The Beauty of Native American Hair

To me, one of the most beautiful aspects of Native American culture is the pride Native Americans take in their hair, especially when it comes to the long-ingrained traditions of braiding and hair length.  For some Native Americans, the art of braiding is only ornamental; for others, it took on a religious meaning and could even signify tribal status or preparation for battle.

Long hair also is of significant cultural meaning.  Many Native American men and women wore their hair long – sometimes nearly to the ground — before the influence of western culture on their traditions.  Western culture misinterpreted the meaning of long hair and saw it as rebelion against civilized society when it was instead a way to celebrate culture and identity.  However, as society changes and extremely long hair has become more frequent and accepted, as shown with the popularity of hair growth products such as mira hair oil and Morroccan oil, Native Americans are experiencing less of a backlash over their hair.

Hair in current Native American culture is still of high importance.  Some Plains and Western tribes of Native Americans still hold to the tradition of only cutting their hair while in mourning.  In addition, certain hair styles, such as squash blossoms, are only displayed during religious and cultural events.