June 16, 2024

How Long is Long Enough?

Water Fountain GirlHair lengths vary from person to person. As a man, I typically find that I feel a woman is more attractive or feminine if she has longer hair. Is there a biblical principle that suggests or demands long hair, or are we on our own here?

Doing a search for hair in the Bible– the first thing you find is goat’s hair! That’s followed by the hair in the levitical law– concerning leprosy. The first true instance of discussion of hair length is in Numbers.

Numbers 6:1 discusses what happens in the Nazarite vow. Either a man or woman could enter a Nazarite vow of separation. While in it, they were to let their hair grow out– not cut. When the time of separation was over, they were to shave it all off and offer it as an offering to God. Now, are we to believe that the person that was not in the vow is no longer a servant of God? Not by the way the passage refers to this person. In fact, if I remember right, Paul took a Nazarite vow upon coming to Jerusalem before he was captured. He came in with a shaved head. The most famous Nazarite was Samson, whose strength was attached to his vow. The hair was not the issue, though it seems to be.

2 Samuel 14:26 talks about Absalom and his long hair. He shaved his head every year, and it was 200 shekels in weight. It does say that Absalom was a good looking man, hair being a part of it. We all know what happened to Absalom because of his hair and a certain tree, but that’s beside the point.

There are references in Ezra and Nehemiah about showing shame or astonishment through pulling one’s hair out. And there are other instances of shaving a head to show shame.

The next section is 1 Corinthians 11 about coverings. It talks about nature and saying that a woman’s hair
is given as a covering and is her glory and that a bald head is to a person’s shame. In fact, this passage says that if her head is not covered, it should be shaved. This poses a problem to those that say that a woman’s hair is her covering. How can you say both her head should be covered (long hair) and if it’s not covered (long hair) it should be shaved? Are both acceptable?

There is a discussion of this topic in references to the United Pentacostal’s Dress code that I found interesting.

In conclusion, I believe a man’s hair and a woman’s hair should be like their clothing– easily identifiable as to the sex of the person. I believe long hair is a glory, and particularly to women.

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5 thoughts on “How Long is Long Enough?

  1. Hmmm…personally I prefer long hair on women, not on men so much though but only because I’ve had some bad experiences with guys with long hair…
    When I was younger I had long hair down to my waist- it was awesome but then stupidly I cut it really short and it looked terrible- took forever to grow out but now that it’s long again I’ll never cut it! My boyfriend has the coolest hair- it’s blonde and soft and dreaded- short but shaggy…
    Sorry for rambling…you just got me thinkin’ about hair! 🙂

  2. Anything but the Sinead O’Connor style for women 🙂

    …men…oh boy. I’ve had mine both long and now short, so really, I’d have to say your criteria sounds fair.

  3. I agree that you did a great job covering this with scripture. I want to add that I think Jesus would want us to be less preoccupied with someone’s “appearance” and more concerned about their heart. I think you can get legalistic, if you’re not careful, about men with long hair and earrings for example. I’ve met some really godly men with hair on the longish side and an earring on the non-gay side. It really opened my eyes and keeps me from judging the book by its cover. These men have been few and far between, but if I’ve encountered them in the rural mid-west, then I know they’re out there. Maybe they’ve been convicted to keep this look. One of these guys I met belonged to a Christian motorcycle club that toured the USA periodically with other cyclists. Maybe his appearance made him more approachable.

    I much prefer the clean-cut look, and if I had sons, we’d probably make a big deal about keeping it that way to avoid any questions of immorality.

  4. While I agree with your assessment, Mary, I also know that Jesus taught that the outside reflects the inside. Since, unfortunately, we can only see the external and actions of a person, we all make judgments (not just in dating, believe it or not!) based on a person’s appearance and how they choose to present themselves.

    So, no, we shouldn’t be realistic, but we must realize that the change on the inside should be reflected and on display on the outside.

  5. I agree…our inner man should be reflected in our outer appearance, but like you said, that tendency to judge is not a righteous one. Some people are convicted differently, and some take longer to come around…

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