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Is It A Must For Nuns To Cut Their Hair

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cmaD2006
Well the last community I entered required postulants to cut their hair off. It was done the day before entering postulancy.

The haircut was sooooo bad that my hair growth was stunted until I returned to the US and got a good cut. Oh and the pictures on my passport and my license are horrendous because of the hair!

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4LoveofJMJ
I once asked a sister I knew if her hair was cut underneath her veil and she said that she doesn't because her hair would be too wild unless she braided it, that most of her community did not have short hair for the same reason. They had the type of veil that showed some hair in the front so she always had some wisps of hair that always broke free and stood straight up. By the end of a busy day it was quite a sight! :D So I can understand why some may forgo getting it cut. :)

Personally I think that the hair cutting is a beautiful part of the ceremony. If a girl's hair is considered her beauty then it makes her sacrifice that much more beautiful. To give up something that the world considers a beauty for the inner beauty of which only Christ can see.

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Pia Jesu

[attachment=3232:IHM.jpg]

 

An IHM sister once told me that when they wore the old habit, their heads were completely shaved -- no snippet removed or cropped haircut -- but bald!  I also read online that certain Passionist nuns still shave their heads.  Maybe someone can verify this!

 

 

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coralieprincess

 

 

An IHM sister once told me that when they wore the old habit, their heads were completely shaved -- no snippet removed or cropped haircut -- but bald!  I also read online that certain Passionist nuns still shave their heads.  Maybe someone can verify this!

 

I also read in a book ("Unveiled: The Hidden Lives of Nuns") that Passionist nuns do shave their heads.  I know that SSVM sisters also do, and I *think* the CFR's but I'm not positive.

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miserere55

In the Monastery where I was, the postulants could not cut there hair.  It needed to be somewhat long for the Clothing ceremony.  We wore bridal gowns and the nuns wanted the postulants hair to look nice.  Then at the clothing ceremony the hair was cut short to the head.  Once we professed our first vows we were required to keep our head shaved.  It was actually more practical, because it is hot with hair underneath the headcover and veil, especially in summer.

 

Probably most Franciscan communities cut hair, even if jjust a small snippet as a symbol, since St. Francis cut St. Clare's hair.

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4LoveofJMJ
I wonder how short the communities who don't have the full on veils cut their hair. Like the dsmme, tors, sisters of life, or the daughters of st paul. Anybody?

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Sister Marie

I wonder how short the communities who don't have the full on veils cut their hair. Like the dsmme, tors, sisters of life, or the daughters of st paul. Anybody?

 

As long as it is neat and tidy under the veil it probably doesn't really make a difference in communities where some hair is shown.  A one-size-fits-all never really works because some sisters have curly hair while others have straight or wavy... usually when hair is shown neatness is the deciding factor.

 

I'm not speaking for a particular community but as a sister who shows some hair but not all.

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sharon

Read in the Bible what God says about long hair and stop thinking the made up human rules of catholics are from the Lord because most of them are not

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Nunsuch

Sharon, you do realize that this is a Catholic phorum? If you came here to lecture Catholics on how they are "not of God," you are going to find yourself both isolated and in a minority of one. I notice this is your first post--perhaps you should read some of the pinned posts at the top of the page?

 

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Spem in alium

I chose to keep my hair short after I entered. It was fairly short anyway, I liked it, and it's so much easier to manage (I have crazily thick hair).

It's an option in my province. Most of my sisters have short hair. It seems easier to keep that way if you wear a veil. Three of my sisters, who do not wear veils, have long hair. In other provinces of my congregation, however, it's likely all sisters would wear veils and so seems reasonable they would keep their hair short out of convenience. 

P.S. God bless you, Sharon! I am praying for you.

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Antigonos

It is a common problem among Orthodox Jewish women, who keep their hair covered, and Muslim women who wear the hijab, that constant hair covering can lead to loss of hair, especially if long [not to mention that scalp itches from sweat in hot weather] so it makes sense to keep one's hair short, if covered.

Also, and this has been discussed before, some communities found that having the ears covered by the toque [is that the correct term?] led to frequent ear infections in some sisters, and chose a different style of veil as a result, that left the ears uncovered.

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sr.christinaosf

This topic seems to be a recurring one around here.  In fact, I posted thie following response in a related thread last spring.

In my community, when I was received as a novice on the Feast of St. Clare, my hair was cut at the ceremony.  This was especially fitting in honor of that Saint who I believe had hers cut by St. Francis.  

I used to have long hair and was quite attached to it.  I wrote an article this past spring on Our Franciscan Fiat blog that refers to the hair issue. 

I think the cutting of hair (especially when it has been a prized possession) can be beautifully symbolic of giving up what this world offers for love of Christ.

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Kateri89

If/when I enter, I think the haircutting ceremony will be one of the parts I look forward to the most.  Of course, that's probably the Franciscan in me, always wanting to shed more and more 'things' to grow closer to Christ.  Reminds me of when St. Francis stripped naked and renounced his father but I have no intentions of doing that myself ;)

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Julie
7 hours ago, Kateri89 said:

If/when I enter, I think the haircutting ceremony will be one of the parts I look forward to the most.  Of course, that's probably the Franciscan in me, always wanting to shed more and more 'things' to grow closer to Christ.  Reminds me of when St. Francis stripped naked and renounced his father but I have no intentions of doing that myself ;)

Haha

He did have the hair shirt, though. :P

I totally know what you mean, though. A part of me just wants to leave everything, right now! Actually, the other day I had this enormous urge to just get up, as I was (which happened to be without shoes) and go. When I mentioned it (lightheartedly, I'm not actually crazy) my table companions started taking bets on how far I would get. They also unanimously decided I'd end up dramatically collapsing by the gate of a monastery and becoming a nun. :P 

But, seriously, I think cutting off my hair would mean a lot to me. If I'm giving all, I really want to give ALL. (Maybe I do have a little flair for dramatic gesture).

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MarysLittleFlower

I kind of enjoyed reading this thread and the different responses. I have long hair and I think if I became a nun I'd like to cut it off. I think it's such a beautiful idea to give up everything for Christ and to give up what is commonly seen as the woman's beauty, as a statement that I want to only love Jesus. It can be hard if you really like your hair but I think that only makes it a more beautiful sacrifice :)

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nikita92

On a slightly different hair aspect...do communities..wear "Night caps" at bedtime..or a "night veil"..and if so, what does that consist of? If one does not have a toliet in their cell...and must use a community bathroom in the night time...is the hair covered? (if there is a possibility of crossing paths with another sister)

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Lily May Gath

ND and DSMME still wear night veils and small night scapulars, and by the Rule and Constitutions and Directory keep the head covered all the time. I think they use older or worn caps for nightime, but as you say, they would be going to the bathroom or in the dormitories with cap and dressing gown.

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