Making ghusl with plaits or braids
Q: Does a woman with braided hair or plaits have to undo them before performing ghusl?
“It is not obligatory for a woman to undo her plaits as long as the water passes to the roots of her hair. This is due to the hadith of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, I am a woman who plaits my hair, should I undo them in order to make ghusl from major ritual impurity?’ He said, ‘No, it is sufficient for you to pour three scoops of water over your head, then pour water over you, then you will become pure.’ (Muslim 330, Abu Dawud 251). However, if her hair is locked or knotted, then it must be undone. Making water pass in between the plaits is not obligatory.”
Answered by Shaykh Bilal Brown
 Maliki: “He scoops water over his head with his hands three times washing the roots of his hair with them, a woman does this and gathers the hair of her head, however, she does not have to undo her plaits.” (Al-Risalah, Chapter of Ghusl).
Shaykh Abdul Majid al-Sharnubi commented on this passage saying:
“If it is in one or two locks, not tensely locked, so that the water can enter in between them. A man is the same as a woman in regards to this ruling.” (Taqrib al-Ma’ani, Chapter of Ghusl).
 “If a woman has hair that is plaited, then she does not have to undo it when making ghusl from major ritual impurity. Her ghusl after menstruation is the same as her ghusl from major ritual impurity, they do not differ..” (Al-Umm, Chapter of the Method of Ghusl).
“If a woman has plaits, then she does not have to undo them if the water reaches them… However, if the water does not reach them unless by undoing them, then she must undo them because making water reach the hair and skin is obligatory.” (Al-Majmu’, Chapter of the Description of Ghusl).
 “It is obligatory to make water reach the skin and under the hair if it is thick due to the hadith of A’ishah. However, it is not obligatory to undo it if it is plaited due to what Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated…”(Al-Kafi, Chapter on the Description of Ghusl from Major Ritual Impurity).
 (Maraqi al-Falah, Section Clarifying the Obligatory Parts of Ghusl).