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I have a question about long hair. A friend of mine mentioned that the people of that time and region had long hair and that Jesus himself had long hair also. I told him that is false, Jesus thought it to be shameful for a man to have long hair (1Cor 11) Needless to say, this is an argument around the office now. It has been mentioned that the Discovery Channel and other sources provide proof, that Jesus and all men had long hair during that time in history. What does the Bible say about male hair length?


What physically constitutes “long hair” is primarily a cultural baseline and one of moral intuition. The Bible does not say “long hair is 3 inches” or “touching the collar” or “over the ear”.

The Bible doesn’t say exactly what long hair is. So if the Bible doesn’t say, then we are left to determine it by principle and conscience. My version of long hair is going to be much shorter than people of other generations, or different nations and probably shorter than most of my friends.

The last couple of generation had much longer hair standards with “on the ear” considered short and only hair down the back was “long”. An American Indian man has long hair as a rule, so what is considered “normal” vs. “long” to them? Is a black man with a grown out afro considered “long hair”? My hair is still cut almost like my Drill Sargeant days; my boss has hair that is a couple of inches long. Is his hair “long”? Who decides?

The Bible doesn’t give “inches”, so we are left to figure it out. That’s the fact, so anyone who states dogmatically a universal standard is simply take a “heart issue” and making it legalistic.

The major principle in play here is, MEN AREN’T SUPPOSE TO LOOK LIKE WOMEN. That is why it is a “shame for men to have long hair”.

The idea is that in whatever culture you live in, if your “long hair” makes you look like a woman, then it would be classified as “long” Scripturally – with reason. If Godless culture dictates long hair as “normal” that doesn’t negate God’s principle of “men should look like men”. It is the same principle that makes today’s effiminate male clothing an issue.

God gave us roles and identities as men and women. Our hair helps identify that, and HONOR that. That is why it is “a shame for a man took like a woman”. It ignores and dishonors the gender differences and roles that God has plainly declared.

1 Corinthians 11:14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? (NKJV)

As a side note, “long hair” can also associate you with an unGodly segment of society. So that is a consideration as well. If you’re “long hair” (whether touching your collar or touching your shoulder blades) identifies you with a segment of society that is openly defiant to God, then that definitely becomes a consideration as well.

The overriding principle is that men are to look like men, to represent by their hairstyle and dress an appearance that honors their God given role and respect.

Remember, hair is hair. There’s nothing sinful about the hair itself no matter what length. What can make it “wrong” is the attitude, motive or disobedience that comes with violating God’s principles and standards.