Malinda's discussion titled "Spiritual Growth in Hair Loss
" got me to thinking about how hair loss is depicted in the sacred texts of different religions.
Given that I am a Christian, I started my research in the Bible; and since I am also a non-alopecian engaged to a female alopecian, I focused most of my attention on what the Bible says about female hair loss in particular. What I found is disconcerting, to say the least.
Given that most, if not all, of the Bible's writings were composed in the context of pre-scientific and patriarchal cultures, it really did not come as a surprise to learn that the Bible does not state one positive thing about female
For example, female baldness was understood to be a sign of mourning and/or submission (Deuteronomy 21:10-14) or divine judgment and humiliation brought on by sin (Isaiah 3:16-24; Micah 1:8-16); and one notorious apostle not only bought into the idea that "long hair" is a woman’s "glory," but that it is such "a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off" that she cover her head to conceal the shame (1 Corinthians 11:2-16).
On the other hand, writings in the Bible also make it clear that a head full of hair can enhance a woman's physical appearance (2 Kings 9:30; Song of Solomon 4:1) even if cosmetic enhancements such as the braiding of hair could never reflect or reveal her true inner beauty and submissiveness (1 Timothy 2:9-15; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
No doubt, alopecic and bald women in such ancient pro-hair cultures were subjected to unspeakable ridicule and rejection. Yet, the only time God avenges a bald person in the Bible is in the case a baldheaded male
prophet who, "in the name of the Lord," called down a curse of some children who were teasing him, resulting in 42 children being mauled to death by bears (2 Kings 2:23-25)!
Indeed, with few exceptions for males only (e.g., Numbers 6:18-19; 2 Samuel 14:26; Acts 18:18), hair loss in general is depicted as a negative thing that happens only under the worst of circumstances.
That is pretty much what the primary sacred text of the Christian faith says about hair loss in general and my fiancée’s alopecia in particular. Basically, it gives very little positive acknowledgement to baldness or alopecia, champions even a God who keeps count of every hair on our heads (Matthew 10:30; Luke 12:7), and, unfortunately, thus helped to create the pro-hair society and world that we live in today.
What does your religion’s sacred scriptures say about baldness and alopecia? I would love to hear from non-Christians as well as Christians who agree and disagree with my take on the Bible’s hair loss texts.