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Is It A Must For Nuns To Cut Their Hair


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If I never had to color or style my hair again, I would be a happy woman :p . I would probably have bad veil days, but would never have a bad hair day again! :hehe:

There is much historical and religious significance to the ceremony of cutting the hair!  And yes, the practice does depend on the community.  During my own investiture (as a veiled novice), the hair

That's actually one part of religious life I will majorly look forward to, if I persevere so long. I hope they buzz it all off right down to the skin. It's such a pain in the tuchus as it is!

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I know that a lot of orders do have you cut your hair when you receive the habit. I met some Daughters of St. Paul and I asked them if they cut their hair and they said that it depends on what the sister wants to do; she said that if your hair is long and you can braid it and/or make sure it looks okay under the veil, you can leave your hair long. So it depends on which community you're talking about.

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There is much historical and religious significance to the ceremony of cutting the hair!  And yes, the practice does depend on the community.  During my own investiture (as a veiled novice), the hair wasn't touched.  Yet friends entering other orders either had a 

symbolic "snip" of a small lock of hair or an entire braid/pony tail cut off! 

 

Google "Danielle Reves 'Taking the Veil, Clothing and the Transformation of Identity'" (sorry, I can't seem to upload the link!) :cry:

 

Note (with a little humor):  After investiture, our hair was cut by someone using a sewing scissors!  One of the more vocal members of our group said that she "couldn't leave" --even if she wanted to--because it looked so bad!

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That's actually one part of religious life I will majorly look forward to, if I persevere so long. I hope they buzz it all off right down to the skin. It's such a pain in the tuchus as it is!

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It really does depend on the community.  I had long hair before I became a sister but I have LOVED having short hair since.  It is so easy to take care of and I never really have to think of it.  When I remember what I used to do just to be presentable... I am thankful I don't have all that hair anymore!  Sometimes I miss the beauty of it but the practicality more than makes up for that!  As I get older the gray hairs don't show as much either!

 

Most sisters wake up very early in the morning and have little time during the day for personal maintenance so many sisters will choose to have short hair regardless of the community expectations.  However, I live with a sister now who has longer hair and she finds that easier... it makes no difference in our community though.  

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It really does depend on the community.  I had long hair before I became a sister but I have LOVED having short hair since.  It is so easy to take care of and I never really have to think of it.  When I remember what I used to do just to be presentable... I am thankful I don't have all that hair anymore!  Sometimes I miss the beauty of it but the practicality more than makes up for that!  As I get older the gray hairs don't show as much either!

 

Most sisters wake up very early in the morning and have little time during the day for personal maintenance so many sisters will choose to have short hair regardless of the community expectations.  However, I live with a sister now who has longer hair and she finds that easier... it makes no difference in our community though.  

 

My hair is short compared to female standards, but it's long in male standards and I have to spend tons of time making it look right. That could just be because I have thick hair and thick hair is quite the sight in the morning, but still, I wouldn't say having short hair means you barely think of it. If I hid it under a hood all day, I wouldn't think of it, but as it is, I have a comb with me at all times should I have the need to use it. :P

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I would imagine that long hair under a veil, either traditional or modern veil, would be quite uncomfortable and problematic at times.  It's not going to be seen under a veil - cut it off  would be my choice. Oh how I would dearly love to never have to worry about my self willed hair again and cut it all off and have it tucked behind a veil!  I do like the pics I've seen too of women receiving the habit where the hair is cut ceremoniously (and 'unceremoniously' re hairstyle) as intrinsic to the overall clothing ceremony - very moving.

But it is nice to know that nowadays and probably in the main where the habit has been modernized that one can have a choice.  I would be lining up for the scissors, no hesitation.  In fact once in the long ago past, so fed up with my hair, I cut it all off myself really really short with decided lack of any ceremony due to style - my director at the time (priest) couldn't stop laughing - it was an absolute mess and a complete giggle-sight to behold.  I have a picture of it.

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I think most people who enter religious life have other focus than what they look like, so long as they are neat, modest, and clean (with habit or without).

 

As for there being a rule about it, as others have said, it depends on the community and community practices differ so much one from the other it is best to ask any community you might be interested in - if that is the reason for the original question.

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If one's head is going to be constantly covered, it is far better for one's hair to be short, otherwise it has a tendency to fall out. Ultra-Orthodox women and Muslim women who wear the hijab have quite a problem with premature loss of hair. They do not cut their hair, it is regarded as alluring and so only their husbands should see it.

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One of the PCPA abbesses told me this when I asked her about the hair thing:  Yes, it is cut off when the Sister is clothed.  One (or more) of the other nuns arranges it quite beautifully with ribbons, etc. and gives it to the newly invested Sister's mother. Mothers often save it to use it Profession Cards when her daughters are solemnly professed years later.  As for keeping it short, she alluded to keeping her hair in "the Franciscan style", which I took to mean either buzzed or cut extremely short.

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I would imagine that long hair under a veil, either traditional or modern veil, would be quite uncomfortable and problematic at times.  It's not going to be seen under a veil - cut it off  would be my choice. Oh how I would dearly love to never have to worry about my self willed hair again and cut it all off and have it tucked behind a veil!  I do like the pics I've seen too of women receiving the habit where the hair is cut ceremoniously (and 'unceremoniously' re hairstyle) as intrinsic to the overall clothing ceremony - very moving.

But it is nice to know that nowadays and probably in the main where the habit has been modernized that one can have a choice.  I would be lining up for the scissors, no hesitation.  In fact once in the long ago past, so fed up with my hair, I cut it all off myself really really short with decided lack of any ceremony due to style - my director at the time (priest) couldn't stop laughing - it was an absolute mess and a complete giggle-sight to behold.  I have a picture of it.

 

We want that picture. Post it, pleez. :)

 

If one's head is going to be constantly covered, it is far better for one's hair to be short, otherwise it has a tendency to fall out. Ultra-Orthodox women and Muslim women who wear the hijab have quite a problem with premature loss of hair. They do not cut their hair, it is regarded as alluring and so only their husbands should see it.

 

I've heard sisters also get patchy after several years. Just like guys who always wear baseball hats. Guess that's just the way the human scalp works!

 

If I never had to color or style my hair again, I would be a happy woman :P . I would probably have bad veil days, but would never have a bad hair day again! :hehe:

 

What, exactly, would a "bad veil day" consist of? LOL!

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We want that picture. Post it, pleez. :)

 

 

 

 

Sorry, curiousing, I have no idea how to post pictures - and if I did, I wouldn't post it.  It's a shocker, hair at the very most 2 inches all over and in places I suspect less, some more :) 

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A bad veil day? :) Hmmm, I'm guessing having it stuck up in places on top that shouldn't be sticking up...having trouble with the pins not behaving properly...or perhaps the veil itself not hanging evenly... :hehe:

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Bad veil days? Oh yes, had a few of those, but it is usually the Sister behind who notices most (no mirrors): the peaky point on top, the uneven lopsided placement of the top, outer veil vis the inner giving an uneven hemline so the white liner sticks out below the black, unravelling hemlines on either, tufts of escaping hair poking out.........

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