Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Covering hair for mikveh bracha

25 October, 2022


Is it required to cover one’s hair when reciting the bracha for tevila? Is it required for a kallah before the wedding? In general, does a married woman have to cover her hair when she recites a bracha?

Thank you so much for your time.


It is not a strict requirement for a woman to cover her hair while reciting the bracha for tevilah. However, there is a custom among many women (or mikvah attendants) to place a small towel or cloth over one’s hair for the bracha. In theory, a kallah before her wedding wouldn’t need this covering even according to those who are strict about it, but in practice a mikvah attendant will usually put the towel for the kallah as well.

The basic halacha is that if a woman is not in the presence of men, she does not have to be fully covered for brachot and tefillah. However, there is a halachic concept that one should be dressed appropriately for tefillah, as you are standing in front of the King of Kings (hikon likrat E-lohecha). Some halachic authorities maintain that this includes hair covering for a married woman, other poskim do not require it. However, there can be a practical difference in how one dresses depending on their circumstances – while in bed saying kriat Shma, or while in the mikvah, you do not have to be dressed to the same standards while you are davening under normal circumstances.

We recommend reading R’ Henkin’s book, Understanding Tzniut, as well as for more in-depth discussion of the laws of hair covering.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Accessibility Toolbar