Long Hair, Christian Women

Perhaps I should be reluctant to jump into this topic! There are so many interpretations of 1 Corinthians 11 that it’s a little scary that we can’t seem to agree. Did Paul mean all women, all the time? Is a woman’s long hair her covering? Why wear a separate covering, and what kind?

To my thinking, the Anabaptists have a firm understanding of the significance of both long hair on women and the head covering. (See their materials at http://www.anabaptists.org.) I’m not quite on the same page in their headship interpretation, but I don’t disagree either! I think the significance of “covering” goes deeper than the Reformers thought it does.

 What is long hair? For the purposes of 1 Corinthians 11, it means uncut hair, not just hair longer than a “short” length. Uncut hair grows to a certain length, and then starts to shed and be replaced. This hair cycle is about seven years, sometimes longer. Hair generally grows at the rate of 1/2″ per month. These rates can vary, depending mostly on genetics, just as the number of hair follicles and how long they will produce hair is mostly genetically pre-determined. Various other factors come into play, as well, such as nutrition and environment. (When I was about twenty-six, I had a bout of stress-induced alopecia – significant hair loss. Quitting one of three jobs and changing houses finally reduced the stress and the thin patches filled in.)

It was the expectation in the early church that women would look like women, that sexual differences would be honoured. Paul gave the women in the church good reasons for keeping their long hair, while prohibiting them from turning it into an object of vanity.  So for generations Christian women followed this precept, and kept their hair long and uncut. Some achieved great lengths of hair, which had to be braided and wound up under caps and veils. (“Braided” and “broided” are not the same word. “Broided” means fancy work in the hair.) This is still the case in some sects, but those who have practiced this for time immemorial don’t make much of it. It’s the world that looks at naturally long hair as something freakish.

How long is too long? My own hair doesn’t get much past waist length before it starts to break. I have fine, fragile hair, so it will never grow to knee-length anyway, and if it should, there still wouldn’t be much mass. This is the case for many women, so the question of cutting doesn’t come up. We would never consider anything as decorative and frivolous as a bang (or “fringe”, as our British cousins put it.) I just brush it from a center part, pull it back with one hand, twist it into a bun, and pin it in place with bobby pins. Times when I have my hair down, I gather it back into a low ponytail.

Some women simply cannot grow their hair long. Women of African descent often have fragile hair that doesn’t get a great deal of length, and they should not be shamed into thinking that they need to get extensions or they are somehow inadequate . For those with hair that has a lot of curl, or very fragile hair, it may make sense to keep it at a manageable length and use pins or clips to keep it back. It might be good to braid it close to the head in “cornrows”, a very old practice which is very practical for those whose hair doesn’t fall straight.  A practiced braider can put up cornrows very quickly, and they don’t need more than a little maintenance day by day. This is not license for women with European ancestry to indulge in the long, beaded braids, though!

For women with very thick, heavy hair, reducing the length may be necessary to avoid the excess weight. I think it is allowable when very long, heavy hair is causing neck strain and head aches, if the hair can be kept at near waist length, or at least a feminine length below the shoulders, long enough to gather back under a cap or veil. It is ridiculous to endanger one’s health by legalism.

But that is not license to cut the hair off for fashion reasons! Most women who cut the hair short do so, they say, because it is more practical. They don’t want to “fuss” with long hair. How fussy is it to put long, one-length hair in a bun and drop a cap on it? The entire process takes me less than five minutes. I don’t even need a mirror.  Women with short hair have to wash it, comb it into shape, possibly curl it with a hot iron or blow-dryer, spray it with some sticky stuff, and check regularly in a mirror to see if any of it is out of place. Those who choose the butchered hair look without any of the fussiness often appear, as my mother would say, as if someone had dragged them backward through a hedge.

The Apostle was, in simple terms, telling women (all Christian women, not just the Corinthians) that they were to set aside vanity and keep long, unfussy hair, with no ornamentation (which would include dying) and properly covered so that it is not a temptation to vanity for the women or to lustful admiration for the men.

