Hair is the physical manifestation of our thoughts and an extension of ourselves.

 So pure and sacred are the thoughts of Our Mother, the Earth, that Her hair grows long and fragrant. The Sweet Grasses found growing around the World represent the hair of Our Mother, the Earth. These special grasses have long been collected by the Native Peoples of Earth to use as incense (to perceive by the senses) for physical and spiritual healing, celebrations, for sacred prayer and purification rites. Loving All Her Children, the Earth allows us to share in Her loving intent and Her perfect and purifying thoughts. On the Medicine Wheel Sweetgrass sits in the North position, the place of Water/Consciousness, the Place of the Minder of the Universe, and the Soul of Man.

As Native People walk the Sacred Path of the Creator God, Our Hair, the physical extension of our thoughts, allows for our direction along the Path of Life. All Peoples of Earth have cultural tales/tails (tails guide beings, example; without tails-Birds could not fly, Fish could not swim and Animals would be without balance) depicting the Power of Hair/Thought, telling of the strengths of Men and Women, using thoughts/hair to defeat evil. Should you maintain pure and perfect thoughts, evil sorcerers and witches cannot use your hair in their evil ceremonies to defeat you, for they need the weaknesses in your thoughts, to cause you harm. Believe in the Power of the Creator, not in the magic of Man.

In many countries around the World, Holy men and Holy women are recognized by the length and glory of their hair. The cutting of hair by oppressors has long represented the submission and defeat of a People, through humiliation. The Language and Sacredness of Hair is taught by All Tribal People of Earth. The way a People comb (the Alignment of thought), braid (the Oneness of thought), tie (the Securing of thought) and color (the Conviction in thought), their Hair is of great significance. Hair styles are important for they portray and announce participation in various events and the feelings expressed by People; the state of merriment or mourning, at a given time, or a stage of life; whether one is coming of age, marriageable or married, one's age and tribal status. Hair can depict the Tribal Spirits one follows given the geographical location of a Peoples and the Spirits flowing through someone depending on their age as a Spirit and the spirits that one is calling on, in a given ceremony. Different styles signify the Tribe one belongs to and are worn to indicate times of peace or war.

Inuit woman, Nowadluk, with long hair 

Hairstyles like seasons change for public, private and ceremonial occasions. Hair represents the pure thoughts and spiritual status of an Individual, showing the bonds and spiritual oneness of a Family and defines the cultural harmony and spiritual alignment of a Nation. Hair represents the Pure and Spiritual thoughts of All Tribal People.

Everyone is given Straight or Curly hair, depending on the Creator's discretion. Straight, flowing hair, teaches of one that can gracefully hold or let go of life. Thoughts can extend in a uniform manner, flowing directly from the source, like the movement of water flowing from the mountain top to the ocean, and then the water can rise up again to fall once more. For those with Curly hair, they will have the potential to understand the Spiral, Curve and Energy of Life. Their thoughts teach about the decrease and enlargement of life's movement. The winding, circular energy of movement and growth on the Earth. All thoughts in life tend to ebb and flow.

Native Children are taught from a young age how to groom and care for themselves, their immediate and extended family. They are taught that grooming one and other, unifies the bond of a family, caring for one and other strengthens the family ties, respecting one and other maintains family harmony and loving one and other defines a family's pride. They are taught to correct one and others appearance and habits, to strengthen one and other continually, causing them to be beautiful, strengthening in them the ideal that they are an extension of the Creator's thoughts of Love. They emanate from the thoughts of Perfection and strive to become (to pass from one state to another and to enhance) Perfection.

As Children are raised up, so too is the spiritual level of teaching raised, to elevate their Spirits. In youth and innocence (in-knowing-sense = freedom from guilt, sin or pain), Mankind is blessed with a bounty of beautiful hair. The more pure and sacred your thoughts, the longer, healthier, and vibrant, your hair. As Humans age and loose their innocence, falling off the Path of Light, harboring dark thoughts, losing the light of pure thought, Humans loose their hair and the shine (aureole) it once had.

Red Shirt – Oglala – circa 1880

Caring for hair is very important, for like the Sweet Grasses of our Mother, the Earth, our hair holds the purity of our intent. For our thought can purify the thoughts of others. Native Children are taught to wash and rinse hair, and are taught the proper use of the gifts of the Plant People; learning which bulbs, roots and herbs, will bring luster and light to ones hair. Maintaining the health of ones hair is important, as is maintaining all physical and spiritual health and wholeness.

They are also taught combing rites. Special combs were and in some places still are used for the Sweetgrass Rites and ornate combs were and still are made for Human hair. Careful consideration is given to the types of woods, bones, metals, jewels, and brush materials, as well as the symbols and (spirit) designs, for the best physical and spiritual purpose, of the task of combing Ones hair. The Porcupine shared itself by giving Native Women a Sacred Comb, which was made from the bone found on the underside of the Porcupine's tail. After taking the skin off, drying it and making a wooden handle, it was ready to use.

Left Hand Bear, Oglala Sioux chief 

Combing is the act of separating and adjusting the hair so that it will lay or move in the best or most beautiful way. Native families, knowing that our hair is the physical manifestation of our thoughts, also understand that our thoughts need to be corrected and adjusted by the Creator, so that we will move gracefully along the Beauty Way, the Sacred Path of Life.

When combing our hair each day, we are re-minded to keep our thoughts pure. The hair that falls out and gathers in our brushes and combs, is gathered up and kept in a special place or pouch, for the 28 days of the Moon/month. This hair is a recollection, a record of our past thoughts and deeds. At the time of the Full Moon, the time of illumination and completeness, the Hearts of the Families, the Women, gather in ceremony and offer the thoughts of their families, their bundled Hair, to the Spirits of Fire, Earth and Air.

