Amish people are easily recognizable by their distinctive look and dress code. The Amish beard is unique and usually can give an Amish person away. But do Amish shave their beards?
Despite being surrounded by an ever-changing society, the Amish culture thrives on old-fashioned traditions. They successfully manage to maintain a simple lifestyle that centers around family life, farmwork, and religious practices.
With all these outside influences, you may be wondering, have some modern practices, like shaving, crept their way into Amish culture?
This article will answer all your questions regarding Amish shaving rules, such as why the Amish shave, and what the Amish hair rules are.
What this article covers:
Amish Hair Beliefs
Amish culture is rooted deeply in Christianity. Therefore, it's no surprise that Amish hair beliefs originate from the bible.
Let’s look at them in closer detail.
Hair Symbolizes Devotion to God
The Amish believe that hair is a sacred symbol of devotion to God. Therefore, cutting or changing it in any way would be considered disrespectful and display a lack of commitment to God.
The New Testament states “but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory” (1 Corinthians 11:15). This is interpreted to mean a woman shouldn't cut or change her hair. Instead, she should retain her natural beauty given to her by God.
It’s Considered Shameful for a Women to Show Her Hair
Because they aren’t allowed to cut their hair, many Amish women have long locks that reach their waistline. However, you probably wouldn’t notice this as they keep their hair covered at all times. Their hair is twisted into a bun or long plait, then neatly tucked away under head coverings.
More than that, an Amish woman must always cover her head and hair. 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 reads “But since it is a disgrace for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.” As a result, women aren't allowed to cut her hair and should keep their heads covered to avoid dishonor.
Beards Are a Symbol of Manhood
The Amish aren’t alone in this claim. It’s not uncommon to find observant Christians, Jews, and Muslims sporting some sort of fancy facial hair.
There are several references to beards in the bible, and they’re considered a display of masculinity. For the Amish, it’s also the only way to tell if a man is married as they don’t wear wedding rings.
Do Amish Men Shave?
As Christians, the Amish can explain all of their traditions and customs from the bible. Leviticus chapter 19 verse 27 states “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard”.
The Amish take this literally and have followed this rule dutifully for centuries.
You may have seen some men without beards. So, when do Amish shave their beards? Let’s look at the Amish beard rules.
Married vs Unmarried Men
You might see some men without beards, and that’s a symbol of their marital status. Unmarried men are clean-shaven while married men must grow a beard.
Once married, the beard grows along with the sideburns. An Amish beard can reach a length of around 6 inches. Pretty impressive!
Why Don’t Amish Men Have Mustaches?
Interestingly, it’s common to see Amish men with beards but missing the mustache. Men’s hair fashion comes and goes, but the Amish mustache is one fashion statement that’s never making a comeback.
What's the reason for this? Why can't Amish have mustaches but have full-on beards?
Back in the day, mustaches were worn by military men (with some armies even making them compulsory!) Because the Amish are pacifists, they didn’t want to be associated with the military so they stopped growing mustaches..
Amish Hairstyles for Men
The Amish adopt a “no frills” approach to every aspect of their lives, and hairstyles are no exception. No-nonsense haircuts are favorites amongst the Amish.
The Amish neckbeard is another popular style.
It’s also common to see hats and caps added to a man’s attire. Not only are they practical, but they symbolize their humility and obedience to God.
It’s important to distinguish between Amish curls and Orthodox Jewish side curls (known as payot). Some Amish people have curly hair, but they may not grow curly sideburns.
Do Amish Women Shave?
For women, again we’re looking at biblical roots for the Amish hair rules. Many people want to know why don't Amish women cut their hair and can Amish people shave.
According to Apostle Paul in the New Testament, it’s forbidden for a woman to cut or shave her hair.
Do Amish Shave Bodily Hair?
Do Amish shave their legs and armpits?
The Ordnung (set of community rules) forbids women from shaving. What's more, because the Amish interpretation of the New Testament considers cutting hair a shameful act (1 Corinthians 11:5-15), women don’t cut or shave any hair on their bodies.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Amish women don’t care for their hair. They often groom each other's hair and apply homemade treatments made from lemon juice, vinegar, and rosemary.
So, do Amish shave? It depends.
In short, Amish women don’t shave because they aren’t allowed to cut their hair. Similarly, married men don’t shave their beards, but do shave their cheeks and trim to keep their beards tidy.
Along with maintaining their lush hair, the Amish believe that everything they do should be of high quality. Why? Because all the work they do should give glory to God.
If their work isn’t up to standard, it’s seen as a violation of this rule. This applies in particular to handmade products, such as decorative baskets for shelves, rustic bread boxes, and even wicker dog bed baskets. Why not have a look yourself?
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