Hair care is big business. Those of us who have opted out of it are threatening the economy! We don’t go to hairdressers or salons or spas. We don’t buy hair dyes or those silly kits to add “highlights” or “streaks” or “chunks” of different colour to our heads.  We don’t need conditioners and gels and picks and blowdryers. We have a packet of hair pins and a few ponytail holders, a half-dozen clippies to keep caps and veils in place and that is it, besides a good quality brush and a de-tangling comb. We buy baby shampoo, not some fancy bottle with a salon owner’s name on it. We don’t buy hair-style magazines or watch television to see what Hollywood babe is doing to her head.

There are theological reasons for covering besides the practicality and the killing of vanity.  The Lord gives women an honour in allowing them to be covered before the altar. Even bishops must uncover completely when they stand before the sacrament at the altar. Women, receiving or serving, should be covered. This, first, indicates that they are under the headship of Christ. While the headcover also indicates that they are under the headship of a husband, this is not the case for single women, who must still cover before God. The second-class position women often suffered under ancient custom outside the church is thus removed.  For while woman is under the headship of man, as the first woman came from man, her position of equality before the Lord is restored in that the Son of Man came from woman. We honour His mother in emulating her humility in veiling before her son, our Lord.

It is obvious to me from scripture and the early church fathers that in the apostolic church women preached and prayed publicly, although Paul admonished some to stop interrupting the service, and hold their questions for later! The Holy Spirit speaks through women as well as men, and ministry is not limited to men, or the first Christians would not have appointed widows to minster, an important commission from Christ Himself. A witness is a witness, whether it is from a gold-draped, venerable bishop or a little girl of ten in pinafore and bonnet. God does not distinguish between His children in bestowing His gifts of the Spirit. A right heart and a steady faith are more than merit in the eyes of the Lord.

I believe all Christian women are called to the public witness of unshorn, unadorned hair and the blessing of the headship covering. It tells the world that we are Christians, and not afraid to be identified as such. We may have to compromise occasionally, when that witness is not accepted, but we are to pray for the blessing all the more. It is right to wear a full cap, with just a little hair showing, or the sisters’ veil, sometimes known as a charity veil, and wear them with modest, womanly dress.  These are readily obtainable, by purchasing from some God-fearing sister who sews or by making them ourselves. It is not difficult. On occasions when it is necessary to wear workclothes that exclude a skirt, then a covering suitable to modest pants should be worn, such as a scarf or soft hat. The unveiled hair is just for our families, and particularly for our husbands, who should love this feminine expression of our modesty.

Sisters, be bold in wearing the prayer cap and the veil! As much as possible, wear this symbol of our witness. It is now a revolutionary thing to do, to say in our way, “The Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent and believe the good news!”

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56 thoughts on “Long Hair, Christian Women

  1. My scarf is a witness. The idea of chasity and holiness is so foreign to girls I care for that even a wide headband throws them off. Once I had a terrible headache and had everything off my head. One of the girls saw me and later at the breakfast table told the other girls that she had saw my head uncovered! I do keep my hair above the shoulders. It’s a hair weight issue, though when I did have my hair short I was as concerned about it as much as you usually are about your dresses. Hee hee. I had it short because I didn’t want to mess with it during cross country season.

    • I cut my hair short years ago for sailing, but it tangled just as much and I found it very fiddly. I was always looking for new products to keep it in place. Braiding was easier. I thought I’d try to bring some common sense to what can be a strongly polemic issue. In your circumstances, your modesty of dress in your own way and your modesty of behaviour are a strong witness to young women who have seen little of either. God bless you.

  2. I only this evening discovered your blog for the first time, but I’m so thrilled! There are many blogs online regarding women’s headcoverings, but seldom does anyone address long hair. It’s an issue that’s been close to my heart for some time now. About four years ago, I felt God spoke to me about what scripture had to say about women and hair. I stopped cutting my hair — I know it was the right thing to do — and now for the first time in 25 years it’s down to my waist. I don’t condemn other women who do cut or style, but for me, I see this is my personal gift of obedience to God.

    Please don’t close down your blog as so many have. I intend to visit more and more often!!! ~ Anita

    • I don’t want women to think they are condemned by God for cutting their hair if they have to! I am convicted of this, as thee is, but I can understand that not everyone is. And as I said to Amber, sometimes the circumstances are such that our own witness, in our own way, is powerful. St. Paul supports this when he says that he could be a Jew to Jews, a Greek to Greeks, that he knew poverty and wealth, and could do with what the Lord gave him.