When our offerings of Hair are placed in fire, our thoughts are uplifted, sent through the smoke, moved by the power of the Moon, and prayerfully given to our Father, the Creator God or if buried, returned to Our Mother, the Earth and She relays our intent to through the Moon, to Our Father. In this way the Creator reads your families thoughts and sends His Spirits/Angels to guide you on the Sacred Path, correcting your Mind, Heart and Soul, strengthening the Body of Oneness, till the next Full Moon. Holding Sacred thoughts, choosing to walk a path of light, One that is pleasing to the Creator God, strengthens the individual Family, and the Greater Family of Universal Oneness, that every One is a part of.

Your hair teaches you that your thoughts are to flow in all directions but are to be informally directed. Yellow, Red, Black and White the four colors of hair symbolizing the major directions of Earth, and the direction of those constant in the flow of thought/ Spirit. Also, the four directions in between, Gold, Orange, Brown, Blue/Grey, Hair indicating those continual in thought/Spirit, flowing throughout the Universe. Your hair is just one way of indicating to others another conviction you carry throughout your lifetime. When the color of your hair changes, naturally, that means you have been Elevated, by God. You have more responsibility in and for Life.

You were given a sacred color of hair to wear and you were never to bleach (whiten) or dye your hair. Even the word dye/die when used for coloring states the death or divination of a God-given thought and purpose. Dying (destined for death) ones hair places your desires before the thoughts of God. Bleaching ones hair to change spiritual status, does not make one an Elder or Pre-dating Spirit, for you are born who you are, chosen, and elevated by God, not by Mankind. In Native ceremony when ocher and hennas were used on hair it was understood that it was for a Sacred purpose and Spirit (God) inspired, and the natural color would naturally return.

The act of cutting your hair is the cutting off of the flow of thought. You actually sever away past thoughts from future deeds. Cutting your hair usually occurs when one chooses to make a major change in ones life, putting past misdeeds behind them, and beginning a new/knew life. In Native teachings many tribes cut their hair during the mourning process, which symbolizes the deep wound to ones sensibilities caused by the piercing hurt of a loved ones passing.

Other tribes, remembering that they are Spirits that live forever, cut their hair after a year of mourning. Symbolic of the severing of their ties, freeing the spirit of their loved ones, allowing them to enter the morning of the next world. Ready to start a new life, knowing they must respect and honor their loved one, they feast and urge their loved Ones' spirit on. Demonstrating their love for all life, they signal they too are ready to start a new day, a new morning. For in wisdom, they except the greater cycle of life. They know the Body of their past Love, was given back to the Earth and the Spirit of their Loved One, needs to return to the Sol/Star their Spirits emanate from, to be re-aligned in the Body of Oneness, being reborn as their future and the renewed Children of Earth.

Even the time of cutting your hair is important, for all things need to be in harmony with the natural rhythm and flow of the Universe. Cutting old thoughts, harvesting full grown ideas, cutting all ties, is best on the Full Moon. For fresh starts, like the planting time, for new seeds of thought, or for the trimming, pruning and monthly maintenance, we cut our hair by the light of the New Moon, so it will grow thick and quick.

Young men are often seen with braids of sweetgrass for personal purification rites. In some Tribes, men weave sweetgrass into their braids to unify their thoughts with their Mother, the Earth, strengthening their thoughts of Oneness. This demonstrates the way in which hair is used to extend and bind your thoughts with others.

Naiche - Chiricahua Apache Youngest son of Cochise 

By attaching a lock of a loved ones hair, in your hair, or by carrying their hair on your person, One is able to carry the thoughts of their loved ones with them on their travels. It is so important to have your families spiritual support and protective thoughts (prayers) in life generally, that the hair of ones family and the hair of their protective spirits, was braided into a warriors battle dress for added strength and stamina. It is generally understood that you do not touch a person's hair without permission.

Sweetgrass headbands (the things that keep your brains in) (joke) are worn for concentration, to purify thought. The aroma of sweetgrass clears the mind. Sweetgrass necklaces or collars refer to the Spirit that is born head-first, and is used to call-in / collar the Spirit of Wisdom you are descended from. Sweetgrass braids, like the braids on your head symbolize the serpents of wisdom, that keep you on the Sacred Path of Light. It is the double-headed serpent that warns you with a shake of its tail, should you step off the path of light, to get back on the sacred path or suffer the venomous bites of despair, depression or death, depending how far you wander.

Braids symbolize Oneness and Unity. The flowing strands of hair, individually weak but when joined together in Oneness, physically demonstrate the Strength of Oneness; "One Mind, One Heart and One Soul", the Song of the Uni-verse, and the Sacred thoughts you are to hold. There are times to wear the hair braided and times to let it flow free, different times to demonstrate your harmony with the flow of life and to demonstrate your thoughts of Oneness to others.

There are different teachings about the way to braid ones hair, and different teachings about the ways and rites of braiding Sweetgrass.

One way is to gather 28 whole strands of Sweetgrass, one strand symbolizing each sacred day in one moon(month). Divide them in three equal piles, 9 strands each, each pile symbolizing the wandering spirits of the 3 tiers of Heaven (upper world, middle world, lower world), and with the one strand that is left, the strand that Symbolizes the Great Spirit, the Creator God(Father Sun), you tie all the loose strands together. Remembering as you braid the Sweetgrass, to keep your thoughts and intent pure and healthy, placing the prayers of love for life into your braid. It is the intent placed in the medicine that makes all healing possible. To end the braid, tie a knot with the grass. A Knot is symbolic of Union and a Bond. The Tie that binds. The knot in the Sweetgrass braid also binds all the "thoughts" of our Mother together, to teach us, once again of the strength of Unity or Oneness.

