I barely notice if I have on my cap, since it has become second nature. I do notice if I don’t have it. At home I sometimes take it off if it is hot or muggy. I almost always put it on by the time I cook breakfast, if only because it keeps my hair in place. My hair is now uncut about seven years, so it is past waistlength by a few inches, but it is babyfine and tends to take up in a curl after I’ve had it in a bun for a long time. I don’t intend to cut my hair again, but it has probably reached its terminal length now. Obviously, I don’t dye my hair. It is becoming a silvery white from its original reddish-brown. I pin it up with regular bobby pins. I used to have these great U-shaped plastic hairpins, sort of an oversized hairpin and it took only one of them to hold my hair. Alas, the last one snapped a few months ago and Goody no longer makes them. I tried those big butterfly clips and long spring clips, but they caught in my hair and were generally too fragile.
The hair is brushed back and put into a somewhat flat bun at the back of my head. Someone with thick, long hair would have to make a flatter bun, or even two, one over the other. I don’t use an elastic ponytail holder, they break my hair too easily. The cap goes on and is tied under the chin, then anchored with two spring steel plain clippies on either side of the bun, along the bottom hem. I may choose to untie the cap strings from time to time, but tied works best. Contrary to what you might think, even a tied cap will blow off in a strong wind, so the clippie anchors are important. I used to use straight pins either through the bun or just behind the front edge of the cap part, but my husband began to object that I was “prickly” everywhere, with too many straight pins holding my cap, kerchief apron and shawl! So I use just a pin at the front of the kerchief now.
Veils and head-kerchiefs should be clippied, as well, to keep them secure. You have the choice as to how you want to wear your hair under the cover, loose, braided neatly (a good choice for young girls), pony-tailed or in a bun. If you are growing out your hair after cutting it before, clippies and barrettes under the cover will keep it from working its way out. My fine hair still works loose, and I am often shoving bits of it under the cap.
Hmm- hats. I wear a straw hat in the summer. I had a good plain round one with a leather tie that worked well over the prayer cap. The bolero-style tie went under my bun at the nape of the neck. It wore out with much use and I couldn’t find an inexpensive replacement. The one I have now I bought on sale at a department store, but it has an upturned brim all the way around and is a bit too worldly for me. It looks better over a scarf, so this summer I put on the scarf, clippied it in place and set the hat over that. Kind of Georgia O’Keefe-ish. Churchy hats, like the ones I used to wear as a laywoman in the Anglican Church, are just not suitable, need I say. They are too easily a focus for status and pride. Too “look-at-me.” I do remember my mother had one that was especially frumpy, though, which was her church hat. It was a kind of tapestry lampshade shape.
Our headcoverings should be modest, plain and practical. They may attract some attention, but not because they are fashionable or even flattering, just because the world is not used to modest Christian headcovering women.
There is some debate about wearing one’s hair down at home. If my husband and I are alone and I am not going anywhere in the evening, I may take off the cap and let the hair down and brush it out. My husband likes my long hair as feminine and becoming. A few close friends have known me with my hair down, and I tried the uncovered look for a few weeks when we moved here to London, but I was so uncomfortable with it that I had to cover again. I say that long, loose hair is intimate between spouses. For me it is like having on a nightgown. I don’t want other people to see me that way!