The Purpose of Hair

Guruka Singh and Gurumustuk discuss the challenges and purpose of keeping the hair uncut, and that one must experience this to fully understand it.

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14 Responses to “The Purpose of Hair”

  1. M Singh says:

    Hi GuruKha,

    If that’s the case, then why do you cut your nails? Just want some scientific explanation while you are on the topic. If it’s a case of practicality then having a beard is not very practical working as Chef, doctor or sports, yet we still grow it??

    • Karanpreet Singh says:

      Nails that grow beyond the skin are dead. Thats why we cut them. Our every single hair is alive and plays an important role scientifically as well as spiritually. Hair is alive, no matter how long or short it is.

    • harjinder says:

      long nails are only for ghosts and vampires.

  2. Kiran says:

    Guruka Ji,

    I really enjoy watching all of your videos, because your explanations to the various heavily debated topics in Sikhi are so unique and unbiased, and really just make you think abotu teh topic without any pressure of what is right or wrong.   Honestly, these vidoes are so refreshing and beneficial to watch, I can’t say enough about it!  So thank you so much for doing them =)

    Just a quick question – in your opinion/experience, what is the “best” way for a Sikh to dispose of his or her hair that comes out when combing?  When growing up I’ve heard people say burning it is what “should” be done.  Is this jsut a ritual?  At the same time though, since you’ve spoken of hair as so precious, it doesn’t seem respectful to just throw it in the bin, with other garbage.  Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you!

  3. Gurdev Kaur says:

    my husband is a chef, the beard can simply be tied and tucked under for health and safety reasons same as sports or being a doctor theres no need to cut.  Although the question is directed at Guruka, the nails become impractical at a certain length and naturally break anyway in most peoples cases.  Nails would continue to grow if we didint use our fingers that much but God asks sikhs to be active and to do sewa and honest work with our hands so naturally they would fall off wether we cut or not, in honestly i dont cut mine they break and fall off anyway..the same as loose hairs fall off. I would also like to know the scientific reason though for why it is ok to cut nails if anyone has the answer?

    • Navjeet Kaur says:

      yea you are right…thanks for your wonderful opened doors of my brain too…

  4. AJ says:

    wahegurooooooooooooooo i juz love Guruka Singh’s smile and laughter =)))))))))))))))))))
    M singh do a quick diminutive analysis comparing the hair and the nail (function,purpose) then u urself will answer ur question

  5. Amrita Kaur says:

    insightful…but how does one “experience” their own self and “pay attention”

  6. M Singh says:

    Amrita, good question (I have been asking myself this same question for the last few days)

    I don’t deny the power of hair, I myself have Full kesh with Guru’s kirpa. But I often question its  practicality in todays world. Personally I love the look of it and I have realised since my beard has grown, I have become a lot more secure within myself, but I am not sure if this is due to maturity!

    I used to read stories outside of Sikhism and this gave me a lot of inspiration. For example the warrior Samson who said all his power comes from his hair.  (he was the worlds strongest warrior at one point in time- he was seduced by a french woman who cut his hair while he was asleep he could not fight after that). Also Rastafarianism share a similar ideology to Sikhs when it comes to the power of hair and they take great pride in maintaining their Kesh.

    I think I have been questionning the use of hair recently just due to peer pressure but its only a temporary thing! Happy new year to everyone!

  7. ravi says:

    I have been with uncut hair for more than a dozen years.  However, frequently I consider cutting it.  Why?  Every time I wash my hair it is much more difficult and time consuming.  My fine hair tangles easily so it takes quite a bit of work to comb it out.  Plus the drying time.  When I want to jump in a pool I have to think twice if I want to spend all the time to comb and dry later.  Although I like long hair it does have its social consequences.  Not considering myself Khalsa, I do not wear a turban.  Therefore, usually people just do not “get” why one might consider not cutting ones hair.

    Thanks for keeping up with your blog.  It’s a great place to be.

  8. Hari Singh Khalsa says:

    Gurdev Kaur hit the nail on the head (no pun intended).  Nails are dead once they grow beyond the length of the finger, they will break naturally if we did not cut them.  I know from personal experience how hard it is to maintain finger nails, yet how easy it is to maintain kesh.  Kesh can easily be kept in a dastaar, where it is protected from tangles, dirt and grime.  Also, after swiming you needn’t wait until your hair is fully dry to put it into a dastaar.  Sometimes it is necessary to wait until it is fully dry, but i’ve often put my still wet or partially wet hair into a joora and tied a dastaar. I know that it will partially dry in my dastaar, and if not sooner, I’ll complete the drying in the evening when I go to sleep.  Incidentally tying your wet hair into your dastaar is an excellent way to stay cool, when confronted with a situation where you will be outside in full sun on a hot day.

    When I first received my rabab I was trying to grow simply two finger nails so that I could try to play it with the same technique as the sarod (I’ve since learned otherwise), I was so disappointed, because no matter how much I tried to disuse those fingers, the nails would always break off.  Most of the time this was playing a sport, where my turban never comes off (keeping my hair securely in place) and my beard is of no consequence. 

    As do what to do with your hair that comes out when you comb.  I, like Kiran, have never wanted to dispose of my hair in the trash.  I am currently collecting my hair in a drawer which I will eventually use to stuff a pillow.   I’m not sure whether I believe that a physical element can capture a spiritual essence, but the idea that my head will be surrounded by one of the most sacred parts of my body as I sleep, is a very nice notion. 
    If this idea doesn’t sound appealing to you, then there is another solution which I’m known for always suggesting.  You should compost your hair.  This is the most natural solution. If you maintain your own compost pile and your own food garden, then the idea that the hair from your head, which is rich in proteins and minerals, will increase the nutrition of your food, should sound very appealing.

  9. Kimberly says:

    M Singh, in the wild, if technology didn’t exist, a human being would “file” his or her nails while hunting, lighting fires, climbing, digging, scratching, etc. Sometimes nails break because of hard manual work, but now that civilization is too advanced, no one get’s his or her hands dirty anymore..

  10. D Kaur says:

    Scientific reason to cut nails is hygiene – if you dont cut them, even a little grown nail would collect dirt and germs, which is unhygienic. And as mentioned before they break when dead anyway.

    Hope this helps :)

  11. AJ2 says:

    Hair is actually composed of just protein…it is not a cell. Therefore it is not alive. Only the root contains a hair cell, which is acutally alive. The rest of the strand is simply composed of protein, which is not a living thing in itself. This is just a scientific fact.