Hairstyles in Nepal

After reading the article, “Symbolism of Hairstyles in Korea and Japan,” by Na-Young Choi, I came to know the social and physical importance of hairstyles in Japanese and Korean societies. The writer talks about significance of hairstyles: firstly, hair holds some magical meaning; secondly, hair expresses sigh of beauty; thirdly, hair helps to identify the marital status of women, and lastly, hair signifies the social status of the person. Encountering these values about hairstyles, I would like to present some similar beliefs and practices regarding hairstyles in Nepalese community.

Since the past, our elders have taught us not to be careless about our hair. If we cut our hair or if our hair falls then we should spit three times and then throw it. It sounds superstitious, but it is believed that our hair can be easily used by witches to perform black magic which may harm our lives. However, it is just a belief and is still practiced today.

Similar to the Japanese and Korean traditions, hair expresses a sigh of beauty in Nepalese culture. Generally, long, black, and thick hair is considered an asset of women; therefore, women prefer long hair than shorter one. Moreover, it is a bad sigh for girls to cut their hair short. On the other hand, men are considered to be smart and disciplined if they have short and well-combed hair. Long-haired boys are thought to be rowdy and ill-mannered.

Talking about the marital status, hair also helps to differentiate amongst the married and unmarried women. Most of the Nepalese married women tie their hair well instead of keeping it loose and messy because their hairstyles reflect their character in the family. It is also believed that women who are good at keeping their hair well-organized can maintain happy family lives. Indeed, on marriage, a bride’s hair is decorated with an attractive and peculiar style known as juro to adore her beauty. On the other hand, an unmarried girl can be easily distinguished by her pony tail or braids on both sides tied with ribbons.

Finally, hairstyle also depicts social status of the Nepalese. Straightening, coloring, and curling hair are very expensive, and these are usually done by people of affluent societies. While stylish haircuts and dead-lock are in trend amongst rich youths, simple and sober hairstyles reflect the moderate community adolescents.

In addition, shaving one’s hair signifies sorrow and defeat. In Nepalese culture, people usually shave their hair bald to show respect and grief for the deceased family member. Besides, it also symbolizes loss or defeat if someone loses a challenge or war.

Hence, these were some practices and beliefs regarding hairstyles in Nepalese community.


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