What is the ruling for selling or donating hair and hair transplant?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The Ruling of Selling Hair
The consensus of scholar states that the sale of human hair is prohibited, for all humans are honoured by Allah SWT. This is in accordance with the statement of Allah SWT:
وَلَقَدۡ كَرَّمۡنَا بَنِيٓ ءَادَمَ
“And We have certainly honoured the children of Adam,”
Surah al-Isra’ (71)
Al-Imam al-Nawawi wrote in his book al-Majmu’, it is prohibited to sell human hair, whether it is attached or cut.  The same is stated in other books from other mazhab, such as Al-‘Inayah Syarh al-Hidayah (Hanafi), Al-‘Adawi in his Hasyiah of Syarh Mukhtasar Khalil (Maliki) and al-Bahuti in his book Kasyyaf al-Qina’ (Hanbali).
The Ruling of Donating Hair
The ruling for donating hair is different according to the situation. If the hair is donated to be attached with other hair, then it is prohibited. This is in accordance with the words of the Prophet PBUH:
لَعَنَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْوَاصِلَةَ وَالْمُسْتَوْصِلَةَ، وَالْوَاشِمَةَ وَالْمُسْتَوْشِمَة
“The Prophet cursed the woman who does hair extensions and the one who has that done, and the woman who does tattoos and the one who has that done.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (5940)
The word curse in the above hadith results in the prohibition of its ruling, for there are elements of deception and changing of Allah SWT’s creation.
Hence, anything that contributes to hair extensions, even if it is donating hair, then it is prohibited.
The Ruling of Hair Transplant
Originally, Islam permits any sort of adornment of which has not been prohibited by the Quran and the hadiths of the Prophet PBUH. The same applies for removing any form of defect on human body.
This is in accordance with a hadith of the Prophet PBUH, where he asked his companion to wear an artificial gold nose, replacing the original nose he lost during a war.
عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ طَرَفَةَ، أَنَّ جَدَّهُ، عَرْفَجَةَ بْنَ أَسْعَدَ قُطِعَ أَنْفُهُ يَوْمَ الْكُلاَبِ فَاتَّخَذَ أَنْفًا مِنْ وَرِقٍ فَأَنْتَنَ عَلَيْهِ فَأَمَرَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاتَّخَذَ أَنْفًا مِنْ ذَهَبٍ
“Abdul Rahman ibn Tarafah said that his grandfather Arfajah ibn As'ad who had his nose cut off at the battle of al-Kilab got a silver nose, but it developed a stench, so the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered him to get a gold nose.”
Sunan Abu Daud (4232)
Majma 'al-Fiqh al-Islami has decided that hair transplant is permissible for those who suffer from severe hair loss. It is based on the decision number 173 in 2007 for beauty surgeries which states:
"Syara’ permits beauty surgeries for dire situations and necessities of which its intended purpose is to remove defects due to fire, accidents, illness and others, such as repairing the skin by transplanting new skin ... hair transplant for those who experienced severe hair loss especially for women ".
In Malaysia, the Muzakarah of the National Council for Religious Affairs for the 94th Islamic Religious Affairs Meeting convened on 20-22 April 2011 had discussed the ruling regarding hair transplant (on one’s head). The Muzakarah has decided as follows:
"Having examined the evidences, arguments and views put forward, muzakarah has decided that Islam does not prevent its followers from performing treatments such as transplanting hair (on one’s head) with the purpose of removing defects, as long as it does not contradict and exceeds the limits set by syara'.
In this regard, muzakarah agreed that hair transplant is permissible on the condition that the hair used is his own hair, using pure ingredients without any elements of najis and there are no harmful effects."
Hence, it is clear that hair transplant is permissible according to the above fatwas on the condition that he uses his own hair and all the materials used is pure. Wallahua’lam.