Why Sikhs donot Shave or Cut their hairs?

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Sikh man with open beard
Well you might seen some beard guy who has a turban on his head and wonder why he don't shave his beard or his head ? That sure made his look more like everyone else Or you might not like that beard guy. Now here's the Thing that guy with beard might want to keep that thing even someone
likes it or not.

In Sikhism or Sikhi , Mainly there are three things why we don't shave our beards or any hair of body.

Kesh.JPG1. Primary Reason: Its Sikhism, Its Code of Conduct. Dishonoring one’s hair is one of the four cardinal sins, which the Guru has told a Sikh never to commit. A Sikh doesn’t disfigure their hair from head to toe because Guru jee told us to keep sanctity of Kesh (hair). Nothing else matters. A Sikh does what their Guru told them to do.

mweI siq siq siq hir siq siq siq swDw ]
bcnu gurU jo pUrY kihE mY CIik gWTrI bwDw ]1] rhwau ]

“O mother, True, True True is the Lord, and True, True, True is the Guru.
The Word, which the Perfect Guru has spoken, I have tied to my robe. ||1||Pause||”
(Ang 1204)

Mughals carrying the heads of Sikhs to market to collect their price
2. Secondary Reason: Its Sikh History, There was price on the Sikh heads .The persecution of the Sikhs continued after the death of the Great Bhunda Singh Bahadur. Emperor Farukh Siyad issued orders to hunt them down where ever they could be found. In 1726 the governership of Lahor was handed to Zakariya Khan, who adopted strong measures to root out the Sikhs.

We honor our ancestor that gave their heads but reject to cut their hairs and leave Sikhism .
They accept Death and torture rather than converting to Islam.
History said a reward of
  • Rs 10 were offered for supplying information to the whereabouts of Sikhs.
  • Rs 20 for pointing out a Sikh 
  • Rs 50 for bringing the head of a Sikh.
  • Rs 80 or 100 for bringing in a live Sikh.
 Once, on the day of Muslim festival, Mir Mannu beheaded 1100 Sikhs” in public.
Bhai Taru Singh head was scalp off
Mention-ably, At the time of Governor Zakaria Khan there was a sikh named Bhai Taru Singh that was captured for feeding poor and brought in front of Governor. Governor said that His all mistakes will be pardoned if he accept Muslim religion and Cut off his hair. Bhai Taru Singh Replied,"I shall keep my faith with these hair and You will be controlled by my Shoes and then you will die." He becomes so much angry.He invited Barber to cut Bhai Sahib's Hair. And it is said that hair becomes like iron and Barber can't cut them. Then He invited a cobbler and ordered him to cut the scalp of Bhai Taru Singh with his Axe.
After that, in the evening time, the Governor can't pass his urine. All specialists done their best, but there was no effect on the governor. Then governor sent Bhai Subheg  singh to the Head of "Dal Khalsa" to seek pardon. The head of Dal Khalsa said that his Urine can pass if his head will hit with Shoe of Bhai Taru Singh, But he will Die before Bhai Taru Singh.
    And the Sayings of that True Sikh fulfilled. When the governor's head was hit with Bhai Taru Singh's Shoe then he can pass his urine. But he dead before Bhai Taru Singh at July 1,1745. 

 In those days Sikhs were persecuted because they were considered infidels by Muslims & today Sikhs become victims in the United States because they are confused with Muslims.

3. Tertiary Reason: 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.

Other Reasons:

