Fatwa ID: 03478
Answered by: Alimah Sabrina al-Faarsiyyah
I have a young and immature sister who has not been baligh for very long. She has been praying Salah daily and is aware of the basic concepts regarding purity. However, for a few months, she started neglecting her hair, not combing it thoroughly, and it has built up into a very large, tangled mess. She was scared or embarrassed to let anyone else know what a silly thing she had done. (I guess it was partly laziness as well as negligence).
As the hair had built up into a very thick tangle, a hair comb could not get through it anymore. The size of the tangle was fairly large, with her hair being medium and long.
My question is that if she had been having ghusl after Haidh finished and her hair was in the state described, would the ghusl have been valid? I don't know if water would have penetrated through the thickness of her tangled hair. A test on a thickly scrunched up towel showed the water had penetrated through the thick layer, but I don't know about the hair. Please advise.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Generally, one is required to wet all of their hair for ghusl to be valid. However, a woman who has several tight braids is excused from having to individually open every braid to make sure the hair gets wet. Rather, making sure the roots of the hair that are on her scalp gets wet is enough. This is mainly to avoid the difficulty she will have to face every time to braid and unbraid her hair.
With regards to hair that gets tangled to the point that it is difficult to open the hair, then such a woman’s ghusl is valid provided that the water had reached the roots of her hair.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Sabrina al-Faarsiyyah
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Al-Fatawa Al-Hindiyyah, 1/64, Al-Maktabah Al-Faisal
وَلَيْسَ عَلَى الْمَرْأَةِ أَنْ تَنْقُضَ ضَفَائِرَهَا فِي الْغُسْلِ إذَا بَلَغَ الْمَاءُ أُصُولَ الشَّعْرِ وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهَا بَلُّ ذَوَائِبِهَا هُوَ الصَّحِيحُ. كَذَا فِي الْهِدَايَةِ.
وَلَوْ كَانَ شَعْرُ الْمَرْأَةِ مَنْقُوضًا يَجِبُ إيصَالُ الْمَاءِ إلَى أَثْنَائِهِ وَيَجِبُ عَلَى الرَّجُلِ إيصَالُ الْمَاءِ إلَى أَثْنَاءِ اللِّحْيَةِ كَمَا يَجِبُ إلَى أُصُولِهَا وَإِلَى أَثْنَاءِ شَعْرِهِ وَإِنْ كَانَ ضَفِيرًا. كَذَا فِي مُحِيطِ السَّرَخْسِيِّ.