Amish Workshops has posted a great look at the process Amish women go through to pin up their hair. The article features over 2 dozen photos illustrating the procedure.
Amish women don’t display their hair for Biblically-based reasons. They also do not cut their hair, pinning it all up underneath a kapp, or prayer covering.
When I posted this article on the Amish America Facebook page last week, one reader commented on the girl having a “glorious” head of hair. Keith of Amish Workshops responded that “Yes she does, but nobody in her home would ever say so.”
This is a good point. Hair is not to be a source of pride, which is one reason it remains covered. That said, if you’re at an Amish home at the bookends of the day you may catch an Amish female with locks unfurled.
Last week in Lancaster County I visited a farmer friend. As I was pulling into the drive, his teenage daughter rode up on ponyback, a few feet of unharnessed tresses billowing in the late-evening breeze.
Some people think that Amish women would be loathe to be seen by non-Amish with an uncovered head. Many might, but this isn’t always the case.
My friend’s daughter wasn’t self-conscious about her hair being down. I’ve sometimes seen the same with married women when I’ve happened to be at Amish homes at early and late hours.
It also brings to mind the question of what Amish wear “after hours”. This might surprise, but some Amish don’t wear the plainest clothes at the end of the day. Some men, for instance, might change into comfortable T-shirts and shorts for sleeping, or just lounging around at the end of the evening with family. Women and girls wear pajama gowns.
I remember coming across a young Amish man getting a haircut from his wife on the back porch one afternoon. He was decked out in what looked like basketball shorts (color red) and a print T–I assumed to keep hairs from getting all over his regular clothes. We might see something similar when Amish visit the beach.
Not all Amish do the same, of course, and plain-attire-in-public remains the rule. And (getting back to the main topic), for Amish women, the kapp is like American Express: don’t leave home without it.