Tag Archives: hair covering

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.

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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Hair Coverers – some questions

If you cover your hair – do you take care of the hair underneath? Do you wash and blow dry it when you aren’t going out? Do you dye it to get rid of the grey? Do you get it regularly cut and styled? How long is it? Do you miss how it used to be? What has changed in the quality of your hair? Have you ever shaved it off? (I did. Once. Ugh) If you wear a wig, is it like your natural hair or totally different? Did you wear your wig at your wedding or only the day after? Do you cover your hair for you or because it’s expected of you? If so, by whom?

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Minhag HaMakom – Modest Dress and Hair Covering

Literally “the custom of the place”. I think this is the Jewish equivalent of “when in Rome do as the Romans do”.

Can we apply this to dressing modestly and hair covering? If you are married and don’t cover your hair, and perhaps dress more modern that your chareidi (ultra religious) cousins – if you go to a chareidi  event like a barmitzvah or wedding – will you make an extra effort to blend in by dressing appropriately? If you know that 95% of the women there are wearing hats or wigs, will you cover you hair too out of respect? Do you think this is asking too much?

When I go to the boys’ yeshiva I always dress more covered up than I usually do. I make sure I have sleeves to my wrists, my skirt is way past my knees and I don’t go in bare legged. Even though I might dress differently outside, when I visit the school I am respectful of their sensibilities. Some people say this is hypocritical. I say it is common courtesy. What do you say?

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A quick hair covering question

Those of you who cover your hair in public, do you cover at home? Or does it depend who comes over?

Thanks.

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Some More Hair Covering Thoughts

When I was first married more than 15 years ago, I did everything to avoid wearing a sheitel. I lived in berets and snoods and scarves. I worked in a Jewish school, so it was acceptable. The wigs were kept for Shabbat and special occasions. There was a point that when the kids were small and saw me put on my wig they started to cry because they knew I was going out without them. With little kids, wigs were not practical, and didn’t suit my wash and wear lifestyle. In those years I was all about comfort and practicality. Fashion and even shoes took a back seat.

When I got divorced I uncovered my hair. It was part of the grieving process. I eventually re-covered it and entered into the dating world. I had wanted to marry someone who understood the importance of this mitzvah for me. Dressing up for dates – somehow a snood or tichel just didn’t match the outfits. I felt better wearing a wig. More grown up, perhaps, in a very weird way. The KoD supports my decision to cover my hair – and if I chose not to, he would support that too, so long as it was a rational thought out decision.

In the last couple of years I have worn a sheitel more than not. When I go to shul or other functions I blend in (in some ways) with everyone else there. I don’t have a need anymore to make any kind of statement with my hair covering or lack thereof. In the summer I have a lot more fun with tichels, and they are cooler to wear. When I was working last year I wore a sheitel every day. It would not have been appropriate to wear a tichel in a work environment.

I also think that if I lived in Israel I probably would not wear a wig at all. It seems to be socially acceptable over there to be religious, cover your hair with whatever covering you want to, and not look out of place anywhere. Here, you could not effectively be a lawyer and argue a case in court, with a snood or a tichel on your head. Now, they are supposed to be tolerant of all races and religions, and you do see lawyers with hijabs etc. But any married Jewish woman lawyer who is a hair coverer will wear a sheitel so as to blend in. We have the option. In Israel, you can have any job and it doesn’t matter what you wear on your head. You are not singled out because of it. (If I am wrong please correct me).

I guess I cover with a wig because it helps me fit in better in our North American society. It is more accepted in my communities that women will wear wigs most of the time, as opposed to hats and scarves etc. It is a fact of life that women spend insane amounts of money of their wigs – just so they can look like they are wearing real hair. It makes absolutely no sense, yet I have bought into it like everyone else around me. Plus a well fitted wig doesn’t give me headaches like the others have done, or like a tichel sometimes does.

I do feel a bit like a hypocrite, but I justify it to myself. But then again, aren’t we all hypocrites to some extent with at least one thing in our life?

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I hate my hair

I want to cut it all off. Right now it is past my shoulders. It isn’t curly, but it’s more than wavy. It’s going slightly grey, but thank God for Clairol. KoD loves my hair. Every time I talk about cutting it he flinches. Of course, he tells me it’s my hair, it’s up to me what I do with it.

If I didn’t keep it covered most of the time it would be in better condition. I would spend more money on keeping it styled and coloured and de-greyed. But it would probably be in a chin length bob.

So what do I do? I like the fact that my husband loves my hair. I would hate to cut it and see sadness in his eyes, even though it would make me happy to have better looking (to me) hair. I know he loves me, long hair or not. It isn’t my hair that makes me who I am. However it is a large part of my religion, as covering it is something I do every day, due to the fact that I believe that as a married woman I should cover my hair.

