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What do Witches do With Hair? (The History & Symbolism)

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Written by: Tina Caro

The oldest witchcraft has always viewed human hair as an important part of the craft. Hair has always been a part of people since the beginning of the world. Hair is an important cultural marker, but when interpreted correctly it can be an indicator of health, sexual vigor, social status, and also an inexhaustible source of myths, traditions, and legends.

Hair has been very important in all magical ways. But what do witches do with hair? Let’s find out.


Hair can serve various purposes in witchcraft, often as a personal and powerful magical tool.

It is used in love spells to establish connections, in binding spells for restraint, as a protective talisman in witch bottles, for divination, and sometimes for malevolent purposes like curses (though less common among ethical practitioners).

The ethical use of hair in witchcraft depends on the practitioner’s intent and respect for personal boundaries, as obtaining hair without consent is considered invasive.

Hair in history and cultures: the symbolism

In magic, hair has served to identify a person’s attributes, whether it be a man’s or a woman’s, with esoteric interpretations.

StrengthHair symbolizes personal strength, resilience, and power.
IdentityHair represents personal identity, individuality, and self-expression.
ConnectionHair can symbolize connections to ancestors, spirits, or deities.
EnergyHair is believed to hold and carry energy, emotions, and spiritual essence.
ProtectionHair is used for protective purposes, shielding from negative influences.
Table 1: Symbolism and Meanings

In the Middle Ages, for example, long hair in men came to signify courage, courage, and virility. On the other hand, for women who had long and flowing hair, it had a symbol of lust and debauchery. Thus circulated horrifying stories about nymphs, fairies, and mermaids who perverted men with their sensual songs and long, hypnotizing locks.

In the forest, a nymph listens attentively as Pan plays his flute. She has flowers in her long, golden hair, and she leans against a gnarled tree. Sunlight penetrates the canopy. By: John Reinhard Weguelin, watercolor

In ancient times, especially in Germany, there was the custom of shaving the heads of enslaved people so that their social status was clearly visible.

Baldness was one of the characteristic signs of misfortune and ill health in almost all cultures, which could only be avoided with prayer, repentance, and certain potions made by witches and sorcerers.

In certain cultures, even the mere act of wearing suspicious hairstyles by subjects was considered rebellion and was severely punished.

In the medieval Christian world, monks entering a religious order shaved their heads, and women who embraced religion in convents cut their hair as a sign of renouncing the worldly pleasures of frivolous society.

The length of the hair was very symbolic, thus in certain cultures, the long hair of the penitents made the sumptuousness of a dress unnecessary. Thus, in representations that we have left of a pictorial type, naked saints are seen but covering their nakedness modestly with their long hair. Hermits also allowed their hair to grow throughout the year and only ventured to populated areas once a year to cut their hair as a symbol of purification.

Hair magic and hair witchcraft

Hair, as we have already said, has symbolized through time the soul and essence of man.

Some necromancers came to develop dark magical recipes, capable of subliminally and magically “binding” certain gifts, with the “knots of the hair” and “mysterious ties” they can simulate.

Thus, since time immemorial there has been the belief that if a lock of the loved one is obtained and the “Mighty Spirits” are fervently requested that love be reciprocated by the esteemed person. Throughout the ages, we have placed hair in certain magical places such as caves and fountains or lakes in order to seek this reciprocation of love.

During the nineteenth century, there was a strange custom that preserving a loved one’s hair in a medallion around the neck would keep them safe and provide them with good fortune and magical protection.

A bit on hair color

The color of the hair also has symbolic interpretations, such as chestnut-colored hair being associated with harmony with the earth, the animals, and the seasons of the year.

Blonde hair denotes the power and energy of the Sun and comes to signify activity versus passivity and courage in the face of any scene of dread or fear.

Rare instances of white hair denote calm and peace, reflection before action, and a loving attitude in the face of all destructive feelings.

The color red symbolizes the “Diabolical” in the face of goodness. It comes to denote the aggressive part of men and women, and in ancient times it was used as a symbol of war and was worn by fighters in battle.

What do witches do with hair?

You’ve likely come across spells or rituals, especially love-related, where nails and hair were required in the ingredients; but why nails and hair? The first answer that comes to mind would be that they are a part of the subject of the spell, so it is a direct connection to them.

While this is true, you could also use a photo for the same purpose, right? In fact, the hair and nails contain a symbolic power, much more powerful than a normal photograph.

BindingUsing hair in binding rituals to restrict or prevent someone’s actions.
Love SpellsIncorporating hair in love spells to create a connection or attraction.
HealingUtilizing hair in healing rituals for physical or emotional well-being.
CursesIncluding hair in curse rituals to bring harm or misfortune to a target.
TransformationUsing hair to symbolize a personal transformation or change.
Table 2: Ritual Uses of Hair

Since ancient times, hair and nails were seen as a kind of magic, something that grows by itself and has a life of its own, therefore alien to the living body, which if cut causes no pain, and therefore usually connected to the devil, therefore dangerous and impure.


Think of the use of shaving prisoners of war, thinking of taking away their strength and warrior virtue. In the seventeenth century, witches were shaved before burning them, to eliminate any evil magical power they had. Zoroastrianism refers to burying fallen or cut hair and nail clippings in a place far from home, reciting forms of conjuration.

Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi or the Khvarenah.

So nails and hair have always used in personal spells. When these spells can make a man sick or even kill him, the hair and nails are buried far from the home for protection.

Is hair always related to black magic?

No. In spells, you can use hair to direct a spell towards someone in particular but it’s your intentions doing the rest! If you cast a protection spell to protect someone and you use their hair to do so, and you care for this person and you truly want them to be safe, nothing bad will happen!

It’s the way you use hair and the spell and the intention you rely on that are those diverting the energy towards good or bad!

Also read:
Potent Black Magic for Hair Explained [How Can It Help You?]
5 Hair Growth Spells that Work Instantly [Beginner-Friendly]

Do I have to use hair if I don’t feel like it?

Absolutely not! It’s not mandatory and, as I always say, if you don’t feel an ingredient of a spell resonates with you and your craft, simply let it go! Choose something else! This is your magic!

I don’t want to use hair, what can I use instead?

A photograph is great but also an item belonging to that person is just fine! Do what you feel comfortable with!

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

tina caro new about me photo

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