Washing Hair for Women after Sexual Intercourse
  • Question:

    My wife doesn’t want to have sex with me a lot because her hair is so long it touches her waist and apparently she has to wash it after intercourse and dry it which takes an hour so what shall I do? Does she have to wash her whole hair?


    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    There are two separate issues that must be addressed here. One is the right of the spouse to have intercourse, and the other is the washing of the hair while doing ghusl.

    As for the first issue, the Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized the right of the spouse to be sexually satisfied. This is not an exclusive right of the husband but rather the right of both spouses upon one another in order to encourage halal intimacy so that one does not seek satisfaction through impermissible means. So if the husband in this case desires his wife, she cannot disregard his want to have sexual intercourse on the basis of her long hair. If what Is troubling her is the length of her hair, she should trim it within permissible boundaries to make it easier to maintain. The right of the husband to have intercourse with his wife is far more important than her desire to have long her.

    As for the second issue which is washing the hair while doing ghusl, yes she must wash her entire hair unless her hair is braided. If the hair is braided it does not need to be undone. This is taken from the hadeeth of Umm Salamah (ra) who said: “I said, oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), I am a woman who braids her hair, should I undo it to do ghusl after having intercourse?’ He said, ‘No. It is enough for you to pour water over your head three times.’” (Muslim). Ayesha (ra) also said “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and I used to do ghusl using one vessel, and I never did more than pour water on my head three times.’” (Muslim) This is when Ayesha (ra) had braided hair. Otherwise a woman must wash all of her hair to the roots.

    May Allah allow you both to find a reasonable resolution and bless your marriage. Ameen.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Omar Suleiman
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Director – Islamic Learning Foundation
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