Why Does the Bible Speak Against Braided Hair?

There are some Christian sects that interpret the Bible literally to the point of imposing certain restrictions on their members. The United Pentecostal Church and Fundamental Baptists are just two denominations that discourage braided hairstyles for their women.

Wikimedia Commons/StilfehlerA Dutch braid, later modified into a "pancake braid" by pulling and stretching the braid segments until they are wide and flat; this technique makes the braid appear a bit flat and much wider than an unmodified braid.

Their basis is the Bible where Peter instructed followers against braiding of the hair (1 Peter 3:3). Paul also told Timothy to convey to the women in the church of Ephesus not to braid their hair (1 Timothy 2:9). But the real message of the two verses is about humility and modesty.

Women wore elaborate hairstyles during the first century of Roman culture. They styled their locks into curls, braids and high wigs with pins and ornaments — all for the purpose of attracting attention. This prompted Peter to admonish women believers to aspire for inner beauty instead (1 Peter 3:4).

Peter and Paul were actually critical of the conceitedness of women, which was manifested in those days through elaborate hairstyles. Women these days have more ways of drawing attention that are not mentioned in the Bible. Does that make it okay for a girl to call attention to her beauty by flooding other people's newsfeeds with her photos?

It doesn't take knowledge of the Bible to spot the so-called "fame who*es" in social media. Most of them don't even braid their hair! All their posts are meant to impress an image of good times and success through travels and material things. On the other hand, women of substance post things about goodness like family, faith, social causes and useful information.

Conceited women can also be found in ultra-conservative churches. They don't braid their hair but they wear expensive blouses and flaunt their signature bags and shoes. They get away with this by wearing long skirts to fit their church's technical description of simplicity.