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. Here are some more tips:

Square Head Scarves are the easiest to work with and the most popular. They offer many styling options and are more manageable than oblong scarves for most women. 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.

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. The dimensions allow the wearer to tie the scarf to resemble a headwrap, giving a truly unique look. Oblong scarves take just a little more practice, but they offer additional styling options. You can achieve the looks you can get with a square head scarf, but the dimensions also allow you to create an intricate headwrap or turban more easily than a square scarf.



Square Scarves: How to Tie a Headscarf 

Square scarves are an ideal choice for beginners as they are the easiest to tie. Here are 5 of our favorite ways to tie a square head scarf.

1. Classic Head Wrap

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Drape it over your head, the long edge of the triangle across 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

2. Vintage

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Drape it over your head, the long edge of the triangle across upper 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


3. Rosette

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Place the folded edge of the scarf to 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. Turban

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Drape it over your head, the long edge of the triangle across 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


5. Hat Wrap (works best with a straw or brimmed sun hat)

  • Fold scarf into a triangle
  • Lay it across the crown of hat, the long edge lying over the front of the hat's crown
  • Take the two ends of the long edge of the scarf and pull them gently back around sides of the hat’s crown
  • Tie them in a square knot at the back


Bows Away

  • 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 sides
  • Tuck in the middle corner


Tying a Rectangular Head Scarf

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. While squares are easier for the beginner, rectangles allow you the most styling versatility. They can be worn alone or multiple scarves can be layered to create intricate and beautiful wraps. The generous amount of material allows the wearer to create many looks, from intricate head wraps and turbans to side ponies. With a little practice, tying a rectangular scarf can be as easy as tying your shoe laces.

Here are a five basic styles to get your creative juices flowing:


1. Long Tail Bow

  • 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

  • Center the scarf on forehead
  • Bring the ends forward like a towel
  • 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 Pony

  • 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
  • With each hand, grab a side and loosely twist them
  • Bring each twist to the top of your head
  • Place the twists over one eye and tie a knot
  • Wrap the twists around each other two or three times
  • Tuck this newly twisted section under the knot
  • Let the ends fall down


4. My Little Pony (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 Bun

  • 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

  • Center the scarf at the nape of neck
  • Bring the ends forward like a towel
  • Tightly twist the sides together
  • Bring the twist back down the center of your head
  • Tie the ends into a knot near the nape of neck
  • Tuck in the ends

Here is our infographic on how to tie a head scarf. If you want even more options, keep reading below!


how to tie a head scarf infographic

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Recommended Scarf Accessories

cancer scarf: scarves for cancer patientsScarf Pad

Scarf Pads:

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.

cancer head scarf accessory hairInstant Hair Headband with Detachable Bangs


Hats with Hair Hairpieces:


To finish off your look, 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.

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.

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.



Scarf Grippers:

Our unique creation, scarf grippers are 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 silk or other fabrics that tend to slide or move more easily.

Additional Accessories:

Headscarves can be accessorized in order to accomplish a new look. You can dress up a scarf with a broach or clip. Or give it a new fun look with a flower pin or a headband. You can also use a claw clip to attach the scarf at the back to create a quick easy way to put on your scarf without having to tie it. Scrunchies are used to simplify scarf tying. Many of our head scarves come with a free coordinating scrunchie. For cancer patients on the go, our scrunchies make tying a scarf very easy.



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. 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.

Triangle Shaped 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 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.

model wearing a pre tied scarf in tie dye

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. Some ready tied headscarves require no tying at all, and others simply require tying a simple knot or a bow in the back to secure the cap in place. 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.



Tips When Selecting Head Scarves for Tying


Selecting PrintsScarves 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 ScarvesSolids 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.


Head Scarf Fabrics

  • Silk

    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

  • Cotton

    Cool, comfortable, lightweight, durable, breathable, does not slip, absorbs perspiration. Appropriate for all seasons. 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. Does not dry as fast as synthetic fabrics.

  • Chiffon

    Easy wash and wear. Low slippage, durable. Dressier look than cotton. Lightweight, dries quickly. Fabric drapes easily. Not a good choice for cold weather and some may not be as soft as other options

  • Viscose and Rayon

    Offers a nice drape and feel. Typically very soft. Most are machine washable, but check washing instructions. Does not wick away moisture like some other fabrics.

  • Wool and Cashmere

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

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.



