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First Published on the Findhorn website.

Ever found yourself twirling your hair around your finger? Or noticed a colleague playing with their hair? It’s a common habit, but what’s (forgive the pun,) the root cause? Why have you chosen to play with your hair instead of tapping your foot for instance? To find the answer we need to examine the mystical and symbolic function of our hair.

In History

In the bible, Samson’s hair was symbolic of his strength and holiness: “If my hair were cut, I should lose my strength and be as weak as anyone else.” Judges 15 16:15. Now obviously it was not his hair as such, that gave him strength, but rather what it symbolized – namely his connection to God. This connection gave him his charismatic power. Likewise the Native American Indians, regarded their hair as their link to spirit, hence their feathered headdresses which were a way to enhance this connection. In scalping a defeated enemy, the warrior removed his victim’s ability to reconnect in death, with the Great Spirit. As hair grows from the seventh chakra in the East it is also seen as a sort of antennae into the astral and mental planes. Many Hindu men do not cut their hair as they see it as lines of force connecting them to the universe. Nuns when taking their vows have their hair cut or shaved off, as symbolic of a new way of life and submission to God. Many other monks in various religions, such as the Chinese Manchus do the same. In India, as part of a particular cults’ annual ceremony, disciples are required to crawl many kilometers on their knees to a temple, where their hair is roughly (and painfully) pulled out by priests, as a means of purification. The first thing that happens when a new recruit enters the military is his hair gets shorn. By doing this he is stripped of his personal power and strength as an individual. Likewise the Neo Nazi movement has shaven heads as an identifying symbol. Here the interrelation to the gang and its strength and doctrine become more important than the individual’s needs and personal power.
Shining hair is indicative of a healthy body, while loss of hair results from tension and lack of enjoyment i.e. feeling unconnected to the Divine in our lives. Often when we cut or change the colour of our hair or its style, we demonstrate visibly the change that has, or we hope will, occur in our lives. Calling a difficult, scary situation a “hairy” or “hair-raising” experience, indicates that the event required drawing in strength from the Divine. As our “hair stood on end” we sought to summon extra power or strength to get us through the situation. In contrast “letting one’s hair down” meant forsaking one’s spiritual connection to seek earthly pleasures for which the remedy the following morning would be “the hair of the dog that bit you”! (A like cures like homeopathic approach.) There is also a sexual aspect to this phrase, coming from ancient times where women with loose hair signified virginity or being single/available. “Letting your hair down,” is then also connected to letting go of your sexual inhibitions.

So how now does this relate to us playing with our hair?

Simply this, that by playing with your hair what you are really attempting to do is to draw into yourself power or emotional/mental strength by enhancing your connection to the Divine. Doing so will literally stimulate this connection and increase your thinking/conceptual/creative capabilities or help you to gain control of a situation or person. I was acutely aware of this when shortly before a live radio interview, I found myself playing with my hair, a habit that I don’t usually have. The link between hair and seeking strength or mental insight and what I needed then, made me smile.

When you twist your hair around your finger you need to ask whether it is another person who you wish to “twist around your little finger” i.e. gain control over, or persuade someone to your way of thinking. Because of the link between sexuality/virility and hair, there can be an element of sexual manipulation at play here. So next time you find yourself playing with your hair, ask yourself what area of you life you are seeking clarity, strength or control over, or whose thoughts and ideas you might want to be

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