What Does the Bible Say About Our Hair?

By Faith Way

What does the Bible say about our hair? In this blog post, we will explore the biblical teachings surrounding this topic. Hair holds cultural and personal significance, and understanding its role in the Bible can provide insights into our own beliefs and practices. From guidelines on hairstyles and grooming to symbolic representations, the Bible offers various references that shed light on the significance of hair in the context of spirituality and devotion. Let’s delve into the scriptures to uncover the wisdom and teachings concerning our hair.

The Importance of Hair in Biblical Times

In ancient cultures, including biblical times, hair held significant cultural and religious importance. It served as a symbol of identity, status, and spiritual devotion. Let’s delve into the significance of hair in ancient cultures and explore how it was seen as a symbol in the Bible.

The Significance of Hair in Ancient Cultures

Hair was highly regarded in ancient cultures, often seen as a reflection of one’s overall well-being and vitality. Different cultures had their unique beliefs and practices surrounding hair. For instance, in ancient Egypt, long and well-groomed hair was associated with health, beauty, and prosperity. They believed that hair possessed a spiritual energy that connected individuals to the divine.

Hair as a Symbol of Identity and Status in the Bible

In the Bible, hair was not only seen as a physical attribute but also as a symbol of identity and status. It played a significant role in distinguishing various groups of people and signifying different roles within society.

  1. Nazirites and their Long Hair: One notable example is the Nazirites, who took a vow of consecration to God. As part of their commitment, they were forbidden to cut their hair. Their long hair symbolized their devotion and separation from worldly pursuits. Samson, a famous biblical figure, was a Nazirite known for his extraordinary strength, which he believed was derived from his uncut hair.
  2. Hair Covering for Women: In biblical times, women’s hair was considered a valuable asset and a sign of beauty. However, it was also believed that a woman’s hair should be covered, primarily as a symbol of modesty and submission. The Apostle Paul mentions this practice in his letters to the Corinthians, emphasizing the importance of women covering their hair during worship.
  3. Priests and Shaved Heads: Another example is the priests in ancient Israel. As part of their consecration to serve in the temple, the priests were required to shave their heads. This act not only signified their separation from the rest of the community but also symbolized their dedication to God and their priestly duties.

Image: Representation of biblical-era hairstyles

Understanding the significance of hair in biblical times allows us to appreciate the cultural context in which various events and teachings unfolded. It helps us grasp the underlying meaning behind practices and rituals mentioned throughout the Bible.

Hair, as a symbol in ancient cultures and the Bible, reveals deep insights into the beliefs, values, and social dynamics prevalent during those times. It serves as a reminder that hair was not merely a superficial aspect of appearance but held immense spiritual and cultural significance.

By acknowledging the importance of hair in biblical times, we gain a richer understanding of biblical narratives, characters, and the cultural context in which they existed.

Gender Roles and Hair

The concept of gender roles and its association with hair is a topic that can be explored through the lens of biblical teachings. The Bible provides guidelines and insights into the significance of hair for both men and women. Let’s delve into the specific guidelines for men’s and women’s hair in the Bible.

Guidelines for Men’s Hair in the Bible

In biblical times, men’s hair was typically kept shorter and well-groomed. It was considered a symbol of masculinity and orderliness. While the Bible does not provide explicit commands regarding the length or style of men’s hair, there are a few passages that offer indirect guidelines.

  1. 1 Corinthians 11:14 states, “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him?” This verse suggests that excessively long hair on men may be seen as inappropriate or dishonorable.
  2. Leviticus 19:27 says, “You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.” This verse emphasizes the significance of maintaining a well-groomed appearance, with attention given to both facial hair and the hairline.

It’s important to note that cultural norms and interpretations may vary, and these guidelines should be considered within the context of individual beliefs and traditions.

Guidelines for Women’s Hair in the Bible

The Bible also provides insights and instructions for women regarding the maintenance and presentation of their hair. The general biblical view suggests that women’s hair is an adornment and a symbol of modesty and femininity.

