Category Archives: haircovering

Not Tzanua

Apparently, tweeting / facebooking about my hair is not tzanua. Not only am I not allowed to show it to the world, talking about is also verboten!!

Last week I decided to do something about the silver streaks that seem to have cropped up almost overnight, and I tweeted about going to get it dyed. As usual, such a statement generated some discussion – some people feeling that seeing as I cover I shouldn’t worry about it. I like my hair to look nice at all times, and the silver was bothering me. So what if no one other than me and the KoD see it – I need to do this for MYSELF.

Later that day I received an email saying how I was being disrespectful to the KoD by talking about my hair. I suppose if I ever decided to no longer cover, that would be disrespectful to him to, because, apparently one lives one’s life for other people. No self-respect allowed. The hair on my head does not belong to me, but to the KoD. Who knew?!

Technically, according to some, even if I had tweeted a picture of my freshly dyed locks (I didn’t) it would not be ervah because it’s a picture, and not the real thing. But can you imagine the emails I would have received then?

I wish these haters would clean up their own lives and religious practices before they start whaling on others. I don’t think it’s acceptable from any standpoint – religious or secular – to send nasty emails to people, whether you know them or not!!

Heinous or Harmless – Hair Covering and Dating

I have a friend “Roni” who was unfortunately widowed a while ago. She is the mother of young children trying to bring them up as grounded as possible, without a husband at her side. She has finally decided to take the plunge back into the dating world.

Roni is religious, and has continued to cover her hair (mostly with hats and scarves, occasionally a wig). She has spiritual and communal reasons to do so, and is not looking to change that. If she wanted, she could probably get a heter (rabbinical dispensation) to uncover, but she doesn’t want to, and is not interested in it at all.

She recently started dating a nice young man, someone who had never been married before. A man willing to take on her children and to follow a good solid marriage. A tall order!

But the hair covering thing is an issue for him. Officially, he says that he feels that this is a decision left to the woman he marries however on their first date he immediately asked Roni why she still covers, and was concerned that if someone he knew saw them, they would think he was out with a married woman. Roni tried to explain her feelings and conflict to him as best she could. She thought it was tabled.

In her words:

During our last conversation, we really shared a lot and I finally began to feel like we were becoming more comfortable with each other. I was getting high hopes for our third date, which would clearly be more relaxed and maybe help me sort out my feelings about him. Then at the end of the conversation, he asked me if I would consider not covering my hair while out on dates. I told him I needed to think about it, and maybe even consult a Rav.

But here’s the thing. I don’t want to go out in public with my head uncovered. I don’t feel like I am “there.” Also, I find inconsistency in observance due to circumstance to be inauthentic. I know women who don’t cover at work or on vacation and I have always felt it strange and didn’t get the rationale. But I don’t judge them because of how personal this issue is. It is a really hard Halachah for some, and I give them credit for what they are able to do. But to take a stance of I only cover [going to shul, doing carpool and getting groceries] or I don’t cover on dates, doesn’t sit well with me.

Roni asked me what she should do – she likes the guy. He is decent, there is some chemistry, he’d be a great male role model for her kids. But the fact that he asked her to uncover her hair when she is with him in public really poured cold water on the whole deal.

So dear readers, was this heinous or harmless on his part? What would you advise Roni to do?

Modesty in the Hospital

A few people have mentioned this topic to me, or asked me what my modesty plans were with my upcoming surgery.

Do I plan to keep my hair covered all the time in the hospital, will I be wearing a hospital gown with my posterior peeking through the back, do I even care about being modest in the hospital?

So here are my thoughts. Of course I will try to keep myself modest at all times. However, I honestly don’t believe that it needs to be my primary concern. I will try to make sure my hair is covered if I have visitors but honestly, if I am in too much pain to care about it, so be it. If I am in that much pain that I don’t care, I won’t want to see anyone anyway.

I know this is different than giving birth, but I remember the first birth. I made sure that my tichel was on my head every second of that 38 hour labour. It didn’t matter that below the waist was uncovered. I spent so much energy making sure it was covered and it was just ridiculous. No one was looking at my head! I soon learned that you leave modesty at the door when giving birth in a busy hospital. There is no way to give birth and keep everything covered at all times.

My health is my priority. Will I try to be modest? Absolutely. Will I allow it to drive me crazy? Absolutely not.

What are your thoughts?

