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Religion/spirituality

Covering hair

(75 Posts)
Newatthis Wed 04-Aug-21 17:08:13

Hi everyone. I'm just doing a little research on various faiths and was wondering why, in some faiths, ladies have to cover their hair. I was particularly interested when I read that in the orthodox Jewish faith women shave their head then wear a wig and couldn't understand why, if they are going to wear a wig then why can't they show their hair. I am finding the research very interesting and learning more about the various faiths around the world.

MissAdventure Wed 04-Aug-21 17:20:21

It's a woman's crowning glory.
The epitome of her femininity, so I was told by a few Muslim men and women.

Newatthis Wed 04-Aug-21 17:21:32

But then why shouldn’t she show it?

MissAdventure Wed 04-Aug-21 17:26:55

She does, to family members, her partner, and so on.
It was explained to me that it would be the equivalent of walking around dripping in beautiful diamonds and then wondering why people would covet and possibly want to steal them.

Newatthis Wed 04-Aug-21 17:28:38

So are you saying it’s out of vanity?

MissAdventure Wed 04-Aug-21 17:30:51

No, it's out of concern for the woman's safety and wellbeing.
I had a very close online friend who was Muslim, and we often spoke about these things.
She told me she felt happy that her husband wanted to protect her.

Redhead56 Wed 04-Aug-21 17:38:30

Orthodox women wear wigs as it’s a way to show they are married and observant of modesty rules of Jewish law. Some Ultra Orthodox Hasidic women shave their heads some do not but they do all wear wigs.
We went to Brooklyn to Williamsburg some years ago it’s strictly observed there for women to wear wigs.
If you watch the film Unorthodox on Netflix you will find it very interesting.

MissAdventure Wed 04-Aug-21 17:40:32

Or you could come and visit me.
We have a thriving community of hasidic Jews (even though I've been informed on here that it's fake news!)
The women look very austere.

silverlining48 Wed 04-Aug-21 17:52:52

There was a tv documentary about increasing numbers of Hasidic families moving to the Essex coast as their families were large and accommodation had got too expensive in zLondon, so not fake news.

I also saw Unorthodox on Netflix which was very interesting.

aonk Wed 04-Aug-21 18:09:50

In my experience having lived for a while in an area with many Jewish neighbours the whole wig idea is strange. I should add that I have total respect for their customs but find this one hard to understand. I have met and got to know two Orthodox Jewish ladies who wear wigs. In both cases their wigs are a distinct improvement on their own hair and make them look very attractive.

SueDonim Wed 04-Aug-21 18:15:12

MissAdventure

She does, to family members, her partner, and so on.
It was explained to me that it would be the equivalent of walking around dripping in beautiful diamonds and then wondering why people would covet and possibly want to steal them.

I lived for a while in Indonesia. At the time, few women covered their hair but it’s become more conservative now. However, particularly in the upmarket malls, it was noticeable that women who wore a head covering would often also be wearing very expensive jeans that were so tight they must have been sprayed on, boob-tube type tops, precipitously high heels and as you note, dripping with expensive jewels and watches. It was quite a contrast!

MissAdventure Wed 04-Aug-21 18:30:36

I have found the total opposite, here, aonk..
The wigs are black and pulled into a very set shape (a low bun)
I had better not say more, except that they are austere in the extreme.

welbeck Wed 04-Aug-21 18:31:18

Newatthis

So are you saying it’s out of vanity?

i'm surprised that if you have been studying religious practices and cultures that you would think it was out of vanity.
these attitudes go back very far, and are found in many religions and cultures.
basically a woman's hair is regarded as integral to her beauty, and therefore only to be seen by her family, or husband.
it is precious and private. it would be akin to going about topless perhaps, in our society.
there are also issues about authority; so a man wears headgear that shews his rank or function or power.
thus a man will remove his hat, to shew that he is not standing on his authority.
this can still be seen in prisons, where an officer entering another wing will ask for permission and remove his cap on entering, even though he has keys, and is entitled to enter by his job. he defers to the role of his brother officer who is in charge of that wing.
re the women wearing wigs; some say this developed hundreds of years ago in russia where local warlords would raid and rape the most eye-catching women.
this is also thought to be why Jewish lineage is assured through the mother, ie if your mother is jewish, then you are too, but if only your father is, then not, strictly speaking.

