Why Kesh?!



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Why do Sikhs keep long, un-cut hair?

Seriously, give me a good reason! What’s the point of my kesh?

Kesh, or uncut hair, is considered to be an essential part of Sikhi. Yet, no one has given me a convincing answer as to why it is essential or why the Gurus commanded Sikhs to keep long hair. Throughout my life, I keep getting half-baked, unsubstantiated answers. So, I decided to go on a quest, compiling all the solid answers that I could find.

I am not going to give a “seal of approval” to any points or counter any reasoning. Each person’s connection to their kesh is personal and not for me to judge. I will not critique any reasons, as I am not in a position to unearth the validity of each claim, but rather I present them to you so you can judge for yourself.

Below is a brief summary of the different reasons I could find that people give for why Sikhs keep uncut, long hair. Through this research, my personal reasons for keeping kesh have become clearer and more resolute. Different reasons resonate with different people.  Hopefully, this may help you find your reasons too. I hope you enjoy this catalogue and find a reason that works for you.


Reason 1: Because the Gurus Said to Keep Long Hair.

  • “When you have faith, you don’t need any absolute reason for doing anything. The Gurus said to keep long hair, so I do. I don’t question it,” someone once told me.


Reason 2: Because the Gurus had Long Hair

  • According to Trilochan Singh in The Turban and Sword of the Sikhs, Sikhs live in the physical image of the Guru, and since the Gurus kept long hair, so do Sikhs. This may be as a tribute to the Gurus’ life or as a way to live in line with the Gurus’ lifestyle.
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Image 2

Reason 3: Physical Connection to Gurus

  • Long hair can help a Sikh feel connected to the Guru. It is a physical commonality a Sikh shares with his/her Guru and thus, can serve as a reminder that a Sikh can be Guru-like and must strive to embody qualities the Gurus had.
  • Long hair is regarded as the seal of the Guru, (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh). Typically, a seal authenticates a document or is placed on package holding valuables. In this light, kesh is the Guru’s seal authenticating the Sikh as a disciple, or long hair can be considered the emblem upon the valuable mind/soul contained within the body.
  • One author believes that long hair symbolizes the spiritual link a Sikh has with the Guru’s power, (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh).

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Reason 4: Orders

  • Another theory is that keeping kesh honors Guru Gobind Singh’s 1699 Vasakhi Hukam (command/order) that amritdhari Sikhs, must wear the 5Ks, one of which is kesh.
  • In June of 1699, after the first Sikh Vasakhi, Guru Gobind Singh Ji issued a hukam nama for the sangat of Kabul specifically according to the Bikrami calendar, Jeth 26, Sammat 1756. In this hukham, Guru Ji refers to kesh several times, “ Keep your hair (Kesh) uncut – this is the seal of the Guru….Look after your hair and comb (Kanga) it twice a day….Never have any connection whatsoever with those who…celebrate the cutting of children’s hair,” (Guru Gobind Singh, 1699).
  •  Some point to the rehatnama (code of conduct) written by Bhai Daya Singh Ji, a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, that states, “The hair resides on the body, forsake cutting it,” (Singh, Nihang.).
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Image 3

  • The Damdami Taksal Rehat Maryada also indicates the importance of kesh, “Unshorn Hair
From your head down to your toes all hair is to be kept unshorn and your hair is to be tied
and complemented with a turban,” (Damdami Taksal).
  • Almost all other rehatnamas lay special emphasis on the maintenance of unshorn hair, (Khalsa, Sukhmandir).


Reason 5: Saintliness or Holiness

  • In ancient India, it was a general practice with Hindu sages and ascetics to keep long hair tied in a knot on top of their head and keep a long beard. Gurdev Singh hypothesizes in his paper, Respectives on the Sikh Tradition, that Guru Gobind Singh wanted his Sikhs, despite being householders, to also be karma yogis, or practical saints.
Image 4

Image 4

  • In India, kesh is a symbol of saintliness or holiness, (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh).
  • Long hair serves as a reminder for Sikhs to behave like the saints and Rishis of the past, (Sidhu, GS).
  • G. A. Gaskell writes, “Hair of the head is a symbol of faith, intuition of truth, or the highest qualities of the mind.”

