I am a pagan who covers her hair for spiritual reasons. I did it every day for some months, then decided to cover only when I wished to feel closer to spirit, and only when that intention was firm in my mind and heart, rather than letting covering be a sometimes-heartless routine. I worship no deities, so this seemed very reasonable to me. I wanted it to be special and sacred. And that is precisely why I cover my hair: to achieve a feeling of special connection with spirit. Covering puts me in a state of mindfulness and purpose. It is a very big reminder to me that I am a spiritual being, and that spirit must be attended to even whilst going through daily work and mundane activity.
Headcovering works well for many reasons. It is a striking symbol not easily forgotten about. I am a self-conscious person by nature, so it would be hard for me to ignore the fact I have fabric wound about my head. So it is unlike a special necklace — I have those too, and love them, but they do not activate spiritual mindfulness the way covering does. Also the mere act of veiling, tying and pinning my scarf, feels symbolic. I adore the very act of it, it is like a devotion. It feels humbling to me, even though as I said I worship no deities. I feel like I am entering into service to spirit when I veil.
My practices are my own. There are only so many ways to tie a scarf or sew a headcovering, but I do try to personalize to this extent too, though purely for self-expression. So I resent the accusation of cultural appropriation generally — perhaps I got ideas and inspiration from other cultures, but we live in a world where we can’t not be inspired by other cultures. What I value and believe in cannot be barred from me merely because someone else had the idea first. I have always been fiercely independent in my own belief system, as much as one can be. So I am secure in the fact that I am embodying the culture of ME, listening to what my gut really believes and acting on that alone.