In the olden days, different head ties distinguished a woman's social or marital status. It could also tell a woman's religion. Today, ladies wear a head tie for various purposes, including religious beliefs, fashion choices, tradition, etc.
Religions like Islam encourages a woman to cover up their head. A woman's hair is considered a beauty that should only be preserved for their legal spouse. Women also cover their hair when they perform Islamic prayers. In Christianity, nuns would also wear a veil to cover their hair.
In traditional Gambian society, it is believed a head tie can protect a woman from evil spirits and also help when having headaches or migraines.
Many wear a head tie when attending social occasions such as marriage ceremonies, naming ceremonies, funerals and other important occasions. A lot of women also wear it when going to work. Most older women always tie their hair because it preserves their respect and social status.
There are different fabrics used for tying the hair, and there are a lot of styles of tying a head tie according to what you are wearing it with and the occasion you are attending.
Ankara head tie is mostly done by women who are married and even some girls. They are done when going for the naming ceremony or marriage ceremony.
Turban is mainly used by young girls and even some married women too.
They are simple to tie, most used daily and appropriate for every occasion since there are many types of tying a turban in The Gambia. The most common occurrences of wearing a turban are when going to birthday parties, going to work etc.
A high puff head warp is mainly worn by ladies, married and single, with long hair. It is a tie when going to work, visiting friends, and even sitting at home etc.
Hijab styles. This type of head tie is mostly worn by women wearing hijab and girls that cover half of their bodies and look beautiful in it.