If R' Schneur Zalman of Liadi had long Peoth, as in this famous sketch, why is it not the custom in Lubavitch circles these days for adult men to maintain long, emphasized Peoth as it is in many other Hasidic groups?
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The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that the custom among Lubavitch was to cut the Peos.
He said that there are a few reasons, one of which is to avoid mixing the two types of light from the 13 strands of the beard. He also mentioned that the Arizal used to cut his Peos (as is written in the Shaarei Hamitzvos and Taamei Hamitzvos parshas Kedoshim).
When Communist Russia came to power, and Jews were in danger, the Russian Jews (which included Lubavitch) began cutting their peyos short as to avoid distinction, wearing fedoras to cover their kippos, and a long Prince Edward frock coat in place of the traditional bekishe. By the time Lubavitch wound up in the States, these customs were well set and concrete.