Know it is only the Creator's power that holds the Universe together and the wandering spirits are His Great Spirits that flow and protect Life all the way to the outer edges of the Universe and the 3 tiers of Heaven are the lower, middle and upper worlds or the Sea, Earth and Sky(Universe) where all the Great Spirits dwell. Keeping thoughts of Love and Respect for All Life in your Mind and Heart, allows one to share the Sacred Sweetgrass with others in a good way.

When working with the Sacred Medicines, our intent should be as pure as the intent of our selfless Mother, the Earth. She wants only the best for Her Children. So hold Sacred thoughts; thoughts of Oneness and Healing thoughts; thoughts of Empowerment and Love, when braiding and using Sweetgrass. Soon All Nations will be strong again.

Written by Paula Lightening Woman Johnstone

Responses to "Elders talk about the significance of long hair in Native American Cultures (Videos)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    i think it is wonderful and has enlightened me a little. I just wish I had the thick long hair of the Native Indian, it looks so healthy.

  2. Most interesting . Genetic yes.

  3. Char says:

    Kia ora White Wolf

    A very interesting read indeed. May i share some of your writing and a pic with friends please?

  4. KayEl says:

    Love this article.. and so true..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your teaching. I live in Ireland. I always needed to have long hair (it's curly) and I wouldn't let anyone cut it but till now I never really understood why. Recently my hair has become ill. I will pay attention to my thoughts and burn a sweetgrass braid. Thank you.

  6. wonderful article, being part native american and having long hair I feel blessed. Thank you

  7. benni says:

    This was fascinating. As a child I had thick curly hair that I was encouraged to cut. I always hated that. Now I know why I love my curly hair and do not straighten it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How beautiful and also sad some of these stories are, to which I knew so little. Thank you for sending light on this subject to us.

  9. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tradition of your culture.

  10. Hannah Blanco says:

    This article helped me to better understand the ways I was brought up in terms of my hair. My father, an El Salvador Maya gave my mother specific instructions on how to take care of my hair as a child. Things that were mentioned here I have done unconsciously for the same reasons they are done by American Indians. For instance, cutting the hair after a year of mourning or grief, and starting a new beginning and flow of thought. After reading this article, I am deciding to continue to treat my hair this way, but consciously and with more meaning.

  11. Unknown says:

    Thank you for this. My hair is very long and had belief before that a certain amount of you and your magic is in your hair. This gives more sentiment. I don't think I will be cutting it any time soon either.

  12. Unknown says:

    Respect and gorgeous <3

  13. snail says:

    I have always loved hair and believe that when my life has negativity in it, it is stored in my hair. I cut it off this year as a start over. Only other issue I have is menopause makes me so hot and sweaty that my hair is stringy. The other is I look so old and drawn when my hair is long. I too am half Iroquois and would love to follow the beliefs and teachings

  14. Anonymous says:

    Pretty deep. I have always wanted long, flowing hair, but because I am black, this has not happened for me; does that mean I am denied the wisdom of the ages?

  15. Anonymous says:

    I now have a greater understanding.repect and love for all that is. I thank you for sharing and hope to use this info in my walk through life.

  16. I remember when I was a child and I went into a foster home. The first thing they did to me was cut my precious long hair. They cut it to my ears, and now I can make the connection between what happened to me and what I have read. Yes I'm Native American, I have 5 Clans in my lineage, yes 5. I mixed with French but the Native never left any generation so I always identified with my Native inheritance even though I was urban and had 5 siblings. We all knew we were Native. My hair length meant everything to me all my life. When they cut my hair off, they cut of the memories that I had with the years it took me to grow my hair. I cried and cried, they traded my long hair for short lice infested hair. I could always connect to the need of my hair and still do today. My health has been weakened and so has my hair , however it still grows past my shoulder's. I will not cut it.

    As soon as I got out of foster care, I let my hair grow back to very long again and not too long after, I was involved in AIM in a financial way, by making contributions in any way I could. Since then I attended Native American Counsel's and got educated. I can so well understand the philosophy behind Aboriginal Peoples importance of hair. Even in Biblical times a woman's beauty was her hair. So it would be difficult for one to disagree with these passages no matter what their inheritance. Thank you for sharing what my Spirit already new, but could not find the place to rest this belief. dms.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful ...I love it and my long hair past my butt ....Creek and Cherokee .....Indian and proud of it.......

  18. Anonymous says:

    How would illnesses such as hypothyroidism or celiac disease or other which effect hair growth, health and shine, fit into this: "The more pure and sacred your thoughts, the longer, healthier, and vibrant, your hair. As Humans age and loose their innocence, falling off the Path of Light, harboring dark thoughts, losing the light of pure thought, Humans loose their hair and the shine (aureole) it once had." ? I ask, because I have such illnesses and have been long missing the full, healthy hair of my childhood. Is this symbolic superstition, or is there a possible connection between emotional/mental outlook and the development of these dillnesses? I've long believed there is, and that it is a strong connection. I've long felt there were major gaps in my education/klnowledge, and this is one of the few wellsprings I haven't come to yet. I'd be open to almost anything which might help me to change the direction my health is taking, and I would welcome the opportunity to know more about that aspect of my ancestry. Those are the ancestors who speak to me most strongly, not the English, Irish, African or whatever else. I've always resisted having my hair cut, and each time it was has been a traumatic event marking my memory: "before my hair was cut" and "after my hair was cut", like other people remember "before Dad died" or "Before I lost my job". :) While I wasn't raised indigenously, I have always had quirks in my personality like this that have always felt stronger than any conditioning or examples otherwise. Maybe understanding what I think are echoes of my ancestors by learning the cultural ways and medicines would help me. I'd like the opportunity to discuss these things with you. May I contact you, or would you consent to contact me?