      I do not like what I see in some of the websites about women’s obedience, and Biblical issues about women. I’m certainly no feminist, but God gave us intelligence and discernment. We need to use them wisely and prayerfully. God bless you!

    • I have heeded God’s direction in growning my hair long. My hair is thick and somewhat heavy, because of that it is not to my waist. I do wear a cotton cap covering, which I make.
      Christ’s peace keep thee, Thea

  3. My husband prefers long plain hair and it was his idea I let mine grow out and quit fussing over it. When it grew long I got headaches and decided on pinning it up rather than cut it off short.

    Now that I’ve been pinning up my hair for about a year, I agree that long hair pinned up is no fuss compared to short loose hair. I have read some comments that are excuses why women have to have short hair for ease of care or calling the entire issue legalism. While there are notably some valid reasons to cut hair, it seems some just want a reason to have a more worldly hairstyle.

    We need to teach our young girls about modesty and plain hairstyles. If they’re used to it and understand it’s importance at a young age, they will be more likely to resist peer pressure as they get older. I have my 4 year old daughter’s hair in 2 braids. This keeps it neat and out of her face.

    • I have always been uncomfortable seeing young girls, as young as eight or nine, being allowed to have not only styled hair but hair colour! I know, I was raised in a conservative household, and the idea of dying our hair was unthinkable. I did dye it for a while when I was older, but this ruined my fine hair, and it was such a vicious cycle, as I tried to cover the gray that started to come in when I was twenty-five. I like braids, and wore them when I was young. But my poor mother had been subjected to tight french braids as a child, and she never taught me how to do them.

  4. “1COR. 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” this verse states that woman shouldnt use a veil. 1COR. 11:5-6 says ” But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.”
    These to verse talks about that IF a woman have short hair. Lets say IF you cut your hair THEN you must wear a veil, But if your hair is naturally long(uncut) then you do not have to cover it because it was given to you to cover yourself with. The bible talks about to veils. One is a curtain like object and the other is a covering that woman used before marriage to express her virginity. This is what i understand about the bible. Im not a preacher or anything. God Bless You

    • There is room for a difference of interpretation. My own interpretation, based on the Greek text as I read it, as well as that of the church for many hundreds of years, is that a Christian woman keeps her hair covered, whether it is long or short. Paul is saying that women should not cut their hair, as it is given for glory, and the covering of a veil is meant rather as Moses veiled his face before the Israelites because of the glory that shone there. The covering is an honour, not a punishment. The covering has other purposes as well, and I think the main purpose is as witness to our faith. I don’t intend to be legalistic about covering, or why we cover. It is definitely a matter of family decision and personal conviction. What I find heartbreaking is that so many women cut their hair like men, dress in men’s clothing, and reject any traditional way of life as oppressive. My husband put it well, “They are rejecting the responsibility of being women.”

  5. I am an older woman,I have grown my hair for the past 4 years it is now waste length, and it is going grey so it is getting hard to do.
    Any ideas would be appreciated.
    thanks.
    Love the site.

    • Sorry for the late reply, but we have been on the move again. Long greying hair is a problem for me, too, because it is more wiry and tends to stick out from my still dark hair. I just wet the brush and slick it down as best I can, pull it back into a ponytail, and pin it up. Wearing a cap that covers more of the front hair or a scarf that covers almost to the hairline might help keep it under wraps!

    • Hello Sandra,

      I don’t mean to be cheeky but, perhaps it is time to no longer color thy hair, especially beings it is so long. I too am an older woman, 61years young.
      Thy friend in Christ, Thea Pollock

  6. Thanks for the advise,I shall give it a go. I don’t wear a cap or scarf as I agree with Jesus is God’s comment on this. I have been convicted twice during my walk with the Lord and both times have been surprised by the peace I’ve received by the obedience. God Bless.

    • One does not need to be convicted to cover at times…I did for practical reasons for a number of years. But I would guess most of us agree that long, plain hair is the least worldly of all appearance choices.

