A DURAG STUDY

Interview, Creative Direction & Photography by Dee Williams

Photography Director of theGIRLMOB

Durag: a piece of cloth that is worn on the head to cover the hair- Merriam-Webster

Name: Dev

Age: 24

Where You're from: Harlem 

What you do for a living: Media Buyer 

Social Media: Twitter @HublotDreams IG @TagsRipped

 

Why do you use a durag? Habit at this point. I’ve been wearing durags every night for waves for as long as I can remember. 

What is your preferred color? In the house, Black. If I’m out, whatever matches the fit. 

What do you put on your hair before putting on your durag? Water and a brushing routine that lasts about 20 minutes. 

How would you teach a Kindergarten class about the importance of wearing a durag? I would let them know the importance of being neat and well kept and explain how du rags can only help in that process.

Your favorite photos of someone (other than yourself) wearing a durag.

Name: Des

Age: 24

Where You're from: Richmond, California

What you do for a living: Freelance audio engineer

Social Media: @thatboydes

Why do you use a durag? I use a durag cause it keeps my braids nice for a longer period of time. No frizziness, keeps em nice and tight.

What is your preferred color? Prefer a classic black durag. 

What do you put on your hair before putting on your durag? I just use stuff to moisturize my scalp before I put on my durag. My sister just makes a concoction of a bunch of oils. 

What are the keys to getting waves? Even tho I got braids I used to be nice with the waves. Major key is definitely keeping your hair moisturized and keeping it tied up. My uncle told me 100 strokes a day with the brush; so brushing your hair a lot, but also know which way to brush helps. That regimen had me dipping. 

Your favorite photos of someone (other than yourself) wearing a durag.

Name: Symmone Brown

Age: 22

Where You're from: Decatur, Georgia by way of NY

What you do for a living: Customer Service/Childcare 

Social Media: IG @moniepesoss Twitter @monie__pesoss

Why do you use a durag? I use a Durag to lay my edges when I’m doing a slick bun or when I’ve freshly flat ironed my hair and wrap it up at night.

What is your preferred color? I preferred red when I had red hair because the dye would stain everything I owned. My hair is black at the moment so I usually use my blue one, however I’ll alternate depending on my mood. 

What do you put on your hair before putting on your durag?  When it’s freshly flat ironed I use the Silicon Mix Gotas de Brillo hair polishing serum. It’s super thick, very moisturizing and smells sooo good!

How would you teach a Kindergarten class about the importance of wearing a durag? I would tell the kids that it’s something that people wear to keep their hair soft and neat. They’re very colorful so they can find one to match whatever they like to wear and they’re super comfortable and shiny. I would bring in examples and demonstrate with maybe two others just to expose them to the versatility.

Do you think it is cultural appropriation for non-Black people to wear durags as fashion accessories? In my opinion yes. Now, for non Black people of color I don’t mind, as long as they are educated in regards to what it is that they’re wearing, how it’s being used etc. Truthfully, everyone can benefit from using one, but I won’t front like it doesn’t grind my gears seeing high end brands make their own replicas and charge people out the ass to cop one with logos all over it. It’s a dub. Everything is ghetto and hood until a white man can puts his stamp on it. Then it’s chic, however *newsflash* we been poppin & everything is NOT for others to take. 

 Your favorite photos of someone (other than yourself) wearing a durag.

Symmone.jpg

Name: Jack Ghostel

Age: 28

Where You're from: Queens

What you do for a living: Caterer and illustrator 

Social Media: Twitter @Jackghostel IG @jack.ghostel

Why do you use a durag? To keep my hair looking nice and to cover bad hair days

What is your preferred color? Black or pink

What do you put on your hair before putting on your durag? Black Orchid hair oil

How would you teach a Kindergarten class about the importance of wearing a durag? I would show them the biggest moments in Durag history. Then have them tie each others durags. 

Why do you think durags have turned into a sudden "fashion trend"? Durags have been associated with Hip-hop culture which is the most ripped off culture in the world. White people have seen how celebrated and appreciated it is in black culture and figured its another thing they could remake, then overprice and sell back to us. Its one of the few things in black fashion that lasted through the decades before they ripped it off. 

Your favorite photos of someone (other than yourself) wearing a durag.

Jack.jpg

Name: Derrell Smith

Age: 29

Where You're from: Philadelphia, PA

What you do for a living: Owner, 99EATS

Social Media: @Rellycrocker

Why do you use a durag? I don't wear a durag now, but when I was younger I would wear it as a fashion accessory and would sleep with it on to tighten my waves. Since, the durag has been replaced by a black, dual-folded beanie.

What is your preferred color? Black

What do you put on your hair before putting on your durag? Pink lotion, or sometimes doo-gro

How would you teach a Kindergarten class about the importance of wearing a durag? With an "if then" statement: if a dog can be tamed, then so can hair (I hope my analogy does not offend anyone).

Why do you think durags have turned into a sudden "fashion trend"? I think durags were a big fashion staple when AI was at the center of the basketball stage and so was his style... then fashion changed and men started to try different things with their hair and look. Now I see it coming back as an accessory, that's just how fashion works.

Your favorite photos of someone (other than yourself) wearing a durag.

Derrell.jpg

a durag study gallery