Is it wrong for a male to have long hair or not?


I’ve been thinking about this. Accordingly in Paul’s epistles it states that it is a shame for a male to have long hair, and its a shame for a women to have her hair uncovered.

So one would assume this means men and female in general. But if that is true then i wonder why females dont cover their head in the church?. And i think i know why. I think this talks about priesthood. Because let me explain.

If it is a shame for male to have long hair then why is Jesus portrayed as one. The earliest portrayal is from 3rd century i think, there is one in 1st century but you cant really identify Jesus, since its a stickman figure or something that a roman made in ridicule of Christianity. But there are two versions in 3rd century, one is Jesus with beard and one as a child… its kinda difficult to identify if he really has long hair or not. But i am gonna go for long hair.

Either way the main point is that if it is shameful for men to have long hair, then why is Jesus portrayed as such. And i still think its the priesthood that is obligated to keep it more or less and not regular folks. Now some have given an argument of Nazarite vow, which means to abstain from wine, strong drinks and meat and not cutting your hair i think. But here is the problem with that argument.

Matthew 11:19
19 The Son of man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.’

If you read the KJV it says wine actually

The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Which kinda makes sense, since drinking back then likely ment wine. So this makes it unlikely of nazarite vow. And also the thing is that i never see women cover their head when they go to church, unless you are a nun, which makes me believe Paul was referring to priesthood

But just wondering what you think?


I think that their culture is very different form 21st century culture and the length of hair was not simply fashion statement like it is now.
Same with women head covering.
It’s not part of the modern culture.


I have to agree with the above post. There is nothing in the Church forbidding men from having long hair. I am a male and I have long hair.


All this “long hair on men is shameful” and “Jesus had long hair” and “long hair this” and “long hair that”, without even establishing a one essential fact:

Define “long hair”.

Depending on that definition, Jesus’ hair was either long or short.

But until that definition is set, we can’t come to the conclusion that “Jesus had long hair” or even poster thephilosopher6 has “long hair”. I may even have hair shorter than how Jesus is popularly portrayed and still be deemed to have “long hair”.

Of course, since St. Paul’s writings are used as the jumping point for the argument, the real definition of “long hair” for THIS discussion is what that was in St. Paul’s place and time.


I kind of like men who have longish hair. Just brushing the neck and covering the ears. And I do always think of Jesus when I see long hair on a man. Not a bad thing to be reminded of either.:wink:


Christ had long hair.


Jesus probably had hair that is long by today’s standards but short for his time. Also, I doubt it is was a long as it is depicted in some icons and paintings of him.


I think I remember this exact same discussion back in the '60’s.


The problem with the Church in Corinth wasn’t long hair. It was disorder.

People were getting drunk at Mass. Everyone was talking during Mass and not allowing others to speak. The rich were denying seats to the poor.

It has nothing to do with long hair not being permitted.

Dress properly, only one or two speak and the rest of you shut up, eat at home and not in Church… that’s the message.



Do you have evidence for this claim?


From the below article from CA, it would seem that back in St. Paul’s time that me men wore their hair about shoulder length.

I don’t see why it would be wrong for a man to have long hair (longer than shoulder length), as long as it is well maintained.


Long hair isn’t the point of the passage.

The letters to the Corinthians is about disorder in the Church. How people dressed and wore their hair was only one example Paul used to point out and correct their disorderly conduct.

The length of people’s hair misses the whole point of the letters to the Corinthians.



How Jesus is portrayed is influenced by the culture of the people. Italians and Europeans portrayed Him with shoulder-length hair because that was how men wore their hair. Jesus traveled preaching and teaching for at most 3 years. A person travelling like that would probably have long hair.




I’ll give you two theories. First, you have to understand what long hair means. In 1 Corinthians 11:15 it states: Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. This indicates that in nature a woman’s hair covers her body for modesty, so long hair should be defined as being passed the middle of the torso or passed the waist. If this is true then men with short hair have no problems. 1 Corinthians 11:6 states: For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair. If a woman is required to cut off her hair to an appropriate length, then having shoulder length hair should not be a problem because long hair must be long enough to cover her body.

Second, you have to understand why Paul was writing 1 Corinthians 11. In the early Church there was a lot of disagreements on what should be done and what is acceptable. Circumcision was one of those problems. It was something done in Judaism that many wanted to continue, but Paul remind them that baptism is our spiritual circumcision. At the end of his rant on head coverings Paul says this: But if anyone is disposed to be contentious—we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God. In other words, if you or your community is worried or arguing about head coverings then you’ve missed the point of Christianity. Keep in mind that paper wasn’t cheap back then, so for him to have to waste space to rant about head coverings for a whole paragraph indicates that it was a problem among early Christians communities.

I also want to say I think veils are beautiful and are a great sign of respect. It also helps remind us that we are in the presence of someone sacred. But if we force women to wear them we are again missing the point of Christianity.


The only people in early Christian art that were ever portrayed nearly-consistently were Peter and Paul. Everyone else, including Jesus, was pretty much either variable or ‘generically’-portrayed. Seriously, Jesus could either be portrayed as a young, short-haired adolescent or philosopher, a somewhat effeminate long-haired man, a curly-haired male with a short beard, and a long-haired patriarchal type of figure with a full, bushy beard, or somewhere in between those four.

By the early Byzantine period, the frizzy short-haired ‘Semitic’ Jesus (associated with Syria and Palestine) and the long-haired ‘Greek’ Jesus were the two main contenders, each with their own adherents. Of course, the ‘Greek’ Jesus won out eventually over that one.

One theory as to where our current image of Jesus as a long-haired guy with a beard came from is that is derived from the Greco-Roman depictions of Zeus/Jupiter. (Which shouldn’t be surprising, since early Christian art was for the most part appropriated from Greco-Roman artistic models.) At least, that’s what those who favored the frizzy Jesus depiction at the time went so far as to claim.

There was this story told by the 6th-century Byzantine historian Theodorus Lector about a rich man who commissioned an icon of Jesus with “his hair divided on his forehead, so that his eyes were not covered;” the painter’s hands supposedly withered as a result (!) It wasn’t until Patriarch Gennadius of Constantinople (458-471) prayed over him that his hand was cured. The implication of the anecdote is that the painter was punished for depicting Jesus like Zeus: long-haired. Not surprisingly, our source, Theodorus, was of the ‘frizzy Jesus’ camp.


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