In the previous post we looked at how the experience of fasting — intermittent or prolonged — can help you get in touch with your spiritual side.
Today’s post is similar and is about the spiritual benefits of cutting your hair, which, just like fasting, may not seem related to spirituality at first.
However, the more you evolve spiritually and increase your awareness of how things are interconnected, the more you’ll see meaning in what the average person sees as trivial.
Cutting your hair is no exception, and can actually have a profound effect on your mind/energy. Or, it could be subtle. But chances are, if you are into spirituality, you’ll experience at least one of the following…
Spiritual benefits of cutting your hair
1. A new identity
Letting go of the past, and in general letting go of what no longer serves us or blocks energy physically as well as psychologically, is one of the keys to become the person you are meant to be.
Spiritually speaking, the subject (who we really are, that is, pure awareness) identifies with objects (our mind and body, then by extension our life and circumstances).
One of the ways to train yourself not to identify with the old, but rather be “empty” and embrace a new you is to simply get rid of the old. Because our hair represents our personality, cutting your hair means, in a way, letting go of the old you.
It’s no secret that Buddhist monks shave their hair; traditionally, that’s the rule all monks must observe. When we think of Buddhist monks, two things come to mind — the orange robe and the shaved head/eyebrows.
Why, though? Firstly, it represents renunciation to worldly comforts and mundanity. It also symbolizes the letting go of vanity and the ego, and all the thoughts and desires associated with it.
You definitely don’t have to become a monk or a hermit to cultivate your spiritual side, but there is a lesson here — cutting your hair can be an exercise to let go of what is unnecessary or anything that interferes with the new you.
3. Energy release
Just like a room may “absorb” the positive or negative energy of whoever lives in it, similarly parts of our body can hold tension or even traumatic experiences.
The obvious example is tension/pain in the muscles — you go and get a professional massage, tell the therapist to loosen up the knots, and then realize your body didn’t just accumulate tension due to e.g. poor posture, but also stress or negative emotions.
The third reason cutting your hair can stimulate growth and rebirth, spiritually speaking, is that when you cut your hair you also get rid of old energy which can hinder your growth.
Those who are into spirituality know that normality can be scary. The spiritual person rejects the thought of simply copying others; he/she rejects societal expectation (some of them, anyway) to follow their heart and spirit.
Spiritual teacher George Gurdjieff would often say that “man is a machine”, that the things we witness in the world “simply happen” to people as they are often not conscious and deliberate, but rather the result of copying and/or reacting.
So, how does one find freedom from that? Through individuality and true independent thinking. And you need confidence to do that. Cutting your hair can be an exercise to stop caring so much about others’ thoughts of you.
We see the reduction or elimination of mindless distractions in many spiritual/religious practices. Think of meditation, prayer, solitude, chanting, silence, contemplation…
Spirituality requires focus. Focus requires energy. If energy is constantly drained by unnecessary items/activities/noise, then how can you focus? This is why minimalism is becoming more common nowadays.
Mind you, it’s not asceticism. It doesn’t have to be extreme. Minimalism simply means getting clear on your priorities and what truly gives you joy, and cutting out the rest. Cutting your own hair can be linked to a more minimalist, focused lifestyle.
Cutting your hair and spiritual changes
Your hair doesn’t just make you prettier or keep you warm in the winter. We all know it tends to reflect our personality, or even a certain phase in our life.
When you cut your hair or change your hairstyle, there is always a sense of empowerment and/or fear, as subtle as it may be.
I think most of us have experienced it at some point — we wanted a change, and wanted to look like that change and thought we would cut our hair.
And then noticed the new haircut didn’t just change us externally, but internally as well, and felt something about us really did change; we felt a new energy.
Ever experienced it yourself? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below! 👇