Veils/scarves - a practical question

So I have a more practical question than many. I’ve seen some of the mantillas. I’ve also heard of a lot of women using scarves as a head covering. My question is - how on earth do you keep these things on?!!? Especially if you’re like me and have really fine hair that won’t hold pins.

For that matter, how does one wear a scarf as a head covering? All the stuff I can find is aimed as muslim women.

You can cover your hair with a hat, a beret, or any other form of head covering, you don’t have to use a mantilla/veil. OTOH, bobby pins will generally keep a mantilla in place, after all they kept my nurses’ cap on my pixie haircut back in the day. Just Google head scarf tying for ideas.

I wear a headscarf. The way I wear mine is related to the Islamic style because I lived in the Middle East. I take a long rectangular scarf and place it over my head, and twist the two ends over my shoulders. Choose a non-slip fabric and no pins required. The other way I use is to take a square scarf and fold in half so it’s a triangle. Put it over your head and tie the ends, either behind your head or at your neck. Again chose a non-slip fabric and it works perfectly.

The Veiled in Grace group has some helpful topics and advice as well.

Get small bobby pins. You have to “play” with placement of them on your head, and pin at the top center edge. Longer tailed mantillas are easier to keep out of your face than shorter ones are, by the way, because you can just push the tails over your shoulders. Alternately, you could go to Sally’s beauty store, pick up a clear hair comb (the kind that is used to hold a hairstyle in place,) and stitch that to the mantilla. Or my favorite–double sided tape! No, it doesn’t rip your hair out when you take off the mantilla after Mass.

Wear a hat, knit type. Scarf - long - narrow - like you wrap around your neck in winter, only loop over head. Two bobby pins at the temple do for most. If your hair is way way too thin, see my first sentence.

There are a variety here that would work. Not Muslim.

I had the same thing with my mantillas because of my fine hair. What I did was take two pairs of these hair pins:

I attached them to my head in a cross for staying power. One of each side.

Then I took my mantilla and two hair pins and weaved each pin through the lace and through the crosses with the bumpy end downwards.

Even little kids pulling on it wouldn’t cause it to come off.

I’ve found it stays on my head better if I put my hair up in a bun first. has great tutorials with pics, along with a lovely selection of scarves and headcoverings. Maybe you can get some ideas there.

This video is great, humerous and very entertaining. The young lady has since entered the religious life. Be sure and check out all of her videos.


Thanks! I have to say I absolutely hate those knit caps - they remind me of the stuff the teen girls wear around here when they’re trying way too hard to be cool. Just a personal thing. My hair’s also way to short to do anything with. I tried looping a scarf over my head once, but the ends were on my butt and it just sort of looked silly (why yes I’m short). I do have some nice hats, but I’m terrible at keeping those on either, especially with kneeling and standing up and bowing.

Here, try the one with the sequins:

The point is to cover your head, doesn’t matter with what, we aren’t making a fashion statement. I won’t wear a mantilla because I think they are far too fancy and just advertise their purpose and so lack (for me) humility.

To each their own.

Yeah. It’s mostly that in my area the knit caps seem to be the hipster equivalent of baseball caps - something the girls wear over t-shirts and ripped jeans.

I used to see some women at my old (protestant) church wearing doilies - do catholic women ever do that? It always seemed weird to me, but then my church spun it as some weird modesty/authority thing that was kind of insulting. I have some headband fascinators that cover about the same amount of space. I don’t wear a head covering to my normal OF mass but I’m trying to make it to EF and want to wear one out of respect.

Regular ordinary hat. I like the cloche styles and they are very normal to wear in winter. If you look at older fashions, you’ll see that woman wore lots of different styles of hear coverings (because women wore hats/headcovers almost everywhere, not just to church).

When my mother was a young woman, they even wore scarfs tied like very wide headbands in church. It happened to be fashionable and it was enough of a headcovering to be acceptable. The rules never said a woman had to cover all her hair (a la muslim headcovers), just that she had to have her head (hair) covered.

The small round chapel veils/caps. Yes, I’ve seen women with those in the Catholic church.

I’m of the ‘You forgot your hat/kerchief and we’ve got a school Mass this morning, you’ll have to wear a Kleenex’ era. Anything that covered your head was fine and it wasn’t rare to see several girls with tissues bobby pinned to their heads at monthly Confession or daily Mass.

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