Pentecostal Christianity has several denominations and usually encourages its church members to be modest in their dressing and living. However, the United Pentecostal is slightly different, as it forbids women to cut their hair. This has led other Christian denominations to wonder, “why do united Pentecostal women have long hair?”
The United Pentecostal, also called Jesus-Only Apostolic Pentecostal or the Oneness Pentecostal, encourages their women to have long hair, speculating that Paul taught so through 1st Corinthians 11-14. This Christian denomination believes that through this practice, women remain in their femininity as they serve their husbands and God.
So, how long should a woman’s hair be, according to Paul? Can United Pentecostal leaders tolerate short hair on their women? Where did the not cutting hair come from? Does long hair among United Pentecostals apply only to women? Is short hair evil, according to the Bible? Stick around to know the answers to these questions.
How long should a woman’s hair be, according to Paul?
Paul did not reveal the exact length of hair a woman needs to have. According to 1st Corinthians 11:15, a woman should have long hair as it brings glory to her. “But that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.”
The whole issue of Paul giving teachings about hair came at a time when the Corinthians were controversial regarding how women and men needed to act and carry themselves while in line with the authority of God. In-depth, Paul explained how the Corinthians were to carry themselves. Men in the church were required to submit to God, while women were needed to submit to men, who would lead them to God.
Paul reveals that men should not cover their heads while praying, as they will dishonor their heads. 1st Corinthians 11:4 says, “Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.”
1st Corinthians 11:5-6 says, “And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, it is just though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shave off, she should cover her head.”
Paul is seen further revealing that a woman dishonored her head if she prayed while her head was uncovered and advised her to cut off her hair. He explains that although a woman can cut her hair, it will be a disgrace because her hair features mainly identify her.
Paul then poses a question to the Corinthians, inquiring if it is okay for a woman to pray to God with an uncovered head. He explains further that it is a disgrace for a man to have long hair but glory for a woman to have long hair.
1st Corinthians 11:13-15 says, “Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not 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? For long hair is given to her as a covering.”
From Paul’s teaching, it is clear that a woman was required to have her hair at any length for as long as it covered her.
Can United Pentecostal leaders tolerate short hair on their women?
According to different bible scholars, United Pentecostal women are not allowed to cut their hair, as it is among the rules required to be strictly followed by any member of this denomination. Additionally, the women are not supposed to braid their hair, as Paul criticizes the hairstyle in 1st Timothy 2:9, “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold pearls or expensive clothes.”
1st Peter 3:3 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.”
This is not the only rule United Pentecostal leaders have imposed on their female Christians. Apart from not cutting their hair, United Pentecostal leaders discourage their women from dressing in long dresses and skirts to maintain their modesty. Women in their church were also forbidden from wearing jewelry or makeup.
Where did the not cutting hair come from?
The not cutting of hair came from the Nazarites people, from the Old Testament. This is after they made a special vow to God that forbade them from touching any corpse that would make them unclean, drinking any alcohol made from grapes, and never cutting their hair. These vows were meant to set the people of Nazareth apart for God.
Unlike what the United Pentecostal members are practicing now, the Nazarites did not keep these vows for the rest of their lives, as they lasted for a limited time. A person would make three sacrifices to God at the end of the specific period; they promised to keep the vow.
An excellent example of a character in the Bible was Samson, who God had given supernatural strength as a way of commitment to him. Samson had long hair that was the source of his strength, and he was not required to cut it. However, he fell into Delilah’s trap, and his hair was cut off.
Judges 16:17 says, “My hair has never been cut.” He said. “I have been dedicated to God as a Nazarite from the time I was born. If my hair were cut, I would lose strength and be as weak as anybody else.”
Judges 16:19 says, “Delilah lulled Samson to sleep in her lap and then called a man, who cut off Samson’s seven locks of hair. Then she began to torment him, for he had lost his strength.”
Judges 16:20 states, “Then she shouted, “Samson! The Philistines are coming!” he woke up and thought, “I’ll get loose and go free, as always.” He did not know that the Lord had left him.”
Does long hair among United Pentecostals apply only to women?
Not cutting the hair in the United Pentecostal only applies to women, as men are not always to grow their hair past a certain level. Men are only allowed to grow their hair past their shoulders, as Paul also encouraged Corinthians men to keep their hair short.
1st Corinthians 11:4 “Every man who prays or prophecies with his head covered dishonors his head.”
1st Corinthians 11:7 says, “A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.”
1st Corinthians 11:14 states, “Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him.”
Is short hair evil, according to the Bible?
Short hair is not considered evil in the Bible, as God is more concerned with a person’s human heart, other than their exterior looks. Several bible scholars have also speculated that Peter warned about braiding hair, as he considered it a sin.
1st Peter 3:3 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.” However, some religious scholars argue that Peter was only warning the people not to focus too much on their physical looks and focus on God’s work.
- Pentecostal Hair: Everything you should know
- Why do Pentecostals have long hair?
- What the Bible says about Hair Length
- What does the Bible say about hair length?
- Modesty and Dress Rules of United Pentecostals
- Pentecostal beliefs about hair and skirts
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.