To be selfish or selfless? Help me out here….

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Some hair covering thoughts – just a stream of consciousness

I am not usually embarrassed to say I wear a wig. I cover my hair for religious reasons, and when necessary, I will get into the discussion of the whys and wherefores.

So when someone who is unaware that I am wearing a wig tells me my hair looks so pretty today, I want to tell them it isn’t really my hair. That it is a wig. I don’t, because, well, I don’t want to be looked at like I am, God Forbid, sick.

I was just at the Pharmaprix, and the cashier complimented my new look. Truth is, it’s snowing out there today and I didn’t want to wear my nicest wig, so I shlepped out an old synthetic and just styled it. It doesn’t look like real hair. Not at all. I perched my sunglasses on the top just so to accessorize and off I went. I just smiled at the cashier and we chit chatted for as long as it took to ring up my purchases and I left.

In religious circles we think nothing of asking other women where they got their wigs, how much they paid, who styles it etc. Us wig wearers can generally notice other wig wearers in a nanosecond. Some non-orthodox people might be shocked to hear another woman ask “where did you buy that wig?” but for us it’s normal and non offensive.

But then there is the flipside. I have a wig that has no fringe / bangs, and I am not sure I like the hairline. I cheat a little (sh! Don’t tell) and use a little of my own hair at the front to make the hairline look more natural. I was recently out somewhere and some older frum woman, who I had never met, asked me if I was really wearing a sheitel because the hairline just looked so natural. What would you have responded? I was honest, and said “yes it’s a sheitel, but I cheated a little”. Afterwards I kind of thought I shouldn’t have even answered the question, i felt it was a little rude.

Now you can blast me all you want for cheating. When I wear a scarf more of my hair shows that when I “cheat” with my sheitel. And as far as I am concerned, I am covering most of my hair, and am therefore mekayemet (keeping) the mitzvah. Even when I am wearing someone else’s hair on my head, I am aware that it is not my own, and that I am married, which is partly the point of wearing something on one’s head. As a reminder that one is married. Not that I am likely to forget, as KoD is never out of my thoughts.

I enjoy never having a bad hair day, not having to spend hours straightening or curling my hair, styling it just so. I enjoy that I do not look different than other women around me – to the point that when I wear a snood or a tichel, I do feel I stand out (not that I care most of the time). Look, we all notice the women who wear the hijab, or the burka, the Chassidic wives with the turbans, or the shpitzels. Someone who just has hair on her head, whether hers or a wig, doesn’t command attention. And to me, that is more tzanuah than anything.

There is an argument that these new human hair custom sheitels look nicer than the real hair of the woman wearing it, so it defeats the purpose. You know what, yes, my human hair wig does look nicer than my real hair, but my husband has absolutely no desire to run his hands through my sheitel. Because it isn’t my hair therefore it is not a part of me. So it doesn’t defeat that purpose at all.

Feel free to add your hair covering thoughts.

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Review of CoverYourHair.com products

I recently was lucky enough to win a gift certificate to CoverYourHair.com. I ordered two hats and a tichel / scarf. I had trouble ordering through the website, but soon after I had emailed customer support, I received a phone call, so that my order could be processed in a timely fashion. My order was taken over the phone. I was very impressed with their professionalism.

I had everything shipped to my NY address – saves on taxes and shipping. My order arrived within 3 days. KoD brought the box up with him this past weekend.

I had a lot of fun opening it – I am still like a little kid when I get deliveries. I love the anticipation of having new things. The first thing that struck me was how nicely wrapped the hats were – in gold tissue paper. Presentation is very important to me, and I was nicely surprised with this.

The hats were the ones I had ordered, with foam circles in them to keep their shape. The scarf was nicely folded in a plastic sleeve. I opened up the scarf, and was a bit disappointed as to the quality. I had expected something a little thicker – it seemed very sheer to me. KoD wasn’t thrilled with how it looked on me, either. But I think it is fine for hanging out in, on dress down days. This tichel is actually perfect to braid the way I like to do.

I love the hats. My kids call them lampshades – but they mean it in an affectionate way. I am very fussy when it comes to hats – not too tight, brim not too big, hat not too fussy. These seem to fit the bill perfectly. I can wear them with all my hair tucked under, with my hair out, or with a fall, they do not hurt the head if you wear them all day – they are really soft. I suffer a lot from headaches and if hats are too tight on my head, it exacerbates the symptoms. I doubt I will have a problem with these hats. They will also keep my head warm this winter while helping me look stylish.

In a nutshell, I am extremely happy with my head coverings.

Here are some pix:

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Coming within the week – a CoverYourHair.com giveaway. Stay tuned.

Headaches and Hair Covering

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