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.

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Heavy-duty Amish hairpins available in straight or crinkle in a variety of sizes.

We have heavy-duty Amish hairpins available in straight or crinkle-cut in a variety of sizes.

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.

Mary begins by combing out Christina's hair.
She places barrettes on the right and left side of her head.
When finished, Christina's hair is pulled back behind her ears, ready for a ponytail.

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

Amish mother gets a band ready to put Christina's hair in a ponytail.
Amish woman pulls Christina's hair through the band.
Amish woman wraps the band around her hair several times.
One more wrap ought to do it...
The Amish ponytail must be tight and close to the head.

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.

In order to fit the Amish girl's hair under a prayer kapp, the ponytail must first be folded into a bun.
She folds Christina's hair once...
She folds it again...
...and she folds it a third time.
Christina's hair is now ready for pinning.

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

Heavy-duty hairpins are used to secure the bun temporarily, until a hairnet is in place.
Two long hairpins are placed on the left and right of the front of the bun.
The bun of hair should stay in place just long enough to put on the hairnet.

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 under the prayer kapp.
First the hairnet is pulled from back to front. You can see two of Christina's brothers in the background.
Next the hairnet is pulled from front to back.
Finally 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.
The heavy-duty hairpins are used to secure the hairnet.
The pins gather both hair and netting to hold the bun in place.
Christina passes hairpins to her mother as her hair is pinned.
The 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 head.