To the root | Hair Theology: Discovering a Spiritual Link Beyond Beauty


Since we are born, each part of our body serves as a blank canvas to begin to paint a personal image. Being in the cradle we cannot fend for ourselves and it is our relatives who are in charge of giving us small brushstrokes of appearance, shaving us, making braids or putting on bows and headbands.

What others see and perceive about us is made up of different aesthetic elements that, from an early age, we considered correct. Later, we grow up and, despite the fact that we keep some that were instilled in us, we begin to transform the meaning and expression of painting. We change the cut, we dye our hair, we let it grow and we decorate it with different accessories.

In this sense, hair has always been associated with identity and identity. beauty. But, beyond the colors and shapes frozen in that canvas of our appearance, it is a powerful and vital extension of ourselves. Some ancient spiritual traditions believe that hair keeps our energy and a special power, as if it were an antenna that connects us with a higher kingdom, the one that cannot be touched or seen, but is felt inside.

Around the world, different religions and cultures create mystical experiences through hair. A hairstyle, a veil or even a brooch can have a meaning related to theology behind it. As if from a work of art In question, each detail creates a unique story. While painting can be visually appealing, it always hides something fascinating.

What then is the spiritual link of hair around the world?

Catholicism: veils at funerals

Woman with a veil in her hair for a funeral
The veils at Catholic funerals are used as a symbol of respect for the deceased and recognition of the nature of life. Credit: kseniachernaya/Pexels.

In Mexico, hair is associated with femininity and beauty, however, by covering it with a black veil, the aesthetic part is broken and opens the way to a deep meaning, beyond pain and loss.

The Catholic Church and its customs play a fundamental role in the lives of millions of Mexicans. Attending a funeral with your head covered represents mourning and respect. By hiding the hair, the willingness to leave behind personal vanity is demonstrated, as well as the promise to focus solely on paying homage to the deceased.

The act in question is also considered a protection from the outside world to enter a state of mourning. The cloth does not serve as an accessory, but as a visual representation of emotional pain and grief. Likewise, this creates a feeling of unity, solidarity and collective sympathy, between those who share the anguish and those who support the cause.

Buddhism: shaving the head

Buddhist monk with shaved head
In Buddhism, shaving the head represents detachment from vanity and ego. Credit: cottonbro/Pexels.

In addition to the robes, one of the main characteristics among Buddhist monks is the lack of hair, which serves as a symbol of detachment from worldly desires.

Shaving the head was the beginning of Gautama Buddha’s spiritual journey, an act that would later reflect the fundamental values ​​of this philosophical doctrine. Removing your hair and leaving your head uncovered represents the renunciation of vanity and ego, to focus on the path to liberation.

This further highlights the equality and interconnectedness of humanity. Likewise, it underlines the insignificance of the physical body and external beauty.

Connection of the earthly realm with the divine: Wigs

Cleopatra's wig at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
In Egyptian culture, wigs were used in religious rituals and worn as protection from bad energy. Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Spiritual connections account for much of the history and culture in ancient Egypt. From their temples to their way of dressing, everything has a deep symbolic system, which is part of their personal identity and religious system.

Now on display in the world’s most acclaimed museums, the wigs adorned were not only tools to differentiate their social status, but were used to enhance their connection with the divine. Although the Egyptians considered hair a symbol of life, they also believed that it was a conduit between the earthly realm and the divine. That is why priests and priestesses used to use them during religious rituals. With them, they channeled their energy and imitated the gods.

It is also believed that the wigs protected the wearer from evil spirits, diseases and negative energy. Likewise, the Egyptians placed wigs on the mummies in funeral rites to guarantee the continuity of the deceased and keep his appearance intact both in the world of the dead and in the afterlife.

Judaism: peyet

Jewish man with peyet
The long locks that are allowed to grow from the temples in men represent their connection with God and, in some cases, humility. Credit: cottonbro/Pexels.

Judaism is a religion rich in symbols and traditions, which represent the connection of each individual with the spiritual. One of them is the peyet, or the curly side locks that men wear. These reflect the religious devotion of those who let them grow ––as a personal choice and not compulsory–– and serve as a testimony of adherence to Jewish customs.

“You shall not round the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard” is written in the Torah, the holy text of the Jewish people. These verses have been interpreted by Jewish scholars and sages to imply a prohibition against cutting hair at the temples, which led to the development of the practice of peyet.

Although there are different communities and traditions, for some the long locks that frame the faces of the men are a reminder of the connection with God and their relationship with the Jewish people. On the other hand, there are those who interpret it as a symbol of separation, which underlines their unique role as the “chosen people”.

The peyet is also considered a symbol of humility and modesty, recalling the importance of putting internal values ​​above external appearances.

Rastafarian movement: dreadlocks

Dreadlocks on long hair
The rats represent the faith of the cultural movement. Credit: Shutterstock.

The Rastafarian cultural movement originated in Jamaica during the 1930s, as a response to social and political conditions. Although there are those who see it as an order of life, it is a religion influenced by different currents of philosophical and spiritual thought, such as Hinduism, which sought to challenge racial oppression and celebrate African spirituality.

The dreadlocks They reigned among the members of this movement and served as a visible sign of their faith. In addition, they are a visual reminder of African roots, therefore, this is how Western beauty canons were rejected.

It is also believed that dreadlocks are a conduit of energy, a means to achieve spiritual purity, as Rastafarians view the body as a temple that must be maintained in a natural and undisturbed state. They even refer to them as their crown, which symbolizes power and divine wisdom, a natural extension of their being that represents a connection to higher consciousness and their unique place in the world.

It doesn’t matter where in the world we are or what religion we belong to. We all have different beliefs, however, the magic is in embracing diversity to manifest and feel extraordinary things.

Knowing other cultures and perspectives can make us connect with the intangible kingdom that is hidden within ourselves. Let each brushstroke on our canvas have a divine meaning and create an extraordinary work of art.

The post To the root | Hair Theology: Discovering a Spiritual Link Beyond Beauty appeared first on All Things Hair Mexico.


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