Halachically Speaking: The 3 Weeks (Part 6)



The custom of Ashkenazim49 is not to take haircuts from Shiva Asar B’tamuz until after Tisha B’av.50 This applies to both men and women.51 The reason for this is since one does not take a haircut so often, if we were allowed to take haircuts until Rosh Chodesh Av it would not be recognizable that we let our hair grow after Rosh Chodesh, therefore, the custom is to refrain from haircuts for the entire three week period.52 This stands true even for the honor of Shabbos.53 One is permitted to comb his hair even if some hair may fall out.54

Some say an Ashkenazi can give a Sefardi a haircut since the Sefardi is permitted to have a haircut until the week of Tisha B’av,55 but l’halacha one should not do so.56 Others say if a Sefardi (who is permitted to take a haircut until the week of Tisha B’av) wishes he can be stringent and not give haircuts to Ashkenazim, but according to the letter of the law doing so is permitted.57

An adult may not give a child a haircut,58 since one should teach his children about the churban,59 however, if it is for the need of the child then doing so is permitted until the week of Tisha B’av.60 One should avoid performing an upsherin of a child during the three weeks.61

The haircut which is forbidden refers to the head and beard (shaving).62 If one’s mustache is getting long and in the way of eating, it may be shaven.63

One who works in a place that if he does not shave or take a haircut he will lose his job, may shave or take a haircut during the three weeks, except for the week of Tisha B’av.64 

A woman whose hair grows long enough that it starts coming out of her head covering may shave it.65 The same is true if the shaving is done for tznius reasons.66 Going for electrolysis is permitted for a woman.67 A woman is permitted to tweeze her eyebrows during the three weeks.68 A sheitel which needs to be fixed or cut is permitted until Rosh Chodesh Av.69 A girl70 who is involved with dating can shave before she goes on a date.71

Some say if one’s hair is so long that it is a chatzitzah for hilchos tefillin then one is permitted to take a haircut.72 It is permitted for the one who is making a bris (father of the child),73 the mohel, and sandek to shave for the bris, until the week of Tisha B ’av.74A chosson during his sheva berochos is permitted to shave since it is like a Yom Tov for him.75

The opinion of some poskim is to be lenient for a bar-mitzvah boy to take a haircut if the bar-mitzvah is before the week that Tisha B’av falls out,76 but other say this should not be done,77 and this is the custom of many.

Compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits who can be reached at [email protected]

Reviewed by Rabbi Ben-zion Schiffenbauer Shlita

All Piskei Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita are Reviewed by Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita