Yakima boy with mid-back level hair. Photo by Edward S. Many Native American men wore long hair before the arrival of western influences on their culture. In Cherokee legends, for example, males said to be handsome were often described as having "long hair almost to the ground" or similar formulas. Both men and women of these cultures have frequently struggled to maintain their tradition but have faced heavy opposition. Many consider it a sign of giving in to western influences to have their hair cut.
Mountain men and trappers who adopted the customs were also considered amoral, and often identified by their long hair. Many former slaves tried to conform their hairstyles as part of this struggle. Women, especially, felt pressure to make their hair straight, rather than keeping the tightly coiled style they had known.
More recently, hair-extensions have become widespread. Scholars have pointed out the continued pressure on black women to have straight smooth hair. Amelia Jones points out that dolls for children, such as Barbies , add to this pressure, citing as an example a new, black Barbie with straight hair. Blacks, she believes, should be able to be themselves without feeling pressured to "tame" their hair.
Throughout much of Africa, afro-textured hair is the most frequent hair form, except among the Afro-Asiatic Hamito-Semitic speaking populations in North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
In the latter regions, naturally long hair is instead more common. Long, thick hair was seen as a sign of health, strength, and capability to bear many children. In keeping with this general theme, women who were too young for marriage would shave a portion of their heads to signal so.
This tradition, however, did not extend to every West African culture, as several valued shorter hair. Long hair is associated with private life and sexuality. East Asian cultures see long, unkempt hair in a woman as a sign of sexual intent or a recent sexual encounter, as usually their hair is tied up. Chinese orthodox Christian man from Nosu girls in China Judaism[ edit ] Habbani Jews feasting in a Passover Seder.
Habbani Jews tend to lengthen their hair. In the Old Testament , the Nazirites would go for long periods of time without cutting their hair to show devotion to God. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: But if any seem contentious, we have no such custom, neither do the churches of God.
Hair is not cut during a time of mourning. The Torah in Deuteronomy Transjordanian Bedouin with shoulder length hair, during World War II In the Muslim world, it seems the trend of hair styles is now favouring short over long in men. In the past, Bedouin Muslims often wore their hair in long braids, but influences from the Western world have caused a change in attitudes.
Bedouins are now less likely to have long hair. However, modern North African men have adopted Western short hair. Muslims regard the Prophet Muhammad as the best example to live by, and try to emulate him whenever possible.
The Islamic Prophet Muhammad reportedly in Sahih Muslim had hair that "hung over his shoulders and earlobes". The Messenger of Allah. Hadith does mention that women should not imitate men, and vice versa, and hence many scholars on this assumption, decree that women should let their hair grow longer than the hair of the Prophet, reaching beyond their shoulders, as hadith mentions that the Prophet had his hair between his shoulder and his earlobes. He described Jesus's hair, which hung to his earlobes, as long.
Some Muslims are also opposed to men having long hair as it is also important in Islam to have clear differences in appearance between sexes. And generally these cultures encourage women to have long hair and men to have short hair. Similar measures have been taken by Islamists in Iraq. Dervishes of some Sufi orders, such as the Kasnazani , often have long hair and whirl it around during rituals.
Most people would never cut their hair after they became adults, and cutting off one's hair was a penalty for minor crimes.
Both men and women would coil up their hair and many hair-coiling styles were developed. Beginning in , the ethnic Manchu Qing dynasty forced all men in China to adopt the queue: Hair length and style became a life-or-death matter in as the Manchu told them either their hair or their head would be cut. Nearly every Han rebel group began by shearing this pigtail most especially in the case of the Taiping , who were known in Chinese as the "Longhairs" , but the queue on penalty of death lasted until , when the Chinese people cut their queues in unison at a time of rebellion.
Americans at first judged Chinese immigrant laborers to be poor workers because their long hair brought an association with women.
Items that attracted dangerous attention if caught in the public included jewelry and long male hair. People had to avoid them or suffer serious consequences such as tortures and beatings by the guards.
Southeast Asia[ edit ] In Southeast Asia and Indonesia , male long hair was valued in until the seventeenth century, when the area adopted outside influences including Islam and Christianity. Invading cultures enforced shorter hairstyles on men as a sign of servitude, as well. They were also confused at the short hairstyles among women in certain areas, such as Thailand , and struggled to explain why women in the area had such short hair. They came up with several mythical stories, one of which involved a king who found a long hair in his rice and, in a rage, demanded that all women keep their hair short.
The only physical attribute of interest was a woman's hair, which had to be thick and longer than she was tall. This explains why Genji refuses to let Murasaki his de facto wife in the classical Japanese novel The Tale of Genji take the tonsure when she is ill. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. August Learn how and when to remove this template message The Sikhs were commanded by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in to wear long uncut hair called Kesh at all times to signify the strength and vitality of the Sikh people.
This was one of the 'five requisites of faith', collectively called Kakars that form the external visible identifiers to clearly affirm a Sikh's commitment and dedication to the order Hukam of the tenth master and made one a member of the Khalsa. The kanga, another requisite of faith is usually tucked behind the "Rishi Knot" and tied under the turban. The uncut long head hair and the beard in the case of men forms the main kakar for the Sikhs.
Anyone, Sikh or non-Sikh, may keep the hair unshorn, but for the Sikh kes, unshorn hair, is a requisite of faith and an inviolable vow. The Sikh Rahit Maryada published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, statutory body for the control and management of Sikh shrines and by extension for laying down rules about Sikh beliefs and practices, issued in , after long and minute deliberations among Sikh scholars and theologians, defines a Sikh thus: Every Sikh who has been admitted to the rites of amrit, i.
This also applies to those born of Sikh families but [who] have not yet received the rites of amrit of the tenth master, Guru Gobind Singh.