Hair: A SCAB Inspired by Charlotte Leonard – By @MunrajSC

Hair: A SCAB Inspired by Charlotte Leonard 

Firstly, what a blog post. If, somehow, you’re reading this random SCA student’s blog and have not yet read the blog from the other half of the Leonard power couple, I’ve linked it here:

Anyway, as I was saying. What a blog post. I have to commend anyone for being able to be that open on the internet. I have raised this to my girlfriend and friends a few times; I feel as if my SCABs are quite superficial at most times and that even though in person I’m usually quite open, I find it hard to share and write a ‘deep’ blog post. 

So here’s my attempt to change that.

 C:\Users\Munraj Singh Chawla\Pictures\94021972_234107734340716_2716815948592971776_n.jpg

As a Sikh, I have really long hair. 

Washing it takes ages. “Oh dear God the hair. It’s fucking everywhere” is the most relatable sentence of Charlotte’s blog to me, especially every Sunday after I wash my hair. (“accidentally cutting off my own labia” is the least.) 

I can’t wear most hats. At times I’ve had to sign waivers when I’ve done some outdoor adventure activity of some kind stating that if I die, it’s not the company’s fault but because the helmet didn’t fit me. 

If I sound like I’m complaining, it’s because I am. Growing up, I struggled with keeping my hair. I mean, I personally don’t know any Sikh man who didn’t want to cut his hair at some point as a boy. Some still do. You wanted to fit in and not look different or you thought girls would like you more, or you hated having your hair out to dry after swimming lessons. The list is endless. 

For those who know me, I’m not particularly religious. I might describe myself as spiritual, but to openly suggest that I believe the optimal way of living is to follow a set of rules someone else created? Nah. That could never be me.

When people meet me, they usually ask “why don’t you cut your hair?” 

Honestly? Fuck knows. Usually at this point my cheeks go red(dish brown) and my heart races a little and I sputter out some crap about what Sikhism is that helps me avoid giving a personal answer.  

“As a Sikh I’m not meant to.” What a cop-out. 

I mean, I shave my chest. I trim my beard. I look great as a result too. But for some reason I also have long hair and keep wearing a turban. Is it because I’m lying to myself about how religious I really am? Is it because of family pressure? I rock a man-bun at the gym or when I’m playing football but I don’t do it in day to day life because I don’t feel like I look like myself. 

So maybe that’s why I still wear a turban too. I may not feel drawn to everything in Sikhism but it’s undeniable that the feeling of having an identity and a group of people that look like you, that feel alien in public just like you is heart warming. The little nod of acknowledgement to each other as you walk past another man in a turban (colloquially known as the Singh Nod) makes you feel like you’re part of something. 

At 25, I can’t see myself cutting my hair at this point. I try to wear different colour turbans to add my individual style to a pretty homogenous ‘look’. Maybe one day I’ll feel surer of myself when answering people’s questions. 

So thank you Charlotte, for a wonderful read. I appreciate your confidence in putting your most vulnerable thoughts on the internet more than I can say in 500 words. 

I hope I can continue to do the same. 

Song of the SCAB: Sam Fender – You’re Not The Only One 

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