In addition, managing hair was also a crucial part of ancient Han people’s daily life. Commonly, males and females would stop cutting their hair once they reached adulthood. This was marked by the Chinese coming of age ceremony Guan Li, usually performed between ages 15 to 20. They allowed their hair to grow long naturally until death, including facial hair. This was due to Confucius’ teaching “身體髮膚，受諸父母，不敢毀傷，孝之始也” – which can be roughly translated as ‘My body, hair and skin are given by my father and mother, I dare not damage any of them, as this is the least I can do to honor and respect my parents’. In fact, cutting one’s hair off in ancient China was considered a legal punishment called ‘髡’, designed to humiliate criminals, as well as applying a character as a facial tattoo to notify one’s criminality, the punishment is referred to as ‘黥’, since regular people wouldn’t have tattoos on their skin attributed to the same philosophy.
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