561. Brushing Hair; Drying Hands

In an introductory note to this chapter, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch writes that most Jews are already familiar with the prohibited labors of Shabbos and that he is only addressing common situations with which people may not be familiar. Clearly, the laws of Shabbos constitute an area requiring much greater study than this email alone will allow.

80:31 Hair may not be braided or unbraided on Shabbos. A girl may, however, fix her hair using her hands. If the bristles of a brush are very firm so that some hair will inevitably be pulled out, that brush may not be used on Shabbos. If the bristles are not that firm, it may be used to fix one’s hair; this is especially true of brushes designed for use as hair brushes.

80:32 If a garment or something similar gets dirty, it may be wiped off with a cloth but one may not pour water on it because doing so resembles laundering. Therefore, if a child has a bathroom accident in his clothes, one may not pour water on the spot. If the child urinated on the ground or on an item made of wood or leather, one may pour water there, as this does not resemble laundering. When washing hands and one wants to dry them on a towel, it’s preferable to rub his hands together well in order to remove any excess water so that only a little water remains. A little water doesn’t resemble laundering; in fact, it’s considered dirtying the towel. There is no reason to be concerned about this when it comes to a colored towel, which isn’t laundered as often as a white towel. (Mishnah Brurah 302:50 does not require one to shake off the excess water before drying his hands even on a white towel but he approves of the practice done voluntarily.)