Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Facial hair

23 July, 2004

Question:

Hi, due to an hormonal imbalance associated with perimenopause I have a very noticeable beard. All the medical treatments that I've tried to make it less noticeable / or to make it go away have not worked, so I have resorted to shaving it off. Not a perfect solution, but it is better than nothing. My question is two fold, firstly, would it be permissible for me to shave on Shabbos or during the three weeks? The beard is very noticble and very embarassing, and while my husband is very understanding, I hide away on Shabbos so that no one will see me. Secondly, is shaving the beard, itself forbidden (I use an electric razor) because this is a manly act.

Thank you very much for any help you can provide.


Answer:

On Shabbat, shaving of any sort is completely forbidden. During the three weeks or nine days, which is another matter entirely, this would be permitted, as the stricture against shaving one's face applies only to men.

As a suggestion, why not consult with a cosmetician about electrolysis and/or waxing and or dyeing the hairs? The first two options remove the hair for longer periods of time than shaving and thus would solve your problem for Shabbat. The latter option makes it less noticeable.


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