What were the hairstyles of the women who lived during the time of the Prophet?
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
In-depth knowledge about the hair of women who lived in the time of the Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is quite limited due to those great women, companions of the best of creation, having adopted the utmost level of modesty.
However, based on various Prophetic Traditions, it is understood that women in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) kept their hair in different styles as long as it was permissible.
For a detailed study of exactly what haircut/hairstyles are permissible for women, one would have to look at the science of Islamic Law.
Umm Salamah (Allah be pleased with her) the wife of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I am a woman with tightly braided hair; should I undo it when performing Ghusl from Janabah?’ He said: ‘No it is sufficient for you to pour three handfuls of water over your body.’” [Nasai, al-Sunan]
Abu Salama (Allah be pleased with him) said: The wives of the Apostle (Allah bless him and give him peace) collected hair on their heads (whilst taking a bath), and this hair lopped up to the ears (i.e. it was long) [Muslim, al-Sahih]
We see from the above narration that the women kept their hair long.
Not Cutting All Their Hair
“The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) forbade women to shave their heads.” [
Not Keeping a Hairstyle That Resembles a Man
“The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) cursed those women who imitate men and those men who imitate women.” (Tirmidhi, al-Sunan)
Not Using Extensions (made from human hair)
A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that a girl of the Ansar who had fallen ill and had lost her hair. They (her relatives) thought of adding false hair (to her head), so they asked Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) about it, whereupon he cursed the woman who adds false hair and the woman who asks for it. [Muslim, al-Sahih]
And Allah knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani