Is it permitted to apply beard oil to a beard on Shabbat? I'm assuming not but don't have a source.

For those unfamiliar with beard oil, it is a moisturising oil applied to the beard and skin underneath to moisturise the beard. This stops it becoming dry and brittle, particularly in cold and windy weather. See this Wikipedia arrive for more: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beard_oil

  • I have never heard of beard oil, and, perhaps, other M.Y. readers haven't. Can you link anything in your question? FWIW, one of the Tehillim - it's one of the Shir Hama'alot, I forgot the ch. number - mentions the oil falling on Aharon's beard. I assume that he was anointed with this oil daily, including Shabbat. – DanF Aug 4 '15 at 13:50
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    @DanF, why do you assume that? AFAIK that anointing is done upon appointment only and only sometimes. – Yishai Aug 4 '15 at 14:52
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    I've added a paragraph explaining what beard oil is. – Jakub Aug 4 '15 at 15:21
  • Thanks. See the answer below, and stay warm and moist this winter ;-) – DanF Aug 4 '15 at 17:24
  • @DanF I use beard/hair oil all the time in mine – ezra Aug 8 '18 at 2:45

According to Shemirat Shabbat K'Hilchato as cited here, there is a leniency regarding oil, which is how Wikipedia describes this product:

Regarding applying hair cream on Shabbat, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilkhatah writes that one may be lenient and apply hair oil, but only in small quantities so that one should not come to squeeze it out of the hair. However, he prohibits the use of hair cream in any quantity. His view is shared by responsa Be’er Moshe. Ma’amar Mordekhai, writes that in his day the minhag was to rub the hair on Shabbat with a mixture of liquid fats and perfume and states: "I worry that people who do this are guilty of breaking Shabbat, as it appears to be prohibited because of smoothing (on the cream)." Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph prohibits this and writes: "Since the person intends for this lotion to remain on his hair, there is no Torah prohibition; nevertheless, it is forbidden from the Rabbis."

Please use this info as material to show your Rav and ask him. The citations implies various opinions.

There also may be a separate concern of possible prohibition of gozez which may occur if you accidentally pull out your hair during the process of rubbing the oil in your beard. I have not addressed this issue, here. You can get more info on hair handling and gozez from this article.

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    gozez sounds like a davar sheeino miskaven. – mevaqesh Aug 5 '15 at 1:48
  • @mevaqesh It may be. I was reading another article, yesterday, that discussed brushing, combing, etc. on Shabbat. I'll see if I can find it, again, and may edit that into my answer, later. – DanF Aug 5 '15 at 12:54
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    @mevaqesh See the link in the last sentence of my answer, regarding gozez. – DanF Aug 5 '15 at 16:00

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