Do Rags & Bandanas
Do Rags & Bandanas
How is a do rag different than a bandana?
We get asked this question a lot! As a matter of fact, they are quite different and bikers typically own both.
Bikers (and others) began tying bandanas over their heads for a couple of reasons. First of all, because it ties down the hair, an important detail especially if one's hair is long. It keeps it from getting in your face and eyes, and from getting so tangled. The only other way to deal with long hair is to cut/shave it off - not a pleasant prospect for someone who likes their hair long. In addition, in cool or cold weather, a bandana is a practical head covering for warmth, especially for bikers who choose not to wear helmets. Besides,
bandanas do indeed cover up your hair, which is definitely a boon, even if you do wear a helmet, giving you a great way to conceal that awful "helmet hair." Bandanas hide the evidence of a less than cooperative head of hair!
The do rag is merely a form-fitting version of the tied bandana. The standard design conforms to the shape of the head more closely, has a flap down the back, and ties to customize the fit and hold it on. It fits better, stays put better and is easier to put on and off than a bandana, which must be folded and formed and doesn't always stay where
you want it.
These do rags (or sometimes called skullcaps or headwraps) can and do come in a variety of materials, ranging from very thin mesh for summer wear to heavy leather for cold leather, with most being made of lightweight printed or solid cotton fabric. Various variations on the standard do-rags have appeared on the market. Some have bills, or
visors like baseball caps, some have long tails that cover the whole neck, some come in sizes, some have cooling "crystals," others have Velcro closures, still others have come have fancy names like "Bandoorag". But again, just remember, the bandana came first, then the do-rag, and now there are both choices, with a lot of variations.
Bandanas serve other purposes as well, than just head/hair covering. For one thing, you can soak a bandana in water and tie it around your neck to help keep you cool in summer, not easy to do with a do-rag. You can use it to wipe off your seat if your bike gets rained on, to wipe the dipstick to check your oil, or to clean your mirror or polish a smudge off the chrome. It can insulate your hand if you need to reach down near the hot pipes for any reason, and warm your neck if the wind turns cool. Some bikers still keep a bandana on their bike even if they're wearing a do-rag on their head.
Although bikers have really popularized this form of headgear in recent years, they're certainly not the only ones who wear it, or something similar. For instance, young urban youths often wear their own styles of skullcaps. Cancer patients frequently use colorful bandanas or do-rags to hide their bald heads. Even certain religions use a form of skullcaps. For example, observant Jewish men wear a yarmulke and observant Jewish women wear a tichel (a kosher bandana), and young Muslim women often wear a form of skullcap under their veils. Fireman and others who must wear helmets often choose to wear some type of head covering underneath for comfort. Construction workers, landscapers, and those who work outdoors frequently wear bandanas or do rags under their hats for protection from the sun.
Do Rags Links:
The Case against Do Rags - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2005/10/31/BL2005103100652.html