Is Hair Removal a Sin

The Bible was written a very long time ago and so these days because of the ways in which society, technology and cultural norms have changed so radically over the centuries, we now have to interpret what we read and apply it to our modern lives, rather than take every word literally.

So does the Bible say anything about hair removal, particularly for women? Not directly no. You won’t find the answer in there because in those times it simply was not done. But now, in the western world in particular, it is convention for women to remove hair from their legs, underarms and even the bikini areas.

But is this behaviour acceptable for a Christian?

Well to answer that question perhaps you need to go back to the intention of the act. There is a passage in Leviticus 14:8-9 that deals with Leprosy which was a terrible skin condition which was unfortunately very common in those days.

The passage says that “He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean.” So obviously in this case we are talking about cleanliness and sanitation.

One could argue that hair removal from an area such as the underarms could be considered one of cleanliness because excess hair in this region can lead to perspiration which can in turn carry an unpleasant odour and be unsightly. This is generally frowned upon in a modern workplace.

Also consider something such as surgery which did not exist when the Bible was written. If you have any kind of surgical procedure performed in a place on the body which has hair it will be shaved first. A very common example is the Cesarean Section allowing women to give birth surgically. This is most definitely a health issue and I doubt think God would disapprove under these circumstances.

But I think in many cases, hair removal is not really performed for sanity reasons but instead for vanity. Especially when you consider the number of options available now. For the bikini area alone there are several different styles in which you can have the hair shaved into and this is of course purely cosmetic.

Some may say that indulging in such acts purely for a cosmetic purpose is sinful but then where do you draw the line? Is it sinful to style one’s (head) hair in a pleasing fashion or to purchase clothes that are smart fitting?

Again, I think we have to come back to intention. If the intention of a hair cut or some clothing is to be smart and professional in order to fulfil one’s role within a job, I would think that is perfectly acceptable. But again, if these things are pursued purely out of vanity that would be un-Christian-like.

Only you can know your own motivations.