We have read in many chapters of the Coffin Texts that the s3mt was cut -although not destroyed (CT 334) – and offered, and that seems to happen when the mourners were shaved. But, do we know exactly what the s3mt was?
The Egyptian word s3mt had different meanings. According to A. Erman and H. Grapow, it meant “sadness” ; but s3mt could also be “moan”  or “mourning” . Some scholars have translated s3mt as “lock of hair” . Some consider that it could describe “not cut hair” as a sign of mourning or “careless hair” . William A. Ward took as basis chapter 1131 and affirmed that the expression Hdq s3mt meant “cut the dishevelled hair” and for giving this meaning to s3mt he referred to the Prophecy of Neferty.
The text relates how the wise man Neferty tells Pharaoh Snofru (IV Dynasty) about the future (First Intermediate Period), as a chaotic time when all rules (natural and cultural) get reversed. Among all the disasters happening to Egypt (the country will be attacked by Asiatics, the sun will not shine, the Nile will dry, and there will be wars…) Neferty says:
“…nobody will cry for the death,
Nobody will fast during for the death,
A man’s hearth will be concerned just about himself,
Today will not be any s3mt carried out,
The heart will be completely away from it…”
W. Helck translated “…today none will dress hairstyle for death” but M. Lichtheim considered that Neferty was saying that the mourning was not done and for G. Lefrebvre Neferty’s words said “…there will not be mourning ceremonies…” Before that Neferty told how none would cry nor fast for the death, that is, would nobody do the orthodox funerary practices; that means that s3mt could be considered as an Egyptian word for the mourning as a funerary custom. So, for us it makes more sense to translate as: “…today will not be the s3mt carried out…” and it would match perfectly with the chaotic image Neferty is describing.
Thanks to some stelas found in Serapeum we know that during the embalming of Apis there was mourning ceremony called s3mt: “… I was among the miserable, being in moan, being in mourning.
Everything points to the Egyptian word s3mt as a funerary custom related to hair and mourning, but nothing indicates that it could refer to a special hairstyle. Would it be maybe the two mourners’ hair manipulated during funerals for the deceased’s benefit?
 In the Old Kingdom s3mt is documented as a personal name (P.Kaplony, 1966, p. 68)
 Wb IV, 18, 10.
 D. Meeks, 1977-1979, p.306, nº 78.3295.
 D. Meeks, 1977-1979, p.304, nº 77.3349. Another way of writing s3mt was
 R.O. Faulkner, 1962, p. 210.
 D. Meeks, 1977-1979, p. 239, nº 79.2409.
 D. Meeks, 1977-1979, p. 304, nº 77.3349.
 W. Helck, 1970
 nn sDm.f implies future.
 G. Lefebvre, 1988, pp. 101-102.
 W. Jansen, 1994, p. 35; J. Vercoutter, 1962, pp. 37-38.