Septimia Wed 04-Aug-21 18:34:38

At one time, no woman would have gone into a church in this country without a hat or headscarf - I remember my grandfather making me put his hanky on my head even though I was still a child and people were stopping that custom. It was a symbol of respect and modesty, just as men removed their hats when entering a building, especially a church.

If you go further back into our history, no respectable woman would go out without a head covering. Those that did were generally considered to be of low morals!

Doodledog Wed 04-Aug-21 18:39:13

There is a free course on OpenLearn about veiling and head covering. I did it a while ago, and found it very interesting.

Newatthis Wed 04-Aug-21 18:44:07

Welbeck I have not been studying religious practices and cultures I would never think it was out of vanity. I asked a question to a comment. Miss Adventure explained that It that it would be the equivalent of walking around dripping in beautiful diamonds and then wondering why people would covet and possibly want to steal them. I find that it is very interesting that ladies hair features and I cannot find any reference to covering it in any scriptures. This would also seems depends on which country also. Some Muslim ladies completely cover their hair whereas others loosely wear a scarf. Some jewish women don't shave their heads but some do. Some Christian ladies still wear a hat to church yet others don't.

MerylStreep Wed 04-Aug-21 18:46:55

The Jewish women are very austere in my area, Southend.
At the last place in lived ( westcliff ) we always had a problem parking on Saturdays as according to the religion they must walk to the synagogue.
The synagogue was just around the corner so they would park in our road and walk round the corner 😉

varian Wed 04-Aug-21 18:49:05

Joan Collins has worn wigs for most of her life and they make her look more attractive as her own hair is apparently thin and lank. So this seems to be a contradiction. Are these extremely religous women wearing wigs in an effort to look less attractive?

Luckygirl Wed 04-Aug-21 18:50:10

Religions of all kinds have long been troubled by sex: uncleanliness, women as temptresses, women as unclean, power and ownership by men, control and so it goes on.

Essentially these are ways to prevent women attracting other males; of men asserting their ownership; and are at a fundamental level men's fear of their own sexual drives for which women must take the blame.

I find it all very grim indeed.

sodapop Wed 04-Aug-21 18:58:09

I read the book Unorthodox, really interesting. I find the whole Jewish culture and religious observance fascinating. So many of their traditions have survived through the years.
Septimia my parents were devout Methodists and I always had to wear a hat and gloves to Chapel. Rules were a little more relaxed for Sunday School.

MissAdventure Wed 04-Aug-21 19:00:25

varian

Joan Collins has worn wigs for most of her life and they make her look more attractive as her own hair is apparently thin and lank. So this seems to be a contradiction. Are these extremely religous women wearing wigs in an effort to look less attractive?

Let's just say none of them look like Joan Collins. smile
There are wigs, and wigs.
I couldn't imagine Joan wearing the type I have seen.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 04-Aug-21 19:03:32

MissA yep

MerylStreep Wed 04-Aug-21 19:15:56

The women in my town dress like the women in this image.
Top right.

www.google.co.uk/search?source=univ&tbm=isch&q=images+of+traditionally+dressed+jewish+woman&hl=en-gb&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi_od3w-pfyAhXPhVwKHQ1ADTkQjJkEegQIBxAC&biw=1261&bih=864#imgrc=iTOf22NlrJHYHM

silverlining48 Wed 04-Aug-21 19:15:58

At last it seems I have something in common with Joan Collins, Pity it’s our shared thin lank hair. Maybe I should check out a wig. wink

NanKate Wed 04-Aug-21 19:31:48

It worries me that women should be told what to do/wear by men. I can’t see men agreeing to follow women’s rules.

I know in some places girls who are having their period are seen as unclean and are kept at home.

Why should women have to ask their husband’s permission to go out?

I find it all very oppressive and male dominated.