Hair Customs and Superstitions
What Hair Means to Us
Most people spend a lot of time, effort and money on their so-called crowning glory. They go to salons for services ranging from basic trims, to styled cuts and treatments, to the more complicated extensions that take a considerable amount out of their pockets.
It seems that they know all the science or art of hair care, but not the mysteries and secrets of their locks when it comes to health, talent and good fortune. It's all in what you do or don't do to your hair.
There are so many hair customs and superstitions that there is bound to be one for every life event, from womb to tomb as the saying goes. Here is a list of some of them. Any of them sound familiar?
Time of Life Hair Traditions
- When a pregnant woman experiences itchiness around her belly, it means her baby will be born with a full head of hair. A word of caution to the mother: don"t scratch!
- Eating corn will give the baby long, brownish hair.
Birth and Infancy
- Don't cut the baby's hair before its first birthday, or the baby will be very sickly.
- After baby's first birthday, let someone whose traits you want the baby to emulate give the child its first haircut. This assures that the child will follow in the footsteps of its first barber.
- It is bad luck to comb and worse to cut a sleeping baby's hair.
- Don't throw away the strands from the baby's first haircut. Press them within the pages of a book to make the child intelligent. Better yet, if you want him to be a lawyer keep the locks within the pages of a book about law.
- If old folks are to be believed, a child's future is pre-destined by his hair whorl. One hair whorl is normal. But look out for the child with two hair whorls: it means that the child will be headstrong, naughty and trouble-bound. Three hair whorls make for a lucky child.
Illness, Old Age, and Death
- Do not cut the hair of a very sick or dying family member as this could hasten death.
- It's bad luck to cut your hair or shave when a family member is gravely ill or in bad health.
- If you must pluck out gray hair, don't bother to count them if you don't want any more to be added to them.
- If you pull out a gray hair, ten more will grow in its place.
- Immediate family members are not allowed to wash or cut their hair when there's a death in the family until after the burial.
- Combing one's hair after the death of a parent will make the parent's soul restless.
Hair Care Superstitions
- Sleeping with wet hair could make you go blind or turn your hair prematurely white.
- Don't wash your hair the day before an exam, because it could wash out whatever learning you've managed to store in your head.
- Washing your hair on the first day of your menstrual period could make you go mad.
- Braid, tie, or clip hair only when it is completely dry to avoid headaches.
- Washing your hair at night during a menstrual period will result in much blood loss and make you weak and sickly.
- Don't comb or brush your hair by the window on a full moon: it is an invitation to evil spirits and you may become ill.
- If you drop a comb while doing your hair, prepare for coming disappointment.
- The more often you cut your hair, the faster it grows.
- Cut your hair on Good Friday to prevent headaches.
- Cut your hair when the moon is full if you want it to grow thick and healthy.
- Cut your hair during a storm for good luck.
Misc. Hair Superstitions
Some superstitions just don't seem to fall into one category. Some of these are vaguely connected with magic and religion, but it's all pretty up to interpretation.
- A quick and easy love potion: Pluck a hair from your head, making sure to include the root, burn it, and mix the ashes into a drink for your intended beloved victim.
- Be careful how you dispose of cut hair. If an evil person gets even a strand of your hair, you could be a victim of hex.
Days of the Week
- Cut your hair on Sunday, and the devil will be with you all week.
- Cut hair on Monday, cut it for health; cut it on Tuesday, you cut for wealth.
- Easter Sunday, they say, is the best day of the year to cut your hair if you want it to grow long and healthy.
- Cut hair on Wednesday to hear good news; cut it on Thursday, get a new pair of shoes.
- Cut hair on Friday and there will be sorrow; cut it on Saturday, you'll meet your true love tomorrow.