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Everything You Need To Know About Durags

The history of the durag or dorag (or dewrag?!) is one that has more cultural influence than you would think. You've seen these pieces of cloth being worn around for decades however have you ever stopped to think where they originated from? It's history just might surprise you! 

What exactly is a Durag?

In the most minimal definition, the durag is simply an article of cloth that is worn around your head. This cloth can be made of Velvet, Silk, or other types of fabric.

What is a Durag Used For?

A durag is primarily used to protect your hair. It keeps your hair looking fresh after a haircut but more so it even helps you achieve what many call “waves”. “Waves” are a form of hairstyle that actually looks like waves on your head. Durags can also just be used as a fashion statement, as we now see on TV being worn by celebrities.

 Where Did The Durag Originate From?

The do-rag origins date back to the 19th century, used by slaves to hold back their hair and keep it covered. It was soon after during the time period of the Harlem Renaissance when the durag began to have a more cultural significance. The Harlem Renaissance was a social movement that took place in Harlem, NY and was considered a pivitol moment in African American art history. During this time period, it was when the durag came to prominence. It was used duing this time as a fashion state. Fast forward to today, where durags are now more widespread in our culture as many rappers, athletes and African Americans wear the durag on a daily basis.

Eventually, durags transitioned from simple pieces of cloth to fancy designer durags made with fancy fabrics and colors.

Durag Controversies

Some of the biggest controversies with durags involve celebrities and athletes. Of note, the durag was banned by the NFL which caused a huge uproar among football players as they believed they were unfairly targeted.  There’s even articles that were written by certain journalists who criminizled the durag by associating it with a bad connotation.

Another source of controversy, is in how Durag is spelled. For more information on that , check out article on the correct spelling of Durag.

Who Actually Invented the Durag?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to that question. If you try to look back into the history books and search online, youll realise theres no specific answer to this question because of poorly documented history. Some speculation as to who is the founder of the durag have lead to answers to names like Daren Dowdy and Sammy Davis Jr.