From the Rav’s Desk: Men trimming eyebrows

  1. Question: [Monday 21st Tamuz, 5780]

May a man trim his eyebrows, or does doing so transgress Lo Silbash? Basically, my eyebrows are really wide and go out of their intended “perimeter” and I would like to know if I can trim or shave them in that area.



It is permitted for a man to trim his eyebrows and doing so does not transgress Lo Silbash. It is likewise permitted for one to shave to even a razor like shave, such as by using the blade of a haircut machine [i.e. a zero haircut]. However, it is forbidden for one to use an actual razor/shaver.

Explanation: It is explicitly ruled in Shulchan Aruch that it is permitted for men to remove body hair, [with exception to the beard and Peiyos and pubic hair of armpit and pubic area which contain various restrictions and opinions in Poskim] and doing so is not included in the prohibition of Lo Silbash [even though it is the way of women to shave their body hair, as seemingly women are accustomed to shave it and not merely trim it]. It is permitted to even perform a razor like shave using scissors. It is, however, forbidden for a man to shave any area of his body using an actual razor. Now, the eyebrows are not included in the beard or Peiyos, and hence are included in the allowance of removing body hair to an even razor like shave, but not with an actual razor.

Sources: Mayan Omer 4:1; Avnei Yashpei Y.D. 4:91; 6:118; Ohel Yaakov p. 331; See regarding that one may trim body hair: Michaber Y.D. 182:1; Tur 182:1; Rav in Nazir 58b-59a; Rambam Avoda Zara 12:9; Mordechai Shabbos 327 [regarding abundance of arm hair, permits to remove if embarrassed, however, seemingly restricts if not embarrassed. Practically, however, his opinion is omitted from the Shulchan Aruch]; See regarding that one may even cut body hair to a razor like shave, although not with an actual razor: Shach 182:3; Taz 181:4 and 182:1-2; Beis Yosef 181 in name of Rabbeinu Yona in Igeres Hateshuvah 2:36; Beir Hagoleh 182; Misgeres Hashulchan 171:1; See Tzemach Tzedek Y.D. 93

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