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Wave Cap vs Durag: Hair Cover That’s Better At Loc Make Over

Last Updated on: May 10, 2024

I am pretty sure you have heard a lot about the popular style most men rock these days – 360 waves. And you’re considering spotting one yourself; after all, who doesn’t want to look trendy?

You read that wave caps are ideal for waves, but you’ve also read that the durags are better. Now you’re stuck on which headwear to get – the durag or wave cap.

But not to worry, I’ve got you! 

In this article, I will distinguish between a wave cap vs durag – their differences and similarities. Likewise the benefits and cons of using both headwears.

Main Differences Between Wave Cap Vs Durag

The main differences between wave cap vs durag are:

  • Wave caps are best suited for short hair length, whereas durags are the best choice if you have long hair or braids.
  • Wave caps fit so closely to the head, resembling skull caps, and are used to create the 360-degree wave hairstyle, whereas durags are preferably used to protect and maintain the 360-wave style.
  • Durags can be worn both day and night because of the straps that prevent them from being displaced at night, whereas wave caps are more suitable for use during the day.
  • Wave caps do not have straps, thus are less securely held to the head and can come off easily, whereas durags have straps attached to them that can be tied for a firm hold on the head.
  • Durags are made of several materials, including silk, satin, polyester, mesh, or velvet, whereas wave caps were initially made from women’s stockings material but are now polyester or nylon based.

Wave Caps Vs Durags – Are They Interchangeable?

Irrespective of the differences between a wave cap and a durag, these headwears can occasionally be interchanged. Therefore, if you don’t have a durag, then you can settle for a wave cap or vice versa because they have a few commonalities.

1. They Can Both Be Used As A Fashion Statement

Durags and wave caps have existed as far back as the 19th century, with the durag having a farther history than that. In those times, they were both worn as a fashion statement.

Both durags and wave caps come in several patterns and colors that can suit your preferences and desires. They are fashion apparel worn to improve physical appearance, and they go with almost any clothing. As a result, before going out, you should choose one with a good design and color to accent that particular clothing.

Also, celebrities like 50 Cents and Snoop Dogg have been seen wearing this headwear to numerous events and looking great.

2. Protect The Hair From Direct Sunlight

The scorching effect of the sun can be very frustrating, especially if you have nothing protecting you from it. Wave caps or durags, when worn on the head, can serve as a shield from the sun. They protect the scalps, thus preventing sweaty scalps and dandruff.

Asides from protecting the scalp, they also help protect the hair from sun damage. Exposing the hair to direct sunlight can lead to color changes and dullness. However, wearing a cap or a durag on the hair can help prevent this. This is extremely useful for sunbathers and outdoor workers.

3. Maintain Hairstyles

Most individuals are frustrated by how quickly their newly styled hair gets undone and unkempt. Also, the wind can make your carefully permed hair fly around when you’re outside. Wearing a durag or a wave cap can help you avoid these issues.

Durags and wave caps help hold your hair in place and the style you want. People who straighten their hair frequently may benefit from wearing a wave cap or durag, which keeps the hair straight and relaxed while minimizing tangling.

Similarly, these headwears can aid in the preservation of the wave hairstyle.

4. They Both Help Lock In Moisture

When you leave your hair uncovered all the time, it is subjected to the damaging effects of pollution. The evaporation of moisture from the hair is one example of such an effect. People who spend most of their time outside without keeping their heads covered often complain that their hair is dry and tangled. 

However, using durags or wave caps can keep your hair moisturized and prevent dryness. It also benefits your hair’s health. This is because covering the hair with a wave cap or durag after applying hair oil, lotions, or ointments will help the hair care products work more effectively, promoting hair growth.

5. They Can Both Be Used As Helmet Liners

Bikers can benefit from wearing wave caps and durags. These headwears are effective helmet liners, helping to absorb sweat and prevent odor.

Also, durags and wave caps can be worn in cold seasons as an additional source of warmth. You can wear them underneath caps, hats, or helmets to keep the scalp warm.

Durag Vs Wave Cap – Which Should You Purchase?