Reason 6: Devotion

  • Another theory is that the head of a devout Sikh is an offering to the Guru and long hair is proof of the Sikh’s devotion and a sign of a Sikh’s commitment and devotion to his/her Guru, (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh.
  • Others say that kesh indicates a life decided to the services of God and humanity, (Singh, Gurdev).
  • Some say that kesh is a mark of dedication to the Guru, (Sidhu, G.S.).

Reason 7: Truth

  • Writer Sukhmandir Khalsa says that keeping kesh honors truth. Hair, like truth, continually asserts itself despite whatever measures 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 its original genetic growth pattern, (Khalsa, Sukhmandir).

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  • Khalsa also says that keeping kesh benefits the body and soul. “Hair is prayer and kesh acts as a subtle spiritual antenna. One who keeps kesh intact, practices meditation and achieves humility comes to know the benefit of kesh which can never be realize if hair is severed,” (Khalsa, Sukhmandir).


Reason 8: Hair Makes a Person Whole

  • Another reason a Sikh may keep long hair is that long hair establishes a complete and natural person. When the body is whole, it represents a whole spirit, a spirit unlimited by worldly consideration, (Wylam, Pamela Margaret).

Reason 9: Sikh Sovereignty

  • Sikhs do not conform to time-bound, secular fashion trends; Sikhs are not attached to the world. Thus, Wylam says, long hair indicates a freedom from socially deemed fashionable haircuts, (Wylam, Pamela Margaret.) The Sikh is sovereign from social standards of beauty and only behaves in accordance with the Gurus’ standards.
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Image 6

Reason 10: Discipline

  • Personal discipline is central to Sikhi and some feel that keeping long hair, combing it every day and washing it, develops disciplines, (Singh, Gurdev).

Reason 11: Vanity

  • Some writers feel that keeping kesh vanquishes vanity. Keeping hair intact is a constant reminder to make conscious choices when facing the challenges of confronting ego, (Khalsa, Sukhmandir).

Reason 12: Self-esteem

  • Keeping kesh builds self-esteem, in another point of view. Keeping hair intact allows one to experience courage, conquer fear, and realize unconditional love, (Khalsa, Sukhmandir),

Reason 13: Eliminates Duality

  • The Sikh eliminates the duality in the mind that may come with cutting hair; that Waheguru made the human perfect but somehow the Sikh is not perfect and thus must cut the hair. Bringing thoughts and actions in line with each other can help establish inner peace.

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Reason 14: A Common Denominator

  • Since every practicing Sikh keeps long hair, it is the common denominator between all Sikhs. It helps connect everyone mentally, reminding Sikhs that they are all striving to reach the same religious, spiritual, social objective, together, (Wylam, Pamela Margaret). Long hair across the panth psychologically connects Sikhs to their fellow Sikhs.

Reason 15: Collective Consciousness

  • GS Sidhu in his paper, A Brief Introduction to Sikhism, writes that long hair across the panth builds collective consciousness among Sikhs; it is a mark of dedication and group consciousness.
  • A Sikh collective consciousness is a set of shared beliefs, values, history, ideas and moral attitudes which serves as a unifying force within the panth. It plays a role in uniting Sikhs to achieve communal goals and overcome obstacles. “The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the collective or creative consciousness,” (Durkheim, Emile).
  • The contents of an individual Sikh’s consciousness are shared in common with all other Sikhs within the panth, creating solidarity through mutual likeness. Such solidarity facilitates the advancement of Sikh interests, objectives, and standards within the panth and also, beyond it.
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Image 8

  • Furthermore, according to Mary Kelsey’s theory (sociology lecturer at UC Berkeley) collective consciousness brings Sikhs together as a dynamic group to share resources and knowledge.
  • Lastly, collective consciousness in the Sikh context can endow the Sikh panth with unique agency: it contributes to an individual Sikh to think and act in a way that reflects the panthic values. This often promotes positive behavior and deters negative behavior. For example, many Sikhs are highly visible (with the beard, long hair or turban) and thus may think twice about stealing since it reflects poorly on all other Sikhs and “gives them a bad name.” As Burns and Egdahl state, those in collective consciousness “can be considered to possess agential capabilities: to think, judge, decide, act, reform; to conceptualize self and others as well as self’s actions and interactions; and to reflect.

