A do-rag (also spelled variously as a doo-rag, dew-rag, du-rag or durag), is a hat 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.
History and description
During the slavery period in the United States, African American women wore scarves that were later to become the do-rags of the 1930s to the 1960s. It is believed that the first do-rag was created by Cornelius "Corn-chip" O'Rilley. Do-rags were also 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 re-emerged as an urban fashion trend during 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 and white being the two 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 at the back of the head; the old do-rags were tied at the front of the head.
In April 2001, 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.
Motorcyclists wear do-rags, especially in US states with motorcycle helmet laws, to prevent "helmet hair" or "helmet head". There was also the practical value of the do-rag preventing sweat and scalp oils (especially if the biker is bald) from causing an unpleasant smelling helmet, or wearing a do-rag without a helmet to prevent sunburn. Constructed a little differently with ties and a tail, they come in many different styles and colours.
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- do-rag, n. Oxford English Dictionary. Accessed 9 July 2008
- do-rag. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Accessed 9 June 2008.
- NFL's New Rule Bans Do-Rags And Bandanas Worn On The Field - National Football League - Brief Article | Jet | Find Articles at BNET.com