What is the covered head? Definitions and expressions of modesty, fashion, and religion.

*Audio version available at bottom of the post.

Covered Head: 

Capped, Covered, Concealed

 The covered head, as defined in this website, is one that is intentionally covered by a female by means of some type of clothing accessory, garment, or fabric (although male examples will be used occasionally on this site.).

 I will be including three categories and degrees of covering to define the covered head. I will be using either the terms capped, covered, or concealed interchangeably.

By cap I mean an article of clothing worn on top of the head;


I may use cover to denote material that is placed on top of the head, usually covering the majority of the hair;


when the garment is used to cover the head and all of the hair, and/or parts of the face and neck,  I am referring to a covered head that is concealed.


 Cultures, countries,  and belief systems can influence the amount of coverage, style, and materials used. See the definitions below for clarification.

CAP: by definition,  a cap is 1) a covering for the head, made of soft, usually close-fitting material, and having a small visor. 2) a covering of lace or the like for a woman's head. 3) A headdress denoting rank, occupation, or the like. 4) anything resembling a covering for the head and shape, used, or position. 
COVER: by definition, a covering is  something that covers or conceals
CONCEAL: by definition, to conceal is to place out of sight

History, Culture, Religion

Many things can influence the style and occasion of the covered head. Cultural expression, religious observation, social expectations, and fashion preferences.

Centuries ago the covered head was expressed by wearing a simple scarf over the head or more layered garments to cover the hair and face.

Historically, Christians have covered (or removed the head covering) in observation of the Bible scripture 1 Corinthians 11:1-16.
*Have you ever read the Bible in its entirety? Thebiblein1year.com has resources on how to do just that.

Muslims are encouraged to incorporate the covered head through what the Quran says about veiling. There are similar expectations for men and women for the covered head.

In the Jewish faith, the covered head is a symbol of preserving the sanctity of marriage and identifying one's self as chaste. 

In the historically black church, headwear is just as much of a symbol of reverence as it is an expression of joy and celebration. Michael Cunningham articulates the story of the "church hat" in his book Crowns.
In many religious circles, the covered head is meant to avoid unwanted sexual attention and to provide a neutral environment for men and women to socialize and work together without the distractions of beauty and attraction.

The covered head began to be less prominent in the early 20th century, whereas fewer men and women were wearing hats and other types of headcover. Some say it was because of a pulling away from religious expectations, others say advances in technology are to blame.

Social norms have changed over time. Many uses of head covering nowadays is purely for fashion. Celebrities even have made iconic images of themselves through their use of various flamboyant and stylish head coverings.

Royalty has a protocol for the covered head. For this reason you will not see the Queen of England in public without a hat.

In upper-class society, events such as the Kentucky Derby are occasions in which, the covered head is a requirement. The grandeur and elegance of the styles of the hats are meant to reflect the refinement and sophistication of the gathering.

There are many expressions of faith, fashion, social status, and modesty through the covering of the head. This website and blog will be discussing more topics on the covered head in the future.

In an upcoming post, I will cover where to shop for the many styles and variations of head coverings. In the meantime, check out this blog post by Radical Christian Woman to find out Where to Buy Cheap Christian Head Coverings & Accessories.

Kenya Sanchez · covered head blog 1 what is a covered head.mp3