Question # 252: As salaamu alaikum… I would like to know if permissible for women to cut hair fringe in cases whereby thinning of hair? Jazzakumu Allahu Khairun

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: There is nothing in the Qur’an or authentic hadith to disallow a woman from cutting her hair. However, it is forbidden to shave it (except in case of sickness) and the haircut should not resemble that of men as well as non-believing / immoral women. 

Long Answer: Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “We do not know anything (to disallow) cutting women’s hair. What is forbidden is shaving it. You should not shave your hair but you may cut it and reduce its length or volume; we know of nothing wrong with that. But that should be done in a proper manner which will please you and your husband. You should come to some agreement with him on a kind of haircut that does not resemble kaafir women, because if you leave it long, it will be a lot of trouble to wash it and comb it. So, if the hair is very long or thick, and the woman cuts it to reduce its length or volume, that doesn’t matter. Cutting some of it will make it more beautiful, which will please both the woman and her husband. So, we do not know of any reason to disallow that. But shaving it altogether is not permissible, except in the case of sickness. And Allah is the Source of strength.” (Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah)

It was narrated in Saheeh Muslim that Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan said: “The wives of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to cut their hair until it came just below their ears.” (al-Hayd, 320) Al-Nawawi said: this indicates that it is permissible for women to cut their hair short. But women should avoid resembling kaafir women or immoral women when they cut their hair.

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said: “It is not permissible for a woman to cut her hair short in the back and leave the sides longer, because this involves disfiguring and fooling about with her hair which is part of her beauty, and it also involves imitating the kaafir women. This prohibition also applies to haircuts which are named after kaafir women or animals… because it is haraam to imitate the kaafirs or to imitate animals, and because that involves fooling about with a woman’s hair which is part of her beauty.” (Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah)

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad). Similarly, they are not permitted to cut their hair short in ways that resemble men’s hairstyles, because of the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men.” (Reported by al-Bukhari)

(The above reply is based on answer by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.