What Did Long Hair Mean in Ancient Times?

Long hair has been a symbol of beauty, status, and power throughout history. In ancient times, the length of one’s hair often held significant meaning and represented various cultural and social beliefs.

What Did Long Hair Mean in Ancient Times?

Egyptian Civilization

In ancient Egypt, long hair was a symbol of wealth and status. Both men and women grew their hair long and styled it with elaborate braids or wigs.

The length of one’s hair was also associated with religious beliefs. The god Osiris was often depicted with long hair, which symbolized his connection to the afterlife.

Greek Civilization

In ancient Greece, long hair was seen as a sign of youthfulness and vitality. Young men would grow their hair out until they reached adulthood when they would cut it short as a rite of passage. Women also wore their hair long but would often style it in intricate updos using accessories such as ribbons or combs.

Roman Civilization

The Romans viewed long hair differently depending on one’s gender. Men with long hair were often associated with barbarian tribes, while women with long hair were considered more feminine and desirable. Julius Caesar famously wore his hair in a fringe-style known as the “Caesar cut,” which became popular among Roman men.

Native American Cultures

Long hair held significant spiritual meaning for many Native American cultures. It was believed that one’s energy flowed through their hair, making it an extension of themselves. Men would often wear their hair in braids or topknots, while women would let their hair flow freely or style it in intricate designs.

Chinese Civilization

In ancient China, long hair was seen as a sign of wisdom and longevity. Men typically wore their hair in a topknot or ponytail, while women would grow their hair long and style it in elaborate braids or buns. During the Ming Dynasty, men were required to wear their hair in a specific style known as the “queue” as a symbol of submission to the ruling dynasty.


In ancient times, long hair held significant cultural and social meaning. It was a symbol of wealth, status, youthfulness, femininity, and spirituality. Today, long hair continues to be a popular fashion choice and can still hold personal significance for those who choose to grow it out.