  19. Anonymous says:

    @copperdots Absolutely not!! You have curly hair. Do you let it grow out? It is, in it's own way, long and flowing already. Re-read this article, take to heart about what curly hair means.
    ... "For those with Curly hair, they will have the potential to understand the Spiral, Curve and Energy of Life. Their thoughts teach about the decrease and enlargement of life's movement. The winding, circular energy of movement and growth on the Earth. All thoughts in life tend to ebb and flow."...
    Hugs and love to you.

  20. Anonymous says:

    @ hypothyroid and celiac sufferer. We don't have these diseases. I can tell you this: Cut soy and wheat completely out of your diet (not just gluten). Then your hair will grow and shine and you will not suffer anymore physically, and your thoughts and feelings will not harbor on suffering, pain, swelling and sickness (bad thoughts). Instead, you will focus on life, love, things you enjoy doing with your loved ones (good thoughts).

    That is how it fits in. Does it make sense yet? Give it a try and report to White Wolf with your results.

  21. Anonymous says:

    i have long hair and have always had long hair, but for reasons beyond my control, I had to cut it. I started growing my hair at the age of thirteen until 1990....but I still grow my hair and would not ever think of cutting it again,ever!!!!!!!

  22. Unknown says:

    Thank you so much! This was very insightful. A lot of things have become clear to me ....for instance I did not know why people shave off their head when relatives die. Now I know.

  23. Loved your article. My grandmother was Cherokee and her hair touched the floor. She always said a woman's hair was her crowning glory.

  24. summer thompson says:

    LOve and Gratitude for this great teaching of wisdom....the hair being the crown to all of life fountaining with Its LOve seeking harmony with warms my heart to read these wise teachings of ONENESS....blessings

  25. Thank you so much for your article. My mother had really long hair. When the twins died in childbirth, she cut her hair short. Only when her grandchildren were born did she grow her hair out until shoulder length. My grandmother also had long hair. So many subtleties talked about hair while growing up with my Algonquin mother. I have wavy hair. When I was in my teens it was the fad to straighten hair out with an iron or chemicals. I tried it. My mother thought it was crazy. Now, as a young elder, I have let my hair grow long and wavy and know that I receive energy and thoughts about water and how it moves and how patterns move throughout the planet. So good to talk about hair - what a blessing!

  26. Anonymous says:

    My long hair is very much a part of my spirituality, cutting it would be like cutting out part of my soul. Growing up, my mom always cut it short. I always hated it short and knew there was something missing in that it's long, I feel more complete. My long hair is part of the ceremony of life and gratitude to Spirit for me.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I am a Cherokee decendent with long black hair. I do this as a respect to my people.

  28. Anonymous says:

    you realize this is revisionist and false? People have so romanticized natives that people believe all sorts of baloney like this.

  29. Unknown says:

    My Father is of the Inuit People my hair made it to the back of my knees and that was it.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Change is hard to make, but growing out a shaved head is the worst.. lOL> Long live long hair!!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    There is a small incidence of both hypothyroidism and celiac disease among Native peoples, just far less so than among people of European descent. Since I'm a total mutt, I am at risk of illnesses to which you may be resistant or immune. I've been avoiding all gluten-containing foods, including wheat, spelt, barley, rye and oats, never was one for eating soy, prepare my own foods from scratch, and have even cut back on corn consumption because of GMOs. I have been following this diet nearly a year, with little change. I'm not focussed on (bad thoughts), but with neuropathy from an old injury, and these two illnesses, there is a conflict at times, between keeping a positive outlook and becoming discouraged. Especially since I am alone, without family or nearby friends to assist, and I must keep some form of shelter and food. I would say I have already "given it a try" for a long period, so I'm here to tell you, cutting out wheat and soy (and all other gluten-containing foods) and focussing on positives is not enough to return me to healthy vigor or shiny healthy hair. Thank you for the input, however. It was worth a try. :)

  32. Anonymous says:

    I am elgonquin and Cherokeen l try cutting out the wheat

  33. Anonymous says:

    i have the indian hair and its thick but not as healthy vigo or shiny as it use to be i damaged my hair by using different products like dye soultions and perms so i need to find a product that will repair my hair to its org. shine any suggestion

  34. Thank you for this. I am inspired by this presentation, at last I am standing for my right to grow my hair, I felt sad each time my hair had to be cut as if something powerful in me was being lost and wasted. Now I know why I felt the sadness. Thank you all for your wisdom and courage Steven Tatanka Wanagi Wichasta

  35. Unknown says:

    I am Dine and Acoma...I have always had long hair. However Ive always died it a lighter color since I was a teenager (now 38) and latley ive been asking myself why do I like my hair orange? Hahaha...contemplating going back to my natural color after 20 years? Maybe this is why...thanks for the knowledge.

  36. Anonymous says:

    when I was in the military I had to cut my hair and I hated it. Now it is back to my knees where it belongs.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I know about the power of hair...i did this for most of my life...i one day had the realization, when my family, sisters passed, i didnt cut my hair...which is is our tradition...i justified not cutting it, sayng, old ways annd old teachings r gone...but this yr...i cut my hair off, only because i was in mourning...i came to my senses

  38. Anonymous says:

    This is a wonderful article I would love to share it as an article here
    please let me know if this would be ok I will of course fully credit and link back you your work.
    Thank you
    Sarah (Editor )

  39. Anonymous says:

    now it makes sense. Growing up my father never wanted our (my sister & myself) hair cut. Made it real clear to mom. When we were older he told us to never color our hair. We always thought that he was very old fashioned. Asked him about it & he said his mother told his sisters this & said that it was passed down on his mothers side of the family. His mother had Cherokee in her background, way back. In the early 1800's I think.I have 2 daughters & I never cut their hair when they were growing.