  1. 1 Timothy 2:9 advises women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and self-control.” While this verse does not specifically mention hair, it implies the importance of modesty in one’s appearance, which may include the way women style their hair.
  2. 1 Corinthians 11:15 explains, “But if a woman has long hair, it is her glory; for her hair is given to her for a covering.” This verse highlights the significance of long hair as a natural covering and a symbol of femininity.

The Bible encourages women to embrace their natural beauty and view their hair as a sign of God’s design. However, the interpretation of these guidelines may differ across cultures and religious practices.

woman lying on ground (Photo by Kelemen Boldizsár)

By understanding these biblical guidelines, individuals can make informed choices regarding their hairstyle while considering personal beliefs and societal expectations. The key takeaway is to honor and embrace one’s gender identity while maintaining a respectful and modest appearance, as inspired by biblical teachings.

Sacredness of Hair in Some Biblical Instances

In the Bible, hair is often associated with sacredness and carries symbolic meaning in various instances. Let’s explore two notable examples: Samson and the power of his hair, and the practice of hair consecration through Nazirite vows.

Samson and the Power of His Hair

Samson, a central figure in the Book of Judges, possessed extraordinary strength that was attributed to his long hair. According to the biblical account, Samson’s strength was linked to the vow of a Nazirite, which included abstaining from cutting his hair. This unique aspect of his appearance was a physical representation of his dedication to God.

However, when Samson’s hair was cut by Delilah, the woman who deceived him, his strength left him. This story serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of hair in relation to divine empowerment and consecration.

Nazirite Vows and Hair Consecration

The concept of Nazirite vows, described in the Book of Numbers, also emphasizes the sacred nature of hair. When individuals took on a Nazirite vow, they would set themselves apart for a specific period, dedicating themselves to God. During this time, they would refrain from cutting their hair, among other practices.

Hair consecration through Nazirite vows signified a person’s commitment and consecration to God. It was an outward expression of their devotion and willingness to fulfill their vow. This practice reinforced the belief that hair was not just a superficial aspect of appearance but held deep spiritual meaning.

By maintaining their hair in its natural state, those who observed Nazirite vows displayed their desire to remain devoted to God and separate themselves from worldly distractions.

A Man Combing his Hair in Front of a Mirror (Photo by Minh Tri)

The connection between hair and sacredness in these instances highlights the significance of physical appearance as an outward expression of one’s spiritual commitment. It emphasizes the importance of honoring and respecting the consecrated aspects of ourselves, including our hair.

These examples from the Bible remind us that hair is not merely a superficial feature but can carry deep spiritual meaning and symbolism. They encourage us to reflect on the sacredness of our own physical attributes and how they can serve as reminders of our devotion to a higher power.

Hair, in its unaltered and consecrated state, can be seen as a visual representation of our commitment to our faith and a channel through which we connect with the divine.

Let us now delve deeper into other biblical perspectives on hair and its significance.

Modesty and Hair Covering

In the realm of faith and religious practices, the interpretation of biblical teachings can vary among different Christian denominations. One such area of discourse revolves around the topic of modesty and hair covering. Let’s delve into the Scriptural references to hair covering for women and explore the interpretations and practices across various Christian denominations.

Scriptural References to Hair Covering for Women

The subject of hair covering for women finds its roots in the Bible. One of the primary Scriptural references is found in 1 Corinthians 11:6, which states, “For if a wife will not cover her head, she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.” This verse highlights the significance of women covering their heads as a symbol of modesty and submission.

Another passage relating to hair covering is found in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, which encourages women to dress modestly and not draw attention to their outward appearance but instead focus on godliness and good works. While this verse doesn’t explicitly mention hair covering, it is often interpreted as an extension of a woman’s commitment to modesty.

