NY Times Profiles Japanese Shaitel Macher

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shaitel“If life was fair, I’d be 5 foot 5,” Atsuko Tanaka said as she fondled a thick strand of hair and worked it over with a comb and blow dryer. Even with the stylist chair set to its lowest level, and standing on tiptoes, Ms. Tanaka had trouble styling the higher regions of the client’s head.

“They call me the Japanese sheitel macher,” she said, using a Yiddish term for wig seller. Ms. Tanaka does not speak Yiddish and she does not even sell wigs, but she has become the stylist to see for a certain set of moneyed women who follow a tradition often associated with modesty, even if the wig prices can top $5,000.

Read more at the NEW YORK TIMES.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Many of today’s Poskim like the late Harav Eliyashev z”l the Posek HaDoor say that a wig that looks like real hair is prohibited from wearing, for the simple reason of not being able to tell if it’s a wig or real hair and a married women should not be dressed like a single girl showing off her hair.

    A wig from 50-60 years ago looked like steel-wool, and believe me it was not very attractive, but today’s wigs look and same time are real hair therefor many Poskim hold that one should refrain from wearing it.

    That’s why many people in Israel (some Chasidim world wide too) do not wear any type of wigs just a Teichel a scarf around their head to cover their head shaven or not.

    They really try to make a point of showing that they are married in order do discouraging a relationship with a married man.

    It should be obvious that she is already married and she has her man already.

    Please for give me for being so to the point but I felt it’s important to explain why many don’t wear a wig after they get married.

  2. Many women who work need to have wigs that look like real hair. However, a sheitel suitable for an office doesn’t look anything like the $5,000 jobs pictured. Also, a wife wants to look good for her husband. There is such a thing as moderation. The wig shouldn’t look like “steel wool,” nor should it look like it was being worn to who knows where, Let’s hear it for good old-fashioned common sense.

  3. “They’re paying too much for modesty,” Ms. Tanaka said. “My clients want me to cover their head with something that looks better than their own hair.”

    Yowsers… That’s a quote from the original article in the NYT… not very flattering.

  4. Personally, I don’t believe that there are $7000 wigs…I think she’s throwing out a number for affectation…sheer stupidity, let alone $5000 for a shaitel.


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