Reason 16: Kinship

  • Long hair forges an association of the Guru’s disciplines as equals, says Gurdev Singh in Respectives on the Sikh Tradition, decided to the services of God and humanity.


Reason 17: Kesh Psychologically Connects Sikhs to their History

  • As Sikhs in history kept long hair, keeping long hair in the modern era can help connect contemporary Sikhs with the Sikh Panth of the past, keeping history alive and giving Sikhs strength, (Singh, Trilocan).
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Image 9


Reason 18: It’s a Gift from God

  • Some Sikh believes that hair is provided by God, with its peculiar distribution over the body, and it should be respected, (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh).
  • For some, hair is the symbol of love for God and the respect.

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Reason 19: God Made Us This Way

  • Another reason some Sikhs keep long hair is to live in harmony with the will of God, (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh).
  • Trimming or shaving only emphasize the futility of human effort, when opposing the natural law, (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh).
  • Kesh indicates a Sikhs acceptance of God’s will, (Sidhu, GS.).
  • Keeping kesh intact honors the creator’s intention. Hair is a birthright inherent in the creator’s design, (Khalsa, Sukhmandir).
  • Others say that kesh is just like any other part of the body and as one would not cut or mutate an arm, for instance, one should not do that to kesh either.
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Image 10


Reason 20: Sikh Identity

  • The Sikh Coalition asserts that kesh is a part of the daily uniform of a Sikh; kesh forms an external identity for a Sikh, (Sikh Coalition).
  • Keeping kesh identifies one as a Sikh. Hair is a visible identifier, which distinguishes the Sikh from all other religions and walks of life. Keeping hair intact encourages and gives support to fellow Sikhs, (Khalsa, Sukhmandir).

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Reason 21: Fierce Image

  • Gurdev Singh proposes the idea that long hair was to create a fierce and bold, warrior appearance within the Khalsa. The warrior tribesmen of the historic North West Afghan frontier kept long hair, though trimmed, and perhaps the Gurus wished the Sikhs to have a similarly impressive and alarming appearance, thus mandating the keeping of Kesh, (Singh, Gurdev).
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Image 11

 Reason 22: Inexpensive

  • Kesh contributes to the Sikh’s uniform and it is an inexpensive, impressive, permanent uniform accessible to all, (Singh, Gurdev.) Regardless of how poor you are, because kesh costs no money, anyone can have at least this one article of faith connecting him/her to the Khalsa.
  • Kesh is a natural uniform (Manasukhani, Gobind Singh).


Reason 23: Long Hair as the Antithesis of Hindu Renunciation

  • Some Hindu saints, those who practiced asceticism (abstaining from worldly pleasures with the aim of pursuing spiritual goals) would shave their heads to proclaim their detachment from the world. Sikhs, according to Uberoi, keep hair to take a stand against this practice; to renounce renunciation, to indicate that they could be part of this world and still pursue spiritual goals. This Sikh practice fused together the householder/common citizen with the renouncer/spiritual ascetic, (Uberoi, J.P.S.).


Reason 24: Reduce Sexual Dimorphism

  • When Singhs adopt the stereotypically “feminine” characteristic of long hair, sexual dimorphism between Kaurs and Singhs is reduced. (Sexual dimorphism is the presences of physically obvious differences between the male and female of the species.) It has been scientifically observed that the lower the sexual dimorphism in a species, the more the social equality. My personal belief is that, the sharing of a physical characteristic (long hair) between Kaurs and Singhs can foster greater social equality and cross-gender empathy.
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Image 12


Reason 25: Protein

  • According to some Sikhs, hair is the most potent, purest form of protein in the world.  The very root of the hair has the oil of the protein.  This oil is enough to support your brain through any activity. Hair is the pranic antenna.  It is energy, pure protein, (Khalsa, Gurumustuk Singh).

