHand Made Cotton Woodblock Scarves


There are also fabrics called "Plated Fabrics." "Plated" refers to garments with one fabric (e.g., cotton) on the outside face, backed with another fabric type (e.g., polyester) against the skin. This approach is designed to offer the best attributes of both fabrics. Many of our scarves and headcoverings are created with all cotton liners for a comfortable feel.

How to Tie a Bandana 

Fold the bandana diagonally slightly less than halfway across. The closer the tip of the bandana is to the corner, the smaller the bandana will be when tied.

Turn the bandana over. With the folded side facing down, place the bandana across your forehead. Take the two tips on either side of the face and pull them towards the back of the head.

Cross the ties over each other and tie a simple knot. Double knot to secure bandana.

Here is our infographic on how to tie a head scarf. 

 (To share this infographic on your blog or site click here for the embed code).

how to tie a head scarf 1how to tie a head scarf 1

Scarves are a wonderful accessory that allow you to cover your head in style. These versatile head coverings can be tied in many different ways, achieving almost limitless options. With so many headscarf options and so many different ways of tying them, there truly is something for everyone.

©2014-2023, Headcovers Unlimited, Inc.  All Rights Reserved. We encourage and welcome direct links to this page, but please do not redistribute, copy, alter or create derivative works from our content without express written permission. 

Comments, Questions & Ratings

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Ms. Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Thank you for sharing this outstanding post. It took a long time for me to come across clear and easy to follow scarf thing directions. I will be able to use my many rectangle scarfs, that did nothing but take up precious drawer space until I came across these outstanding directions and suggestions. (Posted on 07/18/2023)

Ms Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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This is so cool and more easier to follow then the videos..thank you ???? (Posted on 04/13/2023)

Mom Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Great videos and products. Thank you?? (Posted on 02/08/2023) Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I noticed you had a blue head cover on your first photo showing how to tie a scarf. That is the scarf I am buying and want to know do I need the blue head cap shaped scarf to keep the outer scarf on my head? I need this for medical reasons and would hate to have the scarf slip off to a bald head especially if I needed the blue cap for a secure fit. Thanks for showing the descriptions and how to do the tying properly. Send me an answer so I know if I have to purchase the cap and the scarf both as a set to work and fit properly. 5 stars for all of the information I need to know! Great page I have found since I have needed these items medically. Looking forward to a quick response as I need these items just as quickly now too! (Posted on 12/21/2022) Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Thanks for posting, easy to follow ?? (Posted on 09/27/2022)

Retired Person with cancer Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Thank you so much for the information. It has helped me. (Posted on 06/29/2022) Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Since I'm so new to all of this, I'm excited that I found you guys. This is a one stop shop, seriously for almost anything I need while I go thru this time in my life with NO hair. I'm excited to find this page for learning how to put on my new scarfs & tie them. I'm very Thankful for your site. Janice (Posted on 06/17/2022)

Excellent Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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This is the best scarf tying page I've found. Simple, great videos, easy to follow. Thank you! (Posted on 02/16/2022)

Scarf tying Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I really enjoyed the videos on tying scarfs in multiple different ways! I prefer wearing scarves with bangs as apposed to full wigs. After watching your videos I can now experiment and try tying my scarves in multiple ways! thank you again Deb (Posted on 08/26/2021)

Head scarves Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I love your head scarf typing videos. 5 Stars. However, I wish you would stop advertising like the only women who wear head scarves and hats are cancer/chemo patients. I do not have cancer, and none of my friends have cancer. We all have a ton of scarves, hats, and berets that we wear all the time. I've bought from Headcovers Unlimited several times. And continue to buy new items to go with different outfits. If everyone who sells scarfs, hats, and berets is only advertising they they are for chemo patients, then people are going to start asking anyone who wears a hat, scarf or beret if they have cancer. Let's make this a fashion statement instead. Then women who have cancer can be fashionable. And my friends and I won't be asked if we have cancer! (Posted on 08/25/2021) Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Great help - make it printable so I can refer back to it. (Posted on 07/11/2021)

Great video Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Thank you for your easy to follow info. (Posted on 04/27/2021) Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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great article...thanks (Posted on 01/01/2021)

How to Tie a Head Scarf