  7. I have been feeling the Holy Spirit’s leading on this for quite some time; I’m so glad to have found you! I am growing more and more peaceful in my desire to leave my hair uncut, as well as in my desire to cover for church. My husband is pleased and content with this direction, and I am less and less concerned about any response form our community on the matter. I am having practical issues with my hair, though, and I have no one among my friends or family that can help while respecting that my purpose is not fashion or vanity. I am in my mid thirties and my hair is longer than it has ever been; it is nearing my waist. It is not very thick, and it is very straight and very fine. I have put it in a bun, but as it gets longer, it is more unwieldy. Bobby pins don’t want to stay in and they lose their shape after a day. I don’t want keeping my hair up and tidy to become a time-consuming event in my day. That defeats the purpose of rejecting vanity and fashion in the first place! Any ideas?

    • Try Amish hairpins. You can get them from several online sources. My hair seems to stay up with five opened out bobby pins, or use the huge roller pins that look like bobby pins. Try braiding it first, then pinning it. Your hair sounds just like mine! God bless you in pursuing your path. Expect some turbulence, though, at some point. Pray that the Lord will lead you through it.

  8. I really enjoyed reading your article. Lately I have convicted to grow out my hair. Right now it is about about jaw-length. I have had it in various styles over the past 15 years, sometimes really short. I did grow it down to the middle of my back a couple of years ago. We are Baptists from Georgia, and long hair is not really encouraged or discouraged in our denomination. However it is encouraged in most Pentecostal denominations here. Most of the women at our church keep their hair in whatever style is trendy at the moment. I have struggled with the concept of growing my hair out, and worry what our friends and family will think. I especially worry about not styling it very much in growing out process to keep it as healthy as possible. Please pray for me during this process. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments so much. If you have any tips of suggestions, please feel free to email.

    • Remember when you were a kid, and you said to your mother, “Hey, it’s my hair!”? It still is. Use clips or barrettes to keep it back until it’s long enough to pull back in a ponytail or up in a bun. it is cheaper and simpler to have unstyled long hair, after all.

  9. I am in my 50’s and have also been growing my hair out, which pleases my husband. It is down to my waist now, but it is very thick hair and very heavy. I am getting headaches when I pin it up on the back of my head. I like it out of my way and modestly done, but after about 2 hours, my head starts to hurt from the pins (I use magic-grip plactic pins–the other ones will all eventually fall out) and the weight of the hair. Often I will make one long braid down my back when I can’t take the pain any more. I am not sure what to do. I don’t want to cut my hair. I have considered having my hair thinned with thinning shears–but isn’t that just the same as cutting it in the eyes of the Lord? I have tried many different ways to pin it to my head to see if that makes a difference– but it didn’t . . . My neighbors and friends do not understand why this is an issue (most of the have shorter hair and not with very thick hair, so I am not able to talk to them about this. My husband loves the long hair but he is very concerned about the headaches. Even though I am in my 50’s, my hair does not seem to be thinning out naturally as I age like it does in some women. Do you have any ideas for me? Thank you very much. God Bless.

    • hello Diana,
      Yes I’m starting to get headaches as well,but I won’t cut my hair.
      I find the plait is about the best but doesn’t look so nice,I have to take my hair out as soon as I come home.
      I’m having the same trouble as you are and mine isn’t thick.
      I haven’t come up with anything yet but I will let you know when I do.
      Thinning isn’t a bad idea,its not the cutting its the length. I think,I’m writing this quite late and I’m a little tired.
      God Bless you.

      • I’m wondering if it is the hair that’s the problem for some women! Is it possible that as some of us experience that natural process called “aging” we might be getting some arthritis? I am, but it’s in my hands, feet and hips. Also, see about strengthening the shoulder and neck muscles through exercise. “Shrugs,” with weight in each hand, starting around 3-5 pounds, will tone up the shoulders, neck and upper back. I can do them with about 40 pounds on each side; Nicholas used to do them with a total of 220 pounds! Try it out with an exercise/weightlifting book from the library to learn the proper form. If you are going to a gym anyway for exercise, ask a trainer to help you plan a weight program.