Reason 26: Vitamin Provider

  • Hair’s purpose is to work on the brain, as stated by Gurmustukh Singh Khalsa. The brain needs vitamin D, energy, phosphorus, and metals.  The number of units of vitamin D that these hairs provide immediately to the brain is unbelievable, (Khalsa, Gurumustuk Singh).
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Image 13

 Reason 27: Power of the Rishi Knot

  • Some Sikhs believe that it is very positive for a woman to wear her hair tied on top of her head on the solar center in a rishi knot. They feel it is obligatory for women to wear her hair down at night, loose or in a braid.  “Braiding the hair at night is one of the most wonderful ways to take care of your most powerful energy antennas.  For normal health of her eyes, menstruation cycle and long maintenance of her youth it is obligatory that she use a wooden comb, combing her hair back, forward, back, and so on.  This is for circulation of the scalp area,” (Khalsa, Gurumustuk Singh.)
  • Furthermore, some believe that men tie a rishi knot where the soft point on the skull is when he was a child. “A woman’s hair is supposed to be tied exactly at the solar centers. Because of the waning and waxing of the moon, she has to protect her solar centers more powerfully than the male,” (Khalsa, Gurumustuk Singh).
  • Khalsa states that, “…when a woman’s hair is loose, her identity to submit becomes a hundred times greater.  In old times it was a custom that when a woman went to her husband in intimacy, she let her hair down.  Unfortunately, now, during the day, everybody has their hair loose. Understand this action in the light of the downfall of sexual values,” (Khalsa, Gurumustuk Singh).

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  • “In India, a Rishi is known as a wise one who coils his or her hair up on the crown of the head during the day to energize the brain cells, and then combs it down at night. A ‘rishi knot’ energizes your magnetic field (aura) and stimulates the pineal gland in the center of your brain, according to Khalsa. ‘This activation of your pineal results in a secretion that is central to the development of higher intellectual functioning, as well as higher spiritual perception,’” (Yogi Bhajan). “During the day, the hair absorbs solar energy, but at night it absorbs lunar energy. Keeping the hair up during the day and down at night aids in this process. Braiding your hair down at night will help your electromagnetic field balance out from the day,” (Khalsa, Gurumustuk Singh 2).

Reason 28: Magnetic Field

  • Most women in America shave their legs and underarms.  As per some Sikh writings, this may negatively affect one’s magnetic field. “Perhaps if they realize that by cutting the hairs under the arms they are affecting their magnetic field and the sympathetic nervous system and that by shaving the leg hairs they are altering the electromagnetic field of the lower spine, they might think twice about shaving.  Women do not understand what those tiny, tiny hairs on their legs do for them.  They only know they are bad things.  You know how the legs move, right?  On both sides of the legs there are hairs.  Those hairs create an electromagnetic field, which balances the movement of the pituitary.  You shave it and it is your problem; they say it can make you insane,” (Khalsa , Gurumustuk Singh).
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Reason 29: Pranic Life Force

  • “Some Sikhs believe that when you allow your hair to grow to its full length and coil it on the crown of the head, the sun energy, pranic life force, is drawn down the spine. To counteract that downward movement, the Kundalini life energy rises to create balance,” Khalsa. In Yogi Bhajan’s words, “Your hair is not there by mistake. It has a definite purpose, which saints will discover and other men will laugh at,” (Khalsa, Gurumustuk Singh 2).

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There you have it. 29 reasons people have proposed as to why Sikhs keep kesh. I hope you find one, or many that resonates with you.

Are there any reasons

I didn’t come across?

Fill me in!

Also, I would love to hear your opinion

as to why you, personally, keep kesh.

Scroll down (past the sources) to post your comments. 



Burns, T.R. Engdahl, E. (1998.) The Social Construction of Consciousness. Part 1: Collective Consciousness and its Socio-Cultural Foundations, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 5 (1) p 72.

DDT: Damdami Taksaal. Rehat Maryada. http://damdamitaksaal.org/index.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=80&limitstart=14

Durkheim, Emile, (1893.) The Division of Labor in Society.  Translated by George Simpson. New York:  The Free Press.

