Dozens or letters continually arrive asking if it is all right for women to have their hair cut. Others wonder if it is correct to use permanents since they have a problem keeping their hair neat.
Many women have been taught ever since they were little girls that it is entirely wrong to cut women's hair. This teaching is supposedly derived from the statement that Paul made to the Corinthian women.
You will notice in I Corinthians 11:13-15 that Paul says a woman ought to have long hair that it is an honor to her. "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her." Because long hair is mentioned, some are afraid to cut their hair at all. But the text doesn't read uncut hair, it reads long hair. Hair can be cut and still be long.
Any head or hair, even though cut, if it be long enough to look feminine and honorable, is appropriate. There is no definite "Bible length," save that it must appear as a glory to the wearer. But if a woman wants to wear her hair cut so short as to look like a man, Paul says she ought to be shorn or shaven — the symbol of a fallen woman. Too many women have developed the custom of having their hair bobbed TOO SHORT. It is up to the individual to decide according to the Word of God how long her hair ought to be in order for her to appear feminine. Perhaps near shoulder length is a good average, since some women naturally have shorter hair than others.
Concerning permanents, there is a problem that each woman needs to consider. Very few girls are ever taught the art or properly caring for their hair. God intended a woman's hair to be beautiful, not straggly. This is a mother's responsibility, but how sad it is that so few mothers were ever taught how to care for their hair properly. Because most women never learned to appear neat they have resorted unnecessarily to the use of permanents.
Certain women have naturally curly hair and do not need permanents; others have naturally straight hair and appear very becoming with it just as it is. If you appear neat in long straight hair, you would only be spoiling your appearance to add unnecessary curls.
But there are many women who have nearly straight hair who would appear much neater with a few curls. Should such women use permanents?
First, let us remember that there are different kinds or permanents. Even the same permanent will react differently with different women, because no two heads of hair are exactly alike. But nearly all permanents will in time do a certain amount of damage to the hair. Often the ends are severely burned. Sometimes they will break off shorter and shorter. A few cheap permanents have even proved damaging to the health.
Although some women may find no harm in them, permanents ought to be avoided in most cases since there is a much simpler and better method by which the hair may be given beauty. It is not hard to learn the art or using curling pins with a small amount or water — and it doesn't take long, either. This method does not harm the hair, but makes it appear beautiful as God intended.
It is also important to mention that although some make a ritual or washing their hair too often, many others don't wash their hair often enough, especially when it becomes dirty through work. It is very beneficial for the scalp to keep the hair clean.