How to Wear a Graduation Cap with Natural Hair

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The day is finally here. For the past couple of years, you’ve been waiting for this exact moment – your graduation. You’ve done the work, and the feeling of receiving your graduation cap couldn’t be better—except you need to figure out how to get it to sit perfectly over your big curls.

Not only do many caps have a “one size fits all” tag attached to them (which is laughable to some of us), your school may have specific rules on how you can sport your cap. Many institutions require caps to be worn straight and not tilted. We’re sensing feelings of anxiety and confusion from our curly community about the fight between the graduation cap and your natural hair.

Finding the perfect style for your big day, where you can show off both your texture and the precious cap that you earned, does not have to be a chore.

Here are a few techniques for fitting your graduation cap onto your curls!

Headband method

If hair clips and bobby pins aren’t your thing (or you find them uncomfortable), this method will be helpful for you.

In this video, Chizi Duru uses a headband to secure her graduation cap with ease:

Braided method

Don’t want to wear your hair down on graduation day? Maybe you and your curls can meet somewhere in the middle. Here’s the perfect half-up look that will make you and your curls happy. Let Honestly Erica show you how it’s done.

Tuck and Roll Method

With a few hair tools you can really make this work! Give this cute side swept style from Brittany Kyss a try.

Overall, here are a few tips to keep in mind when fitting your graduation cap around your curls:

  • Avoid updo styles as your cap most likely won’t fit over them.
  • If using bobby pins, be sure to place them in a comfortable position so you don’t experience any pain when your cap places a little pressure on them.
  • Have fun with your styling! Don’t feel as if you have to wear your curls down. Get creative with twists and braids.

We had a little fun trying on graduation caps here at the NaturallyCurly office to see what styles we could make work. Watch to see how we did.

Share your graduation cap photos, dilemmas and success stories below!

This article was originally published in 2013 and updated in 2018 to relfect new style recommendations.

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