Singh, Guru Gobind (1699). Hukham Nama of Kabul. Available: http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?/topic/5216-guru-gobind-singh-jis-kabul-hukamnama/

Gobind Singh Manasukhani, (1988.) Sikh Rahat Maryada and Sikh Symbols. In Advanced Studies in Sikhism. Papers Contributed at Conference of Sikh Studies Los Angeles. December 1988. Editors Jasbir Singh Mann &Harbans Singh Saron. http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Advance_Studies.pdf

Khalsa, Gurmustuk Singh. (2009.) The Value of Your Hair. http://www.sikhnet.com/news/value-your-hair

Khalsa, Gurmustuk Singh 2. (2011). All About Hair. http://www.mrsikhnet.com/2011/09/09/all-about-hair/

Sidhu, G.S. A Brief Introduction to Sikhism.http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/gss_briefintro.pdf

Sikh Coalition. FAQs. http://www.sikhcoalition.org/resources/about-sikhs/faq

Singh, Gurdev, (1996.) Respectives on the Sikh Tradition. Academy of Sikh Religion & Culture, Patiala. http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Prespective_on_Sikh_tradition.pdf

Singh, Nihang. Akaali Code of Conduct: Bhai Daya Singh Ji Rehatnama. Posted March 6, 2011. http://www.nihangsingh.org/blog/?p=256

Singh, Trilochan. (1997). The Turban and Sword of the Sikhs. Sikh Missionary Society UK.

Sukhmandiar Khalsa. (2013). Top Ten Reasons To Keep Your Kes. http://sikhism.about.com/od/sikhism101/qt/Top-Ten-Reasons-To-Keep-Your-Kes.htm

Wylam, Margaret Pamela. (1963). An Introduction to Sikh beliefSikh Missionary Society of Great Britain.

Uberoi, J. P. S. The Five Symbols of Sikhism, in Fauja Singh et alSikhism/ Patiala, Punjab: Punjabi University, 1969.

Image Sources:

Image 1: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hqgZW0zxxuk/Td5dIqe4WEI/AAAAAAAAAKs/X0hFOMyNF-k/s320/french-braids.jpg

Image 2: http://sikhyouth.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/sikh-hair.jpg

Image 2b: http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5i6dyO0Xx1r316f4o1_500.jpg

Image 3: http://www.artofpunjab.com/vaisakhi-1699/

Image 4: http://khushyoga.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/rishi1.jpg

Image 5: http://baljinderkaur.tumblr.com/page/2

Image 6: http://imgc.artprintimages.com/images/art-print/margaret-bourke-white-sikh-boy-with-dagger-in-his-hair-bathing-in-pool-of-sacred-waters-in-front-of-the-golden-temple_i-G-27-2762-SBCTD00Z.jpg

Image 7: http://www.fionaaboud.com/gallery/large/_MG_4761.jpg

Image 8: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsikhnet/3117667376/in/set-72057594136741830/lightbox/

Image 9: http://i623.photobucket.com/albums/tt320/lalohair/Street%20shots/longhair.jpg

Image 9b: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3166/2971351032_e6b95b0907.jpg

Image 10: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/back-blond-woman-long-beautiful-hair-7784129.jpg

Image10b: http://31.media.tumblr.com/692317ec9b1b9c9351ad988de132c018/tumblr_mprm2bGpUD1r9ga5mo1_500.jpg

Image 11: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5093/5477314646_ca0d4392aa.jpg

Image 12: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mab7gq1Tbr1ql9bzlo1_500.jpg

Image 13: The Vivacious Sikh Bride by Lakme Salon

Image 14: http://www.realbeauty.com/cm/realbeauty/images/Vb/rby-brunette-top-bun-lgn.jpg

Image 15: http://img1.photographersdirect.com/img/16266/wm/pd740645.jpg

Image 16: http://www.mrsikhnet.com/2011/09/09/all-about-hair/


38 thoughts on “Why Kesh?!

  1. That is a very good collection of reasons, people understand. I paste below, what Professor Puran Singh, had said on the subject.


