Culture, Feature Story

All of the Beautiful Queens at the Wrapped In Love Headwrap Workshop

Last Sunday, I attended the Wrapped In Love headwrapping workshop at the Detroit Public Library. The headwrap group is founded by Love Rose. She stayed busy at the event with wrapping styles for ladies and teaching them how to create styles on their own.

Despite how busy the workshop was, Love Rose stayed smiling throughout the entirety of the event. From time to time she would remind the women “you are wrapped in love.”

DIFFERENT HEADWRAP STYLES

The term “headwrap” is really a general term because there are a few different types of headwrap styles.

Geles — Nigerian

Dukus — Ghanaian

Doek — South African and Namibian

According to Naturally Curly, the reasons for why men and women wear headwraps vary. One may wear a headwrap for religious reasons while another may simply choose to wear a headwrap as a fashion accessory.


“Where, when, and how headwraps are styled may represent wealth, ethnicity, marital status, mourning, or reverence. Despite the dispersal of African communities due to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, emancipation, the Great Migration and globalization, this black hair fashion has stood the test of time and space. The headwrap materially links black women of the West with the traditions of their ancestors, and with their cousins across the Atlantic.”

“The History of Headwraps: Then, There, and Now” by Chelsea Johnson for Naturally Curly
Love Rose, Founder of Wrapped In Love

CREATING A BIG HEADWRAP BOW STYLE

There was a nice turn out the event with women being the majority of the guests. As soon as I walked into the multi-purpose room I saw so many ladies wearing beautiful headwraps in various styles.

I first met Monica Benford Echols who was creating a bow headwrap style for Sandra O’Neal. A small group of women was gathered around Monica and Sandra.

With their cellphones out, some of the women took pictures and others recorded Monica wrapping a pretty pink and blue fabric for Sandra.


Monica Benford Echols helped Sandra O’Neal create this beautiful bow headwrap style.
Sandra O’Neal shows off her bow headwrap.

Monica told me she has been creating headwrap styles for years. She first learned how to wrap by watching her mother, and over the years she got better at it.

The headwrap Monica was wearing was a skirt. She also had a purple sheet tied around the wrap and draped over her shoulder.


Monica Benford Echols volunteered at the Wrapped In Love headwrap workshop to help other women learn how to headwrap.

EMBRACING THE BEAUTY OF OUR HERITAGE

Later, I met Tracy Smith-Anderson who had on a beautiful green headwrap with a circular knot tied in the front. She told me she used one of her mother’s dresses to make her headwrap style. I was amazed. I never would have thought Tracy’s headwrap was a dress!

That’s what I love about headwrapping, though. You can use just about any type of material and turn it into a unique style. I’ve watched YouTube tutorials of women creating wrap styles from a pair of leggings, dresses, and skirts!

Tracy Smith-Anderson told me she has been headwrapping for a few years now.
Tracy created her beautiful headwrap style by using green dress that belongs to her mother.

Three years ago, when I attended the Beautifully Wrapped Headwrap Expo, an instructor taught a workshop to teach women how to create a headwrap from a t-shirt!

“I like it because it helps me to embrace the beauty of what my heritage is and it’s so versatile,” Tracy said to me. “It’s limitless! You can do anything with it.”

Tanaya Parker shows her lovely headwrap style.
Helen Bar told me she has been headwrapping for a couple of years now. She attended the workshop to learn new styles.

TRACY CREATES A HEADWRAP STYLE FOR ME

Before the workshop ended, I asked Tracy if she could create a headwrap style for me. I had brought with me two headscarves so I could learn new headwrap styles.

As Tracy wrapped the scarf around my head, she explained each step to me. Travis recorded it on my cell phone so I could look back on it to practice the style at home.

Tracy taught me a new headwrap style.
Tracy shared a few tips with me on how I can create new styles.

Tracy even shared with me a tip on how I could add a little volume to my headwrap. All you do is use another scarf or fabric and roll it into a ball.

Then place it on top of your head. It will go under the main piece of material you use for your headwrap.

I loved my new headwrap style!
Side view of my headwrap style created by Tracy.

BEAUTIFUL QUEENS CONNECTING THROUGH CULTURE

Toward the end of the workshop, the women and children (and even one man) who were wearing headwraps gathered together for a group picture.

A professional photographer was on site to take photographs of the event and the group photo.

Group photo of everyone who participated in the workshop.
Shelia Bates takes a selfie of her headwrap style a volunteer created for her.
Shelia Bates smiles for a photograph of her headwrap style.

I had a big smile on my face as I started snapping photos of the group. It made me happy to see all of the beautiful headwrap styles and to connect with my culture in this way.

Tracy felt the same way. She said it made her happy to find other women who loved headwrapping as much as she did.

“I love this,” she said to me as she gave a proud smile and looked around the room.

Tracy and I at the Wrapped In Love Workshop.

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