Headscarf Help

So, I bought these awesome headscarves in Israel – fancy ones that you can wrap around your head and make a real statement with.

I love them – but they do not stay in place. Regular bobby pins only hold them in place for so long and then the back slide starts.

What can I use to keep these scarves in place for the whole day without me having to readjust twice an hour?

Thanks!

Hair Woes

From the time we are little girls we are obsessed with our hair. It is our crowning glory and many hours are spent on straightening, or curling, blow drying, moussing, gelling, colouring etc. That does not end once the hair is covered upon marriage. We may not put as much effort into it as before, after all why spend hours straightening your hair when you are just going to stuff it under a hat, tuck it under a sheitel, or tie it back under a scarf but just the same we like it to look good. Covering it dries it out and dulls it down.

I fully admit to colouring my hair – after all, when ChatterBox wondered aloud how the hairdresser managed to put silver highlights in my hair just so, I knew I needed to do something about it. (Yes, folks, I don’t cover in front of my kids– it’s a personal choice).

My hair is in desperate need of a colour and a cut. The ends are split, my hair is just dying, slowly. And there are plenty more silver highlights – and I know just who put them there! Yesterday I put my sheitel (wig) on after pinning up my hair (and it’s long) and after an hour or so I noticed my sheitel was slipping back. Even with the pins and clips and what have you. Just the sheer weight of the hair tucked underneath was overwhelming the poor little wig.

It being the Sefirah / Omer (period of mourning in memory of a plague that killed the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva), we are not supposed to be cutting our hair. Allowing our hair to grow, and for the men not shaving, is a sign of mourning. But Lag BaOmer (33rd Day of the Omer when the mourning period is suspended) is not till Sunday and I felt that if I had to wait another week to chop off an inch or four I would go crazy. My KoD consulted our extremely competent LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi) who told us that I *should* wait till Friday (can cut in honour of Shabbat) but if I really cannot wait, it’s ok. It’s really interfering with my hair covering – so I felt that I could go today and just get it taken care of.

I was just about out the door to the hairdresser’s after putting the lasagna in the oven when I stopped for a second. Yes, there is nothing assur (forbidden) about me going for a haircut right now, but I strive to teach the boys the right way in everything. They have to wait to have haircuts (and shave – oy how I need Lenny to shave…) yet because I am complaining about my hair I can cut it?? What message does this send to them – to look for a kulah (leniency) when it’s not really strictly important? I can really put up with the annoyance for another few days if I have to – just will wear my hats and my scarves and not bother with wigs.

I hate my hair at the moment. I want to just cut it all off into a pixie cut and be done with it. But I will wait till Friday to do it, and maybe by then I will be ok with leaving it a little longer than that. (Or maybe the KoD will have sweet talked me into just snipping a little off the ends….He can try).

How do you take care of your hair under your hair covering? Have you let it just get nasty or do you baby it?

Modesty – for the entire family?

From the mailbox:

Dear HSM

I was at a Canadian indoor water park and saw a number of frum families where dads and sons were shirtless and in shorts frolicking while mom and daughters were in long sleeves, ankle length skirts, etc roasting and just wading their feet with shoes on.  Shouldn’t modesty be for the entire family?  The one family where the girls got wet, they were toddlers and fully dressed down to thick tights.

A Reader

I fully agree with you that modesty should apply to everyone in the family. This scenario is one I have come across myself a few times too. I cannot adequately explain what appears to be a double standard here – perhaps one of my learned readers can.

GIVEAWAY!!

Hair coverers – would you like to win two beautiful pre-tied bandannas from DoubleHeaderUSA? Leave me a comment explaining why you (or your wife) love to wear pre-tieds, or leave me a funny hair-covering story, and you could be the lucky winner.

Winner will be picked Wednesday November 17 at 8.30 pm. I have the package ready to send, it just needs an address on it! Good Luck!

Contest is open to everyone, no matter where you live. Winner will be picked at random.

Head-coverings are invading!!

Those of you who cover your hair will understand my predicament. My scarves and hats etc are taking over my closet. Every so often I will neaten up my piles of scarves, tichels, bandannas and longer headbands. It stays neat for 24 hours maybe.

I need a way to organize my mitpachot (headscarves) so that I can find the colours and styles I need without having to mess up my shelf. I am limited as to space – so space-saving ideas are welcome.

