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Monday, November 8, 2010

"Hear, Hear" for Hair-Covering

The British "cheer" by saying:
"Hear, Hear!"
"Just Call Me Chaviva" blogged about how she's adjusting to a very specific aspect of life as a properly married religious Jewish woman, covering her hair.

Here's my comment:
OK, I've been covering my hair all my married life, yes, before you guys were born.  I always hated my hair.  It demanded lots of work, so it's a great freedom to cover it.  The trick for you would be to have it cut in a frum place where it won't be all gussied up for view.
There is such an enormous variety of "accepted*" ways of covering/hiding/tying a married woman's hair in public**.  Bli neder (this is not a vow/oath) I'd love to do a pictorial post on it.  When I got married, forty years ago last June, there were two and a half acceptable ways to cover one's hair.  You could get a wig, which was supposed to look very "natural," or you wore a hat or scarf.  In those days there were special scarves, prefolded with a piece of foam sewn in to give it some "bulk."  The question then was how much hair did you show, bangs, braid, actual hair-do, etc.

I haven't had a "to show" haircut since the day I got married.  Over the years, I've been the one to chop off my hair.  The less than a dozen times I paid a "professional" were rarely worth the money.  Actually, for practical and halachic (Jewish Law) reasons I think it's best to cover your hair in a way that nobody can really tell how good a haircut you've gotten.

According to Jewish Law, a married woman's hair shouldn't be an "attention-getter." Ok you may say that an awful home hair-chopping does attract the eye.  I like to hide the "ends," meaning no cute hat perched on a nicely styled cut. 

Nice hats and scarves do cost money.  A good haircut costs money, so why pay for both?  I'd rather invest in the "right" hats and scarves, styles to be changed instantaneously at will.

Nu, why not a wig?  I answered that question in HIDE and SEEK: Jewish Women and Hair Covering.  But if I was a wig-wearer, for sure by this time in my married life, I'd make it fun and not hide it.

*not accepted by all but with some sort of Torah-rabbinic backing
**in some circles the "in public" is emphasized and a married woman's hair isn't covered, hidden, tied up in her own home, even when non-family members are there

2 comments:

Shy Guy said...

A recently discussed topic on the Hirhurim blog - 3 parts:

Hair Wars

Batya said...

Shy do you want to summarize it quickly? If you need to ask why, please do it off-blog.