  1. Keeping kes / hairs intact honors the creator's intention. Hair is a birthright inherent in the creator's design. Each hair grows to a specified length as per individual genetic disposition before falling out and developing a new hair in it's place. 
  2. Keeping kes / hairs honors the Sikh code of conduct. SRM stipulates that hair is to be kept intact from birth onward and that code of conduct is to be followed through out life until death.
  3. Keeping kes / hairs identifies one as a Sikh. Hair is a visible identity which distinguishes the Sikh and Sikhism as distinct from all other religions and walks of life. Keeping hair intact encourages and gives support to fellow Sikhs.
  4. Keeping kes / hairs insures Sikh rights. The US Army granted exemptions to Sikh recruits who followed the Sikh mandate to keep hair intact. An Indian court upheld a decision which denied a Sikh scholarship to a girl who removed hair she plucked her eyebrows, on the basis that the SRM instructs a Sikh to keep every hair intact.
  5. Keeping kes / hairs vanquishes vanity. Keeping hair intact is a constant reminder to make conscious choices when facing the challenges of confronting ego.
  6. Keeping kes / hairs builds self esteem. Keeping hair intact allows one to experience courage, conquer fear, and realize unconditional love.
  7. Keeping kes / hairs honors truth. Hair like truth continually asserts itself despite what ever measure are taken to deny it. Whether plucked, shaved, or curled, or colored hair, the hereditary disposition and condition of hair cannot be changed or concealed, for hair always returns to it's original genetic growth pattern.
  8. Keeping kes / hairs benefits body and soul. Hair is prayer. Kes acts as a subtle spiritual antenna. One who keeps kes intact, practices meditation and achieves humility comes to know the benefit of kes which can never be realize if hair is severed. It is written in Guru Granth Sahib Sikhism's holy scripture:
    • "Rom rom meh baseh muraar ||
      Within each and every hair, the divine enemy of pride abides." Bhagat Kabir|| SGGS||344
    • "Romae rom rom romae mai gurmukh raam dhiaa-ae raam ||
      With each hair and every hair, the enlightened being meditates on the divine Lord." Guru Raam Das|| SGGS||443
 So, when ever you see a True Sikh please don't irritate of him.

Different Turban Styles in Sikhism?

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These are the basic Sikh Pugaree types. Turban theory states that the main pugaree types are starting points, and anyone can invent their own turban styles.

In May 2009, The Times of India reported that British researchers were trying to make a "bulletproof turban" that would allow the Sikhs in the British police to serve in firearms units.

Turban style is totally depend upon individual thinking of how he want his turban to be. He may wanted a quick, clean or complex turban. Different turban styles comes also depend upon the ease of the wearer.

Style and color may reflect association with particular group of Sikhs, religious conviction, or
fashion. There are many different styles and colors of turban. A longer turban is usually worn in a formal setting such as a business occasion, a wedding, a religious program, or celebration. Popular colors are blue, black, white, and orange. Red is often worn for weddings. A woman’s head scarf, or veil, is traditionally coordinated with whatever she happens to be wearing. It may be solid color or have a variety of contrasting colors. Many have decorative embroidery.
Turbans also come in variety of fabrics from light weight to heavy such as:
  • Mal Mal - A very lightweight fine fabric.
  • Voile - A lightweight weave.
  • Rubia - A medium weight dense weave.
Sikh wearing a domalla style turban.
Turban styles include but are not limited to:

  • Domalla - Double length turban of 10 or more yards or meters. Its not a sharp point style but rather round style Turban. How may choose to wear a small length or to any length you like. It all depends upon the strength of you neck. Its easy to wear and you can use ornaments to decorate it too. 

warrior style Domalla

  • Domalla-warrior style - Another version of Domalla include a wire inside the turban usually used by warrior meant for going into battle. This version show the "Chand Tora" i.e. crescent moon with sword ornament with the metal wire around the turban. You can also use Khanda instead of Chand tora. The wire is use  is totally closeable But likely used only when going into war not in festivals or common day.

Pagri with clean undesigned end at front
  • Pagri - Double width turban of five to six yards or meters. Also called General men turban or Pag, this turban is longer and goes about 7 times around the head. The Pointy front is some what smaller than that of Dastar . Moreover Its usually wore in 5 to 10 minutes. The last end (larh) of pagri is usually  donot folded and not given any specific shape than square or rectangle at front top.