Here’s a pic of the carnage…. HELP!!

oh the mess!!

Oh and if it helps – my stash consists of 20 bandannas, 25 mitpachot, 6 headscarves, and about 12 assorted scarves of different sizes, 5 baseball caps (yes, one is a Yankees one, in pink) plus about 5 berets (that I never wear coz the KoD thinks they do nothing for me), and 2 pre-tieds that I don’t wear for the same reason….

Modest Dressing

Taking a page out of Chaviva’s book who took it out of her friend’s book….I figured I would do a fashion piece, see what you people think of the feature and decide if it will be a regular occurrence or not.

Modestly Dressed

So, today we have a school interview, and I need to make sure all the bits and pieces that need to be covered are indeed covered. I am wearing the panty hose and closed toe shoes and have a wig on my head and minimal makeup. Basically – not trying to be “in your face” – going for a demure look…. Not quite sure I get there.

So let’s start:

Sheitel: Kiki

Sunglasses: Rabbis Harley and Davidson

Shell (slinky black teeshirt that cannot be worn on its own as it is too tight) – I bought it some place in Flatbush, 2 years ago, to go under a simcha dress that had a low neckline.

Suit: I bought it online at Junees.com and I love it. You can dress it up, dress it down…

The detailing on the jacket

detailing on the skirt

Shoes: Walmart’s finest, 3 years ago.

I love these shoes

This outfit (other than the wig) cost less than $100 to put together. The suit was $69, shell $15 and the shoes $9.99.

I love this outfit and would love to have something similar in a different colour, but have not been able to find one…

If you own / run a clothing company and wish to sponsor a future edition of Modest Dressing, please email me at InThePinkBlog at gmail dot com. Thanks

How are wigs ok?

The other day I received this email from Chaviva.

So, my mom has been emailing me … about you. She had questions about whether you’re observant (the wig confused her) and now she’s asking how it’s okay to wear a wig when you can easily look hotter than you might without it. I’m not sure how to answer her, as I’ve never really looked into the halakos of sheitels because up until recently I’d always been in the camp where I sort of get where she is coming from.

Thus, I thought I’d ask you, my yiddishe mama, for a good response to my mom on the whole being frum and sheitels and it being okay. In the process, it’ll be a learning experience for me, for my mom, and probably blog fodder for you 🙂

Chavi – I hope you direct your mom over here – I am going to try to explain…although this is an age old discussion….

This is an excellent question and raises an important discussion topic. I have often felt that some of the wigs worn nowadays (yes, mine included) defeat the whole purpose of tzniut (modesty) and kisui rosh (hair covering). I have, in the past, criticized those who wore awesome looking human hair wigs that totally looked unwiglike.

Then I bought myself one of them as I was so sick and tired of wearing synthetics that gave me constant headaches. Suddenly, covering my hair was a pleasure instead of a chore. Suddenly I wanted to cover my hair with my wig because I felt good in it.

In the community where I lived it was more common and accepted for married women to wear wigs. When I first joined that community, upon my first marriage, in order to fit in, I purchased my first wig. No one in my family had ever covered their hair before, let alone wore wigs. I desperately wanted to fit in to my new community. But I hated wearing it. I kept it for special occasions.

Over the years, whenever I got dressed up, I would wear a wig. I never felt, personally, that my outfit was complete if I was wearing just a hat or a headscarf. Now, when I hang out in my denim skirts and tees, I wear a bandanna or a mitpachat, or my braided tichels.

After my divorce, I uncovered my hair. It was something I did for myself. Read more about that here. I had many long talks with my Rebbetzin about hair covering and the whys and wherefores. She explained to me one time, that part of covering our hair when we are married is to remind US that we are married, not just to show everyone else that we are taken. When we have a hair covering on our head it makes us think twice before we do something we shouldn’t do.

The wigs that are worn these days by many of us, yes, they do kind of defeat the purpose. But nowhere does it say that we have to look ugly or less attractive just because we are married. I like to know I look pretty – not just for my husband, but for ME, for my own feelings of self worth. But I don’t know of one husband who wants to run his hands through his wife’s wig because it is so gorgeous. The real hair wins every time on that score. (My KoD says I look hotter without the sheitel, just FYI).

So to answer Mom’s question – is it ok? I don’t know. Is it done? Absolutely. Does that make it right? Hmmm.

If anyone else wants to chime in, go right ahead.

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