Married Woman covering all her hair


Must a married [or once married] woman cover every strand of hair of her head?
It is forbidden for a married woman to reveal even a single hair of her head to the public, and hence all of the hair, must be covered.[1] It is for this reason that many of today’s Poskim[2] rule one is to wear a wig [Sheitel] rather than a head Kerchief [Tichel], as the wig guarantees the covering of all the hair, as opposed to a head kerchief. However, some Poskim[3] of today novelize that according to Halacha, a woman is permitted to be lenient to uncover up to two finger-worth’s [4 cm] of the top part of her hair The Rebbe[4], as well as the vast majority of today’s Poskim[5], negate this opinion, and state it has no place in Shulchan Aruch. Those women who uncover even more than 4 cm of their hair are to be protested according to all. Furthermore, everyone agrees that according to the Zohar[6] it is a complete prohibition to reveal any hair of the head, and one who is not careful in this causes poverty and spiritual challenges for their children, as well as other Tzaros.[7]


[1] Tzemach Tzedek Even Haezer 139/2 from the fact he prohibits the sideburns; Chasam Sofer 36 “Any hair in any area of the head is an Erva”; Ashel Avraham Butchach “Proper to beware against even one hair”; Sdei Chemed; Dovev Meisharim 1/124; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1/62; Beis Baruch on Chayeh Adam 4/10; Lehoros Nasan 5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 75/10; Chazon Ish in Dinim Vehanhagos 2/88-9 and in Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1/62; Rebbe Ben Tziyon Aba Shaul brought in Kuntrus Kisui Rosh Leisha; Rav Mashash in Tevuos Shemesh 137; Shemesh Umagen 2/15-17; Az Nidbaru 12/41 that one should cover every hair; Rav Moshe Shternbuch in Daas Vehalacha 1; Rav Lefkovich in Kovetz Beis Hillel 9; Or Yitzchak 3; Nitei Gavriel in Kovetz Or Yisrael 36-37

[2] Poskim ibid including: Chazon Ish ibid; Rebbe Ben Tziyon Aba Shaul ibid; Or Yitzchak 3 in name of Rav Moshe Feinstein; Letters of Rebbe printed in Shulchan Menachem 6/80-84

[3] Igros Moshe 4/112; Even Haezer 1/58; Likewise see Or Yitzchak 3 in name of Rav Moshe Feinstein that even he agreed that initially one should wear a wig in order to cover every hair; Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yalkut Yosef Otzer Dinim allows Bedieved

The reason: As only a Tefach is considered an Erva by a woman [Igros Moshe ibid]; and less than a Tefach is only Rabbinical, and hence less than majority of a Tefach is allowed. [Rav Ovadia ibid]

[4] Igros Kodesh 9/325 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 6/81] “You want to wear a Sheital that will leave two finger-worth’s uncovered! Who are you trying to fool, not the world, but only yourself, and what is the purpose of fooling yourself? The rule is clear in Shulchan Aruch [that all the hair must be covered] and there is no room for question on this matter.” See also Igros Kodesh 16/330 and other letters printed in Shulchan Menachem 6/80-84

[5] All Poskim brought in previous footnotes

[6] Parshas Nasso

[7] Brought in Maharam Alshiker 35; Chasam Sofer ibid

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