  40. Do Shanti says:

    Learn about herbs and follow a (raw/natural), ripe, fresh, organic vegan lifestyle, eat before 7pm, sleep at 10pm and get up with the sun....Research and trust nature!
    Do Shanti

  41. Do Shanti says:

    I lost all my hair after the last of many antibiotic treatments in my life and have since researched herbs and nutrition. That's 3 years ago now. When your body is full of toxins, you get white hair or loose it. In short: eat raw, ripe, fresh, organic vegan foods or at least eat cooked what you could also eat raw. You and anyone is welcome to see my facebook page: Dorothee Heinze and see my "about" and browse through my posts and see the natural cancer protocol from sunday 19 January. What cures cancer cures everything...
    Research and trust nature!
    Do Shanti

  42. Sada says:

    Would you mind if I translate this article into Chinese in my blog? Thank you!

  43. Anonymous says:

    I think maybe your hair will grow long another way, perhaps locked in dreadlocks, all your thoughts will grow and add on and stay with you until you decide.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I think maybe your hair will grow long another way, perhaps locked in dreadlocks, all your thoughts will grow and add on and stay with you until you decide.

  45. Anonymous says:

    What if you prefer your hair short? Is that a disrespect? Is it wrong?

  46. Anonymous says:

    how about this

  47. Ewurama says:

    That! is what I am talking about, to me this is not just a good article but a truth about hair and cultures that you don't hear often... that is cool! I am not Native American, but I admire them and I come from a culture that has a few similarities and has also suffered some harsh treatment from the media. I loved your article. Thank you for sharing

    Thanks for that

  48. Keen Blue Gaze says:

    Wow that is fascinating, thanks for sharing! It confirms so much of my own long-held intuition

  49. Unknown says:

    Thank you for this post. I have always had a great love and respect for the Native Americans and their diverse culture. Thank you to each tribe et all for all that you have given to America as well as done too. May each of you, your families, and tribes be blessed.

  50. Evie says:

    Why do you question this great article? Native Americans had the right ideas about life in general. No, I am not of native descent, but; have had a lot of respect for them and the way they thought, before the "white people" came along and spoiled it for them. Thier respect of others and animals could be used today!

  51. Evie says:

    Thank you for this great information. I have long acknowledged that Native Americans had the right ideas about many things. I am proud to be able to say that none of my ancesters were involved in the terrible treatment they recieved at the hands of europeans!

  52. Anonymous says:

    hello my name is setting dog I am native American and I love who I am I would not change that I love the was my hair is long now that I am older it is getting harder for me to take care of but with the help of my wife now that I am older I have gat a beard and it is long I will not cut it I thank this is what the gods want from me and people all the time tell me to cut it off but I thank if I cut it I would loose who I am and I never would want that I am native and I will stay that was until I walk in the grass of my Ancestors

  53. B says:

    I am Cherokee and Creek and I would love to share stories

  54. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed the post about long it was more information than what I have read before...Thank you for sharing this with us

  55. Thank you for this article. It was truly beautiful and enlightening! I now deeply regret the cutting of my long gorgeous hair :(

  56. Thank you for this article. #ancestors

  57. Anonymous says:

    Thanks you for giving out this information. I am a Native American that was separated from her roots when I was little and have been trying to find some information on some of the culture of my people and it has been difficult. This article is wonderful and now I understand why I always felt there was an importance to the hair and braids. Thanks again.

  58. Anonymous says:

    My husband passed 6 months ago, his wish was for me to never cut my hair. I am chickasaw, he was not. What should i do?

  59. Unknown says:

    Hello, I'm from the UK, I'm 64 years old and still have long hair past my waist, I still have my natural colour, ( not grey yet ) although when I was younger I did cut it sometimes and also highlighted it to lighten. The problem is it has gone much thinner, I don't wash it too often, mainly because the hot water boiler isn't working properly! I began brushing it with a boar bristle brush but find every time loads of hair coming out, tonight for the first time in ages I decided to just use a comb, and although some hair came out there was not as much. Are you able to tell me why my hair has gone thin? I love my long hair, but I don't wear it lose much these days because it begins to appear straggly very quickly, it is a shame really because people use to comment and say how lovely my hair was. Another reason I do not cut it is because it says in the bible that God gave us our hair for our glory and a covering. Thanks hope you have an answer for me.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I Loved this Article. Thank You So Much.

  61. Unknown says:

    I love your post. I shared some of the information on my blog:

  62. Anonymous says:

    I am so sorry for your husbands passing sister, I also lost my husband 5 yrs. ago, and the only advice I can give you is do what you feel is right to honor your husbands memory. if it was his wish for you to not cut your hair and you feel it is right in your heart then by all means do not cut it, my husband was of Cherokee descent and didn't want me to cut my hair either so instead what I did was I braided one long braid underneath and I cut that... I also did that when my father passed and I buried it with him, my husband was cremated so it got burned with him. and my hair is still proudly over 4 feet long. Blessed be.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I have long hair always have once had it cut short and ended up in hospital due to hair cut, my body and hair are one with me and the doctors told me never to do it again. As it would happen again so it grew and I had 2 nd child so I cut it again not thinking another 2 weeks spent in hospital, I suffered sweats, fevers and literary felt like I was dying.. It's now back to my bottom and I regularly cut only a centermeter off to keep it healthy.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I've always instinctively understood the meaning/power of hair but years back when I came across info from a native source , and have most of my life chosen to have it very long however........I am looking for a deeper meaning about white hairs and how natives/elders don't recommend dying the hair as it kinda means preparing for death?
    I have extremely dark brown (often appears black) and have had lots of white hairs since I was 18 years old , now at a fast approaching 38 (look bit younger) I am tired of dying it and want to stop but so far can't seem to do so.
    ANYONE OUT THERE CAN enlighten me further on this specific subject/sub-section of the significance of hair?
    A female :)

  65. Hair is common in mammals on earth, and almost all mammals groom themselves and their body hair as part of hygiene. But it is only Humans, who pay more attention to hairstyles for the hair on their heads. In the past few centuries, new and fashionable hairstyles have become the rage, especially among the rich and famous. In the modern world, copying celebrity hairstyles is common among females, and males too

  66. Absolutely in love with your blog. Great work! This post has been very helpful I can't wait to use some of these ideas.

