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Amunah Jan 3rd, 2007 07:00 PM

Anyone use a "Buff"?
I know one is supposed to forget how one looks on safari, but I don't want my husband to forget that he knows me. ;-)

Since there will be no electricity for hairdryers or curling irons, my mid-length hair is going to be a challenge. (I am not fond of pony tails because my ears stick out and hats don't fit well over them.)

I'm curious if other women have used a buff kerchief to hide their hair disasters. Is this too "Survivor" to wear on safari? They seem very practical so I'm willing to overlook their TV hype.

shangazi Jan 3rd, 2007 11:07 PM

Whatever works for you will work on safari. It is not a fashion show. Quickly everyone forgets their concerns about being perfectly coiffed. (Of course, there are always those one or two women we love to hate who look perfect no matter what!)

kumasawa Jan 4th, 2007 12:10 AM

My wife loves the National Geographic buff that she bought from REI just this last June, right before our trip to Rwanda/Tanzania/Kenya. It has UV ray protection and is made of that wicking material that keeps you a little cooler.

On safari drives, we would usually ride with our heads sticking up out of the roof of the landcruiser. The buff kept her hair out of her face in the wind, and kept the dust of the Serengeti from completely covering her hair. Of course, the main thing was that it took zero time for her to deal with her hair in the morning.

It's funny because we're both big fans of "Survivor" and every year I will usually joke about getting her a "Survivor" buff for Christmas. I just don't think she would wear it as a tank top like the women on the show... :-)


Denbasking Jan 4th, 2007 02:48 AM


The BUFFS are perfect to bring along and very easy to use!

KiliWarrior Carol had this on the list in their Safari Packet and I had to ask what the $#@%! is a BUFF? She mentioned that they wear them on "Survivor" but I have not seen the show.

I went to REI as well and thought I could handle using them and actually bought them for all my Guides and they LOVED them! One really liked it but was going to give it to his wife, so sweet!

It is easy to use which was important because I spend absolutely no time on my appearance as far as fashion goes (my husband and sons are the PREENers in the family & throw coins at me)! They also donate my favorite jeans & tee-shirts to the trash every once in awhile but I pull them out!


ann_nyc Jan 4th, 2007 04:22 AM

I loved my buff, and all my travel companions were jealous. I wasn't wearing it to 'hide' my hair, but rather to keep the dust and wind off. It works so well, because you can fold or stretch it to cover exactly what you need.

cybor Jan 4th, 2007 06:14 AM

Is a buff simply a square piece of cotton? If so, I did use these on my trip to keep my unruly hair out of my face and as a dust deterent.

I wore mine as a wide headband on the front of my head rather than as a kerchief. Wearing one of these this way also helped keep my hat in place and keep my ears warm in windy conditions.

Also, rather than spraying insect repellant directly on my skin, I would spray it on the outside part of my 'headscarf' and wear it around my neck.

Ther're also good in a pinch to use as a wipe. - Don't leave home without them :)

The headscarfs that I use are the one's you see everywhere for 1.99. Usually dark blue/black with white designs

p.s. the lions won't care what you look like.

PredatorBiologist Jan 4th, 2007 07:18 AM

I'm not a woman but I also use a $2 bandana. It's great to cover my head in the sun but won't blow off like many hats will when the open vehicle is racing around. As just mentioned you can also apply insect repellent to the bandana rather than your skin and tie it around your head or neck for protection. My use is all about function.

Amunah: safaris tend to be very romantic so I'm sure your husband will remeber you no matter how your hair comes out.

ShayTay Jan 4th, 2007 07:29 AM

Although I have a bandanna along for general use, I use a hat instead of a buff. This shades my face, so I don't need to use sunscreen on it. Usually, I don't even need sunglasses, which is a big help when photographing. I use a Tilley hat, which has straps to use when in a moving vehicle. I keep my hat on most of the time because of "hat hair", but you could use a buff when not in the sun.

Amunah Jan 4th, 2007 05:06 PM

It seems that this really IS a good idea. I had forgotten about it being windy, and I can only hope that we have a little dust after all the rain that they've been getting.

Thanks everyone!

Botsfan Jan 5th, 2007 03:30 AM

I agree with ShayTay. I wear a Tilley hat which keeps the sun off my face, dust out of my hair, and if necessary the rain off my head. It was very good when fishing in pouring rain upstream from Nxamaseri Lodge last November. I visit Botswana every year, twice last year. My hat is the first thing I pack.

cindysafari Jan 9th, 2007 07:14 PM

The buff is great...the three of us women always wore them around our necks...they added color to our otherwise drab safari clothing, they were wonderful when dust came up, they work as a headband....kept our necks warm in the morning...good as a substitute kleenex...we LOVED our buffs!

ann_nyc Jan 10th, 2007 06:40 AM

And for those who are confused as to the difference between a buff and a standard kerchief, and why one would pay more for a buff:

a buff is actually a tubular piece of cloth, rather than a square. Also, the material is stretchy, so it is incredibly versatile and quite comfortable. You can roll it and fold it and pull it and stretch it. I wore it as a scarf around my neck on our chilly night game drive, and covered my hair with it on my dusty game drives.

It covers better than a kerchief, because a regular kerchief simply has a point hanging down in the back, rather than fully covering. On really dusty days you can 100% cover your hair by pulling the whole thing down around your neck, then pulling the front up over your head (like a kerchief), then tucking the back part underneath at the nape of your neck. Depending on the length of your hair you can experiment with how much you fold the buff before starting this operation.

BigBud Jan 10th, 2007 07:04 AM

There is a very large selection of buffs at www dot wellnessmarketer dot com

BigBud Jan 10th, 2007 08:09 AM

Or www dot buffusa dot com

Amunah Feb 13th, 2007 06:32 PM

I ended up using both--a hat and the buff. The buff was wonderful. I was so thankful that I spent the $$ for it, but the hat was definitely necessary during the afternoon game drives in the Mara--much better sun protection for my face.

Without a hair dryer, my hair would have been a nuisance, so it was great to just pull on the buff and forget it (especially for the early morning games drives). It was even nice for "dressing up" a little for the evening meal.

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