"The long hair for Native Americans represents the strength of their spirit. They believe the longer the hair, the stronger the spirit.. And why only certain people are only allowed to touch your hair. When a Native cuts their hair, traditionally is was only for mourning... When a Native does cut their hair, they have to dispose of their hair in a ceremonious way, in the Lakota tribe, they put their hair that was cut off in a river, creek, stream, etc.. Since they are a part of the earth, they always put ourselves back into the earth" (Waki?ya? I?nala)
Are you aesthetically pleased with your body, your features? If not, perhaps you are not aware of the power they can possess. Especially the hair.
Content with longer hair these days speaking the free spirit, the morbidity of beauty, the essence of every lock it's own scent. Enchanted caresses! those sweet, delicate fingers, that wisp of entanglement! it is to me a friend, and I to them the devoutest of caretakers with my fingers looping around braids, my lips curled over loose strands, my conditioners of honey. I've always felt within each strand is a nerve ending, I can feel fingertips gliding over it without looking up. My scalp is sensitive to wind, my hair; my feelers. Memories gather in my tresses and ebb and flow with the winds, the taste of them when I chew on their fibers. I only cut my hair when I am ready for change, and after a bad experience. It allows me to be feel my memories down the length of my spine, to hide, to show myself to whom I feel worthy and to be whatever I will within the gauze of femininity. It is irrefutably sexy to others.
I was most shocked when I came to Northern Europe and noticed 90% of the women had short, choppy light hair; completely unlike the other parts of the European land. It ages their bones, contrast and harsh lines. With such beautiful bone structures, sharp and with light, soft eyes out of a Rubens painting; longer deep hair would be preferable on these walking Flemish paintings. Amongst them I stick out like a blound in Bangalore when I let my hair loose from it's braids, alongside any dark-skinned/haired women with different features. The rare dark-skinned/haired woman comes from France, Italy, or Spain. I gather this is why the locals always dismiss longer locks as coming from other lands.
In Arabia, the women have luscious, flowing hair. A long sheen of thick, obsidian hair down their back. They keep it under their shaylas and only reveal it to other females and their immediate family. It is an honor to be shown the hair, ornaments and only when they are wed will they finally uncover and reveal it's length to a man. It is a symbol of their beauty and with the covering they have an air of authority, dignity and respect. Several times in the company of friends, in beauty saloons and in bathrooms I bared witness to the beauties that were unfolded. The rituals were never odd to me, perhaps why I never minded all the covered women while living there. It just made a good portion of sense to me. As a personal choice, it is one to be respected and not judged.
USA boxer Amaiya Zafar fought to wear her religious head covering while and after a social media campaign, the law was passed in 2017 that finally allowed it. In an interview she explained that it is part of her identity, and by taking that away, it is taking away something from her. It wouldn't have an effect on others, but it surely affected her. That is the proof of the power of the tresses.
It also is revealing to the health of a women, how well she takes care of herself and her eating habits. Hallucinogenics and other drugs can be discovered in the hair, years later. Some cultures believe that memories are stored in the hair and when it's cut, you could lose a part of that connection to those memories.
Protect Your Power.
Hair rituals are evident in every culture. Just like tea rituals, treating the hair in a repetitive manner offers a soothing comfort and crafts a spell within each strand. You can customize your "self care" (as the recent trend calls it). It is just another way of bringing self-protection to the surface and these ancient ways alive. They are there for good reason. The ritual of infusing your body with herbs inside for your soul and the ritual of is just as important as brushing your teeth or washing your face.
You can customize hair rituals with your own oils and scents, infusing hair parfumes and mists. Or your ritual can be as simple as a dip in the ocean for salted locks and purification. If time escapes you, there are plenty of ready made hair products for this. DeerWomen recommends La Tierra Sagrada Hair Ritual Series for ready made. On hand, jojoba oil or coconut oil a wood brush made from boar bristles and a salted mist of jasmine spray.
(published 2015, edited and republished 2018)