How to Wear a Shemagh as a Makeshift Face Mask

You don’t have to be a Green Beret in Afghanistan to get a lot of use out of a shemagh. It’s great for layering and protecting your face from the elements. If you don’t have a fabric mask on hand, a shemagh can also serve as an easy, makeshift face mask for those of us who are limiting trips out in public and need to leave the hospital-grade masks for healthcare and other essential employees.


Step by Step Primer on How to Tie a Shemagh like a Face Mask

Step 1: Open your shemagh completely to look like a large square.

Step 2: Fold it in half diagonally to make a triangle.

Step 3: Hold the folded edge to your forehead with 3/4 of the shemagh to one side. One side will be noticeably shorter than the other. It doesn’t matter what side, dealer’s choice.

Step 4: Take the short end and pull it under your chin and up toward the back of your head. It’s easy to hold onto this short piece for now. If you let it go, that’s ok – you’ll just have to relocate it again at the end.

Step 5: Now take the longer side of the shemagh and pull it across your face, making sure to cover your mouth and nose but not hindering eyesight (add sunglasses/glasses for eye protection.)

Step 6: Continue to wrap the longer side over your head to marry up with the other end.


Step 7: Join the two sides together by tying two basic overhand knots.

Step 8: Adjust as needed. Rule #1 – Always Look Cool –  in effect.

Pro tip: add a shop towel or cloth underneath your shemagh to make it even more protective.

NOTE: The CDC has revised its face mask policy and is now urging everyone to wear cloth face coverings in public. We do not make any medical guarantees for this product, simply that studies have shown a benefit for face covering in combating the spread of germs. Face covering is not intended to replace other recommended measures to stop the community spread of COVID-19. Please continue to practice social distancing, hand washing, and refraining from touching your face.

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One comment

  1. Patrick says:

    Got one from Triple Aught Design in route, love your site and love this. Better than the sad bandana my department gave out

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