Hair and Its Significance
Unshorn hair plays a central role in Sikh thought and identity. In order to explore the reasons behind this it may be useful to look at the role of hair in mammals and most importantly human beings.
Through a tightly controlled cycle of growth, remodeling, and loss the mammalian hair follicle generates a hair shaft. Once a hair follicle is generated, it can undergo many of these cycles, continually making, growing, and losing the hair shaft. The cycle of hair growth includes three stages: anagen (follicle generation and hair production), catagen (follicle regression), and telogen (resting phase).
In order to get an insight into the importance of hair, it may be useful to see how hair or fur is used in the animal kingdom. We may have witnessed watching dogs, cats or other mammals engaged in a fight, and inevitably, the “loser” submits within such a conflict by folding its fur back, trying to appear small, while the “winner” expands its fur in order to appear larger and dominant.
This biological fact has and is being used with prisoners in many countries, upon recruitment into an army, police or even security services; it is a requirement for the recruits to be clean shaven and cropped hair. The cutting to hair has a number of psychological consequences which many authoritarians know and exploit. Shaving of ones hair is an act of submission, today there is no need to be a prisoner of war to have your facial or head hair shaved, and society has been conditioned to accept this as the “normal” face of modern human society.
This conditioning is creating feminized men, cultivated, controlled and managed by those who control the Media, education and commerce. It is in the interest of all controlling societies to ensure that man never wakes up to himself, his divinity and ability.
Unshorn hair is a mark of freedom, freedom from social conditioning, freedom from breaking one from their authentic and natural form and a mark of regality and spiritual authority.
The Sikh Gurus understood the importance of hair in terms of psychology, biology and physiology. Depending on ones hair colour, there are approximately 100,000 hair follicles on our heads. Hair requires energy, essential minerals and elements for growth. Even removing 1 inch of hair from the head translates into 100,000 inches of hair every time one gets their hair cut!
The willful cutting of hair is an act of breaking from nature (kudrat) as well as creating a subconscious facture in our psychology.
It does not surprise the Sikhs that the world is being deforested at such an alarming rate, bearing in mind that Man has first “deforested” his own authentic identity.