Bat Mitzvah Issues: Finding a Good Hairstyle for the Emerging Young Woman
Your Jewish clients may occasionally seek your guidance and expertise as they prepare for a Bat Mitzvah, the coming of age ritual for a Jewish girl, ages 12 ½ or older.
If your client is a guest of the ceremony or party, the sky is the limit and you need no advice from us.
But, if your client is the Bat Mitzvah girl, then there are certain parameters to styling her hair for her big day.
Service or party?
The Bat Mitzvah girl will be leading parts of a religious service in front of her friends and family. Typically, this religious event is followed by some sort of celebration later, either immediately afterwards, later that night or the next day.
There are different hairstyle needs for the service versus the party.
For the service, consider these issues:
- The hair needs to be away from the face, so that the Bat Mitzvah girl can see what she is reading and so the congregation can see her from all angles. She will be reading Hebrew from a Torah scroll, giving remarks from a prepared speech, leading parts of the service in Hebrew and in English, carrying the Torah scroll into the congregation and being hugged and even manhandled by proud parents, overzealous aunts and uncles and excited friends.
- Bat Mitzvah marks the entry into Jewish adulthood, but that is a religious status, not a mark that she is truly grown up. That is, she is now “counted” at services where a minimum number of people is needed and she is responsible for her own adherence to the Jewish law. We mention this to be sure you understand. She is still a young girl, moving towards adulthood, not an adult. Her mother and grandmother want her to look youthful, and not totally grown up. She will often seek out more grown-up looks. You need to give her appropriate advice so it doesn’t look like she’s wearing her aunt’s hairstyle, but she feels special and confident.
- Be cautious of updo’s. It’s a long day for this girl and she needs something that will stay up and not look too mature. What works for a bride may not work for her.
- Simplicity is key.
- If it can be arranged, lots of girls like to have a little touch-up appointment prior to the party so they can have a more complex, more adult hairstyle for the party.
For the party, there are fewer limitations. Again, help her find the balance between looking like the “star of the show” and having a hairstyle that looks age-appropriate and that she can maintain through a long celebration of dancing, photography and a touch of sweatiness.