    The Guru has buried the disciples under heaps of grass. He has concealed His handicraft in a hank of hair. Very irrational, they say. Possibly very superstitious. But superstitions preserve the life sparks more effectively than the reason of man. In the fleecy clouds is lightning. In our superstition of hanks of hair there is truth of His burning bosom divine. Christ in his Bride-braids is certainly more beautiful even as a man, as a woman-born, than a clean-shaven modern American face which is more in the image of the Dollar than of the sweet Jesus who is the comfort of so many distressed souls. The pendulum would swing. Fashions would give way to Love again. God would replace the Dollar, or elsewhere shall be the Man’s Art, which is more of that lyrical leisure divine, of soul, of love. This haste, this machine-like man is far removed from His self, the Great Guru love. Our Truth, unlike that of the old Brahman, is not
    any mathematical balance of an endless denying of things. Our Truth is not a problem solved. Our Truth is but a lotus and the bee buzzing about, the cloud and the rain-bird crying for that
    pearl-like drop of life, the swan and the lake, the child and the mother, the cow and the calf. Our hymns centre round these metaphors and all human suffering is vindicated in a moment of
    this transitory Union, even if it be after ages. Meeting Him dispels all sorrow, but it is all sorrow without Him. His absence is as holy as His presence.

    And countless such living statues of Holy Simrin, of Love’s inspiration filling the whole Temple of this earth and its domes and galleries and diffusing the atmosphere of the individual peace into the crowned universe of such statues, is the Ideal of the Divine Society of men made angels by the Grace of His Love.

    Assuredly in this kingdom of dream and vision, there is no place for duality, hatred and harm, so deeply ingrained in the animal man.

    O Sikh young men! rise and fill yourselves’ with this Glory. It makes you noble, bold and free, self-drunk, selfless, flower-like, sun-like. It sweetens you and your sweetness sweetens all life around you. At your sight, the lamb and the tiger must drink at the same pool. Perpetual spring must roll in you. You shall be the moral influence radiating peace, good-will, friendship, fellowship, life, vigour, vitality, in short, spirituality. You shall live in perpetual blossom, reconciled to the sorrow of life in a thousand new ways every day. Be ye a revelation to the world of man, of the gods that live in your hearts. Seekers after God retire to the woods. Show them they need not go to the woods, for the Guru made you the woods. Seeing you, you
    yourself, the very peace of woods, the freshness of the little rivulets chiming through them should come to all. Your long tresses shall provide the shade of the woods and their mystery


    Well researched and well put.

    My reason is the Rehat Maryada. The first lesson I ever learned in self-hate was that hair must be removed because it was gross and dirty and in the next breath I would be told that I was made in the spirit-image of God. It wasn’t until I came across Sikhi and read about our Guru Sahibs that this lesson got re-written for me; I am the creation of Akal Purakh, therefore I am perfect just the way I am..(so leave it (kes) alone!)

  3. The real and hidden reason for keeping kesh (to say uncut is defamatory) will be known (again in a hidden manner) if one does meditation (simrin) for two hours a day (after the Panj Pyare authorize you to do) for at least 20 years. The ‘syllabus’ is too long and one has to ensure success within the lifetime.

    For your child, you immediately agree to the code of conduct of a particular school regarding dress, books, etc. without raising any questions. Like God is present everywhere, though in a hidden manner, ‘Sikhi’ can also be known at the altar of your heart in a hidden manner, it will be known secretly, it will be revealed secretly, it will be kept secretly. One will come to know fully well when he announces his crown as King, again secretly.

    ONE has to renounce ‘reasoning’ completely as this is a great stumbling block on way towards things spiritual (or Sikhi). One Gurbani quote will summarize it: Nanak Nadri Bahre, Karan Plah Karre, meaning those who are away from the grace of Guru (Nanak), they weep, cry and wail.

    • Hi Bhenji, I’m not familiar with this concept and its connection to kesh. Could you please elaborate? I’d love to learn about it.

      • Dasam daur is mentioned contionously in Guru Ji’s gurbani. Dasam Daur is when you concentrate on the Eternal Light of Waheguru, it is when your soul which is always connected to the Lord, reaches the final destination, Dasam Daur. Dasam Daur is when you become liberated from the bonds of the world and your mind and body are now one with your soul.

