The Higher the Hair the Closer to God – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did you just get back from the salon after a haircut? If someone sees you and says, “the higher the hair, the closer to God,” what are they talking about? Don’t they know that you’re not religious?

This post unpacks the meaning, origin, and use of this expression.

Meaning

The higher the hair, the closer to God” is an idiomatic expression referring to hairstyles from the 1960s. Doing the sixties, it was all the fashion to have a “beehive” hairdo, and many women would adopt it as a way to stay on top of the trend.

The expression means that the woman’s hair is “big,” extending towards the heavens. It’s not a very common expression in modern language due to the change in hairstyle trends to “flatter” hairdos. You can use the phrase whenever you see someone with “big hair.”

Example Usage

Sally: “Look at that woman over there; she has the biggest hair I’ve ever seen. It looks like she’s still living in the sixties.”

Jessica: “Well, the higher the hair, the closer to God. Maybe she sings in her church choir or something.”

“I went to the hairdresser yesterday and asked her for a new style. She says that big hair is making a comeback, so I went for it. You know what they say; the higher the hair, the closer to God.”

“I’m going to get my hair done before church this weekend. After all, the higher the hair, the closer to God.”

Origin

The origin of this saying goes back to the 1960s. During this era, society was non-secular, and many Americans held faith in Christianity. It was common for families to attend church on Sunday morning, wearing their “Sunday best.” Men and boys would wear suits or jackets and ties, and women would wear their best dresses.

Around the time, we saw the launch of the bonnet hair dryer in beauty salons across America, leading to the adoption of the “big hairstyle” of the 60s. Women would create large hairdos to impress others in the congregation, and they would say that “the higher the hair, the closer to God,” or “the bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

However, the use of this phrase faded away with the introduction of different hairstyles in the 70s and 80s. As society globalized and integrated people of all races and faiths into a “melting pot” in the 80s and 90s, society would move away from religion and into a secular system that did away with families’ reliance on faith and religion.

Phrases Similar to The Higher the Hair the Closer to God

  • The bigger the hair, the closer to God.

Phrases Opposite to The Higher the Hair the Closer to God

  • unknown

What is the Correct Saying?

  • The higher the hair, the closer to God.
  • The bigger the hair, the closer to God.

Ways People May Say The Higher the Hair the Closer to God Incorrectly

This phrase has nothing to do with religion in its idiomatic format. It references a 60s hairstyle and using it to describe religious dogma would be the incorrect use of the phrase. Typically, the term refers to women, not men.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase The Higher the Hair the Closer to God

You can use the phrase “the higher the hair, the closer to God” when you’re describing a woman with a 60s hairstyle that looks big. These hairstyles are not common in modern society, and you’ll usually make the reference as a joke about the person being behind on the times.

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