Amish girl with long hair

Among the Amish
How Amish Women Pin Up Their Hair

Christina, an eleven-year-old Old Order Amish girl from Michigan, was kind enough to sit for a series of photographs while her mother, Mary, pinned up her hair. Like most Amish females, she has never cut or trimmed her hair. Amish women pin their hair into buns, and then cover their heads with a prayer kapp, following Paul's instruction to women in 1 Corinthians 11:5 to cover their heads. The idea is that one should always be prepared to pray, and one should be prayerful throughout their days.

Click on any of the images to see an enlargement. You may click the right or left side of each image to go forward or backward in sequence.

Mary begins by combing out Christina’s hair. She pulls the hair back away from her face and behind her ears, then fastens her hair on both sides of her head with barrettes.

Amish mother combing out her daughter's hair.
Placing barrettes in an Amish girl's hair.
Amish girl's hair is pinned back with barrettes.

Next she binds her hair into a ponytail using a simple hair band. The ponytail must be tight and close to the head.

Getting a band ready to put hair in a ponytail
Wrapping a band around a ponytail
Wrapping a band around a ponytail
Wrapping a band around a ponytail
Amish girl with a ponytail

In order to get Christina’s long hair to fit under the kapp, Mary must double it over three times (this varies depending on how long someone’s hair may be). Once the hair is rolled into a “bun” it’s time to pin it up.

Folding the ponytail into bun
Folding the ponytail into bunFolding the ponytail into bun
Folding the ponytail into bunThe bun is folded against the head, ready for pinning

Two heavy-duty hairpins are used to hold Christina’s hair in place until the hairnet is on.

Pinning the bun
Pins are used to hold the bun temporarilyThe bun of hair should stay in place

Once the bun is stable, the hairnet is placed over the bun from back-to-front, then twisted and brought back from front-to-back.

A hairnet is used to keep the bun in place
First the hairnet is pulled from back to frontNext the hairnet is pulled from front to backFinally the hairnet is gathered at the back

The pins are pushed down through top, then back in toward center of the bun, grabbing some of the hairnet and some of the hair to make it stay. The first two pins that were used to hold the bun in place are removed, then replaced over the hairnet. A total of eight pins are used.

Time to pin the hairnet in place around the bun
Heavy-duty hairpins are used to secure the hairnetHeavy-duty hairpins are used to secure the hairnet
Christina passes hairpins to her mother as her hair is pinnedThe finished bun, wrapped in a hairnet
Amish girl with hair in a bun, secured by a hairnet

Once the bun is secured it’s time for the prayer kapp, which can be secured with either straight pins or bobby pins. Mary feels that straight pins look neater, but most often she has her young daughters use bobby pins because kapps tends to get dirty from oily fingers when pins are used. In these photos, Mary places the kapp on Christina’s head, then places two pins on either side, catching the hair beneath the kapp to hold it in place.

Time to put on the Amish prayer kapp
First the kapp is set into place on Christina's headThen her mother places straight pins through the kapp and a little bit of her hairStraight pins are placed on the left and right sides to hold the prayer kapp in place

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