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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-04

0711-Patient Guidelines Regarding Hygiene of Physiological Secretions II: Hair

Background material by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. for Year 2 Semester 1 PPSD session on Wednesday 14th November 2007

1.0 SCALP HAIR:

Scalp hair can trap and accumulate infectious and toxic material because of its continuous exposure to the atmosphere. Rubbing the hair with wet hands in ablution helps remove accumulation of possible air-borne pathogens. Scalp hair must be washed and combed regularly to prevent any accumulation of filth. Dyeing, plaiting, hair locking of hair are permissible provided they do not prevent proper cleaning. Proper cleaning of hair requires that water reach the root of the hair.

 

Hair of both men and women can only be dyed with colors other than black. Black dyeing or plucking away white hair is considered deception about the age of a person. An exception to this rule is allowed for the military.

 

Shaving scalp hair is needed when lice and other ecto-parasites are feared to grow in it. It is however offensive, makruh, to shave only part of the head unless there is a medical indication.

 

2.0 THE MOUSTACHE and the BEARD:

It is recommended to trim the moustache and grow the beard. The male beard must be kept to maintain gender identity. Cheek hair is considered part of the beard. Some jurists see that the beard should be left alone to grow without any interference. Other jurists see that the beard should be trimmed and not left to grow wild or to grow beyond the size that can be maintained hygienically. Grey hair can be dyed with any color but black. The beard should be washed during ablution. Regular combing of the beard is necessary to prevent accumulation of dirt.

 

3.0 Armpit hair:

Cutting axillary hair is recommended and is necessary for hygiene. Sweat accumulating under the arm-pit may give rise to pungent odors.

 

4.0 Pubic hair:

Cutting and regular cleaning of pubic hair is recommended and ensures cleanliness.

 

5.0 Trunk hair:

Skin hair can be shaved as needed for cleanliness. Regular washing and shaving of abdominal, chest hair, pubic hair, and axillary hair is recommended for hair hygiene. Women are allowed to shave off excess body hair. The woman is allowed to shave face hair.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. November, 2007