Hand Made Head Scarves

Woodblock Printed Head Scarf

Woodblock Printed Scarves: Woodblock scarves are created by an ancient technique of printing on fabric. This technique dates back to 220 AD. A design is drawn and then a carver carves a block of wood based on that design. This wood is then dipped in ink and used to print on the fabric. The process gives every scarf some variation and thus a “one-of-a-kind” scarf is created. As a result, the purchaser of a woodblock scarf literally gets a unique work of art. These scarves come in many different styles, sizes, colors and fabrics. Because each scarf is made by hand, there will be natural variations in print and color that add to the character of the scarf. To learn more about how wood block head scarves are made, click here.

Tie Dyed Scarves: 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.

  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.


Helpful Links:




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.



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Comments, Questions & Ratings

Add a comment. Post a rating. Leave your comments. Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Do you have brochures on how to tie scarfs, pick out hats, etc....We would love to have these for our customers. (Posted on 08/13/2019)

Scarves Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I am a cancer patients who will soon lose her hair. I am looking at your site to see the many options available for me. My question is why are all of the scarves tied at the bottom, when some height at the top might balance the top of the head were some height generally is with hair? (Posted on 05/08/2019)

mrs Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Thank you for the information on tying headscarfs..i am currently having target therapy following chemotherapy, and as my hair started to fall out, asked my son to shave my hair the heat it was very liberating, wash and go. .i hadnt realised how protective your hair is and after a couple of knocks have started to wear scarfs..thank you for the clear, concise information, it has given me ideas on making headgear and accessory attachment (broken jewellry and necklaces etc) to brighten up the headgear, maybe led lights!!!!! as we are coming up to the holiday wishes for the future you are all doing an amazing job thanks once again (Posted on 11/20/2018)

Ms Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Needs pictures to go with all the instructions please. (Posted on 11/05/2018)


Thank you for your suggestion! We are constantly working on adding more photos so please keep checking back! (04/17/2019)
Cathy Park Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I'm about to have my head shaved for charity, and found your scarf-tying ideas very useful. Thanks. (Posted on 10/01/2018)

Detailed On All Relevant Aspects Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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That is a very detailed article for Scarfs, from how to tie it to which fabrics to choose based on your requirements. Amazing! (Posted on 11/12/2017)

Mrs Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Great information, I loved the demonstration of scarves.. (Posted on 11/05/2017)

Ms Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I have enjoyed reading all this info on buying or making head scalfs. Thankyou very much for putting this info together. I had my scalp ripped off as a child, so with endless scaring to try and cover my head, I have now reached senior citizen, through a life time of miracles. When one is sick or battling chemo. most have no energy to sew, that's me. My dear Mum & younger sister got cancer, and we bought scalfs from the hospital, but very boring. So now my hair had been able to have EXTENSIONS the past year. Woopeeeeeeee Sadly my hair has gone thin, so this is why I came to this site and now looking forward to trying new ideas. Thank You, Queeney (Posted on 04/24/2017)

hagster Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Would like more options in scarf liners. The double layer scarf pad is not thick enough (for me) to give the illusion of hair; the scarf grips to it nicely, but it slides on my head - thus moving the scarf forward into my eyes, or backward exposing where my hairline would be. I don't wear the beanies in public because they are not full enough - (I think) accentuating that one has no hair. I have universal Alopecia and my hair will never grow back, meaning I will be dealing with baldness the rest of my life. Since there are so many bald women now-a-days, I would think there would be more options. (Posted on 03/18/2017)

Great Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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what a ultimate guide. let me appreciate you for this type of amazing writing. Keep Writing :) (Posted on 03/15/2017)


. (03/17/2017)
This site is just what I needed Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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Was not looking forward to a summer of hat wearing to cover my baldness; then I found this site & the bamboo scarves! Thank You,! Your bamboo scarves R priced very reasonable compared to other sites offering similar products. To someone on a fixed income; that means ALOT! (Posted on 03/03/2017)

Being here Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I loved all the info but since this is all this company does...what about more than ONE video!!?? (Posted on 01/27/2017)


Thank you for the suggestion! We love videos and are working on making more of them. (04/17/2019)
Scarves Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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This information is useful. I mostly prefer using silk scarves as they are light weighted. (Posted on 11/30/2016)

whateverittakes Review by How to Tie a Head Scarf
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I think I am going to like these scarves better than a wig! Thank you (Posted on 11/24/2015)

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