Interpretations and Practices in Different Christian Denominations

The interpretation and practice of hair covering for women vary among different Christian denominations. Here we will explore a few examples:


Within Catholicism, the practice of women covering their heads has evolved over time. Originally, it was customary for women to wear veils or hats when attending church services. However, this practice has become less common in many Catholic communities in recent years. While it is not mandatory, some women still choose to cover their heads as a sign of reverence and respect during religious ceremonies.

Orthodox Christianity

In Orthodox Christian traditions, the practice of women covering their heads, often with scarves or veils, is more prevalent. This practice is deeply rooted in the belief that a woman’s hair is a sacred and private aspect that should be modestly covered in the presence of God.

Protestant Denominations

Among various Protestant denominations, the practice of hair covering for women is not as common or uniformly practiced. Some more conservative branches, such as certain Anabaptist groups, interpret the biblical teachings on head coverings quite literally and require women to cover their heads during worship services. On the other hand, many mainstream Protestant denominations do not view hair covering as a mandatory practice but emphasize the importance of modesty in attire and behavior.

It’s important to note that interpretations and practices surrounding hair covering for women can vary even within the same denominations, as individual believers may hold different views on the matter.

Hair as a Reflection of Personal Expression

Our hair is more than just strands growing out of our scalps. It serves as a powerful form of personal expression, allowing us to showcase our unique style, personality, and creativity. In this section, we will explore the freedom to style and care for our hair, as well as the importance of inner beauty over external appearance.

The Freedom to Style and Care for One’s Hair

Diverse teenage friends with unusual hairstyles looking at camera on white background of studio (Photo by Anna Shvets)

When it comes to our hair, the possibilities are endless. We have the freedom to experiment with different colors, lengths, textures, and hairstyles to create a look that truly represents who we are. Whether it’s rocking a vibrant rainbow ombre, embracing natural curls, or donning a sleek and polished updo, our hair choices allow us to make a statement without saying a word.

Not only does the freedom to style our hair empower us, but it also allows us to connect with our cultural and ethnic roots. Different cultures have their own unique hair traditions and practices, and by embracing these traditions, we can celebrate and honor our heritage. From intricate braids to ornate headpieces, our hair becomes a canvas for cultural expression and pride.

Furthermore, caring for our hair is an act of self-care and self-love. Regular maintenance, such as washing, conditioning, and nourishing our hair, not only keeps it healthy and vibrant but also allows us to prioritize our well-being. Taking the time to pamper ourselves through hair care rituals can be a form of relaxation and rejuvenation, ultimately boosting our confidence and overall sense of self.

The Importance of Inner Beauty Over External Appearance

Back View Photo of Woman in White Towel Standing In Front of a Mirror (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

While our hair is an essential part of our outward appearance, it is crucial to remember that true beauty radiates from within. The Bible teaches us that beauty should not be solely based on external adornment but on the inward qualities of the heart.

When we cultivate inner beauty, such as kindness, love, humility, and compassion, it surpasses the transient nature of physical appearance. Our hair may change over time, but the beauty that stems from a pure heart stands the test of time. It is this inner beauty that truly reflects our character and shapes the way we interact with others.

As we focus on nurturing our inner beauty, we can inspire and uplift those around us. Our actions, words, and attitudes carry more weight than any external features. By displaying love, generosity, and forgiveness, we exemplify the values that the Bible encourages us to embrace.

In conclusion, our hair serves as a reflection of our personal expression, allowing us to showcase our individuality and cultural heritage. While we have the freedom to experiment with different hairstyles, colors, and textures, it is essential to remember that true beauty radiates from within. Cultivating inner beauty and cherishing the qualities of the heart are what truly matter, as they have a lasting impact on our lives and the lives of others.


In conclusion, the Bible does address the topic of hair in various passages. It emphasizes the importance of modesty, humility, and natural beauty. The Bible encourages both men and women to take care of their hair as a part of their overall appearance. However, it also emphasizes that inner beauty and character are far more important than outward appearances. Ultimately, the decision regarding our hair should be guided by personal convictions and the desire to honor God in all that we do.

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