Why Do Orthodox Jewish Women Wear Wigs (If They Look Better Than Hair)?

Why do Orthodox women wear wigs – especially if the wig looks even nicer than their hair? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? In this video we explore the text-based sources for hair covering. It begins with a reference in the Torah, and then is expounded upon in the Talmud.

But what about wigs? When did that begin? In the video, we show when this practice historically started, and why it was accepted by many rabbinic authorities. For the people who assume that wearing a wig is pointless because it makes a woman look too attractive, I would suggest that these people misunderstand what Jewish modesty is about. Tznius is not about looking ugly. Jewish modesty is about keeping certain parts of oneself private. But what if the wig actually improves a woman’s looks? How does that accomplish anything? Watch this video to find out!


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  • valdeni says on June 10, 2019

    Every village has its customs and habits, there is nothing wrong to wear wigs since they like.

  • Sherri Samuels says on April 5, 2020

    Wow, so many misconceptions. Crazy what people think.
    Thank you for posting our daughter Michelle Kaman’s article. Another misconception of ideas explained.

  • April Ashley says on April 12, 2020

    I never realised how close Judaism was to Islam regarding the control of women’s appearance? (hair). This is not a condemnation, as a Christian I am trying to make sense of this discussion?

    • Allison Josephs says on April 20, 2020

      Thanks for your comment, April. Islam came after Judaism. So we had this concept first.

    • Jack says on March 24, 2021

      The New Testament forbids Christian women from braiding their hair, and wearing gold, pearls, or costly clothing. (1 Tim 2:9-10, and other passages) The rules are there. But the Christians ignore them.

      • Karen says on April 10, 2021

        I am a Christian woman who believes in the oneness of God. I try to observe the New Testament in regard to dress. I do not wear jewelry, costly clothing, makeup or any other physical adornment. I dress modestly. The Bible also teaches that a woman’s long hair is her adornment. It has always been my understanding that the term is “broiding”, which refers to the elaborate arrangement of the hair. I do wear my hair in a simple braid. I have found this to be the most practical way to wear long hair and I will answer to God alone on my choice. We are all children of God and I think that lumping all Christians into the same basket creates a very narrow view of the world.

      • Marilyn says on July 3, 2021

        One of my ultra observant neighbours actually has a big piece of paper on window at front of home stating in bold letters the ‘evil’ of the sheitel/wig and how bad it is to wear one and that only tichel/turban should be worn. Ooops. It angers a lot of the wig wearing ladies who see it as they walk

        • Allison Josephs says on July 5, 2021

          That is a rude message to have on one’s window and since being a mensch is the foundation of being a religious Jew, your neighbor seems to be missing the point.

    • gloria cohen says on April 25, 2021

      Ashley, they’re cousins, the Jews and Islamists. They both have Abraham as their forefather.
      I agree with you that their customs are similar, but Moslem women wear scarves on their head
      , and I think that’s a nicer way of showing modesty. However, I don’t believe in the necessity for head coverings for the women. Why don’t the men cover their hair?

  • Laura says on June 24, 2020

    I am a single my & have had a conversation with my daughter just today, who went to camp gan Israel & brought back a tznius dress for shabbos that each girl got to select &9 keep.
    We are not orthodox however we both appreciate modesty & she said if she had more dresses she’d wear those more frequently to school etc. It made me look for modest dress. I will have to save up but I have been leaning towards this & hope to save $ to buy a sheitle to wear as well as some shabbos robes to wear to chabad.
    I want to set the examples for my children for them to embrace their spiritual heritage. I don’t think it detracts from our liberty or independence at all.
    It’s seeking holiness & family purity which is a noble endeavor.


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