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Uncovered Hair at Hairdresser’s

I am a divorced grandmother. I keep my hair covered at all times with a sheital or a snood. My hair is seen, at the hairdresser once a month. I have difficult kinky hair, that is difficult to manage. Over time I figured out why I had severe hair loss when I went to the hair dresser or beauty parlors. I found a Hispanic woman who was willing to listen to my plight and do it differently from the other beauticians. We have been together for at least 3 years, exclusively. With the economic crunch she moved her business in with a male barber. A small establishment with only 2 seats. One for him and one for her. My hair takes an hour. His customers take about 15 minutes. Am I able to stay with her. Can I have my hair washed, conditioned, pin-curled, blow-dried and straighten there. My hair has grown very nicely under her care.


You may continue to get you hair washed and treated at the hairdressers. It is preferable for you to arrange for an “unpopular” time, or a time when the male barber is not working, so as to avoid being seen by men.

The answer assumes that the hairdresser is outside Israel, in a location where most people are not Jewish.

Sources: There is an obligation for divorced and widowed women to cover their hair. Although the obligation can sometimes be waived for a “great need,” such as losing one’s income (see Iggros Moshe, Even Ha’ezer I, no. 57), the need of taking care of one’s hair would not constitute a great enough need for this. However, outside of Israel one has to take into account the fact that the people going to the male barber are predominantly non-Jews, in front of whom there would not be a prohibition of displaying uncovered hair, and the men coming in can be assumed to be non-Jews. Nonetheless, it is preferable to arrange for a quiet time, out of concern that Jewish men should come in.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you very much. It is such a relief to know that I can continue. I didn’t here from DIN, so I thought my question wasn’t appropriate. I live in the United States. My hairdresser and I try hard to choose a time that is quiet. Very late evening. Also, the men are not Jewish to my knowledge. I have been waiting for an answer, so now I will try to get my hair done tomorrow.
    Thank you.

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