Viking History – Why do Vikings have Long Hair?

The Vikings; handsome blonde men whose long hair dances to the rhythm of the wind as they stand on the prow of their long ships. We have all seen that image in movies books and in general depiction of Vikings. But have you ever wondered why they had long hair?

An easy answer to this question would be that standards of beauty are a question of time and culture. True, but very clearly insufficient.

The Practice

This is a very old difference between the Mediterranean dwellers and the Nordic dwellers. The first did not associate hair with power, but more with wisdom. And in fact, having short hair (more practical in these warm climates!) was not a problem.

In the North, however, it is colder. So long hair is actually more practical as long hair would keep the head shielded from the intense cold and also cover the ears. One could see there a form of laziness too, of naturalness; as if the Vikings preferred to keep their hair long as it is only natural for hair to grow long.

Vikings didn’t put much stock in personal grooming and even when they did groom it would only be for practical purposes. For example, some Vikings cut their hair only at the back of the skull to prevent them from getting tangled in mails, armor clasps, laces, etc. But overall the Vikings did prefer long hair most of the time.

Jewelry and ornaments

Traditionally male Vikings wore no jewellery. But the females did and ample evidence of these has been dug up by archeologists in many locations. If you have any interest in Viking jewelry and wish to own some then visit LYR Design. They have an enviable collection that has been designed by experienced and qualified designers. These designers have been working with Nordic designs for many years.

The symbolism of power and long hair

Traditionally long hair has been associated with power in many cultures and the Nordic culture is no exception. The fact that they lived in intensely cold climate where long hair was beneficial only helped strengthen this belief. That was a time when society believed in conformity so if the king or chieftain maintained long hair than the rest of the tribe fell in line and the trend would have been automatically followed by the next generation and the next.