Durags History & Facts For Kids

Durags are close-fitting clothes tied around our heads to protect our hair. Durags have been worn for decades to help accelerate the growth rate of our curly hair or locks.


Did you know that durags are more than just a fashion statement? For African-Americans, durags tell their story from the 19th century to date. Its practicality has made it an essential accessory for keeping their hair in place. However, its story dates back to the worst period in American history: slavery.

Durags were even banned in American schools thanks to their association with gangs, but it still symbolizes the African-American culture. So what they are is what we’ll discuss in this article. Let’s also learn more about the history of this fashion accessory from the durags facts for kids.  

Interesting Durag Facts For Kids | History Of Durags

Whether you spell the name “du-rag” or “doo-rag”, this timeless headscarf is essential in the African-American community. It helps keep the coily curls in place and waves popping when sleeping. In the gym, it does mitigate frizz and prevent our tresses from getting into our eyes.

What Is The Origin Of The Term “Durag”?

Even though the name of durag’s inventor is unknown, the origin of its name has been subjected to debates for years. The spelling of its name has remained an enigma; therefore, whether you write “du-rag”, “doo-rag”, or prefer “do-rag”, the exact spelling of this fashion accessory has never been decided.

The exact origin of this name is unknown, and in some European nations like France, folks tend to write ”durag”, but in the United States, there are a number of variants.

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Who Invented The Durags?

Just like the origin of its name, the exact inventor of durags is unknown to date. Detailed research of this topic only associates this headscarf with Darren Dowdy, the head of So Many Waves, a firm known for producing head dressing products.

Dowdy claims that his dad William Dowdy invented this accessory to help African-Americans groom their coils and called it the “tie-down.” Dowdy marketed a unique hairdressing kit that included durags in 1979. But since durags have been there for over 200 years, he is not the inventor of this famous fashion accessory.

Where Did Durags Originate From?

During the 19th century, African-American women slaves used durags to hold their hair while working. But during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s, folks used this headscarf to maintain their hairstyles. By the late 1960s, this headscarf became a striking fashion statement, and many athletes started wearing it.

Historians claim that the earliest recording of this headscarf appeared in June 1966, in an article published by the “Akron Beacon Journal.” This article described durag as a piece of cloth wrapped around people’s foreheads as a sweatband.

Why Was Durag Invented?

Symbolic of the African-American culture, this headscarf is a practical tool that has helped people maintain their hairstyles for years. Thanks to how our hair grows, keeping them frizzing free and down can be pretty challenging; therefore, we do need durags.

For your 360 waves to remain in place, you must keep the hair lying down; this is why Downy invented this headscarf. The durag can sit on our heads tightly and help keep the hair flat.

Braids can also become frizzy with time, but with a durag, you will never have to worry about this problem. If worn correctly, durags can help keep the braids together when sleeping; therefore, it was created to keep our hairstyles intact.

Are Durags Still Popular?

Yes, durag was popularized by several American rappers from the early 1990s, including Jay z, Tupac, 50 Cents, Ja Rule, and Nelly, which is why you’re so familiar with it. These celebrities introduced a new style that featured baggy jeans, T-shirts, and a cap. Alongside this fashion style, durag was given a new lease of life.

The Bottom Line

Durags is a unique fashion accessory that folks have worn for decades; therefore, they do more than just help you maintain your waves or braids. And with celebrities always wearing them, you should never expect this trend to end.

Even today, a number of rappers, including Ski Mask and ASAP Ferg still wear durags everywhere they go.


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