Photo: Maiysha Kai

Honest question: Do you need to be a woman of a certain age to effectively pull off a turban?

While my extensive history with headwraps, hats, scarves and the like would suggest otherwise, I’d have to argue that a turban might be a rite of passage of sorts, imbued with either deep spiritual symbolism or a grande dame-type of maturity (or both) reserved for the likes of Miss Havisham (as played by the late, great Anne Bancroft in the ‘90s retelling of Great Expectations), or my personal favorite, Auntie Mame.

At the risk of reigniting the great “auntie” debate of 2019 (dear God, no), I have always considered “Auntie Mame” a personal muse (only Rosalind Russell’s version, of course), long before I ever became an aunt. In my mind, my nephew, niece, godson and I are destined to have “mahhhhhvelous adventures together,” because “life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

Oh, that’s just me? Okay, then.

But when Loza Tam offered to send me one of their pre-wrapped, satin-lined headwrap turbans to try out, I considered it a sign to embrace my evolution into full auntie-hood—well, that and my persistently unruly roots, which I hate dealing with on the daily. With a trip to New Orleans for Essence Festival coming up, it seemed an ideal time to look into protective options, preferably some that would match the easy, breezy, black girl magical festival wardrobe I’ve already been compiling.

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It’s also #BuyBlackWeek, so what better time to flex some new black-owned products? Loza Tam was founded by Howard alum and e-commerce entrepreneur Tomara Watkins and her products are all handmade by women entrepreneurs in Ghana, so this line of headwear pretty much had me at “hello.”

Branded as “an online, luxury brand of multifunctional, satin-lined turbans and head wraps in everyday-wear-meets-hair-care,” Loza Tam is “designed to protect the hair by locking in moisture, preventing frizz and breakage, and even safeguarding against harmful sun rays and heat damage. They also work to extend blow-outs, textured styles and promote stronger edges and shinier strands through effortless style and comfort.”

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Uhh, yeah... Count me in.

With that in mind, I received my turban in Soft Peach (one of Loza Tam’s newest colors; $50) with glee, anticipating all the ways I was going to wear my newest accessory. But see, the way my five-head is set up, I faced a few challenges before getting mine to look as cute as this sis here...

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With neither bangs nor a dense crop of curls to fill out my turban, the effect was slightly more fortune teller than fly girl; attempts to show off my hairline made it look like I was wearing a rather awkward hat, while a forward placement required that I style my lengths for a more flattering, face-framing effect (which defeated the purpose of not wanting to deal with them). Ultimately, it wasn’t exactly the grande dame effect I’d been hoping for, as it looked less chic than like I was hiding a bad hair day—which, let’s face it, I was. (My tactic? Distract them with a strong eye look.)

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Photo: Maiysha Kai

But honestly, while I’m not convinced this is the look for me, I’m also inclined to say that’s not the fault of Loza Tam, because there’s plenty to love here. Aside from its culturally conscious origin story, the function is definitely on par with the fashion here. The satin lining is clutch for anyone looking for a no-friction way to cover and protect their strands, though I do wish my lining had been easier to hide, as the chocolate brown is fairly visible against the lighter color of the wrap. Second, I love the variety of fabric and color options Loza Tam offers—in fact, I think I might’ve had better luck with a print, and am still eyeing a front-knotted, metallic slate option ($48), because, ooh...sparkly.

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Also, any headwrap lover can’t help but appreciate the ease of a pre-wrapped situation; the elastic at the back makes it easy to slip on and off. One note: I personally found myself craving a drawstring of some sort, as my chosen hairstyle left a boxy shape in the back which I think might’ve been more flattering if tapered to my head (I’m an amateur seamstress, so this may very well happen, in the near future).

Most of all, though, I love the customer service. Understanding that they offer a unique product, Loza Tam checks in with tutorials, suggestions and notes on how to wear and care for their gear—which is a personal touch I’m a sucker for, and will have me rooting for a brand every time.

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Do I think this is my Auntie Mame-aspirational look? No—and maybe I just need to grow into it. But in the meantime, I’ll likely be back for one of Loza Tam’s new black satin headscarves ($21), so I can live out my ‘80s-baby retro fantasies while keeping my tresses stylishly protected at Essence Fest...

I’m pretty sure it’ll go with everything. *wink*