Hair flowers & “the bump”

(Fuschia hair flower)

(Fuchia hair flower)

Maybe it’s just me but there really isnt anything too dramatic about wearing a clip in your hair with a flower pasted onto it…thats essentially all that a “hair flower” really is. Some are rather huge and look a bit like a polyester monster while others are smaller and quite nice looking, giving your hair a nice touch when worn and a pretty minuscule “bump” when worn under a scarf. I found the “debate” about the hair flowers on other blogs rather amusing and really didn’t think anything was wrong with them…because really, it boils down to ones intentions. Since Ive arrived in Saudi Arabia and went on a hair flower hunt and then bought like 3 of them (soon to be more, en’shallah) I can say they are pretty harmless. Even the larger sized ones don’t create a massive bump unless the wearer positions the clip fairly high on the head also wearing ones scarf in a Islamically acceptable way will smooth the flower down a wee tad making any bump fairly normal looking.

There are several perks to the hair flower though. For one they help to keep your scarf in place.  Seriously, I’ve always worn underscarves because I hate it when my scarf slides around, but these help to anchor a shaylah when wrapped.  They also help to keep the scarf from being so tight around the neck. These are definitely two fantastic perks when the weather on average 110F-120F (day and night) and 80-90% humidity (yet not a cloud in the sky). Basically as soon as you go outside of an airconditioned building you feel like your being boiled alive so  having your scarf away from the back of your neck and back is  cooler feeling.


Without further adieu…here are three I got. I’m not a huge fan of the larger black one, it looks a bit tacky to me and was the cheapest of the bunch. The fuchsia one looks like a real flower and doesn’t get crushed when worn under a hijab. The biege one is really nice too…not as huge or cheap-looking as the black one and it maintains it’s shape fairly well under a scarf.

(Hair flowers)

(Hair flowers)

I did a bit of experimenting to see how they look under a shaylah wrapped the way I normally would wrap it. Seriously, unless you put your hair up abnormally high with the flower perched on the top of your head you’ll avoid the strange-looking cone-headed bump that has upset so many.

(black flower perched high on the head-creating unnaturally large bump under scarf)

(black flower perched high on the head-creating unnaturally large bump under scarf)

And worn normally…

(black flower worn like a normal hair clip would be...not too big or weird looking)

(black flower worn like a normal hair clip would be...not too big or weird looking)udi

Now, maybe it’s because I’m in Saudi Arabia but I have’nt seen too many women with abnormally large bumps under their shaylahs. I also dont see many women doing the full on Dubai style bling from head to toe, huge hair bump with bangs hanging out. I think Saudi women tend to be much more conservative and dress as such when out. When I go to the malls here I;ve really only ever seen a very watered down version of the Dubai bling style on young, unmarried girls who go to the malls to see and be seen. Even then the bumps arent very big, no bangs hang out and the abayaat tend to be pretty tame in comparison to what Ive seen on Emirati women from Dubai. Not only IS the fashion atmosphere quite conservative but there are external pressures to remain fairly modest in public. So yeah, dont come to KSA expecting huge hair bumps…aint gonna happen.

So in closing, I wonder if the Emirati hair flowers are larger or more ornate. The black one above is the absolute largest I’ve seen and Ive gone into a half dozen shops that sell these in several different shopping centers.


9 thoughts on “Hair flowers & “the bump”

  1. So that’s what they use to make the giant bump under the hijab? How interesting, I always thought they would pile their hair into a huge bun…That’s interesting that it helps keep the hijab in place and also from being too tight around the neck. I’ll look and see if we have anything like that around here, or try to make one. I hate when my hijabs stick to my neck, it gets real hot here too…So I know what you mean.

  2. I just got here in UAE and they sell MASSIVE poufs (they are called shabassa—the flower clips) but when the massive ones are worn with gashwa they look normal. But the big size ones (the size of a child’s smaller soccer ball) are worn with a normal shayla or flip niqab they create the camel-hump hijab. The smaller clips work well with shayla and niqab, and the medium sized ones with overhead abayaat to keep the abayat from ones butt:D. But one has to be careful not to put the clip on the crown of the head or wear a size too big for their face or it just causes people to stare at one. The shabassas are just claw clips like this with flowers or masses of feathers glue-gunned to them. They cost 5 dirhams for a small-medium one in UAE, and ten-20 dirhams for a big fancy one. If you are paying 15-20 for the medium ones if tey don’t have crystals or beads you are getting ripped off.

    String niqab is very popular everywhere in Saudi but certain sections of the Hejaz (there gashwa and shayla-as-niqab can be more popular).

  3. salaams i wanted to find out if you could please tell me im going for umrah and i will be visiting makkah ,medinah and jeddah…were can i can these clips from and also nice abayas like uae stlyes from?

    could u pls email me on my adress i have filled in


    • asalaamu alaikum, unfortunately I dont know anything about Jeddah, mekkah or medina, I don’t know where these items can be bought there. I know here u can get really anything you want at the Mall but it’s a lot more expensive than the ladies souk which is in downtown. I’m in the eastern provinces, not the hejaz. I’m sure there are some traditional souks in those cities but I dont know where. Just make sure you know some Arabic (how to ask prices and know what they are) and be sure to bargain pretty aggresively or else you’ll get ripped off. Also know that UAE styles do differ from KSA styles…UAE style is all about a ton of bling and flash…KSA is big into lace, crochet and “ethnic” designs…like traditional Saudi fabrics accenting an abayah. KSA designs normally snap down the front and its hard to find an abayaah thats completely closed. Also, overhead abayaahs are popular as well. Maybe the hejaz is different but this is whats in where I’m at.
      have fun! My husband is going, sobhanallah…I wish I could go but we have a 3yr old and we have noone to leave him with. en’shallah next year!

  4. Salaam ladies,
    I live in new york and can’t seem to find these wonderful poofs here. Is there any website where we can order them from?? I’m running out of the poofs i have and need more asap! SHukran

  5. Salamalaikum,
    Nice blog, really wanted know where can I find nice underscarves or under caps,under their hijab, that most arab ladies wear layered in different colours.

    Love the way they layer 2 colors and then wear the hijab ,it looks awesome, dunno where to find it, can plz anybody help!

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