It says here that

One is not allowed to use a comb on Shabbos to comb his hair because one will ultimately pull out hair while combing. This is forbidden even if one will only run through the hair lightly with the comb.

EDIT: R' Sholom Yehuda Gross says (in Ch.1 P.1):

The overwhelming majority forbid all methods of removing the beard, including the use of sissors (which is sometimes misconceived as being permissible).

(Ch 1. P.3)

Many poskim [quotes Tosfos, Beis Hillel, Maharsham, Darkei Tshuva) forbid the removal of the beard even by means of a depilatory powder (chemicals applied to the skin to remove the hairs) since this is also viewed as a transgression of the Biblical prohibition against removal of the beard.

Yet, he writes that one is allowed to comb his beard on a weekday.

Why does he allow it? If anything, on Shabbos there should be a bigger Hetter to comb, as one needs a Meleches Machsheves to be considered Mechalel Shabbos. Yet, it is considered to be a psik reisha that one will pull out hairs. If so, why is one allowed to comb his beard during the week?

EDIT This question is only true according to those who say that removing hairs from his beard in any way violates a prohibition.

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    Random fact: HaRav Yaakov Hilel Shelit"a says (Wayashov HaYam 1:14) that one shouldn't even stroke his beard during the week to avoid plucking out hairs. Mar 20, 2012 at 23:22
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    @HachamGabriel funny cuz his beard always looks pretty neat...
    – Hahu Gavra
    Mar 20, 2012 at 23:37
  • @HachamGabriel The PDF does mention those who prohibit stoking one's beard during the week, but says that many permit. Mar 26, 2012 at 1:04

2 Answers 2


The halachos that you are quoting are based on the sefer Hadras Ponim - Zokon chapter 9. His main argument, or that of his sources, is that depilatory paste would violate both giluach (shaving) and hashchasa (destruction) of the hair. The destruction part is obvious; his main point is that the depilatory is called shaving and you don't need a cutting instrument.

But contrast this with the gemara in makos 21a where there is no biblical violation to pluck hairs with tweezer-like instruments.

I gather from here that, according to the HP-Z and the Beis Hillel, giluach is done with items (instruments or pastes) that have the ability to remove hair. Tweezers do not have the ability to remove hair, they just grab the hair while you pluck it out.

We can apply this logic to combs as well. They do not have the ability to remove hair, they just get caught in the hairs while you pull the hairs out. So, no giluach- no violation.


Pulling hair out does not halachically equal shaving with a razor.

  • The OP seems to be asking according to those who say one is prohibited to remove hair even if not using a razor. Mar 20, 2012 at 23:18
  • @ShmuelBrill thats not what it sounded like from the first few pages of the pamphlet he quoted where he quotes halachic opinions on shaving
    – Hahu Gavra
    Mar 20, 2012 at 23:37
  • the PDF says that one isn't allowed to remove the beard in any way (powder, scissors, etc.) Mar 21, 2012 at 0:38
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    @ShmuelBrill, I think what Hahu Gavra is saying is that the opinion which forbids shaving with a depilatory is a minority opinion and even those who are machmir, need not go so far as to refrain from a separate act which might inadvertently lead to "violating" this chumra. Gozez, however, is a melacha and a pesik reisha is an issue (unless it's lo nicha lei and you hold prdln"l is mutar).
    – YDK
    Mar 21, 2012 at 1:03
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    @ShmuelBrill, I saw the PDF. The intent of the author is to bring in opinions who say that any destruction is a Biblical violation, but he does not give it the strength of other opinions brought which limit the Biblical violation to giluach. More like icing on the cake.
    – YDK
    Mar 21, 2012 at 1:26

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