Barber Shop Trimming

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There are different kinds of trimmers that barbers use. Most are intended to cut hair at certain lengths and have guards to ensure that appropriate lengths of hair are left intact. But there is also a trimmer that touches directly on the skin and is used to even out the edges and remove neck hair. My longstanding practice at the barber shop is to politely ask the barber to only use that trimmer behind my ear, i.e. on the back of my head and neck. That way, it will not remove my peyos. I never asked a she’eilah on this because it seems pretty clear cut. But every time I ask a barber to do it he seems surprised. Is this not common practice? Why not?

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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