How do ultra-orthodox Jewish men get those perfect side curls?

You probably know the curls I mean, but here’s a pic:

Some ultra orthodox men wear side curls that are lank and loose, but many have tight, perfectly cylindrical locks. How do the wearers get their hair to form such perfect cylinders? Do they wear curlers to bed? Roll their hair up with rags, as Shirley Temple was said to do? Do they apply hairspray and setting gel? Do the hair products have to be kosher?

What happens when an orthodox man gets old and bald and doesn’t have enough hair left to form the curls? Does he bobby pin fake ones on?

The only thing I can add:

They are called “payess.

“Payot” seems to be another common version of the term nowadays. Wiki sez:

An article in Kempt magazine:

It’s also worth noting that many/most ethnic Jews have some curl in their hair naturally; it’s easier to get ringlets in hair with natural curl than in totally straight hair.

IANARabbi or specialist in Jewish tonsorial regulations, but AFAIK the payot, like the beard, are merely the result of the prohibition against shaving or cutting facial hair. If a man is naturally devoid of beard or sidelocks, due to age-related hair loss or whatever other reason, AFAIK he is not required to wear false ones.

Kimstu and burpo the wonder mutt, thank you both very much. :slight_smile:

[quote=“burpo_the_wonder_mutt, post:2, topic:753257”]

They are called "payess.

The “…ot” in Standard Hebrew, based on Sephardic, has always been pronounced “…ess” by Ashkenazic Jews, who are the vast majority of ultra-Orthodox in the United States.

“Shabbos”/“Shabbat,” etc.

Addendum regarding peyot and “ultra-Orthodox,” super-duper curls, etc: the length and obviousness of the curls is a cultural thing. Insofar as not shaving your sideburns is a mitzvah a commandment, every Orthodox Jew, even mild-mannered Murray down the hall who doesn’t wear a yarmulke (not a mitzvah) is, religiously speaking, fulfilling the same mitzvah (presuming and assuming he’s faithful), assured by leaving a bit when he shaves or reminding his barber.

The hoopty-doopty-gotta-represent payes you see is culture; in this case, I can think of two related Talmudic strands: 1) if you love a mitzvah, go all out, and 2)and something which itself is a mitzvah, to make your outward appearance distinctive from non-Jews.

So mild-mannered Murray who you never even knew or cared was a Jew has some 'splainin to do on that one. And then there’s the other 611 mitzvot.

Leo, you’re a miracle man! I’ve been debating myself all afternoon about opening up that can of worms (the pronunciation of payess/payot), and here you come and not only ask the question for us, but answer it, too! Thanks! You are a true mensch!

(Mensch is an OK word, isn’t it?) :slight_smile:

I’m a Jewish guy with long hair (not even close to Orthodox) and my hair looks like that naturally.