    Dastar with 'V' shape at front top
  • Dastar - A single turban of four to six yards or meters. The difference between Pagri and Dastar is that the Dastar is much large than Pagri and more pointy (Nok) at front. If you use the "Notai" technique and have a big joora (hair knot), do not make it right in front at your forehead. You will end up tying the turban on the joora, and it will make your turban look very high and big.According to modern punjabi style the last (larh) of turban is given a "V" shape by using the turban pin.Sikhs also use a specially designed Turban Needle (Punjabi:Salai,ਸਲਾਈ OR Baaj,ਬਾਜ It's to tuck their hair inside from Turban and Patka and also to maintain turban cleanliness
sikh man with a small turban (Keski)
  • Keski - A short turban of two or more yards or meters. Its like domalla But short. This is a quick casual turban that you might tie if you donot want a large size turban or a quick alternate turban option. It is generally worn to savetime, or as an under turban to one of the above "full" turban.

    A Sikh boy wearing Patka
  • Patka - A square of half to one yard or meter, tied over the joora (top knot) and head.This is a common sikh turban among young boys. It is normally used as more of a casual Pugree, or sometimes for sports. Contrary to popular belief Patkas are actually types of turbans. These are easy to wear and are strong enough to held all hair together.

sikh man wearing orange turban with black Fifty

  • Fifty- A half yard or meter worn beneath turban usually in contrasting or decorative color.

A sikh child wearing rumal

Scarf Styles include but are not limited to:
  • Chunni - A sheer lightweight veil of up to two and half yards, or meters, usually one solid color and may or may not have embroidery.
  • Dupatta - A double wide decorative veil of up to two and half yards, or meters, often embroidered on fabric of contrasting colors.
  • Rumal - Any square or triangular cloth worn as a head cover.

Why SIkhs wear Turbans or head gear?

Sikhism has a code of conduct all Sikhs are meant to follow. A Sikh is expected to keep all hair intact and the head covered. The rule of dress for every Sikh man is to wear a turban. The Sikh woman may wear a turban or elect instead to wear a kind of traditional headscarf. A woman may also wear a scarf over a turban if she so desires. A Sikh accustomed to wearing a turban feels naked without it. Normally turbans are only removed in the most intimate of circumstances, when bathing the head, or
washing the hair.

All Sikh Gurus since Guru Nanak Dev Ji wore turban. However, the covering of hair with turban was made official by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru of Sikhs. The main reasons to wear turban is to take care of the hair, promote equality, and preserve the Sikh identity.

Sikh Dress Code
Sikhs do not cut their hair as a respect towards God and the turban protects the hair from dust. Some people might ask the question that if Sikhs cover their hair on head, why don’t they cover their beard? Dirt is not a big problem for beard. The beard can be cleaned very easily while washing the face. Christian Head Covering). Since Sikhs believe God to be present everywhere, they cover their head not just in church but everywhere else as well.
Covering of the head by turban also symbolizes respect towards God. People form many other religions including Hindus, Jews, and traditionally many Christians including Catholics cover their head while visiting their church (Source:

Sikhs are only 2% of India’s population, turban also helps to identify Sikhs. Upon establishing turban as a Sikh identity Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, “My Sikh will be recognized among millions”.
In addition, the people from high class used to wear turban and many high status individuals still wear turban. The high class turban wearing individuals were called Sardars (leaders). This segregated people from high and low classes. So in order to eliminate the class system associated with turban, Guru Gobind Singh Ji made each and every Sikh a Sardar. He also rejected class system by giving all Sikh the last name Singh and Kaur.
Many people mistake Sikhs and look at them as Muslims due to their turban. Turban is used as a head covering by many cultures. Many cultures in Africa wear turban as well. Only the high officials in Islam wear turban. Many Hindu priests wear turban as well. Identifying people wearing turban and looking at them as terrorist and making them a target of hatred is completely wrong. Just like every person wearing a baseball hat is not a bank robber; every person wearing a turban is not a terrorist. If you see a man walking down on the streets of western countries wearing a turban, there is 99.9% chance that he is a Sikh since Muslims and Hindus in western countries do not wear turban.

The most common colors worn by Sikhs are white, blue and black. The old and/or spiritual people usually wear white. Black and blue are the most common colors worn by the youth. The main purpose of the head covering is to cover the head and the hair. The choice of colors is totally up to the individual.