Kosher wigs are a reference to human hair wigs that are constructed in keeping with Jewish norms. These wigs receive a certification from rabbi who oversees their construction and ensures that they are in complete adherence to the rules laid by halachic requirements. This became a norm soon after the major controversies that took place in 1990 and 2005 over the fact that hair of Indian origin were used in the wigs.

A debate began to rage on whether the hair that was shaved off during pagan, in this case Hindu religious ceremonies was to be considered unclean. This thinking was based on the fact that Jews are not allowed to benefit in any way from acts that promote or follow idol worship. Since the Hindu religion is based on idol worship, it was felt that such hair would not fit into the making of wigs for Jews. It was felt that no good was possible from such procurements.

Rabbi teams conducted full investigations to find if there was anything that went against the halachial requirements, but just the news of this enquiry was enough to bring down the demand for wigs made of Indian hair. The entire demand suffered from some really bad publicity. In order to make up for the deficit, hair from Asian countries and that of Europe began to get more popular. Especially hair from European and western nations was believed to be racially closer to the Jewish community.

Kosher wigs today are made from hair from Eastern Europe and from Asia. In most cases the hair from Asian communities is color treated and the texture changed. European hair is largely left as is and therefore also known as “virgin” hair. Kosher Wigs are also constructed from synthetic fibers and are of such high quality that one can even mistake them for real hair. They sometimes supersede natural hair because the initial investments can be high and the upkeep and maintenance can also be expensive.

And now despite the fact that rabbis take the trouble to certify wigs from the observant congregation, there are several women who prefer not to use wigs at all and would rather make do with scarves and other forms of head cover to make up for the loss of hair.

For a married woman her hair is symbol of her sensuality and feminity and is not to be shared with other men. For women who believe in these strictures even kosher wigs will sometimes not fit into the scheme of things for them.