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Q: Why do Sikhs keep hair?

A: This question is frequently asked, “Why do you keep hair?” Hair is a gift from God, therefore why should anyone give it away by cutting it? Hair is one of the five articles of faith for Sikhs. Sikhs live the way God made humans and never cut their hair. For Sikhs hair is the symbol of love for God and the respect for everything He has given us. The way God made us is the most beautiful of all. To Christians, even the Bible says, “God loves us and cares so much about us that even all the hairs of our head has well counted” (Matt.10:30).

One argument often discussed is that if you do not cut your hair, it keeps growing and will eventually reach the ground. Sikhs never cut their hair and it does not touch the ground, their eyebrows grow to a specific length, their mustaches grow to a specific length, and their beard stops at a specific length. Our body has a natural way of shedding and regenerating hair, thus after a period of time, hair seems to stay at a consistent length.

Once the hair reaches its specific length, it stops growing. If the hair is cut, the body responds by growing it again to the specific length. It clearly indicates the link of the body with the hair all along its length. Cutting hair puts extra load on the body since the body will always try to grow the hair back to its specific length.

Millions of Sikhs do not cut their hair and their hair grows to a specific length depending on their individual characteristics. Sikhs have been keeping their hair unshorn for centuries and know this fact for real.

Sikhs are not to use razors or any other such devices on their bodies from the time of birth, for they do not cut their hair from any part of their bodies. In order to keep hair neat and clean, Sikhs roll the hair on the top of their head. The hair is then covered by different types of turbans.

From the scientific point of view, keeping hair is practical because hair has many functions. It traps an insulating layer of still air just outside the skin, and thereby keeping the head cool in summer and warm in winters. Furthermore, hair absorbs harmful ultra violet radiations from the sun and reduces skin cancer. In addition, hair follicles can make androgenic hormones. Axillary hair provides larger surface area for evaporation of sweat. Although Sikhs do not need scientific explanations to keep hair, it is important to note that scientific explanations do indeed exist.


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