        On the case of keeping your hair, if you listen to Dasam Granth (The powerful bani of Guru Gobind Singh Ji) it is frequently mentioned that a Guru’s Sikh will respect all their hair and not alter the doings of Waheguru. As Sikhs we believe that Waheguru has created us perfect, when we shave, pierce our ears and body, we are altering and changing what Waheguru has created. Sit down and think, in our glorious history, Sikhs had their whole scalps removed, but did not let one hair be touched by the hands of the torturers. These brave Martyrs gave so much, to save our Sikhi, to protect the honour of our Guru. Guru Gobind Singh Ji said ‘Oh my daughter, when you come into the court of Almighty Lord, and your small child walks beside you, I want to see My Ajit, My Jaughar, My Zorawar, My Fateh in him/her.’ All of the Guru Jis sacrificed so much for us and how can we, the lowest of the low, question Him, the Giver of all?

        Listen to the Anand in Gurbani and you will understand, read the Gurbani or Guru holds in His lotus hands. And you will find freedom, when you realize the truth of Sikhi.

      • Gur Fateh! Thank you for your comment. Please note that this blog is no longer being updated and has been replaced by KaurLife.org. Check it out!

  4. Interesting blog.
    Would want to know if tying a braid at night theory also applies to men as I think the reason given there is so true and scientific.

  5. Pingback: Top Ten Reasons To Keep Your Kesh | Daily Sikh Updates

  6. number 28 is so far fetched. As a medical student, that one made me giggle. and the rest of the reasons are the same thing posted again in a different way. It’s a personal decision. You want long hair, you keep it. Doesn’t make you more or less of a Sikh.

  7. Pingback: Why Kesh? A Kaur's Perspective

  8. waheguru ji ka khlasa waheguru ji ki fateh
    I always kept kesh and as was taught by my parents that they were our Guru’s Mohar (stamp). But once one non-sikh person asked me the importance of kesh and the answer I gave him was not a planned one, it was spontaneous but I liked the answer. I told him that today we as citizens of America or any other country are worried about the damage pollution is causing our environment, so there is a movement started by organizations,”GO GREEN”. To me “GO GREEN” simply meant was do not interfere with nature. In the same way nature created our bodies (a smaller universe..you can say), so we can “GO GREEN” by not interfering with our bodies by not cutting hair, not using any chemicals or drugs, no piercing which the studies shows can even cause HIV.

  9. Look I’ve not read all of those reasons you wrote up there because some of them were really unbearable…
    And of course I’d like to share what I opine regarding the reason why we sikhs don’t cut our hairs.
    My mom used to tell me story, that in earlier times when we had issues with muslims, and guruji and followers used to fight them for days, weeks, months, they hair grew up long and even beard and it was decided that this is the actual avatar of an individual being natural having uncut hairs,

    Being the same how God made you…not cutting hairs of aby part of the body .

    Its because our religion teaches us about purity
    It was NEVER about keeping ur hairs longg….it ws
    about keeping it pure n uncut…its sacha swarooop
    ‘the true image’ of a person thats wot has been

  10. #29, Siri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Hukam, and my own personal conviction is all I need to know as to why keep kesh. That being said, it is a personal and spiritual journey of choice. Now what has been most interesting to me is the covering of ones head, across the many religious and spiritual paths. It is a similarity that I want to explore further!!! Thank you for sharing!

  11. I do not cut my hair because of my respect and responsibility towards my body, soul, almighty plans for me, faith in my religion and respect towards my elders. I can not afford to disturb my journey towards inner growth. It is a sign of weakness. We should be proud of our Sikh Religion and the path shown to us by first accepting ourselves.

  12. Hello there. Here’s yet another reason (Extracted from Our Sikh Conversations):

    Why do we not cut our hair?

    So why do we Sikhs not cut our hair? My father, an old school British soldier who lived through the atrocities of partition and saw live action against communists in the jungles of Malaya, told me the following story.

    Guru Tegh Bahadur, believing that faith cannot be forced, stood up for the coerced Kashmiri Hindus full knowing he would die in the process. When Guru Tegh Bahadur’s severed head was smuggled to Guru Gobind, Guru Gobind inquired on the fate of the deputation that had accompanied his father. He was informed that some of them died with his father while the rest were spared after they declared they were not Sikhs or were misguided followers of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

    Guru Gobind felt it was most inappropriate for Sikhs to proclaim they stand up for the meek and oppressed and yet back out when the time comes for them to step up. He decided we needed an identity, something that will commit us to our vows. Something that in a crowd of a thousand persons you can point your finger and say ‘that over there is a faithful Sikh’. We believe strongly enough in our ideals to live and die by them. Sikhs have been doing it over the years from Mughal rule to the partition to 9/11. Faith however cannot be forced, it has to be found.

