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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate
Side Bar

Facial hair

23 July, 2004


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.


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.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Accessibility Toolbar