Man wearing a wave cap

Perhaps you’re going for your next fashion shopping and undecided about which headwear you should buy, especially if you don’t have enough cash to afford both. In that case, your choice would be influenced by several factors. 

So, let’s have a look at what wave caps and durags are.

What Is A Wave Cap?

As the name implies, wave caps are skull caps used by men to create the 360-wave hairstyle. Wave caps can be traced back to the 90s when they were first used as fashion apparel by famous black rappers.

These caps were made initially from the same material as the women’s stockings, thus earning them the name ‘stocking caps.’ 

However, modern wave caps are made from delicate fabrics like nylon and polyester.

This stocking cap grew into popularity as African-American men discovered it was an excellent tool for maintaining their chemically processed hair. In addition, these caps are mainly used for:

  • Creating the trendy wavy hairstyle – 360 waves
  • Protecting hair from the harsh effects of sunlight
  • Maintaining and preserving hairstyles makes them more suitable for shorter hair
  • Worn as fashion apparel to accentuate different styles of outfits
  • Promoting moisturized and healthy hair by locking in moisture

Wave caps can be considered a modern version of durags. However, it does not provide a secure fit to the head, which is a considerable disadvantage of wearing one. It is easily undone, and you may wake up to find it on the bed or floor if you go to bed with one. 

Two or three pieces of wave caps would also be required for males with thick hair to achieve a better wave style.

What Is A Durag?

Durags, also known as do-rags, are headwears with history from the 1930s. Durags emerged during the Harlem Renaissance, worn mostly by African American women, and became a powerful symbol of the Black Power Movement. 

Besides the political significance of durags, these head coverings are great fashion apparel, used to preserve hairstyles, especially the wave style and braids.

Durags are made from silk, satin, polyester, mesh, or velvet. With the two long straps attached to a durag, you can tie one securely around your head. This makes it great for use at night, keeping your scalp warm and hairdo intact. 

Due to its design, you can use a durag to maintain long hairstyles without squeezing them. Among the benefits of wearing a durag include:

  • Improving hair texture and preventing hair loss.
  • Absorbing sweat and preventing it from flowing downwards into the eye and face. Thus, reducing acne breakouts.
  • Keep the hair in place during sports activities.
  • It protects the hair from sunlight and keeps the scalp warm.
  • It is fashionable, therefore improving the overall outward look and appearance.

However, durags can be pretty uncomfortable to use during summertime. Therefore, if you intend to use one, ensure proper care to prevent sweaty scalp, dandruff, and odor. 

Also, suppose you intend to compress your naturally curly hair into waves. In that case, a durag is not the ideal choice for this.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Wear A Durag And A Wave Cap?

A wave cap is best worn during the day because it doesn’t fit well to stay secure during the nighttime. On the other hand, you can wear a durag on any day. Wearing the two at once, however, is possible and can give you better results in creating a new wave style.

You have to wear the skull cap on your freshly moisturized hair, then cover it up with a durag firmly tied. This would give the cap a firm fit and prevent it from coming off at night.

Is A Wave Cap Good For Waves?

Yes, it is. A wave cap is specifically designed to help men create the trendy 360-wave style. Thus, if you desire to compress your hair to form waves, wearing a wave cap would help you achieve this. However, because you tend to toss it around when sleeping at night, I won’t advise you to use one at night, and if you want to, ensure you tie a durag on it for a secure fit.

Is A Durag Same As A Wave Cap?

No, it’s not. These two headwears are different from each other. Although they have some similarities that make them interchangeable, wave caps are intended for creating wave styles and preserving shorter hair. On the other hand, a durag is mainly for preserving hairstyles, particularly the waves style, and is the best choice for maintaining a long hairstyle.


As you can see, a wave cap and a durag are two very different headgear with some similarities. Both a durag and a wave cap are perfect headwear with multiple uses. As a result, you could be undecided about which to purchase. 

Consequently, your purchase decision should depend on why you want one. Do you want to create a new wave style or protect your existing hairdo? Do you have long or short hair? The answers to these questions would determine if you should purchase a durag or a wave cap. Even better, you could decide to use both together.

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