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Trimming Pubic Hair

Is there any circumstance that allows for a man to trim his pubic hair? Thank you for attending to this sensitive question.


It is only permitted to trim pubic hair if there is a medical reason for having to do it, for instance because of a rash or other affliction.


The Torah prohibits a man from beautifying himself in the manner of women, and it is therefore prohibited to shave one’s body in places that it is the way of women (and not men) to do so.

The Talmud (Nazir 59b) specifies pubic hair and armpit hair as being prohibited for men to trim. According to Rashba (Vol. 4, no. 90; see also Beis Yosef, Yoreh De’ah 181, and Bach 181:8-9), this prohibition applies to the entire body. However, the Rambam (Idolatry Chap. 12:9) writes that the prohibition (in his opinion, rabbinic) applies specifically to places that it is the custom of women alone to shave. This is also the ruling of the Rema (Yoreh De’ah 182).

Yet, although it is forbidden to remove pubic hair for the sake of beautification, it is permitted to do so if one requires this for purpose of medical treatment, or other non-beautifying purposes (see Darchei Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 182, concerning shaving arm-hair for somebody who is ashamed; see also Tosafos, Shabbos 50; Iggros Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 2:61; Seridei Eish Vol. 2, no. 40 — the final two sources refer to the prohibition of coloring one’s hair, and write that it is permitted for non-beauty purposes).

Thus, it is only permitted to trim pubic hair for a purpose other than beautification, which will generally be a medical purpose.

Best wishes.

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  1. Just for clarification: Is it correct that “pubic hair” refers to hair strictly in front of one’s body, the male reproductive organ? (i.e. a man removing hair from his back would not need to be concerned about unintentionally going too far down and removing “pubic hair”)
    Also, is armpit hair strictly the hair that grows inside the actual armpit, not under the actual arm (bicep/triceps area, etc.) or its side?

    1. Yes, this is correct. However, this does not mean that it is permitted to shave body hair other than pubic hair, and this is generally not permitted for areas of the body where it is not common practice to remove bodily hair. Please see the answer given here — — for more details.

  2. Sorry, but just to clarify. I asked two questions, the first seeking to clarify term “pubic hair”, the second regarding what is considered “armpit hair”. Is your response “this is correct” referring to both parts of the posting?

    1. The answer addresses both pubic hair and armpit hair.

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