Gele tying has already become an art. Some time ago Nigerian ladies abandoned using it because of the complication of this often long process. But in this article you’ll get know know the easy way to tie gele and it will look nice without stress.
The history of wearing African gele in Nigeria has started long ago. Yoruba women have already been wearing them for a lot of years. They created some special methods of how to tie Yoruba gele. They even created some for the special occasions. You need to follow the ten steps below in order to tie your gele with no effort and fast.
1. Make your hair
Before starting your casual or bridal gele, you need to make your hair. So if you have very long hair, put it up and fix it in a ponytail or a knot. You need a smooth foundation for the perfect gele. Once you put your hair up, you’d better also brush it well and mostly in the area of the forehead. You should smooth it up.
2. Put your cover on
You can easily skip this step, in case if you have very short or totally straight hair. However, if you have a lot of hair or very smooth hair, you are able to use some additional cover up. Using transparent African fabric gele works very well.
You can also use a piece of some old pantyhose or leggings to cover your head. You should cut off small lower part of it and then put it on your head. You can also use any hair slides to set it there. So you create a much better foundation for a future African gele. This method helps it not to slide off the head. If the gele is totally transparent, so your new head cover is more even due to its underneath color. It can also keep your curly, fluffy hair down and tight extremely well on your head.
3. Make a fold
There is one popular traditional way to do a gele at one edge. Everything depends on the girth of this gele. If it is extremely wide, you can easily fold it by half. Or you can, for example, bend its one edge. You can fold your gele all the way to another end of it. Make a crisp bend there and press it together with the fingers. It would be easier to tie your headband using this method.
4. The long and short end of it
Now you should take it so, that one bend is downward and the unbent edge goes up. One of the gele ends must be long and another one should stay short. It must be so long that you can wrap it at least twice around the head.
5. Put it on your head
Now you should put the bent edge over the forehead. The shorter part should go down to the nape (plus 10-15 cm). You must press it tight to your head and put two ends down to your nape. You should be sure that gele covers the forehead and these two ends cover your ears.
6. Cross the ends
At this moment, your gele must stay tight to your head. You should fasten the shorter end using the longer one, so now you can free up another hand. Then place the short part under the long one and stick its tail to the other side. After that pull the longer end and then fasten your shorter one. So you have one free hand, which can help you to do the folds.
7. Wrap it once
Make the first wrap all around the head. Watch your folds. This is the moment when you need to form and shape folds. Press crisp bend to your head. Also, make a small indent on the first layer of gele in order to shape some more folds. Move all the way down to your nape.
8. Wrap it twice
Move to the second wrap, and make some more folds. The gele’s beauty means folds. They are the essential part of it. This time you should make some small pleats using your hands on the edge of the crease. You fold it up using small movements and then press the edge down to the head. Move all the way down to your nape again and then wrap it up.
9. Tie it
At last, you tie your two edges (they have the same size now). You make a strong knot, so it won’t fall off your head. The knot must be located on the nape or a bit on the side next to one of your ears.
10. Regulate gele
It’s the moment when you have to adjust the gele at its topper part. You stick that unfolded end up. You should round it up a little bit and make some nice folds over the head. And that’s it.
This is the most popular basic and also the simplest method of how to tie an African gele. You can do it easily with no help at all. It just needs a little practice and time. But there are a few other tricky methods. For example, you may leave both long ends of the gele and wrap one part around your head with each of them. Or, you can just create a simple zig zag pattern on the head.