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Hair in the ancient world was different for males in every culture. The Greeks let their hair grow long as a token of beauty, and their gods were represented with long hair. The Egyptians actually removed their hair and wore wigs, while the Romans dyed the hair to remove the sign of aging, as Josephus mentions about Herod. In Israel, the Hebrew men and women wore long hair, yet it was trimmed to show humility. Baldness was wholly despised and extremely long hair was the characteristic of the Nazarite. Absalom's long black hair was an exception.
By the time of Jesus men wore their hair much shorter. They also left their sides uncut near the ears. In Israel it was customary for hair to be kept neat and when hair was messy it was usually a sign of mourning or distress.