My Mom passed away 16 days ago. I am a married woman, and I go to work every day. I was just wondering if I could cut my facial hair on my chin and face; it is growing very dark and strong. I feel very self-conscious about it, and want to know if I can cut or tweeze it? Thank you very much.

Answer:

It is permitted to cut and tweeze facial hair after the initial seven days of mourning.

Sources:

See Avel Rabbasi, chap. 7, which states that a woman is permitted to cut her hair after the shiva. Rishonim dispute whether this refers to all hair, or only certain types of hair (such as pubic hair). Rambam (Aveil 6:3) and Shluchan Aruch (390:5) rule lelienty, whereas Rema is stringent concerning ordinary haircuts. However, see Shach (390:2), Chochmas Adam (165:28), and others (Pnei Baruch p. 199, Aruch Hashulchan 390:2), who rule that in areas where women general remove hair, it would be permitted to do so, and other authorities mention that for married women there is greater reason for leniency (Nefesh Kol Chai 96). See also Gesher Hachaim (237), whose position is somewhat stricter.

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