  67. Unknown says:

    Very interesting . Rethinking Hair.... Thanking you.

  68. Unknown says:

    in history, people with short or shaven hair were, and are : pupils, conscripts, convicts, monks . all people under the domination of others . and in western culture, like a lion or wolf mane, long hair is scary to authority because it represents youth, vigor, need for freedom

  69. I agree with the above. Dump the grains and starch (all sugars, all things made with flour and all starchy vegs) and you will be amazed at how much better you feel.
    PS - My hair is now close to knee length, thick and wavy. Genetics obviously are part of that but at 60 I still have a massive head of hair and diet is a big part of that.

  70. Unknown says:

    Thank you De esse for this advise, I will give this some serious thought! my hair is long, below my waist but thin! I'm over 60, but I'm not grey yet!

  71. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this information about the ways in which hair, how it's cared for and how it's worn can hold sacred significance.

    Even as a woman who does not have native ancestry, one of my most traumatic early childhood memories is when my mother had my long hair cut into a pixie (think Mia Farrow in "Rosemary's Baby"). My hair was kept short until I was old enough to choose my own hairstyle; even then, it was a constant battle between my desire to "grow out" my hair and pressure to wear my hair short in order to please my parents.

    For much of my adult life, my hair has been shoulder length or longer. Until relatively recently, I felt as though I had to justify my hair any time someone encouraged me--for whatever reason--to cut and/or dye it. (Long hair isn't becoming on women over 40. Long hair looks "unkempt" in the professional realm. Women in the workforce need to cover their grays, etc.)

    I regrew my hair after the death of a friend in 2005. Since then, I've cut it once: four years ago, when a friend was diagnosed with cancer.

    I feel more mentally & emotionally balanced, more feminine, and more spiritually connected when my hair is long. I typically don't wear my hair loose except in private. I don't like it when people touch my hair without my permission--it's uncomfortable in many non-physical ways.

    As one who had a childhood in which both parents were abusive, including sexual abuse, my hair has helped me heal. It's helped me connect with my femininity, and it's helped me learn to accept loving, nurturing and healing touch.

    When someone pressures me to cut my hair for no reason, I now wonder what's wrong with them.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I am of Cherokee, Apache and hair is now long and white...I am 51....I cut my hair after my mothers passing and then my best friends passing has already gotten long is to my waist..Is is my Strength and my Passion and my Oneness with my heritage...I will not cut it again...

  73. Anonymous says:

    I recently cut my hair short.. the first time I have ever had really short hair.. but I feel less depressed than I have been in the last few years.. this is my new beginning. and I feel it, I am more sensitive to all around me, and this feeling is growing stronger everyday. After reading this I now understand why I cut my hair, even if I didn't know it before my spirit did know what I needed.

  74. Lonewolf says:

    Chi-miigwetch for the teaching. I am a non-Anishnawbe working with an Anishnawbe community here in Canada. The question of the importance of long hair (especially for males) has been a question to wich I have received many different (but not contradictory!) answers. What I have read and watched here has added to my understanding. This aids in the understanding and appreciation of just how sophisticated and rich Native cultures are. Sadly, my ancestors have missed out on such an amazing opportunity to become richer as a people through the understanding and appreciation of Native American, First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture. As I learn, my son learns. As the teachings are shared with me, I share with my son.

  75. O.P. says:

    Years ago, in my early thirties, a Native American woman (I think she was Apache) approached me smiling broadly while in a store, and claimed "Holy Woman!". I asked her what she was talking about, and she insisted I was a Holy Woman- I told her I was so far from being Holy, it would take a long,long time for that to ever happen and that she must be mistaken. She said, "NO!" and kept insisting that I was, indeed, Holy- she had pointed to my 'band' across the top of my head which is a distinct whitish silver(goes ear to ear across the top of my head, about an inch or more wide and runs the full length of my hair). She and her family were speaking their native language and in a state of what I can only express as awe, and smiling. Would you please tell me more about this?
    .I don't know that any of my ancestors have had this band. I very rarely allow anyone to touch my hair, as it is discomforting. My hair 'feels'- it's the best way I can describe this sensation.
    I also have an 'issue' with electrical/electronical devices- they tend to 'go haywire' in my presence (my computer tech finds me quite odd; he witnessed the radio changing stations wildly every time I walked by it, stating he had never seen anyone do that ever- at least not to the extent he witnessed with me). When my computer or other device acts up, he always laughs and says 'what did you do it it NOW?!, knowing I did nothing except 'BE'.
    My hair has changed colors several times throughout my life, of it's own accord.It was reported to me that it was red when I was born, changed to dark brown, then more blondish, then light brown, then carrot red/orange- at which time I had a discussion with God that I did not WANT red hair and requested it be brownish instead.. It then changed to 'mousy brown' and fairly stayed that way most of my life. It is now interspersed with silver, but the band is still prominent and whitish silver, as it has been for years. I get red highlights in the rest of my hair in fall and spring.
    Children have always approached me -again in a state of excitement and awe- exclaiming that I have 'rainbows' in my hair. They tell me I have "SO many colors" (their parents are always embarrassed because they want to touch my hair; I let them- they are the only ones who don't make my hair uncomfortable). These children swear they 'know' me! I don't recall ever meeting them previously, but they are certain that I am their friend from long ago- these are very young children. One girl, about 5 or 6, is quite insistent that I am her friend- She breaks away from her mothers' grasp,and she runs to me and hugs me every time I happen across her, exc;aiming 'My friend! My friend! I have missed you So much!'. Her mother is greatly unsettled by all this display, and apologizes profusely (although it is not necessary). She manages to drag the child off, admonishing her, and all the while the little girl is yelling at her 'But it is my FRIEND!', arguing with her over being taken away when she finally got to see me. It is all rather odd(to me), but they are so genuinely certain that they know me, and it is clear there is great love being expressed. I have no idea why this happens to me, but the children seem to know something that I am unaware of. It is not every child; just a few- but they are adamant that they know me, and are very close in heart with me.
    I do not know whether you can shed some light on any of this, but would appreciate any insight you may offer.
    Please, also, if you'd be kind enough to share with me, would you tell me the significance of this band in my hair?
    Thanks you so much for your time and consideration.
    atachaka at springsips dot com

