People in the Western world tend to think that lamas are monks in general and that, therefore, they have short hair. In fact the term is an honorific title applying to Tibetan buddhist teachers (male or female).
It is very unusual for a lama to be depicted with thick snail-like hair curls like the historical buddha. Nevertheless, the monastic garments, including a meditation cloak, tell us that we are looking at a lama, his eyes closed in rapture, the face painted with cold gold, the hair dyed with blue pigment. Equally unusual is the robe fastened with a thick embroidered belt and covering both arms.
We have seen a few examples of lamas with their long hair combed back.
This smiling man with a moustache wears his long curly hair loose. He holds a long-life vase in his left hand and does the teaching gesture with the right hand, displaying a diamond incised in the palm.
15th-16th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy, same as before.
The majority have short hair, with a receding hairline, more or less pronounced.
Also known as Tsugla Gyatso Trengwa, this personage holds a long-life vase in his left hand. His hair forms a straight line at the front.
Some of the eldest are nearly bald, as can be expected.
On this late work, the lama wears his long hair fastened in the Chinese fashion.