      • Thea,I have had the same thought,but I can’t go through with it yet.
        Yes you might be right magdalena,I do suffer in the hand so it will be worth doing things to improve any aging bones.
        God Bless you both.

    • Diana,

      I found hairpins at KMart that are very much like amish ones, only they are coated and don’t snag my hair at all. My hair is not terribly thick, but I have had problems with bobby pins and hairpins really hurting my head, too. Maybe this type of pins would work for you, too? I have found them to be very comfortable and they work very well. Three pins and a hairnet, and I’m good for the day. Good luck, and God Bless you!

  10. Boy, do I struggle with hair! I come from a Pentecostal background where hair cutting of any type is strognly discouraged. I have never had the long, beautiful hair that most of these women have. My hair grows unusually slow, is think, and has a bit of natural wave to it. At the present, it reaches about 4-5 inches above my waist. I want that beautiful glory God speaks of! Try as I might with heating conditioners, olive oil treatments, and special vitamins….I’m not winning. I am currently feeling an urge to TRIM the bottom frayed ends to promote good hair health hoping it will increase growth. I am so very afraid that I can’t SEE clearly. Coming from Pentecost where this is strictly forbidden…..is it wrong to trim? HELP!!!!! F.I.Y….I also believe in headcovering and practice it faithfully not only during worship but each and every day. Hair styling is not my motive….it’s covered anyway…..

    • Trim if you want! Really, if it is annoying, making it difficult to get your hair up and covered, then it isn’t a sin to cut your hair a bit. It’s the vanity associated with hairdressing that is a sin. I was blessed with hair that has never been a source of vanity – light, fine, prone to split, and never grows more than waist-length. It isn’t about your hair, it’s about humility, and willingness to obey.

      The glory of God is your faithfulness. The hair is just a symbol of that.

      As for hair treatments -they only temporarily glue down the rough places on the hair shaft. Hair is esentially dead keratin – just like fingernails. The healthy part is the part you can’t see, that’s still in the hair follicle. Avoiding stress, drinking pure water rather than sugared drinks, eating well and treating your scalp as nicely as the rest of your skin will have the most effect on the hair. Whatever you do to the length of the hair is just cosmetic.

      Sometimes the anxiety we have about our hair is displaced from somewhere else. I will write more about that in a blog post.

      • magadalenaperks,

        Yes, I suppose I struggle with vanity. I know the length of our hair is not the issue; remaining simple, pure, and moderate is. I can’t help but long for that beautiful glory straight from the throne of God. If He’s giving a gift, I’d love to partake! I must be honest and say, I am a headcovering Christian. I wear long, flowing skirts and dresses to my ankles and blouses that don’t reveal immodestly. I don’t use cosmetics, dye my hair, wear jewelry, etc….all the “girly” stuff the world has taught most to find their value in. I’ve never resented my pledge for modesty but sometimes, I feel hair is about the only “beautiful” thing I’ve got going for me and I’d love to have it!!!

      • Perhaps, Rachel, there is something else going on in your life. (You don’t have to tell me!) Are you still pressured by your previous church community? Are you feeling judged and compared? My mistake was to watch television and see the models with the gorgeous hair I never had. I needed to face the truth, which is that God didn’t put full, thick, shiny hair in my genetic make-up. I started comparing myself to the world. But if you think your husband will appreciate your hair if it is nicer, and that matters to you, ask him. But he may find you just perfectly womanly the way you are. There is no sin in doing something to your hair. Explain to your girls that sometimes a little trim can make the hair more comfortable to pin up. If a hot oil treatment makes your scalp and hair more comfortable and manageable, then go ahead. Some ladies have such fine hair that they get spiral perms to make it fuller and easier to handle. They do this for their own comfort and to please their husbands, who love that long hair uncovered in the bedroom. (I’m trying not to be graphic, but we’re all women here, I think. You know what I mean!) Yes, you have a right to be womanly and beautiful for your husband in private. (Plaid flannel pajamas are not mentioned in the Bible.)

        Have a good prayerful look at what the real issue may be. If it is simply that you want to be more feminine and comely for your hsuband in private, for heaven’s sake and for his, then do what will make you feel womanly.

