Is It Impermissible To Cut the Hair From Women’s Head From Any Length?

CategoriesWomen's Issues [286]

Fatwa ID: 06969


Answered by: Alimah Saleha Bukhari Islam




Is it impermissible to cut the hair from women’s head from/at any length? How much length from the head is considered too long without it splitting and is permissible to cut?



In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful




Ulama refer to two hadith narrations to explain why it is impermissible for women to cut their hair:


  1. To avoid imitating men (i.e., avoid shaving and short hair)
  2. To avoid imitating non-believing women


For men and women to imitate nonbelievers, and for women to imitate men and vice versa has been forbidden in several Hadiths. The Ahadith explain that such people will invite the curse of Allah and be sinful.



Abdullāh ibn Umar (ra) reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:


“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”       [Abu Dawud, 4031] [1]


Also, The Prophet of Allah has cursed those men who imitate women and those women who imitate men.”        [Sahih Bukhari P874 V.2] [2]


Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad has also forbidden women from shaving their hair. It was narrated from ‘Ali:

“The Messenger of Allah forbade women to shave their heads.”

[An-Nasai 5049] [3]



The hair is viewed as an adornment and is a means of beautification for women, and the reason she observes modesty and covers it. If men and women looked the same, there would be much confusion and disruption to the pattern of coexisting as two distinct sexes. Men and women were created to complement each other and so must avoid resembling each other. Muslims are discouraged in imitating non-Muslims for Islam has its own norms and cultures which can be followed, and in fact the following of them is better for forming a Muslim identity.


It is not permissible for women to cut their hair per se without a valid reason. A valid reason could be for health or medical purposes. If for example, there is a Darurah when a woman has brittle hair and suffers excessive breakage causing hair loss (as can be the case with menopausal women) then the hair will need to be trimmed to repair and restore. Another example, if it becomes necessary for a permanently sick woman to cut her hair for personal hygiene reasons as this now becomes a Haraj for her.


A necessity can call for a relaxation or dispensation from the original rulings. There is a fundamental principle in Islamic jurisprudence that rests on this understanding: [4]


Necessity permits prohibitions.

(Al Qawaid Al-Fiqhiyya, Dar Makkah p.16)


This principle is a branch of a legal maxim termed by scholars:


“Harm is removed”

(Al Qawaid Al-Fiqhiyya, Dar Makkah p.17) [5]


We can conclude that it is not permissible for women to cut their hair per se. Keeping long hair distinguishes women from men, which is important in Islam. However, when the need arises to trim hair such as during Umrah and Hajj, or for restoring the health of the hair and when necessity dictates; then a fingers length is cut off or however much the concession allows.



Only Allah (عز و جل) knows best.

Written by Alimah Saleha Bukhari Islam

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham





[1]  عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «من تَشبَّه بقوم، فهو منهم»


[2]  عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المتشبهين من الرجال بالنساء والمتشبهات من النساء بالرجال رواه البخاري وأبو داود والترمذي والنسائي وابن ماجه والطبراني (الترغيب والترهيب رقم 3139)


[3] أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُوسَى الْحَرَشِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا هَمَّامٌ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ خِلاَسٍ، عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ تَحْلِقَ الْمَرْأَةُ رَأْسَهَا ‏.‏


[4]  (الضرورات تبيح المحظورات).


[5] (الضرر يزال)







About the author