When one thinks of Hoodoo or Voodoo, there certainly is a reference to the power and use of hair. One common superstition is that one should always take great care in the disposal of both hair and nails in order to prevent any negative spells or conjurations placed upon them. Take for example, the use of the Voodoo doll, particularly dolls created for love matters. Using human hair and/or the finger nails of the intended love interest aids in the creation of a powerful love spell. With such objects voodoo dolls can be created to help one fall in love with another. In Hoodoo jar spells, there is another popular example where one might include the hair of an intended victim mixed with a number of other objects such as vinegar or sulfur which then is buried upon the intended victim's property in order to create sickness or misfortune.
There is certainly plenty of evidence that suggests that using hair, nails and even the bones of someone has strong African influences. Take for example the Congo fetish figure, often created with the bones or hair of one's ancestors mixed with other powerful substances such as minerals and herbs that is adorned on wood carved figures and placed in front of one's home or community. There are countless references to the use of hair in Harry Middleton Hyatt's 5 volume series. “Hoodoo, Conjuration, Witchcraft & Rootwork.”
Throughout the ages, hair has often been seen as indestructible and as is frequently associated to a particular person's character. It's no wonder that it has been a popular ingredient in all types of magical rites, divination and witchcraft. Another powerful example of the use of hair in Voodooism is one of the more powerful and negative curses to cause serious harm or death of an intended victim. In this case, hair and/or a piece of fabric that has touched the intended victims skin is put into a handkerchief with some other eroding ingredients. The belief is that as the items in the handkerchief erode, so will the body and/or mind of the intended victim.
The folklore of hair however, goes beyond Hoodoo, Voodoo and African Sources. It is a tremendously common theme in countless cultures, folklore traditions and mythical stories. One merely has to think of the story of biblical story of Samson who was bequeathed with extra-human power to perform heroic deeds for the Israelites only to discover that when his hair is cut, his powers are lost from him. The Ancient Greek Medusa, had hair of snakes and Rapunzal's hair was her ladder to freedom. Sif, the wife of the Norse God Thor had her hair stolen be Loki, the trickster God. No one was more irate than Thor himself. Out of fear, Loki had the dwarves braid her hair with gold in order to appease him.
I always warn people to take great care when incorporating hair or nail clippings in a particular ritual. You never really know what the consequences might be. If you are a believer in Karma, you may want to leave these ingredients out.