      • Thank you so much for your precious reply and yes, there is something else. I suppose it’s fear. Coming from a church with such harsh suggestions as to the backlash of cut or trimmed hair, I am deeply frightened to indulge. Who wants to feel the wrath of hell over someting so silly? I am trying to divide the Word and hold on to the integrity of truth. I will not trim if it displeases God, I’m just having such a hard time finding a clear answer. Some of my definitions suggest trimming is o.k. while others lead me to feel I have destoyed my covering in some way. Not being brought up in a “religious” home, I don’t have much to look back on regarding this issue. Sometimes Pentecostals have a way of using terror to “scare you straight”.

        As far as the hair itself, it means so much to me because I do see it as a gift from God and I definately have my fleshly ideas of preferance. I just want to promote the growing He will bless me with. Regardless of if I sticking to a tender approach with TLC or allowing myself to trim those frisky ends…I want to do MY part. BUT, all in the glory and obedience in the Lord’s wonderful name.

      • I’ve come across the “scared straight” issue before, in fundamentalist churches. It didn’t work for me, because I just never accepted anyone else’s word on anything without a lot of qustioning! My theology is about a loving, forgiving God, who keeps coming after us whenever we stray. Rule-making and threatening with hell is a form of discipline known as legalism. I think I am qualified to call it a heresy, imposing conditions on God’s people that God did not intend to impose. The Lord gave us very simple rules to follow: Love God, love your neighbour. We follow the ten commandments because Jesus did not release us from those, but he did release His people from the Pharisees who bound them with rules impossible to keep.

        I know myself to be a sinner. It is impossible for a human to follow God’s ways alone. We always stray a bit (or a lot.) But God brings us back when we repent and ask His forgiveness. He doesn’t come up with new rules or stricter rules for some. The legalities are something we impose on ourselves. If you are not under a strict vow of discipline, as some clergy and most nuns and monks are, then you are not required to keep more than the law Christ left with us. You are reading the scriptures daily: Does Our Lord say anything about hair? If anything, He was quite vague about the how-tos of following His way, which means He trusts us to pray and think as we grow in knowledge.

  11. Rachel, I’ve watched (and lived in) that same Pentecostal culture. The thing is, I found that the hair, uncut, became a vanity in itself. What is the point if you’re going to spend large amounts of time and money on treatments, styling, and products to keep it long? If your hair needs a trim, trim it. Then put it up and cover it. At night, braid it to sleep. You will find that it grows more quickly and that you will lose less to damage and breakage. You won’t need to shampoo as much (I wash mine about once a week), which will also protect the hair you have. This is not about the letter of the law, but the spirit of it. Don’t be discouraged by vanity disguised as piety. God bless you!

    • Thank you for this succinct and sensible reply! Madre, this is just what women need to hear about their hair. The Lord blesses us for our obedience, but not if it is merely false piety. When I stopped dying and styling my hair, then covered it, it was a new lease on life in many ways. The mirror was no longer my enemy, just a tool to be used.

  12. Thank you, sisters in Christ, for the most endearing replies! I must say, I love headcovering as I have found identification with Christ to be the utmost joy. Acknowledging my husband as my head visibly has overwhelmed me with a sense of peace that words cannot explain. But, what man doesn’t love beautiful hair? As stated previously, I come from a Pentecostal background of 7 years. Currently, I am involved in a more gentle, home-churching setting. Finding God on His terms without a manmade “rule book” such as UPC has adopted has been long and difficult. I am sifting through the earth put into my gold pan, shaking things up a bit, and holding onto the treasures that remain. Thank you, precious Jesus for the liberty and truth of modesty and purity standards! That being said, I often times battle a terrible fear that was ingrained into my spirit. Cut, trim, whatever…you may as well be bald and without covering, waiting for a flock of vultures to pluck your eyes out; as per what I was taught. While researching “shorn”, I am finding a mixture of definitions. Some relate to cutting while others imply a cutting close to the head such as shearing a sheep. My greatest fear over that of my enemy is displeasing Jesus. Is that not where wisdom begins? If He is unhappy with hair trimming, I won’t partake. Does anyone have any scriptural advice as to trimming? As for hair care, I take supplements, drink plenty of water, etc. I’m just a slow “grower”. I figured if I treated the hair delicately, it would break less. I want my glory to be a testimony to the love and nature of God. Thanks for the tips on braiding before bed….I can’t wait to try it! I used to be hesitant about braiding but found the “broiding” vs. “braiding” text in a previous reply to be most educational. What a relief!!! Praise the good Lord, each and every one of you!

  13. mamacantrix,

    I just had to reply to you! You seem to be such a sweet and wonderful woman through your comments. I, too, am approaching my mid-thirties and a stress-free life seems off limits at times with homeschooling my children! I did notice in your previous blog that you felt convicted to leave your hair uncut. I’m so afraid to trim but I can’t tell if it’s a Godly fear or that of man. Please help me. Show me what you’ve seen….. I also have a young daughter and don’t want to cause any confusion for her. We promoted a “no hair trimming” policy for years. If I relent to trimming for health ONLY, how do I explain?

    • Rachel, I have no daughters, so this has been a path that I’ve been free to walk and discern slowly without concern for mixed messages to my children. I can only tell you that I trim when I begin to have difficulty with tangling at the ends of my hair. I would rather get rid of an inch of broken hair than struggle with a foot of it. Also, my hair is NEVER down outside of my home. It is always up in a bun and covered with at least a bun cover, if not a scarf or kerchief. If I trim it, no one knows but me and the lady with the scissors. Not that I hide it, but I don’t walk into a room with my friends and pat my bun and say “I got a half-inch taken off today!” It’s not an issue. I will pray for you as you seek God’s wisdom.

      • I agree that if the hair is hard to manage, it needs to be trimmed back a bit. I like my long hair and don’t cut it, but I have thin, fine hair and it’s not hard to brush the tangles out. There’s no special grace to having long hair,especially if the reason is vanity and pride!

  14. Thank you to all my sisters in Christ,such lovely reply’s I am sorry I have not answered my computer died and am waiting for a new one,Praise be to God should He Bless me with one that isn’t to dear.
    God Bless you all in this new year.
    sandra

  15. I am a 43 yr old married Christian woman. I have a thyroid disorder and with it am losing my hair. I have always had fine hair but this disorder has thinned my hair to the point where I had ‘no’ choice but to cut my hair short. It is very difficult without my mane of hair. I feel naked, unfeminine. I noticed that ‘no’ one broached this subject. God bless!

    • It is a strange feeling, when you are used to having long hair. But it doesn’t make you less of a woman because you have a medical condition that has taken your hair. I went through the same thing when I was in my late twenties, and lost a lot of hair to a stress-related illness. Alopecia usualy is not permanent; if your thyroid disorder can be controlled your hair will come back to some extent. (I still have some thin spots.) Do you cover? Covering canmake the loss less noticable to you and others, and so reduce your self-consciousness about it. Wear a kerchief that comes fairly forward on your head, and let your short hair become a bang (or fringe) and it will look feminine. Try a rosemary based hair rinse and see if that helps restore the follicles. There are natural solutions to hair loss, including increasing your mineral intake (as long as this doesn’t interfere with your thyroid treatment.) It’s just hair. You are who you are and always beautiful to God. I know you are mourning the loss of what many of us see as important to our identity. God sees the inner person, and so do people who love you.

  16. Great article,

    how do we speak to women who want long hair,don’t have it naturally-but are willing to buy it.

    They can use these Bible versus to rationalize this choice. They glue the hair in their hair to make it look natural. Then damage their natural God given hair during the removal process-because they don’t use the proper take down removal system techniques.

    It is such a big issue with Christian Women

    thanks

    • I don’t do anythign to my hair except wash it,brush it and pin it up under my cap. That’s it. I realize that some women want long hair when they can’t grow it long, especially those who come from genetic backgrounds with fragile hair. They should accept this, in my view, and keep their hair natural. They can still cover as they wish. Hair extensions, elaborate hairstyles, and too much concern with appearance are not for Christians.

  17. Leaving hair as it is is a rejection of vanity and worldly standards of beauty, and also a matter of frugality, at least for me. This requires some discernment on the part of women. I find that if I have to use scripture to “rationalize” a choice, then it’s probably the wrong one.

