Hair folklore

Hair has been part of beliefs in many civilisations throughout the World. They are often about the length or colour of the hair. There are many false beliefs about the redheads. In many cultures there are special traditions related to the first haircut.

Woman with long hair
Woman with long hair

The hair was often given some magical powers. The Celts believed that it was very bad to leave the house during the night with an unbound hair.

There are several interesting beliefs among the nations of North America. The Cree people claim that the hair is just another part of soul. The length of hair is important. The way a person wears hair actually shows his or her personality. The Sioux people only cut their hair in the time of mourning.

Some Native Americans bury cut hair because of the above mentioned relation between hair and soul. There were communities that used mixture of bear fat and soot to make their hair darker. Certain tribes like for example Crows often wore kind of wigs.

In most parts of the United States people believe that if you pull out one white hair two will grow in its place. There is also American belief that the colour of hair on woman's neck shows the colour of hair on her future husband.

Death is the time of cutting hair in Tonga. Local People cut it after death of their fathers and grandfathers. Mourning and cutting hair are closely related among the Jews too.

In the Victorian Britain it was commonly believed that the long hair shows woman's fertility. Similar beliefs existed in some cultures of West Africa.

In Lancashire people used to belive that you should put one's hair in fire to find how long he or she is going to live. Bright fire meant the person is going to live long.

Man with curly hair
Man with curly hair

Would you like a curly hair? According to the English you should eat bread crust. In England cutting hair in the time when the Moon is waxing will bring you good luck.

In Scotland women do not have their hair unbraided during nights when their family members are working on ships as sailors or something like that. Since medieval time there has been a belief that unbraided hair can cause strong sea storms.

Some Scots think that there is a relation among magpies, your hair and the time of your death. Here it goes. If magpies steal your cut hair and use it for their nests you are going to die withing a year.

According to the Lithuanians one cause of a headache can be the fact that your cut or combed hair was thrown out and then collected by some birds. It is believed that birds can use human hair to build their nests. Also in Lithuania they think that it is important to soak your hair with the first rain in the month of May. The hair treated that way will grow strong.

The Finns also love to wash their hair in rain water. Hair washed in such a way is softer and looks nicer.

Buddhist monks
Buddhist monks

Buddhist monks and nuns often shave their heads. A shaven head shows that a person is part of the Sangha (literally "group, assembly) or spiritual community.

In some cultures people think that there are good and bad days for treating your hair. In India many people think that you should not wash your hair on Thursday. Nowadays only old Indian woman never wear loose hair in public. There is also an old tradition that widows should shave their head.

In India it is a tradition to cut your hair in a temple at least once in a lifetime. This rite enables destroying your vanity. Orthodox Brahmans wear a long hair.

In the East Asia long hair is a sign of youth and beauty. The Chinese Lunar New Year is the time where you should not cut your hair. People in China believe that by cutting your hair you will also symbolically "cut" your chances for prosperity in the New Year. It is also not good to wash hair in first days of the year as it is possible that you are going to wash away all of your good luck.