The Value of Hair

Hair donation
Photo: Shutterstock
Previous page
Religious Value of Hair
Scriptures of all cultures have passages with instructions on how to wear hair, if it is right to cut it, when and how to do it.
Rastafarianism, the religion that has become a lifestyle even for non-believers, asks its orthodox followers to never cut their hair. Cutting this symbol of power, freedom, defiance, and respect is looked upon as sinful. Hair is celebrated according to the Bible passage of Numbers 6:5: "All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow."
For the Indian Sikhs, hair is one of the five articles of faith and considered a gift from God that shall not be cut. To protect it, turbans are worn. The high value attributed to hair here goes as far as not using any razors to shave off anybody's hair. Hair is seen as antennae that connect us to the divine energy and without them, a person would not only lose contact with God but would also be in high danger of losing their mind in the end.
Polynesians consider hair to be an expression of mana, the life force, and also let it grow as nature allows it. It is cut, however, to mourn the death of a beloved family member.
There are similar beliefs in other cultures as well, and all have in common that hair symbolizes strength and connection to the cosmic principle.
Hair as a Statement
One of the most famous musicals of all times is “Hair”. The movie and the Broadway show are still as popular as ever and almost everyone recognizes the soundtrack. It takes us back to a time when long hair was a statement of a counterculture, of free spirit, expression and revolution. Today male ponytails have almost become mainstream, but there still is a little bit of rebellion left in each single inch.
Rockstars would not be half as captivating without their long manes and do they know how to shake these around! Or can you imagine Sammy Hagar with a neat and short haircut?
Bald girl, wearing leather
Photo: Shvets Production/Pexels
Statements do not have to be made with long hair only. Punk made a huge impact with just the opposite and extremely short hair with more or less color and spikes always makes a splash and sends a message of "I do it my way". The same goes for men and women who shave their hair off to make a statement.
Hair for Kids
Perhaps the most immeasurable value given to hair comes from Locks of Love. This non-profit organisation gives hair pieces to children in the US and in Canada who have lost their hair due to medical reasons. The hair itself comes from donations.
The donated hair has to be at least 10 inches in length, be in a ponytail or in a braid before it is cut and it can be colored or permed but not bleached. If you have a good length of hair that you want to cut, ask your hairdresser about “Locks of Love” or visit their website for more information.
What is it Worth?
The international market for human hair has become a gigantic industry with strong roots in Asia and South America. As hair extensions become more and more popular, the demand for long strands of human hair increases and with it the prices. In 2007 China and India exported about 154 million dollars worth of human hair. Since then the numbers have been going up.
What does your hair mean to you? Could you put a price on it?