Should you Shave Your Beard Before Going to a Funeral?

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Certain activities are forbidden when you go to a family gathering event. And, if the matter is about funerals, things become somehow more sensitive and different.
Shaving your beard is also one of such acts which are forbidden in some religions on the occasion of a funeral, and some religions allow it.

In some religions not shaving the beard at a funeral is considered a sign of sorrow and mourning. This is observed in Judaism for example. While some other religions say that there is no issue in going to funerals in neat, clean, and tidy clothes with trimmed hairs and shaved clothes unless you are not disrespecting the funeral. Any such act which could disrespect the funeral and hurt the emotions of their loved ones should not be carried out, and if your beard is one of them, then you should shave it.

Should you shave before going to a funeral?

Preparing yourself for funeral

Not shaving your beard is most of the time alright, before going to a funeral. Because at such times it becomes difficult for a man to deal with different things going on in his mind.
If one forgets to shave or could not make it due to lack of time so it is alright. As in some religions, the funeral is on the same day when the individual dies.

So, you might not have the time to even change your clothes if you are at work and have to attend the funeral immediately.

Maybe you have to come directly from the workplace to the funeral. So, there is nothing wrong if you can’t shave your patchy beard.
There are certain aspects for which we should be prepared mentally and physically before going to a funeral as this occasion is the most difficult moment in one’s life.

Mentally and Emotionally prepared

Being mentally and emotionally prepared for such an event is important to obtain mental stability.
It is the most difficult time and therefore you need to accept and fight with it. What happens if you shave before the funeral? Not shaving is considered a sign of sorrow and mourning. To express that you are grief about the loss, people don’t shave at funerals.

barber with scissors

But that does not say that you are not allowed to shave.

If you do not want to shave and it makes you feel comfortable between the people at the funeral so you can think this way too.

But the people who shave before going to the funeral are grieving about the losses and they express it in that way.

For instance, some people express their sorrow by wearing black clothes.

But that depends on belief and religion and some people do the total opposite by wearing white at funerals.

Both the colors are different in all aspects but similar in expressing grief and mourning.

The emotion matters, not the color that is why people carry out their traditions the way their religion allows them to.

Medical aspects for shaving

When you have some medical problem that says that you have to shave your beard So, you surely can.
For example, some people could get an infection by growing a beard on the cheeks so they can avoid it by shaving their beard.

Before judging someone, people should try to imagine themselves in that state where what happens if you shave your beard due to genuine reason and then give the remarks.
The thing is, other people should understand the necessitation of the shave and should ignore it if they feel like talking about it with you.

Passing a snarky comment is easy, but this is a time of sorrow. So instead of we as a people trying to bring others down, we should instead focus on lifting each other up. Especially during trying times, like a funeral.

In which tradition it is compulsory to shave before going to a funeral?

Shaving as a sign of respect

In some traditions of the Hindu religion, it is necessary and obligatory to shave at funerals.

The reason to shave the beard is to show respect and love to the one who has died.

They consider it as a sign of portraying and giving respect to the deceased member of their family.

At some places, people even ask from the side if they see someone completely shaved in their surroundings or if someone has died in their relatives.


This tradition is very common in India as it is a Hindu country.

According to this tradition, only those males who are younger than the deceased one, are required to shave their heads and beard while the others do not have to.

The Hindus sacrifice their hair of the beard and head. Because it is their way to sacrifice their ego for the love and respect of the deceased.

Moreover, it has been noticed that only the family of sons shave and not of the daughter.

According to the tradition, the family of daughters does not have to perform these rituals.

Shaving on 49th day

In Buddhists, this tradition and culture are observed. The Buddhist shave on the 49th day from when the person is deceased.

This culture is performed as a sign of mourning. The Tibetan Buddhists have this culture.

But this is similar to Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhists also perform this ritual as a sign of mourning for their loved ones.

The Buddhists perform this ritual of shaving on the 49th day based on some grounds.

The reason for shaving on the 49th day is that they believe the soul of the deceased one is reincarnated on the 49th day.

That is why they have to shave on the 49th day as mourning. This is their belief that the spirit of the deceased remains somewhere in between two worlds.

In between the world of the dead and the world of alive people. On the 49th day after death, this period ends.

This is known as “Sasipgujae”. After this period end, the Buddhists bring their lives back to normal.

Because they believe that after 49 days the spirit of the deceased one goes to the world of dead people.

Shaving as a part of mourning

Even it is Hinduism or Buddhism, both shave at funerals as a sign of mourning. In Hinduism, this is related to giving respect to the deceased one and having sorrow for losing them.

The family of the deceased one is grief about their loss and tries their best to do such acts which could be good for the deceased person.

Shaving your beard and head before going to the funeral is also one of the ways to take part in gathering good acts that could please the one who is dead.

Out of the sorrow that you are having for the deceased one, you try to give them respect by sacrificing your ego for them.

In Buddhism also, the people mourn and pray for their loved ones and sacrifice their hair by shaving.

Consequences of going not shaved to funeral

Not allowed to the cremation ground

According to some Hindu rituals, those who do not shave are not allowed in the cremation ground.

Hindu called that ground Shamshan ghat. Due to the same reason, women are also not allowed in the cremation ground.

The Hindus consider hair to be the element that can attract evil forces towards the person.

They believe that if you are not shaved, the evil forces will enter your body by your hairs.

They consider it as the main reason for being shaved at the funeral.

According to some traditions of Hinduism if you are ready to shave your beard and head hair before going to a funeral then only you are allowed to enter Shamshan ghat.

The reason why one does not shave before the funeral

Although shaving is necessary and important in some of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, there may be some reasons why one is not able to shave.

At such a moment one needs to face a lot from society for not carrying out the rituals properly.

Being the moment of extreme grief and sorrow the people are also unable to control their emotions and blame the unshaved man in every way.

They do not even allow him to take part in the rituals.

But we should understand that there might be some genuine reason such as any disorder or medical issue.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae(PFB) is a commonly heard medical issue in such cases.

This medical problem is characterized by persistent irritation after shaving the beard.

People should stop blaming others and should understand their problems at least at some sensitive moments.


In some religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, shaving is considered an important ritual of the funeral, and one has to shave before going to the funeral. While in other religions such as Jews, not shaving a beard is considered as a sign
of mourning and respect for the funeral.

Before the funeral, you should or should not shave depends on the tradition you are following.

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Rick - Founder of Turbobeard

I've got my first hair on my face at about 15 years old. That's pretty early! It took me to about my 30's to consider growing it all out. After this decision, I've done tons of trial and error, and with that knowledge created this blog to help others in the same situation.

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