It’s no secret that long locks are highly revered. Princesses, mermaids, Amazons and modern day celebrities are all crowned with exquisite long locks. Healthful tresses teaming with life have been highly heralded since time remembers with a plethora of cultures that just love long hair. In the Bible, Samson’s strength came from his hair and his powers diminished when his hair was cut. Rapunzel was able to escape confinement because of her long locks. Long hair has often been connected to magic and power.
Native American Indians
For Native American Indians, long hair carries huge significance serving as the physical manifestation of the owner’s thoughts and very being. Serving as a physical extension of the soul, hair was viewed as the pure and sacred expression of Mother Earth through a human vessel. Hair features in tribal stories and folklore where hair was used to defeat evil influence and has even been declared to be the human equivalent of a tail. Hair length was explicitly tied to glory whilst having the hair cut by another represented submission, defeat and humiliation.
In India hair is perceived as a natural gift with plentiful long hair representing the generous bounty of nature. Representative of Kundalini energy, long hair is believed to raise energy levels, tranquillity and a sense of intuition. In India today, long hair is still preferential as an ultra feminine style but the spiritual benefits of longer locks are very much tied into the choice to leave hair long. In the Sikh religion, long hair is mandatory due to its spiritual component.
In China, hair represents class, ethnicity, status and even political alignment. Until very recently within Chinese society, hair was not an outlet for personal style but a symbol of conformity and unity within a cohesively structured society. Hair is tightly connected to a sense of self-respect and was as highly valued as the body itself. Having the hair forcibly cut or shaved was considered a torture against the soul rather than the physical body.
In olden time Russia, women were forbidden to cut their hair particularly when pregnant because it was believed that the hair was protective. Hair was also seen as a sign of wealth and prosperity perhaps because the ability to grow a healthful head of hair requires appropriate nutrition.
The Amish believe that a woman should never cut her hair. Instead the hair should be worn in a bun and covered in a prayer cap. The Amish believe that hair is highly sexual containing pheromones that entice men. To cover the hair is to reduce the sensual impact of hair.
The native Maori warriors of New Zealand believed that to cut hair was a sign of disrespect. In sync with local legend, the head was a highly respected, spiritual body part which should not be touched by strangers. Long hair was also the mark of a warrior; the more manly the man, the longer his hair!