Combing Hair On Shabbat

Updated: Feb 9

The Daily Halacha Moment - Combing Hair On Shabbat 💇


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן

‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one comb one's hair on Shabbat?


Answer:

One is not allowed to use a comb on Shabbat to comb his hair because one will ultimately pull out hair while combing.[1] This is forbidden even if one will only run through the hair lightly with the comb.[2]

A brush may be used but three conditions must be met before permitting this:

a. It has to be a soft bristle brush, such as a baby brush, which will not pull out hairs if brushed lightly. One may not use a stiff brush on Shabbat because the bristle will remove hair when brushing.[3]

b. It is preferable for one to have brush set aside for Shabbat use. [4]

c. One should only touch up the hair a little and he should not brush the entire head.[5]

This is because when a person brushes hair thoroughly he intends to do whatever it takes to perfect the hair. Therefore, if he brushes thoroughly, he will brush even hair that might fall out while brushing.[6]

d. One is permitted to pass his hands through his hair on Shabbos in order to make his hair neat.[7]


Similarly, a woman who forgot to brush her hair before coming to the mikveh on Friday night may ask a non-Jew to comb her hair for her on Shabbat in order that she should be able to immerse in the mikveh. [8]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 303:27; Mishnah Berurah 303:85; Kaf HaChaim 303:125; Igrot Moshe, O.C., vol. 2, Siman 78.

[2]. Biur Halachah, siman 303 “l’chof”; Mishnah Berurah 303:87.

[3]. Mishnah Berurah 303:86; Ohr LeTzion 2:43:3.

[4]. Magen Avraham 303:1; Mishnah Berurah 303:87, 327:10; Kaf HaChaim 303:123. See also in Ohr LeTzion

2:43:3 who states that the custom of Sephardim is not to have a separate brush for Shabbat, unlike the opinion of the Kaf HaChaim.

[5]. Mishnah Berurah 303:87.

[6]. See also in Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 2, ch. 12:6.

[7]. Rama 303:27; Mishnah Berurah 303:88.

[8]. Levyat Chen, p. 195; Yabia Omer, vol. 10, O.C. 55, 3:20; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 13; Taharat

HaBayit, vol. 3, p. 110.


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