  76. Unknown says:

    thats right

  77. Diego says:

    What about september..September: "Moon When The Calves Grow Hair " how? What does it mean?

  78. Anonymous says:

    my mom taught me how to care for my long hair. Braid it every night she would tell me. I still have long hair and the last time I cut it was when my mom crossed over.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Hello,I also have long hair,i once was in the residentual school when I arrived there they cut my hair all of it I cried for days I knew there was a meaning to long hair,still today I get judged by my look of having long curly hair ,its sad sometimes,,but i will continue to live and respect long hair thanks for your stories..hookaaa..<3

  80. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this article. I love having long hair but my family always encourage me to cut it because I am a guy. My family is descended from Native Americans from Latin America but also from the Spanish Europeans. I try to honor some Native traditions when I can and having long hair is one I'm proud of. Many of my friends like it and often compliment me on it. I always knew your hair was a special part of you and this article has helped me see that. Thanks so much

  81. Anonymous says:

    when living in certain places with low levels of arsenic in the water, my hair would fall out by the handfuls

  82. I am 1/4 Cherokee. My mother is white and I have lost my culture. I have long hair but has been cut several times throughout my life due to morning or illness. It makes me sad to cut my hair like a sence of loss. I now know why, and why I cut my hair after morning.
    Thank you for this beautiful article. I am passing this knowledge on to my daughter. :)

  83. Unknown says:

    Very good article. It explained a lot to me about how I've felt for a long time. A good friend of mine cut her hair off when her mother passed away, and she talked a little about it. Now I understand. Thank you.

  84. Grace says:

    Had to cut off my hair due to health issues is it wrong and how can i get it to grow back longer and healthier

  85. Chaplain Les Paulson says:

    I cut my hair off when my wife died. I did not understand why then. I'm beginning to understand things now as I search the ancient paths back to my grandmother's people. The were Oglala Cheyenne. Now I'm searching the roots of my ancestors. I have not cut my hair in 25 months. I think I will never cut it again. My wife her spirit the prayers of my grandmother and my long hair are sacred to me. Things are sacred now and always have been. I am only now beginning to understand why. You're teaching about Native American hair and what is sacred is priceless. Thank you,
    Chaplain Les Paulson

  86. Unknown says:

    I'm very blessed by everyone's comments and stories, so thanks everyone for sharing. This made me think because my sister and I were adopted at a younger age by white people. I always felt like they tried to get my sister and I to act like them rather than embracing our own culture since we are part Cherokee.I even remember them cutting my sister's hair short and she Hated it! (our birth mom saw it cut short visiting us and was so mad she choked our adoptive mom.) Now I understand. My hair is naturally curly but now it's relaxed and growing long in memory of my Father. I know I'll gain knowledge from the life he lived.

  87. Anonymous says:

    I'm non-native that I know of, and my mother always cut and permed my naturally fine, straight, hair. So I have no family picture of what I looked like as a child as far as real hair goes. Mother asked me what I wanted for my 9th birthday and I told her "A ponytail" (code for stop cutting my hair off) and I wanted a new doll too but asked her to not give me the doll but instead, to please just give me the present of NOT cutting my hair anymore and no more perms. Grandma had 3 ft. long hair and I wanted long hair of my own, not to copy her but just because I felt it was me. I was so relieved when Mother gave me my birthday present of NOT messing with my hair ever again. And to my surprise, she also gave me a new doll. Now that was the greatest present I've ever received, my long hair!!

    Now that I am retired from corporate office work for which I maintained a layered cut, I am free to have my own long straight hair back for good! And sure it's thinner than it once was, that's true, but the point is it's back to where it feels normal again, which is Long.

    I think hair must be like a limb. To cut it off feels like cutting off a limb, maybe I knew that as a child, I don't know. But when she'd cut it and even change the texture of my hair with those home permanent waves, it felt so wrong, it felt insulting to me, that I wasn't good enough the way Nature made me. I must say, I'm so glad I'm free to be who I am, and not have to follow other people's hair rules. I wouldn't be young again if you paid me to be.

    Well I really enjoyed your article and learned so much about Native American hair. I felt it had deeper meaning, but thanks to your article, now I know it does and I thank you very much.

