GLAMOUR's new columnist, 21-year-old Somalian-born beauty blogger and Instagram star, Hani Sidow, is breaking taboos about being a beauty-loving Hijab wearer, helping inspire other women on Muslim beauty, fashion and modesty. In her second column for GLAMOUR, she explains why wearing a hijab is no barrier to beauty and reveals her favourite hair products.
"Being a hijabi, it's safe to say I've heard some of the strangest questions ever.
These musings range from: 'Do you wear it to sleep' and 'what is your hair like underneath?', to the odd boy asking: 'can I see just a little bit of your hair?'.
I've been wearing my hijab for several years now and, to me personally, it's not a barrier but something I can have two identities with. Underneath my hijab, my hair has tight curls and is actually pretty long when I straighten it. It starts to feel like two faces: you have a public identity with your hijab and a more private identity with your hair in front of your family and female friends.
Because our hair is completely covered up by our hijabs, it's hardly surprising that people are curious about what's underneath. I've decided to answer the most-asked questions I receive about my hijab and hair for my GLAMOUR readers."
When do you wear the hijab?
First thing's first: we definitely don't wear our hijab to sleep - except when I was in Somalia recently and would sleep in it because the sound of mosquitos terrify me! Usually, our hijab is worn outside and in front of men who are not 'halal' for us. As soon as I get home, the first thing I do is remove my hijab. I'm sure a lot of hijabis can relate to this immediate desire to take it off - not because it's uncomfortable or anything, but just out of instinct. It's almost as if a voice in your head screams: "come through inner me" and your private identity comes out.
What is your hair like underneath?
As an East African girl, my hair is quite curly and has a lot of shrinkage when it's curly, reaching only my shoulders. Sometimes it does get a little dry after wearing my hijab for long hours and I start to feel my scalp screaming for a massage by the time I remove it. As most other hijabis do, I keep my hair in protective styling underneath my scarves. Sometimes I soak my roots in coconut oil and wear an underpiece with my hijab to stop the oil from transferring, but this really helps stop my hair from getting dry.
What is your haircare routine?
People tend to forget that hijabis have hair too. However, I hadn't come across many posts discussing haircare for those wearing a hijab until recently. Instagrammer @nillydahlia shared a book with me on Instagram titled A Muslimah's Guide to Healthy Hijab Hair by Jennifer Ogunyemi (available on Amazon). This was exactly the kind of guide I was looking for.
My haircare routine usually consists of shampooing using the range, which I discovered from 'Love Halsaa' on YouTube as she used it as part of her curly hair routine. I then deep condition my hair and leave it wrapped in a plastic shopping bag for around 30 minutes. Once I wash my conditioner out, I use a tangle teaser to brush my hair out to avoid any tangles. It is important to let your hair air dry and not wrap it up whilst it's still damp as this will cause problems under your hijab.
I always look for haircare recommendations on YouTube and just type my hair type into the search box. Although, I've noticed that there isn't much advice on offer, so I'm not exactly sure which products would work best for nourishing my hair after wearing a headscarf all day. The OGX shampoo and conditioner range has definitely been my favourite - especially the Argan oil of Morocco edition, which has given my curls more definition and has helped keep the strength of my hair.
Stay tuned for my next column in a fortnight!"