Best time to visit China

Long Hair Village in China

Until recently Chinese "Rapunzels" didn't show their loose hair to anyone but to their husbands and children. Nowadays the rules are milder—married women may unveil their beauty in public

Best time: May 1–October 31

Long Hair Village
Long Hair Village
Long Hair Village

Red Yao women of a small Chinese village Huangluo have always cherished their hair as something sacred. A girl is allowed to cut her hair just once in her life—for her 18th birthday. A short haircut along with a scarf she has to wear is the main indicator she is looking for a husband. In the meanwhile, cropped hair is made into an ornamental piece and is kept by her grandmother until the girl gets married. Then the bunch of hair is gifted to her groom, and afterwards, it becomes a part of her everyday hairdo.

There were times when local women were not allowed to show up with loose hair in public, only husband and children had the privilege of seeing that. But in 1980s things changed, probably due to the increasing tourist flow. Rare long and healthy hair is an attraction which helps the village get some good profits. So today tourists are welcome to special performances where Yao woman sing and dance showing off their long loose hair. However, performers are only married women, when unmarried girls preserve their hair for the husband to be the first to see it.

In spite of such rule alleviation, the hair still remains the most sacred part of the body. It's worn long till old age, for its length is proportional to life longevity and prosperity. Moreover, Yao women somehow manage to grow old, but not to go grey... The first grey hairs might appear after they turn 80.

As to loosing hairs, it still happens, but every single lost hair is collected and made into another ornamental part also added to the traditional hairdo. So all in all, elaborate hairstyle of an average Yao woman consists of her own hair, the hair she had before her wedding, and also those collected falling hairs.

A hairdo indicates some social status. For instance, if you see a woman with a hair bun above the forehead, it means she has children; if it's simply wrapped around her head, then she doesn't have children yet.

You might be interested how do they take care of such long hair, and if there is any secret, after all. The only known secret is that they are using river water left after rice rinsing to wash hair. Shampoo isn't used there at all. But who knows, maybe there are some other untold secrets you'll find out on your visit to the long hair village. It's located in Longsheng County in North Guangxi Province.

One of the best times to discover the village during the Long Hair Festival which takes place annually on March 3 of the Chinese lunar calendar. During the festivities, you can capture a unique sight of all Yao women gathered together along the river combing their hair.

In June, Yao people celebrate their yearly orthodox Red Clothe Festival, during which Longsheng Yao girls take on their best clothes and sell their specialties on the market. The festival is considered to be a Valentine's Day to Yao tribe, a good chance for single people to find their future husbands and wives by antiphonal singing and playing the harmonica. If there's a sparkle between young people, they might go into the river for romance.

After all, you may come any other time in a year. The months between May and October are recommended for the most beautiful landscapes. Moreover, it's better to avoid rice harvest months.

Practical info

When is the Long Hair Festival held in Huangluo village?

The festival that showcases the unique sight of Yao women gathered together with their long hair combed is named the Long Hair Festival. It occurs annually on March 3 of the Chinese lunar calendar. Show more

Where can I find the Long Hair Village?

Long Hair Village is based in Longsheng County, North Guangxi Province, China. It can be found by public or rental transportation. The village has the most beautiful landscapes between May and October not during the rice harvest months. Show more

How long is the hair of an average Yao woman?

The average length of hair for an average Yao woman is between 1.3 to 1.8 meters long that signifies long life and prosperity. Yao women typically don't cut their hair after marriage, which is incorporated with their grandmother's and future hair-fall in their daily hairstyle. Show more

What is the significance of the hair bun above a Yao woman's forehead?

A signature hair bun above the forehead is a symbol of motherhood, indicating a woman has children as the bun represents the head of a baby and the hair around it symbolizes a mother's embrace. A woman without children doesn't wear the bun. Different hairstyles indicate different social status. Show more

Is there a recommended time of year to visit the Long Hair Village in China?

Long Hair Village is best visited from May to October since it is when the landscape is at its most beautiful. It is also when the village celebrates the two major festivals: Long Hair Festival on March 3 and the Red Clothe Festival in June. Visitors are also advised to avoid the rice harvest months as it congests the roads, making transportation difficult. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Long Hair Village (Map)

Last updated: