Hair in Magic- Rapunzel, Lilith, and the Hair of the Dog

Lady Lilith

Lady Lilith- Rosetti 1868

When I was a child, Rapunzel was one of my favourite fairy tales. My grandfather would always tell me of Rapunzel and her long hair, and of its bewitching powers. The prince was never a concern in the tale for me, I didn’t want to be rescued, I wanted to be beautiful, and to have the magic and power of Rapunzel’s hair.

Hair is often used within magic to enchant someone for love and to bind them to your will.

Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent

And round his heart one strangling golden hair.


Hair is a particularly sexual symbol for women and is noted for its power of seduction. Lilith is often spoken of in mythology  as having long, wild, hair, and in Rosetti’s sonnet, Lilith’s hair is used to seduce, entrap and to kill, and is a powerful symbol of the Femme fatale.

Lilith would not submit to any man, and wild, long and curly hair is a symbol of female power and autonomy. Witches have long been said to have long, wild hair, often curling and dark.

Hair is an important ingredient in any lust potion, or love spell which intends to capture or ensnare a lover. Hair can be given as a gift in a locket, and can act as a promise between friends, family and lovers.

To ensure that your lover stays faithful, a clipping of their hair can be sprinkled with Command and Compel oil, and wrapped in white linen, and knotted in blue. To win a lover, a piece of hair can be served in food or wine.

Tales have been told of sea witches who bind wind into the knotted strands of their hair, and when a knot is released the wind will pick up.
Witches brooms can also include strands of the witches hair and many magical tools may be bound using bits of hair.
Hair can be included in spells of healing and protection where a link to the person is needed, and a poppet may be created with bits of hair, nail clippings and clothing of the one for whom the poppet is made.

The use of hair in magic is not limited to human hair, but can also include the hair of animals. Black Dog hair is used for invoking the  infernal powers of Hekate, as well to send a curse or bring protection. Black cat hair is used for luck within gambling. Dog hair and cat hair can be combined for a powerful spell in order to make people fight like cats and dogs.

Keeping a bit of your familiars’ fur within a charm or bag will grant you protection and other abilities that your familiar has access to. The fur or feathers of animals can also be worn in order to help shapeshift and may also be included in ointments for this purpose. The fur of animals is often included in the crafting of fetishes and spirit houses.

The fur of your pet can be used in order for healing and protection when they are ill or in danger and can be crafted into a pet blessing charm or poppet.

Further Reading 


Seduction, Witches and Long hair

Herb Magic- Cat Yronwode

Judika Illes- The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 spells.

*Originally Posted  in 2011 as Part of the 44 Days of Witchery -Day 2- Favourite myth or folk tale

*Expanded and republished in 2015

Copyright © 2011-2015 of Nightshade author of The Purple Broom

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