    • Excellent point! Frugality is also one of the reasons I don’t fuss with my hair. When I was a young professional – and that’s many years now! I used to spend upwards of $100 a month maintaining my hair. I spend about – hmm – $6 a year now, for bars of handmade myrrh and vitamin e soap. And about $1 worth of vinegar and rosemary for a hair rinse.

  18. I have found short hair much harder to take care of, for me. When it was waist length, I washed it and blew-dry the bangs to style them, and let the rest air-dry. When I cut it, I had to fuss with styling all of it and it took so long.

    In general, it is not how long or whatever, imo. The Christian woman’s average hair length should be longer that the Christian man’s average hair length, to denote the difference in gender. Women’s hair should not be cut in a very short mannish cut; men’s hair should not be so long that it looks womanish. You know what you look like when you look in the mirror.

    I know many Christian groups have their women wear a hat or scarf 24/7, because they are “always in the presence of the Lord, praying without ceasing.” I understand this (although do not do it). However, by that same argument, should Christian men NEVER wear a hat, since they, too, are always in the presence of the lord, praying without ceasing???

    Reese Howells of old (you can read about this in his book, “Reese Howells – Intercessor) felt led to do just this (never wear a hat, indoors or out) because he was always in the presence of the Lord, praying without ceasing. I don’t remember if he did this all of his life.

    • Now, my husband and my stepson both have long hair – really long. Neither of them would be mistaken for women. It is a long-standing tradition in the Eastern Churches for priests to have long hair, as it indicated that they would not go into battle. Romans eligible for the military kept their hair short, but those who did not fight would not cut their hair to show they were not soldiers. (This is from the Orthodox book of discipline, centuries old – it isn’t some 1960s spin on things.) I do agree that men should not wear their hair in a feminine fashion, paying oto much attention to cut and style. My husband’s theory is that women cut their hair mannish short because they no longer want the responsibilities of being women.

      As for covering – it was sign of modesty for women for millenia. Only young girls and prostitutes went out with their hair uncovered. I suspect it seemed frivolous and vain to show off one’s hair. Certainly by the nineteenth century, the custom of covering had all bt disappeared int he cities and among fashionable people in Western Europe and North America. Paul called women to cover for modesty in prayer, to pray with humility. Men, more likely, wore headgear to show office – the priestly caps, the military helmets. A man removed his head covering to show hishumility, that he was giving up his place of honour before the Lord. I don’t think the modern hat says much about status except in the military, or for the old-fashioned priest who wears beretta or zuchetto. Nonetheless, Christian men should always uncover in church or at public prayer. A woman who is not usually covered should do so on the same occasions. The covering women wear as a prayer covering as to remind them to pray. If a man wants to keep the equivalent, then that is his choice, but he will get pretty cold in the winter.

  19. I Corinthians 11:14-15 states that it is a shame for a man to have long hair, but if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. To me, this means that her hair is the covering, so why would we cover up the glorified covering (the hair) with a cover? And if a woman puts a cover on her hair, then would that not be an ornament? Ladies, I regret having dyed my hair and am letting it grow out but there is such a contrast from the dark color it is dyed to the shiny white that it really is. My hair was turning white in my early 20s and it just made me feel so much older than what I was and it was hard to manage as it does get wiry and uncontrollable as it loses its natural color. But now, in my 50s, I am tired of chasing the roots and I hear even if I would remove the color from it, it would not be the original color; it would only set it up for another dye color. The white that is showing up is actually quite pretty and has a shine to it. I may even like it! But regardless, I don’t interpret the Bible verse as saying to cover up your hair with a cover because the long hair is already a covering. I’m not a preacher or a preacher’s wife, but I sure would like to hear what a trustworthy preacher has to say about it, and about dying hair to begin with. I certainly do not want to be vain; I just want to walk with the Lord and do what pleases Him. God bless you all. Sharon

    • Please read some more on the blog to see why I am convinced of covering. I am myself ordained, with twelve years preaching experience, seven years of theological training and two degrees, three years of parish work, and a long lifetime of Christian faith. Is that trustworthy enough for you?

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