In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul the Apostle guided by the spirit of God was teaching about how women should wear their hair. (1 Corinthians 11:1-15)
In verse 3, he starts by explaining the spiritual hierarchy established by God and why women have to wear a veil.
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
In fact, the woman have to wear a sign (veil) of the authority to which she depends.
In order to better understand the other verses, we need to define the concept of the veil of the woman in the words of Paul.
In verse 15, we can read:
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Note that women may wear a fabric veil to protect themselves from weather, but there’s no biblical commandment about it.
Now let’s go read the verses before 15, knowing that Paul defines long hair as the veil made for the covering of the woman.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
Some people may say that in these verses, “head uncovered” or “not covered” means shorn or shaven hair.
However, in verse 5, Paul says that having the “head uncovered” is AS IF the woman were shaven.
In verse 6, he repeats himself in other words by saying that if the woman is uncovered, let her be shorn, because it is almost equivalent.
This being said, how can a woman have long hair and still be considered uncovered?
The answer is pretty simple.
In fact, when a woman attaches her hair, they lose their covering/veiling properties.
She still has long hair, but it is AS IF she had shorn or shaven hair.
The best example of this is when a woman makes a hair bun.
Now, I already hear many women telling me that it is sometimes necessary to attach their hair for security reasons.
I totally agree that sometimes, for example, at work, women have to attach their hair.
Glory to God that Paul gave us also an answer to this issue back in verse 5.
We can read that the woman dishonours her head if she prays or prophesies with her head uncovered. This means, that when they are not doing these things, women can be uncovered in order to accomplish their work and still stay honourable.
Moreover, some people may ask how long should the hair be and if it is appropriate to cut them?
In his teaching, Paul does not indicate any specific length for the woman’s hair.
In general, ladies should let their hair grow naturally. There is no rule that says if your hair is shorter than X centimenters, you are wrong.
When it comes to cutting their hair, women should be careful.
As it is mentionned in verse 15, the hair of the woman are a glory for her.
I know some Christians denominations where it is forbidden to ever cut women’s hair. What is sad, is that their hair are so long that women end up being uncovered most of
the time in order to manage their massive veil.
Paul never said that women should never cut their hair and let them grow to the ground.
Sometimes the endings of the hair are broken and they need to be cut.
Moreover, after years of growing, the hair can become very long.
The lenght of the hair can become a real issue for ladies. At that point, it is reasonable to cut a part of it in order to avoid too much discomfort.
Last but not least, in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 we can read:
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Here, Paul points out that apart from being long, the women’s hair should not be broided. The problem is not in a simple and discret braid of hair, but rather in the spirit of vanity that comes into action when ladies use broided hair to be noticed.
In fact, verse 10 indicates that women should instead be noticed for their good works in the Lord.
To resume, the hair should be long and covering when the ladies are praying or prophesying. In other situations, the hair should also stay long but ladies may be uncovered if needed. In any case, women’s hair and outfit should always stay modest.
Go in peace and let your natural beauty shine !