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Oct 26, 1997 - 21:25 -

I have a question:
what are the various customs concerning hair?

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How I found this site: browsing

Thanks for your question.

Men do not "take a razor" to "the corners of their beards".  This biblical commandment is interpreted variously by different communities. Modern orthodox shave with electric shavers rather than razors. Chassidic pietists take the precaution of not shaving at all. In between are those who trim their beards but leave the payos (earlocks) alone as "the corners".

Married women do not show their hair to men outside their immediate family. "Letting down one's hair" and "letting it all hang out" are English phrases that demonstrate that the broader culture once shared this perception that female hair is enticing and often immodest. In a few communities, women shave their heads, but in most communities they wear a combination of wigs, kerchiefs, and hats.

In some communities (especially sephardim and chassidim) boys are given their first haircut at age three.

During periods of mourning, Jews do not shave and do not trim their hair or beards. This not only applies to private mourning after a death, but also to the extended annual period of public mourning called "the three weeks".   However, during the three weeks, "social reproach" terminates the cessation of grooming. (I.e., the minute your boss says, "God, you look awful!" you can go home and shave.)

Those are all the hair-related customs I can think of at the moment. If anybody remembers one I neglected, let me know.

--- Jordan

Oct 19, 1997 - 01:28 -

I have a question:
I would like to know why we don't cut a baby boy's hair until his third birthday ?

About me: Meir Abramovitz from Melbourne Australia.
My e-mail address:
How I found this site: Found it searching for an answer to this question.

See the question below.