“Ok it’s a very common one, it’s like, don’t cut your hair after the new year, and I guess just hearing that growing up definitely made me have more of an attachment to my hair. I think like it definitely like–I’m like oh maybe that’s why oh big hair changes can be big changes in your life, or something, because of like hearing my grandma being like ‘oh you need to time your hair cut because you can’t wash away or cut off your good luck.’ So I think that’s why I attribute hair cutting or hair changes to luck or change in life.”
Informant (WP) is a student aged 19 from Chino Hills, California. Her parents are from Thailand and Laos. She currently goes to USC. This piece was collected during an interview in the informant’s apartment. She heard this particular folk belief from her grandmother who is Lao-Chinese. She thinks people want to attribute meaning to hair since it’s something that’s always with them, so they attribute luck to it.
Although many cultures emphasize looking forward in the new year, this could be an attempt to encourage some to hold on to elements of the past. In this case, their hair. Remembering the past is important when stepping towards the future.
Don’t Cut Your Hair in the New Year