At 42, seeing my dermatologist every 6 weeks in hopes of finding the pre cancer cells early enough to avoid having any more surgeries to remove skin cancers has become a part of life. I have had countless pre cancers and basal cell carcenomas show up the last couple years and boy do I wish I had taken sun protection more seriously in my younger years. My wild rag collection is now an important part of preparing for my day. I have an extra cotton wild rag in my pocket book at all times, I keep at least one hanging over the chair so I don't forget to grab it as I head out the door, and I usually keep one in my truck. My dermatologist reminds me during every visit how important it is that I prevent further damage if I want to stop having surgeries and pre cancer removals.
Wild rags, also known as western scarves, are so much more than a fashion piece for Buckaroos. I was exposed to wild rags through my years as a Natural Horsemanship instructor and began wearing them when I spent time in Colorado. They really became a functional part of my daily wardrobe back home in Hawaii during the years I was working cattle full time. The Paniolo who I was blessed to call my mentor, told me one day "Long sleeved shirts are not for looks in the lifestyle. It's better to get a little hot and sweat than to get a bad sunburn and get all scraped up". There I was in my tank top and jeans with skin burnt and arms all scratched up after a day of work out on the mountain. Of course, the next day I had long sleeves on and every day after that. Living the lifestyle daily, being out in rough terrain with huge rocks hidden in grass so tall it was over my head while sitting on my horse and filled with haole koa bushes and other thorny growth; that got me taking the functionality of my clothing seriously. From my palm leaf hat to my long sleeve shirts and comfortable, tough jeans down to my Ariat boots, I began taking my clothing very seriously. I recognized it as my uniform (my years in the Air Force taught me the importance of the right uniform;). The wild rag is an instrumental part of my sun protection regimen. I still put on sun screen; I even put it on my head, but I count the wild rags I wear as an important part of my daily "uniform". The tropical weather in Hawaii coupled with me having sensitive skin meant I had to find breathable wild rags and soft cotton material wasn't something I could find when it came to wild rags. That' another story for another day, but suffice it to say that's what began my journey searching for the soft, almost gauze like cotton wild rags we have at Horse and Soul Western Wear today. See ya down the trail, friend. Aloha, Cryshtal