Why Sikhs Wear Turbans & Don’t Cut Their Hair

Other people always wonder why Sikhs don’t shave their hair. Well, the best way to answer this is yes it is mandatory for Sikhs to keep hair. Below are some of the reasons why they do this.

Just like any other religion, Sikhs have a code of conduct that directs them on different ways to live their lives. The Sikh Rehat Maryada directs and declares that all Sikhs have to keep their hair unshorn.

This is a rule that the should observe, abide and keep based on the facts collected by Sikh scholars who have researched widely about Sri Guru Granth Sahib historical practices and references.

In most cases, a pure Kesdhari who is obedient to the parents and is loyal to the Sikh’s way of life will never touch his hair with an intention to cut it whatsoever.

They would never want to disappoint their parents and so they will keep uncut hair as a way of showing love and respect to the teachings they are given and attending the Gurudwaras for tranquility.

Beards and covering the head with a turban is also any Sikhs way of life. The major reasons for living by these rules include the following:

  • Obedience and loyalty to the Guru directives
  • This is a form of identity that upholds their religion and way of life
  • Sikhs find a sense of pride in keeping turbans beards and hair that makes them unique
  • They have very detailed scientific studies that compel them to do the same
  • Sikh’s also believe that this is the way God planned and wants a Man to be

Now let’s look at the fact that in our modern society, fashion and trends will compel any young man to have that great shave and look good in just like other people do.

This is a great challenge to the modern Sikh generation who keep on asking why they should keep away from the changing trends.

One of the main roots of Sikhs religion is best described as the Maya. This is based on keeping away from being materialistic and loving earthly stuff compared to the beliefs and rules taught by the religion.

However, there are Sikhs who have adapted to fashion and would really like to fit in society. They make nice cuts and shaves and some of the old aged Sikhs shun this while others accept that they have to fit in the society.

Some don’t even put on turbans anymore and they get those fresh cut but they keep their faith. This group of a young generation tends to believe that they will be judged by their soul and not their physical appearance.

There have been cases where a young man has to travel to developed countries to look for greener pastures.

The office set up or the learning environments and work ethics in some countries will then dictate that they have to shave or at least look presentable.

Some Sikhi parents have been forced to let their children shave and keep fashion trends. This helps those kids to avoid critics and bullying and creates stability. Such parents are always left with a hard task of keeping these children in the faith.

We all have to accept that times have changed and change will catch up with you whether you like it or not. Having said this, it is up to you to figure out what is right and what is wrong.

Personally, I think it is best to learn the purpose of keeping the turban and unshorn hair. Understand the Sikhs way of life then know why you have to stand by the religion and not by what the society will think. That is what will make you a real Sikhi.

This has always caused different and mixed reactions among their leaders since most of the elders don’t really like the fashion and trends change. They consider it as you going against the Gurus.

So the big question is Can Sikhs Shave?

The best way to define a Sikh is one who is disciplined, a learner and abides by the path of Guru while being loyal to God. One of the main Sikhs identity is the hair because the last living Sikh Guru Gobin Singh gave Unshorn Hair as a gift from God and this must be respected among the Sikhs.

Sikhs should remain in the best natural form that they were born in. One of the roles is to keep them in perfect condition as planned and created by God. Sikh Women are also encouraged to keep hair since the religion advocates for equity in both men and women.

However, Sikhs are allowed to shave if they have abnormal conditions like hormonal imbalance issues that alter hair growth. Remember part of keeping hair is believed to also protect the skin. You really need to dig deep into Gurbani and Sikh history to fully absorb reasons for keeping unshaved hair.   

Sikhs also don’t shave their underarms and pubic hair since its part of their natural creativity. There are also scientific reasons that support those reasons since pubes also help a lot in protecting those places from unwanted pathogenic infections.

Baptism is a key factor when a male or female wants to cut hair. Those who have not been baptized are less criticized compared to those who have been baptized.

After you are baptized, it means you have given your body to God in its pure and natural form so you should not alter its pure nature as it was created. A Sikhs hair will become precious and sacred especially after baptism and it should never be altered or shaved whatsoever.

After taking Amrit, you are forbidden to cut but you may wash, comb, and brush your hair so as to maintain it then cover with a turban if not chunni.

Contradictions

There are those Sakhis that belief keeping your hair is never compulsory and Sikhism has no such taboo. They argue that Guru Granth Sahib has not mentioned it anywhere as a taboo.

They believe that their physical appearance does not matter and what matters most is your meditation and connection to God by keeping a pure soul. The challenge even gets at its peak when they say let any Sikhi show any Guru Granth Sahib that prohibits a Sikhi from cutting hair.

They say people are wrong when the mix Sikh with Khalsa.  With that said, Scholars still maintain that you can never have a baptized Sikh and engage in cutting, trimming or shaving hair. They add that keeping hair is the Gurus will and you can never be a true Sikhi is you do not follow his will.

Conclusion

A lot of people really don’t understand much about the beautiful religion of Sikhs. Those are people with rich cultural, ethics and code of conducts that govern them as a society. They believe in being righteous, rave and merciful.

They have features like the

  • Simran
  • Sewa
  • Gurudwaras & langar
  • No drugs and adultery
  • Five thieves

Among other beautiful code of conduct and society ethics that we will keep discussing day by day. below is a video on how to tie a traditional Sikh turban.

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