The Amish community is one of the most recognizable religious groups in the world due to its unique style of dress and lifestyle. In this day and age, where technology, trends, and fads come and go, the Amish are known for their steadfast commitment to tradition. One of these traditions is the strict adherence to rules governing hairstyles.
There are strict regulations regarding the length, styling, and even the colour of an Amish person’s hair. This article outlines the most common Amish hair rules and the spiritual and theological reasons behind these guidelines.
What this article covers:
- Amish Women's Hair Rules
- Amish Men's Hair Rules
- Who Determines Amish Hair Rules?
- What Happens if You Don't Follow Amish Hair Rules?
Amish Women's Hair Rules
Women are an integral part of the Amish community. They are responsible for many of the day-to-day tasks and are expected to uphold the traditional roles of Amish women as wives, mothers, and homemakers. As such, their hair is to be kept in a neat, plain style that doesn’t attract attention or create any kind of envy among peers. Women are to keep their hair long and worn in a single braid or bun that is pinned behind their head. Hair must be kept out of sight, as it’s seen as too sensual and can be distracting for men in the community.
The reason Amish women don't cut their hair is more than just aesthetic preference. It’s rooted in Christian scripture, specifically the words of St. Paul in I Corinthians 11:15 which states “but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory”. This suggests that women should retain their natural beauty and not make any attempt to alter or enhance it.
They cover their hair with prayer caps when in public, which are white and made out of cotton. These caps keep the hair discreet and symbolize a woman’s submission to God’s will. This is according to the Amish belief that women shouldn’t draw attention to themselves, which is why they don’t wear makeup or jewelry.
You'll find Amish women with naturally occurring highlights in their hair, but they aren’t allowed to dye it. Dyeing one's hair is deemed too 'worldly', as it suggests a desire for attention and admiration from the outside world.
Do Amish Women Ever Cut Their Hair?
For a fact, Amish women keep their hair since birth. It's not uncommon to see Amish women with waist-length hair, and it's thought that the longer a woman’s hair is, the more beautiful she will be in God’s eyes. As such, there’s no accepted or tolerated reason for chopping off any length of hair.
Do Women Curl or Style Their Hair?
Amish women aren’t allowed to use any type of styling product or device on their hair. This includes curling irons or blow-dryers. They must keep their hair in its natural state without the use of any products.
This means that Amish hair curls and waves must be left to grow naturally. This also applies to any grey hairs, which are not allowed to be dyed or covered up in any way. Using any type of product would be seen as disobeying God’s commandments.
How Do Amish Women Take Care of Their Hair?
Amish women take great care of their hair to keep it healthy and strong. Daily hair care consists of traditional Amish methods such as oiling the scalp and braiding the hair at night to prevent tangles. They also use natural ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, and rosemary to make homemade treatments that can be used in place of store-bought shampoos or conditioners.
Just like you will find women together making Amish dolls or Wicker baskets for shelves, you’ll also find them grooming each other’s hair. Self-care is a vital part of the Amish lifestyle and these women often help each other with daily grooming tasks.
Amish Men's Hair Rules
Though men and women both adhere to some form of hair rules, the expectations are different for Amish men. Unlike women, Amish men are allowed to keep their hair trimmed or cut short as long as it doesn’t draw attention to themselves.
The reasoning behind this is that an Amish man's hair should reflect his duty and service to God. Men are expected to take on more physical roles in the community, so having short hair makes it easier for them to do their work without any distractions.
In addition, Amish men also wear caps or hats as part of their attire. These hats help protect their heads from the sun and also serve as a reminder to stay humble and obedient to God.
In conclusion, the Amish have strict hair rules that are deeply rooted in their belief system. Amish women keep their hair long and never cut or style it, while men are allowed to keep their hair shorter but still must wear hats when outdoors.
Amish Beard Rules
The Amish beard rules are also extremely important to the Amish community. Married Amish men are required to wear beards. This is an integral part of the Amish lifestyle, as it’s seen as a sign of commitment and faithfulness to their religion. The length and style of beards vary between different Amish groups, but all men must keep at least some facial hair in order to adhere to the religious rules.
Unmarried men can cut their beards off if they choose, but must grow them back once they are married. This is seen as a way for Amish men to express themselves and show their dedication to their faith.
The bible in the book of Leviticus states “You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard”. This is taken to mean that Amish men must keep their beards long, full, and untrimmed in order to adhere to God's wishes.
In Psalm 133: 1-2, the bible reads "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard!" The Amish take this to mean that beards are a symbol of brotherly love and unity, which is why it’s so important for Amish men to keep their beards.
The Amish beard style must adhere to certain rules. It must be kept neat, trimmed and free of any ornamentation such as beads or feathers. The style must also not draw attention to the individual in any way, as this is considered vanity.
Can Amish Men Wear Neckbeards
Amish neckbeards are common among the Amish, but they have certain restrictions. Neckbeards are only allowed when the beard is trimmed and kept neat. Though neckbeards are allowed, they mustn’t contain fancy designs or ornamentation.
Amish Moustache Rules
Why don't Amish have moustaches? This is one of the most common questions about the Amish lifestyle. The answer is fairly simple: Amish moustache rules dictate that men cannot have facial hair below their upper lip.
The reasoning behind this rule is two-fold. First, moustaches are seen as a sign of vanity and pride in the Amish community and, therefore, must be avoided. In addition, they can be seen as a distraction from the Amish man's duty to serve God.
Secondly, the Amish see moustaches as a style won by the military and a sign of aggression and violence, which is completely against their beliefs.
Amish Men Hairstyles
The Amish hairstyles men can wear are limited to short, clean-cut styles that don’t draw attention to the individual. As mentioned earlier, Amish men must keep their hair trimmed and free of any extravagant styling or ornamentation.
The most common Amish hairstyle is a simple crew cut with no fancy styling or coloring. This ensures that the man’s hair does not detract from his adherence to the Amish lifestyle and beliefs.
Who Determines Amish Hair Rules?
The Amish hair rules, just like all other rules are contained in the Ordnung. This is a set of regulations and guidelines that all Amish people must adhere to, and it is the responsibility of each individual family to ensure that their members are following them.
The Ordnung is passed down from generation to generation, with new rules being added or removed as needed. It may be amended by the local church district if necessary, but it’s ultimately the responsibility of each individual to follow the Ordnung.
What Happens if You Don't Follow Amish Hair Rules?
If an Amish man doesn’t follow the hair rules as set forth in the Ordnung, he may face consequences from his community. This could range from verbal warnings to being shunned or excommunicated from their church and fellowship.
The severity of the consequence depends on how actively the person has disobeyed the rules. For instance, if an Amish man was caught shaving his beard, he may be given a verbal warning or reprimand. If the behavior continues, however, more serious consequences may follow.
On the same breath, there’s a reason why Amish women don’t cut their hair. Therefore, if a women is caught cutting her hair, here punishment may be more severe.
Ultimately, the Amish hair rules serve as a reminder for members to adhere to God's wishes and live according to the values set forth in their faith. These rules are important for Amish men and women alike, and should be respected by all.
By following these guidelines, an Amish person can be assured that they are living a life of modesty and humility as outlined in their faith. This helps to keep the Amish community intact, and ensures that members are honoring the values and traditions of their culture.
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