How Are You Supposed to Wear a Bandana: 5 Bandana FAQs

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Bandanas are getting more and more popular among outdoor lovers of all ages. And surprisingly, while their use is on the increase, too many people still don’t know lots of things about these simple but effective pieces of cloth.

Do you know how to wear a bandana? Probably, yes. But do you know that bandanas are super versatile and can be used by everyone from bikers to runners? Moreover, bandanas are no more for casual use only. The fact that they are on-trend now is great news for all those fashion lovers for whom wrapping a bandana around their neck is more of an accessory that can be worn year-round for nearly anything.

We’ll answer five frequently asked bandana-related questions in this post to make sure that you learn the most important thing about bandanas. What’s it? Just read on.

Here are some of the most intriguing FAQs regarding bandanas:

Bandana face cover ski

Photo by Steve Johnston

Can you wear a bandana on your head?

The short answer is “Yes”. Of course, you can. Once it was heavily associated with gang culture but nowadays, wearing a bandana on your head is not reserved for gang members and criminals anymore. We see so many people do this from sailors to sportsmen to fashion icons. So while wearing a bandana on the head is done primarily for protection from the sun and wind, this piece of cloth has also become one of the most favorite fashion accessories used to match clothing.

Bandanas can be worn either as a headband or as a skull cap. Certainly, there are and other ways, but these are probably the two most popular ways of wearing a bandana on your head. To be worn as a headband, the bandana needs to be formed as a thin strip of fabric so that it can be worn around the head to keep hair and sweat from dripping down into your eyes. A skull cap (something like a low profile beanie) also has to keep sweat out of your eyes but it has and other functions too. For example, the much tighter, protective fit ensures better protection from the sun and the cold.

How do you wear a bandana around your neck?

Bandana around the neckBandanas can be worn around your neck in a number of ways. Here’s a nice video with some interesting ideas about how to tie a bandana around your neck. We hope that you don’t think that bandanas are only for fashionable people. No way. Bandanas are known for their versatility, which by the way is one of their biggest selling points.

To wear a bandana around your neck, it can be loosely folded into a triangle and tied at the back, or alternatively shaped into a neck gaiter for greater protection from cold and wind. Using this additional layer is a perfect way to protect your neck and face up to the chin preventing heat loss and promoting warmth. The only drawback is that covering the mouth can lead to the accumulation of moisture over the fabric. And be sure that this ain’t fun especially when you’re out in winter as this moisture can turn into frost.

A good alternative to a necktie scarf, the bandana is no less effective in keeping your neck protected. Just make sure that your bandana is thick and long enough so that it could work well in this role.

Photo by Casey Callahan

This leads us to the next question:

Do bandanas work as face masks?

Bandana as a face mask

Worn to keep your nose and mouth protected, face masks are quite popular now due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic. As many governments across the globe are enacting mask mandates, the answer to this question has become even more important than before. So, while a bandana can be used as a disposable face mask substitute in most cases, the level of protection it offers cannot be compared to the level of protection an N95 mask offers. Anyway, most medical professionals will tell you that any level of protection is better than nothing so bandanas are a good option for when you don’t have a disposable face mask handy.

Bandanas do however offer some protection from harsh toxic fumes, as well as from thick particles of smoke getting into your lungs.

Face masks are also quite popular among many people who take a part in various winter sports and especially snowboarding so you can often see snowboarders carrying face protection bandanas intended to keep their nose and mouth protected from the cold and wind.

Photo by Daniel Lincoln

Can bandanas prevent sunburn?

It’s well known that clothing filters UV radiation. Bandana-sun-protectionSo, yes, bandanas such as those sold on the Hoorag website can prevent sunburns. The best options have a higher Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating offering more reliable sun protection. Generally, fishing, hiking, mountaineering, and all other activities where the wearer is expected to be out in the sun all day, require better protection for the skin from sunburns. Look for a bandana with at least 20-30 UPF as fabrics with higher ratings provide better sun protection for a safe and comfortable experience.

For complete protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, cover all the exposed areas of the body. This is especially important when visiting high altitudes where UV radiation is much higher (for every 1000 m above the sea, it increases by up to 20%). Getting a hat, bandana, and sunglasses for full protection on hot summer days is a good idea. Put on a hat to protect your head, slide on a pair of sunglasses to keep your eyes protected, turn up your collar to block the sun from your neck, and tie a bandana to protect the rest!

Photo by Hamood Alrashdi

What is the best way to wear a bandana?

What’s really cool about bandanas is that there’s no right or wrong way to wear a bandana. So, you can use your imagination and think of a zillion ways to wear a bandana. Because of how versatile bandanas are, there are endless possibilities. And while there are many ways to wear a bandana, some are more popular than others. To summarize, a bandana can be worn as a:

  • Do-rag
  • Face cover
  • Headband
  • Headwrap
  • Neck gaiter
  • Skull wrap
  • Anything else (use your imagination)

Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive as the possibilities and styles available are as diverse as the society we live in. So when it comes to the best way to wear a bandana, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and happy.

You do you.


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5 FAQs About Bandanas

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