Article selection by Alexander Wilder | Note by H.P.B.
Whether the hair should be cut I could never quite satisfy myself. As a physiological practice [M.D.], I seriously doubt the propriety. Every cutting is a wounding, and there is some sort of bleeding in consequence, and waste vital force. I think that it will be found that long-lived persons most frequently wear their hair long. The cutting of hair stimulates to a new growth, to supply the waste. Thus the energy required to maintain the vigor of the body is drawn off to make good the wanton destruction. . . . Women and priests have generally worn long hair. I never could imagine why this distinction was made. . . . Kings wore their hair long in imitation of Samson and the golden sun-god Mithras. I suspect from this that the first men shorn were slaves and laborers; that freedmen wore their hair unmutilated, as the crown of perfect manhood and maniliness. If this be correct, the new era of freedom, when it ever shall dawn, will be characterized by men unshorn . . . No growth of part of the body is superfluous, and we ought, as candidates for health and long life, to preserve ourselves from violence or mutilation. Integrity is the true manly standard.
Editor’s Note [H.P.B.]: Fashion—which has somehow succeeded in making “respectability” its queer ally—forbids Christian civilized society wearing their hair long at this period of our century. In this the so-called Christian civilization is guilty of inconsistency, and its clergy of disrespect, since Jesus and his Apostles are shown to have worn long hair—every one of them except Paul. The Nazars of the Old Testament never allowed the razor to touch their head. The Aryan Rishis, the Yogis, the Sadhus of every kind wore and still wear their hair long. The initiates of Tibet do the same. In Europe, the Greek and Russian clergy alone, along with their monks, have preserved the wise habit, and the longevity of some of the last named is proverbial.
[Note: for more on this subject from H.P.B., see also The Theosophical Glossary, p. 132, “Hair.”]