  13. I believe our hair has more to do with identity than anything else. Sikhism whilst being a entirely different religion to Hinduism and Islam shares many links with both. Especially with Hinduism: many of our Guru’s were born into families who were hindu (Guru Nanak was bhramin by birth and he rejected many of their ideals and principles) and our scriptures also contain verses from HIndus and Muslims alike. SIkhs celebrate many festivals which are theoretically are not part of sikhism: Divali( for us it is bandi chor diwas), karwa chawt and etc. In essence, we love blending and intermingling with our Hindu neighbours. The problem of course is that Sikhism risked being swallowed up by Hinduism, since it shared that many links. It would be hard to differentiate a Hindu and a Sikh without the 5ks. It was essential that Guru Ji forged a separate identity for SIkhs in the form of 5K’s. Even today, when forced conversions are restricted, you have individuals that claim that sikhism is simply a branch of Hinduism and what better method of eroding a culture and its ideals. Now imagine 300 years ago when forced conversions were the norm and you see how important it is that sikhs maintain a separate identity to preserve itself. If Guru Ji had not done so, I do not believe that Sikhism would have survived this long and would have been rebranded another variation of Hinduism. Who is a SikH you ask. Use your eyes and spot the sardar/sardarni with his/her 5ks and attempt to classify him/her as a Hindu.

    • Thank you for your comment! Please note that this blog is no longer being updated and has been replaced by KaurLife.org. Check it out!

  14. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.

    I am quite certain I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

    • Thank you for your comment! Glad you like it! Please note that this blog is no longer being updated and has been replaced by KaurLife.org. Check it out!

  15. Thank you very much for this research! I truly like the objectivity and neutrality of all the reasons, so that everyone can make their own opinion.
    Wahe Guru!

    • Gur Fateh! Thank you for your comment! Glad you like it! Please note that this blog is no longer being updated and has been replaced by KaurLife.org. Check it out!

  16. Singh is a Saint-Soldier so we can say that a saint has a long uncut hair. So it symbolizes spirituality and strength to be stable in life in both way.

    • Gur Fateh! Thank you for your comment. Please note that this blog is no longer being updated and has been replaced by KaurLife.org. Check it out!

  17. Dear Lakhpreet,

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

    Nicely put article. Thanks for sharing. How about the title, “Why NOT Keshas?” Keshas are not only for Sikhs as none of our Gurus put them on our heads. They have asked us to keep them unshorn and clean and that’s why the Kanga. If you look at any religious leader in the world, they all had long unshorn hair whether it was Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Ram, Krishna, Shiva, Brahma… look at any of them and you will find one commonality among all… nobody ever cut their hair or beards. If you go back and look at the history, you will find hardly anyone cut their hair. In fact when someone was to be put to shame, their hair were cut so the world will know this person has done something wrong… Hair should be an integral part of anyone who claims to believe in Waheguru or any name they identify that that super power with (God/Allah/Ram) I invite you to an IIGS camp to learn more about hair. Keep up the good work. God Bless!

  18. Don’t tinker or go against nature and you become a Sikh anywhere in the world. Our Gurus taught us to respect nature. Look at all the Saints of the world of all religion you will find all of them with natural growth of hair on their bodies. They never shaved or cut them. So there must be some natural reason though our Gurus gave us this command so that we can be recognized from even a long distance.

  19. Pingback: The Secret Life Of Hair –

    • Gur Fateh! Thank you for your comment. Please note that this blog is no longer being updated and has been replaced by KaurLife.org. Check it out!

  20. Hey i havent read any of the comments, but i have skimmed through your post. The spirituality one, the one that says we don’t conform to the latest trends etc and the one that says we choose to lead a simple lifestyle are my reasons. These ones in particular because I value these things as a human, not just as a sikh.

    • Thank you for your comment. Please note that this blog is no longer being updated and has been replaced by KaurLife.org. Check it out!

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