Biblical reasons why Amish people don’t shave (Amish hair culture)

Different churches and religious communities have chosen rules under which they operate, which may vary from one denomination to another. The Amish people are among the denominations with strict regulations governing their daily lives. For instance, this group cannot shave their hair, armpits, or legs. This has left many people wondering, what biblical reason Amish people don’t shave?

The main reason the Amish people don’t shave is to uphold the teachings of Paul to the Corinthians in 1st Corinthians 11:5-15, which states a woman’s hair is her glory, encouraging her not to shave it. Additionally, they largely live by the Old Testament teachings, just like the traditional Jews did. The Amish people also have different rules in the “Ordinance, ” which allows or forbids them to act a certain way.

So, Do Amish people shave their legs and armpits? What are the hair grooming rules for Amish people? Are Amish people unhygienic because they don’t shave? What happens if you shave in the Amish community? Read on to see the answers to these questions and other interesting facts about the Amish people.

Do Amish people shave their legs and armpits?

The Amish do not shave their leg and armpits based on 1st Corinthians 11:14-15, which says, “Does the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?’’

It is unclear why Amish people do not shave their legs and armpits, as the scripture does not mention it. However, this rule has been in their Schwartzentruber Amish ordinance letter for years and has been upheld by every member without fail.

In addition, it is speculated that Amish people do not shave their legs because they must put on long clothing and socks that usually cover their legs. Due to this reason, it is considered a waste when one takes their time to shave their legs and armpits. Women are, however, allowed to use deodorants on their bodies, as long armpit hairs can sometimes result in body odor.

Biblical reasons why Amish people don’t shave
What are the hair grooming rules for Amish people? See below

What are the hair grooming rules for Amish people?

As we have seen, the Amish people are forbidden to shave their hair, legs, and even armpits. Due to this, they must groom themselves well to keep themselves clean and presentable at all times.

One way in which Amish women groom their hair is by covering it with their prayer caps or bonnets that protect any unwanted dirt from entering their hair. Different women will wear different bonnet colors depending on their status in the community, i.e., if the woman is married or not.

Amish women can also use natural hair products to make them soft and healthy. Some of the products these women can use on their hair are rosemary, vinegar, and lemon juice to oil their scalps. They can also braid their hair at night to prevent unnecessary tangles. No modern shampoos and hair oil are permitted on Amish women’s heads.

The Amish women are also not allowed to use modern equipment to straighten or curl their hair but leave it in its natural state. These women are also forbidden from dying their hair.

When it comes to Amish men, they are allowed to cut or trim their hair. They are also entitled to wear caps as part of their attire to protect their heads from the scorching sun. Another interesting fact about Amish men is that once they are married, they are not allowed to shave their beards, a sign of their commitment and devotion to God.

Several bible scholars have linked this rule to Leviticus 19:27, “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beards.”

Psalms 133:1-2 also states, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, Running down on Aaron’s beard down on the collar of his robe.”

Religious scholars have also stipulated that Amish people follow this Psalms teaching and keep long beards as a symbol of unity and brotherly love amongst themselves. The Amish men are, however, not allowed to grow their mustaches, as they are considered a distraction to God’s work. Another reason Amish men do not keep mustaches is that military men tend to keep them. This community is against the military because they believe it portrays violence and aggression, which they are majorly against.

Are Amish people unhygienic because they don’t shave?

This question is usually raised when the Amish people are mentioned in the non-Amish people circle. Too much hair on your head can be stressful, let alone on your legs and armpits. Maintaining this massive hair can be burdening, especially during summer when there is a lot of heat.

Amish people cannot be said to be unhygienic just because they keep their hair. Like most normal people, Amish carry out their daily and hygienic responsibilities. However, it is a little different for this community, as plumbing is not accepted in their homes. An Amish can only use bathtubs and well-drawn water for bathing.

No water is limited for use in an Amish home, meaning everyone can clean themselves without restrictions or limitations. With this, we can only assume that the Amish wash their hair appropriately, depending on the length it has grown to.

Apart from hair hygiene, Amish women are required to keep their nails short to enable them to navigate through daily chores smoothly. Their women also carry out laundry every week except Sunday to keep every household member tidy. Another interesting fact about this denomination is that its members are not allowed to use any technology, including accessing the internet, watching television, or even using vehicles or airplanes for transportation.

Biblical reasons why Amish people don’t shave
What happens if you shave in the Amish community? See below

What happens if you shave in the Amish community?

Amish people have rules that dictate their daily lives and are required to live by them. Just like any set of rules, there are consequences that an Amish person will be subjected to if they do not uphold the laws. These laws are found in their Ordnung, a group of rules and guidelines that Amish people must follow.

If someone shaves their hair, they will be warned verbally not to repeat the mistake. If a person tends to cut their hair and has been warned severally, they may risk shunning, a punishment that the Amish refer to as Meidung. Excommunication is only reserved for severe penalties, and it is unclear whether shaving hair lies under it.

The Amish people do not strictly confine their children under these practices for the rest of their lives, as they are free to experience the outside world in their late teens and early twenties. If the child is not pleased with the outside world, they can fully convert to the Amish culture and religion and uphold it for the rest of their lives.


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