A do-rag (also known as a doo-rag, du-rag, or durag), is a piece of cloth used to cover the top of one's head. Sometimes made of nylon material and having a "skullcap" fit it may also be referred to as a "wavecap". According to the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term derives from 'do as in hairdo.
During slavery times the black women wore scarfs that were later to become the do rags of the 1930s to the 1960s, do-rags were used by African American men to hold chemically processed hair-dos in place while they slept. Originally they were most commonly made from women's stockings; these were called stocking caps not do rags, now many are made from polyester. Do-rags resurged as a fashion trend among urban youth in the 1990s and 2000s, first among African Americans, who used them to maintain their new hair styles. Do-rags are worn in a variety of colours, with black being the most common. Do-rags are regularly used to create and maintain waves and cornrowed hairstyles. They usually have long ties on either side that are wrapped around the head to secure the do-rag by tying behind the back. However, the old do rags were not tied behind the head but on the front of the head.
In April 2000, the American National Football League banned its players from wearing do-rags and bandanas underneath their helmets. The ban did not apply to players who wore them for medical reasons.
Over the years motorcyclists have begun to wear them, especially in states with motorcycle helmet laws, to prevent "Helmet Hair" or "Helmet Head". Constructed a little differently with ties and a tail, they come in many different styles and colors. MMA[clarification needed] enthusiasts have also begun to wear them as part of their workout gear.
- do-rag, n. Oxford English Dictionary. Accessed 9 July 2008
- do-rag. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Accessed 9 June 2008.
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