The Hebrews were fully alive to the importance of the hair as an element of personal beauty. Long hair was admired in the case of young men. ( 2 Samuel 14:26 ) In times of affliction the hair was altogether cut off. ( Isaiah 3:17 Isaiah 3:24 ; 15:2 ; Jeremiah 7:29 ) Tearing the hair ( Ezra 9:3 ) and letting it go dishevelled were similar tokens of grief. The usual and favorite color of the hair was black, ( Solomon 5:11 ) as is indicated in the comparisons in ( Solomon 1:5 ; 4:1 ) a similar hue is probably intended by the purple of ( Solomon 7:6 ) Pure white hair was deemed characteristic of the divine Majesty. ( Daniel 7:9 ; Revelation 1:14 ) The chief beauty of the hair consisted in curls, whether of a natural or an artificial character. With regard to the mode of dressing the hair, we have no very precise information; the terms used are of a general character, as of Jezebel, ( 2 Kings 9:30 ) and of Judith, ch. 10:3, and in the New Testament, ( 1 Timothy 2:9 ; 1 Peter 3:3 ) The arrangement of Samsons hair into seven locks, or more properly braids, ( Judges 16:13 Judges 16:19 ) involves the practice of plaiting, which was also familiar to the Egyptians and Greeks. The locks were probably kept in their place by a fillet, as in Egypt. The Hebrews like other nations of antiquity, anointed the hair profusely with ointments, which were generally compounded of various aromatic ingredients, ( Ruth 3:3 ; 2 Samuel 14:2 ; Psalms 23:6 ; 92:10 ; Ecclesiastes 9:8 ) more especially on occasions of festivity or hospitality. ( Luke 7:46 ) It appears to have been the custom of the Jews in our Saviours time to swear by the hair, ( Matthew 5:36 ) much as the Egyptian women still swear by the side-locks, and the men by their beards.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Hair'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".