Samurai would cut their hair when defeated in Medieval Japan. To this day, Sumo wrestlers have a “hair cutting” ceremony when they retire! In Japan, cutting hair was a symbol JAPANESE SILK WIG of defeat and lost of honor, very similar to the honorable Harakiri (ceremonial suicide practiced by the Japanese samurai when disgraced or under a death sentence). Women of samurai families used to cut their hair and even became nuns when she had to part her loved one, and to this day some Japanese girls cut their hair when they have had their heart broken!.
The Egyptian Pharaoh:
It is really hot in Egypt, and was very hot 4000 years ago, and even 5000 years ago. Egyptians mostly wore their head shaved, a practical way to deal with the extreme desert heat. The Pharaohs, however, when in ceremonial dress and demonstrating their power and wealth, wore elaborate wigs made of real human hair, dressed with oil, in locks, and braids. The Pharaoh’s son traditionally had one lock of hair uncut in the center of his head, which he would wear in a bun. No one else was allowed to wear their hair in this particular way, on pain of death!
Julius Caesar, perhaps the most famous Roman ever, was terrified of his hair loss. It is said that he was so embarrassed by his receding hairline that he introduced the fashion of a laurel crown to hide his high forehead… Caesar used to force his defeated enemies to shave their heads to their scalp. Perhaps he thought that if his enemies had even shorter hair than his, he would appear more powerful, as if conquering half of Europe was not enough!
Married/Unmarried Women in Imperial China:
Unmarried Chinese girls’ hair was usually worn long and braided while married women combed the hair back from the face and wound into a knot at the nape. The married or unmarried status of the girl could be signified by her hair, thus avoiding any unwanted advances on married women. Chinese girls’ hair heavily influenced their value in the marriage market. A girl without long, luxurious, very black hair was not considered as good marriage material as girls with.