  88. Beryl says:

    I understood a lot from this article. I have always had long hair and would only let my mother cut it until I was 11 and I wanted bangs and we went and got my bangs and the lady cut my long hair off. I cried for almost 2 days straight off and on. I have always taken care of my long hair and only cut it at certain times. Now I will follow some of the things I learned from this article and always keep my long hair, I am 60 and was told I should cut my hair when I was 21 by my Russian grandmother that it was wrong to have long hair and have a baby. I had given birth to a boy about 3 months earlier. Thank you for explaining what I have felt about my hair. I am of Sioux heritage and different cultures mixed in, but always leaned to my Sioux knowledge. My parents respected my need to have long hair. I never have hurt my hair and only cut it when it feels like I I always let my son decide what length his hair should be. Hair is very personal. Thank you for the lesson.

  89. Unknown says:

    This made me cry when I read the beautiful meanings of longspirr. I was touched by the vision I had when reading and for my own personal reasons as well. My mother who once had long hair, she has passed. I remember her twlling me her reasons of having long hair. She was native at heart. And her being adopted she felt more in heart with the native people. I also had long hair my whole life and would only trim it on a special full moon, and after my mother passed I would have it trimmed on the anniversary. Except the last anniversary I made the mistake of going to a salon that was low budget. My hair was to long to trim myself and I needed to stand to have it done. After my trim they insisted that I have it washed. The ladies there two of them cut my hair in three big chunks put it in a case and left me there. It wasn't a crime cause I payed them. But it should be! I feel like I've been cursed sense that day with nothing but bad luck from car wreak and loosing my weight. Please if you know what it is that I'm missing cause I feel that my spirit was beaten. Thank you Ricki

  90. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for writing this article. It explains a lot especially why I fought my Mother as I grew up. She demanded that I had short hair, something I definitely was uncomfortable with, and I wanted long. Thankfully my wonderful Dad put a stop to it- he understood my need and put a stop to her demanding in that area. My only problem- it gets to a certain length (half way down my back) and won't grow any longer. Wish I knew why.

  91. O.P. says:

    To promote growth, trim 3 days after New Moon (or when Moon is in Pisces).
    Also, hot oil treatment once a month: Olive oil, mixed with Arnica; massage into hair/scalp before bed and wrap in towel(then sleep);wash out thoroughly in morning.

  92. Siandriel says:

    Hi ya. Would a man care and braid his hair himself or would his allow someone else to do it for him? And is their any significance of someone else braiding your hair? Would it be considered a taboo for the Sioux to have someone other than your family braid your hair?

  93. Anonymous says:

    I am native american on my mom's side, I have always had long hair and hated ever having it cut the only time I have ever willingly cut my hair was after my great grandmother passed I cut it off myself I didn't understand why I had the urge to do so, and once again after I had recovered from a really bad accident. I have refused to cut my hair since and now it's well past my waist I now know and can hold this close to my heart knowing that I'm keeping a bit of my grandmother with me even more thank you

  94. Unknown says:

    so does anybody have any infirmatiin specifically on cheif long hair of the crow nation? legend has it he had hair 25 feet long but i cant seem to find any real info on him other then a few lines in a few different books and articles.

  95. Anonymous says:

    My grandmother was mixed and we are the only ones with dark, curly, very thick hair as we age it still grows very fast as do our nails. Born in OK but had a grandfather who walked the Trail of Tears, not sure if he made it. My grandmother considered herself from TN. We have no black blood so not sure why she and I are the ones with curly, very dark hair as the others do have a lot of hair including the men but they are much lighter than she and I.

  96. Anonymous says:

    All my life I had long hair down to my waist and trimmed it to maintain at that length, when my dad passed away, my mom cut my hair up to my chin. it's just what is done. my hair doesn't define me, it is very telling of my emotional state though. my friends always put flowers in my hair when we meet up these days just to cheer me up and to honor my dad/loss, it's been 2 years, my hair gets longer everyday as does my resilience and my strength without my dad in my life.

  97. Spirit Shadow says:

    O Si Yo to all.... All my life I had to have short hair, my mom always cut my hair short. I hated it. I felt every time she cut it my heart would break. As a young girl I had polio and rheumatic fever and was unable to walk for many years. Then I went blind from measles. Now I am 63 and have let my hair grow, it's thin and white with 2 dark stripes that run down the middle and it's all natural. I vowed not to cut my hair ever again and recently been diagnosed with cancer, now my hair is falling out from chemo and me being sick. I have shaved my hair because most had fallen out. I sent my hair to a wig maker and now I wear my own hair as a wig.
    It's great. Before I got my wig I painted the back of my head with a smiley face... gave everybody a chuckle or two... Peace, harmony and love to all....

  98. Irene says:

    God bless you!

  99. Kitchie Miigwetch to White Wolf Pack for the incredible post...
    This brave will be sharing if yall don't mind...
    Aho Mitakuye Oyasin Prayers have been sent for our returning Warriors of the Rainbow from all cultures ...
    Wakan Tanka

  100. Anonymous says:

    This adds so much more meaning to chapter 15 in Walk Two Moons.
    BTW, it's a great book. Buy it here:

  101. 'Innocence' comes from the Latin meaning 'non-harming' ('in-' here is equivalent to 'not', 'nocere' means 'to harm').

    I have very thin western European hair that used to be dead straight and is now wavy. But I don't construct my philosophy of life on puns.

  102. Anonymous says:

    hi this happend 2 days ago in real life not a dream i went to the store somthing drew me to look that way when i did there was a couple with a white wolf long hair clear eyes it was male we the wolf and i cought each other looking at each other somthing drew me closer to the wolf it was like magnic anyway when i was closer the wolf licked my face to me it was magical the wolf was big and friendly so if anything does this mean anything or not let me know my name is maria

  103. Unknown says:

    I know my grandmother Cherry must have had fine's is said that (Indians) Native Americans are the finest of them all...I agree.

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