Why do Jewish women wear wigs?

So you’re probably wondering why Jewish women wear wigs! Mainly when the wig is more attractive than their hair. That defeats the purpose. Your mind has many questions about that concept. Especially if you have encountered a Jewish person who wears a wig and it makes you wonder. Why?!

 Let’s dive deep into the historical factor! And understand better how and why Jewish women resort to wearing wigs. 

Why Do Jewish Women Wear Wigs – Historical Significance

There are a number of reasons why Jewish women wear wigs.

The Yiddish word for a wig is “Sheitel.” Jewish women who observe the law cover their hair with a wig. Some a another hair covering after getting married.

In the Jewish faith, modesty is a very fundamental trait. Children from a very young age are trained to act, speak, and dress modestly. This training helps them to reflect the refinement of Jewish life and closeness to God.

The exterior self is modestly and erectly covered, letting the inner self shine. Judaism places more emphasis on interior traits than on exterior looks.

For instance, if someone asked to describe a friend, what would they say? Would they say she was voluptuous, blonde, and medium height? Or how about her warmth, wit, generosity, and welcoming nature?

So, why do Jewish women wear wigs?

Both Jewish men and women must adhere to the same modesty laws. Albeit they must express it in ways that are appropriate for the genders. Being joined with the other half of her soul when a woman marries helps her to achieve a new level of holiness.

Wigs And Modern World

It is no surprise that wigs are becoming more and more common in the modern world. Wig-wearing is more popular than ever, and both men and women enjoy its many advantages. Just like fake tanning or acrylic nails. Wearing a wig is as simple for some people as any other minor body modification. 

Changing up your appearance has always been complex! Wigs are a strong contender in the beauty industry. With many styles, sizes, and colors available. You are sure to find a wig that you adore. 

If you come across a person with the most luscious locks colored and cut to perfection, you guessed it! It might be that they’re wearing a wig!

It might be surprising for you to learn that Jewish women are among the wig market’s top consumers. Jewish women typically resort to wigs for four reasons. To be more modest, follow Jewish customs, or conceal their beliefs. 

Let’s explore each of the reasons below!

To adhere to Jewish customs.

Jewish law holds that women should cover their hair after marriage. Covering hair after marriage is one of Jewish Faith’s core principles. Some Orthodox women follow this practice by wearing wigs in place of their natural hair.

Wigs, also called sheitels in the Jewish faith. Sheitels enable a woman to conceal her hair without compromising her identity. However, it wasn’t always like this.

Sheitels used almost invariably to be cut into an unattractive bob in the past. They only came in a few hues and lengths and had thick bangs. However, Jewish women today are experimenting with all kinds of wigs. That let them flaunt and enhance their distinctive styles.

Because they merely desire to wear wigs!

Although some Jewish women don’t wear wigs because of their religion, some do. Some Jewish ladies want to put on wigs!

They might prefer how wigs appear or wish to vacation from wearing their hair. Wig-wearing is a trend that women of many backgrounds have embraced. And Jewish women are no exception!

To appear Modest

Women cover their hair to appear more humble. And also to keep their attractiveness hidden from unrelated men. In general, unmarried women are not required to cover their heads. But some do so on specific occasions or when entering places of worship.

Sheitels weren’t always accepted. It’s vital to remember that. Jewish ladies in Italy started to adopt the style in the 16th century.

At first, certain rabbis criticized the practice. They claimed it didn’t encourage modesty. Sheitels are more common than ever! Although certain religious authorities disagree on whether they should be accepted.

There are a number of reasons why Jewish women wear wigs.

To Keep Beliefs a Secret

Sheitels assist Jewish women in hiding their religious affiliation. Which is among the more regrettable benefits of wearing them. Antisemitism is rising, especially in Western nations like the United States.

Jewish women who wear wigs can uphold tradition without drawing attention to themselves. Wigs are less evident than traditional headdresses. Thus, women wearing sheitels can avoid detection.

Do women who practice non-Orthodox Judaism cover their heads?

Conservative or Reformed Jewish women are exempt from covering their hair after marriage. Depending on the synagogue, different rules apply.

Some people prefer a more relaxed approach. They request that men and women don the same yarmulkes as a sign of equality. Others can ask that married ladies cover their heads when attending religious services.

Before being married, can Jewish women wear wigs?

Jewish women don’t often wear wigs before getting married. Although they can and do if their hair is thinning, they are losing hair, or undergoing medical procedures that make them lose their hair.

Does a wig need to be certified Kosher to be worn by a Jewish woman?

A “Jewish wig” or a wig that an Orthodox Jewish woman would wear are labeled as “kosher wigs.”

Some producers still sew a label stating that the wig complies with Torah law into their products. Your wig is Hebrew if the title has Hebrew writing on it.

A Jew cannot profit from anything that was used in idolatry’s service, according to Torah law. Several years ago, India was the source of a sizable portion of the hair used for wigs. It was discovered that Indian women occasionally cut their hair as a part of an idolatrous ceremony and that this hair was then sold to wig makers.

Some ladies at that time ceased wearing human hair wigs altogether. While others made sure that their wigs had certifications proving that they weren’t from this source. And that hey were, in fact, legal under Jewish law.

Wigs: Advantages and Disadvantages

This section will benefit you if you’re thinking about getting a sheitel for yourself. Even if you’re just curious about what Jewish women wear and their experiences. The benefits and drawbacks of wig use are listed below.


Wigs save time; nonetheless, the time it takes to install one will depend on your preferences. You can complete a hairstyle on the low-maintenance end of the range in the same amount of time it takes you to put on a hat!

They conceal hair loss. When women experience thinning or hair loss, getting used to their new appearance might take some time. Fortunately, wigs can help you mask the signs of hair loss while you wait for it to regrow.

Your locks can be changed – You may get almost any style you want by using a wig to rapidly alter your hair’s appearance.

Your hair is protected by wigs, which is why they are frequently referred to as protective styles. They are known to maintain your hair in place.

Your hair is protected by wigs, which is why they are frequently referred to as protective styles. They protect your hair from the elements and offer your strands time to heal. Your natural hair gets a reprieve from daily styling and wearing demands. Then you have the option of using wigs because you don’t have to style it as frequently.

They allow you to try out various hairstyles. A wig can let you test out a new cut or color if you’re unsure how it will appear with your face and clothing. They can lessen your worry during a huge transition or assist you in avoiding fashion faux pas.


They might feel uneasy – Any woman who has ever worn a wig is familiar with the relief you get after a long day when you take it off. They may be uncomfortable, scratchy, and tight.

Wigs are costly – Wigs of higher caliber are expensive. The materials’ quality, as well as the length and thickness of the hair, are the key determinants of price.

They could lead you to become overheated if the material of the cap isn’t sufficiently permeable. This is especially true for anyone who lives somewhere that gets hot and humid.

Some wigs can harm your hair or scalp – Although wigs are typically protective, if you don’t use them properly, they can damage your hair. 

Wigs or not, Jewish women look stunning anytime, anywhere.


There you have it, then! Although some Jewish women choose to wear wigs for purely personal reasons, many do so to follow the strict Jewish law. We hope this article has helped you learn more about Jewish wig-wearing tradition!

Wigs or not, Jewish women look stunning anytime, anywhere.