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So my question is this:

I'm growing a beard. But, it's not going very fast. Everyone (even non-Jews) I talk to says beards grow faster if you shave them, but I'm not sure what the average Orthodox Jewish teen does. Does he ever shave during his teenage years? Or do you leave it alone and wait for a while and have it grow out normally and slowly like I'm doing now.

closed as primarily opinion-based by mevaqesh, sabbahillel, Gershon Gold, Isaac Moses, mbloch Aug 12 '16 at 12:04

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Shaving doesn't increase the rate of hair growth scientificamerican.com/article/… skeptics.stackexchange.com/q/490/6962 I don't really know what you are asking? – Double AA Jan 19 '16 at 3:42
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    possibly related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/66351/759 – Double AA Jan 19 '16 at 3:49
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    It's a mitzvah not to shave. Furthermore to trim is not recommended as the beard represents the 13 attributes of mercy. As far as making your beard grow faster. Have patients and don't try to rush. There will come a time when it is fully grown but there is no need to rush. – Dude Jan 19 '16 at 5:26
  • Different people grow at different rates and "fully grown" also differs. My own beard grew very slowly and only forms a goatee. I have known people whose beards grew very long within months. Each person is different. – sabbahillel Jan 19 '16 at 10:32
  • It is actually recounted in the biography of Baba Sali, zt"l, that he had great difficulty growing a beard at all. When it finally started to come in he is reported to have been greatly relieved. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Sali – Yaacov Deane Jan 19 '16 at 20:05
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In my experience, different communities have different practices with regard to shaving. (Note that when I talk about "shaving" in this answer, I mean cutting the beard with a permitted shaving device. Not a straight razor which is forbidden.)

In general, Hasidic Jews (including teenagers) tend not to shave at all. My understanding is that this is for kabbalistic reasons. The result is that teenagers often have kind of scraggly beard. In more "litvish" communities, on the other hand, my experience is that married adult men tend to have beards (either trimmed or long) while unmarried yeshiva bochurim tend to shave regularly. I think this is more an instance of fitting in with community norms rather than based on any particular halachic or hashkafic reasoning (and this practice is less universal among litvish Jews than the practice of not shaving is among hasidic Jews). By the time a man reaches marriage age, his beard usually grows in much thicker and more evenly than that of a teenager.

In any case, your premise that hair grows faster after shaving is not true. This is a mistaken belief likely originating from the fact that recently shaved hair tends to feel thicker than hair that has been allowed to grow. From that article:

Hair expert Philip Kingsley recommends thinking of a bamboo cane: a long cane flexes easily, but the same cane cut short feels harder and tougher.

So if your goal is to grow a beard, shaving it isn't going to make it happen any faster.

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From my experience living my whole life with Orthodox Jews

A lot of Orthodox Jewish teens always "shave" (without a razor) except for days it is forbidden.

The ones that do grow a full beard usually do not shave (they consider it forbidden).

But recently modern style is starting/returning to be adopted so we see more trimmed beards. Orthodox Jewish teens that adopt this style start trimming before their beard grows large.


You are probably not a judge that you need a big beard for people to respect you, people can respect you for who you are.

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Baba Sali davened his whole life he should have a better beard growth.

The beard of the Besht used to part into 15 when he said yishtabach corresponding to the 15 shvachim.

You can't enhance your beard's spirituality by shaving it.

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    Really? I've never that about the Babi Sali? Do you have a source? (I believe you, don't worry, just want a source so I know where it comes from.) – ezra Jan 20 '16 at 19:55
  • i read in a book on him that he said one gets forgiven for half of his sins if he grows his beard – ray Jan 20 '16 at 21:56

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