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Do you remember when Mama used to cut up her pantyhose and tie a knot on the top? She would wear it on her hair at night and make you wear one too. There was nothing more weird than having Mama squeeze all my thick hair into a tight, stocking cap. But she did it out of love 🙂

I think our Mothers were the Queens of upcycling! Household items often had more than one use. The innovation of our Mothers lives on.

Stocking caps are now manufactured and sold for usually less than $1.00 in many beauty supply stores. They come with or without seams and in a variety of materials too. The basic nylon stocking cap is often sold 2 to a pack, and is used to stuff the hair underneath so you can wear a wig on top of it or you can place it over neatly cornrowed or braided hair. These are very small and tight stocking caps that come in black and nude. Stocking caps such as these are also used to preserve styles such as comb coils or two strand twists on very loosely curled or soft hair. Although made of nylon, the material is pretty durable.

Nylons can also be used as a strainer for your homemade gels or other organic goodies. Also:

  • As a hair tie
  • Make soap on a rope
  • To make a donut for a quick and easy bun
  • Aroma therapy with potpourri
  • Add bath soak ingredients and float it in the tub
  • Clean your comb or brush out

Wave caps usually have a satin like feel, so they are great to wear under summer or winter hats, especially if they are made of cotton, wool or straw and headwraps.

Wave caps are usually thicker and can come in a variety of fashion colors. More often worn by Men, wave caps are used to create a wave pattern in Men’s short hair cuts. What Men usually do, is they apply a moisturizing lotion or thick styling pomade to their hair and then they brush it forward and down. Then they either tie a du rag on it or place a wave cap on it, to encourage their natural curls to become waves instead. It’s much like using a scarf to tie down edges to keep them neat-but sometimes the edges will have a slight wave pattern to them.

Stocking  and wave caps can also be used to create a quick weaves, sew in weaves, and other types of wigs. Caps are placed on head forms, 2 are often used if nylon, then wefts of hair are either glued or sewn on.

Another product is the netted wig cap which is often a tighter fit than traditional hair nets, which can fit over an entire roller set. The netted wig cap is great for new locs, baby dreads and locs that are less than 1 year old. Because new locs are so soft and still forming, this allows them to stay neat while they mature. You can also use the netted weave/wig caps to wash your baby dreads.

Hair nets are great to use when you want to preserve curls, braid outs or twists outs. You can also use the larger hair nets to keep locs out of your face or off your neck at night time.

You still will want to gently rub the scalp to cleanse the hair, so you don’t disturb the pattern too much. Be sure to get your locs maintained as often as you need to, usually 2-4 weeks for new coiled locs and 4-8 weeks for interlocks, braids, and twists.

What uses do you have for your leftover hosiery?