Best Answer
Beards and Jehovah WitnessesActually, it's not that Jehovah's Witnesses in general are not permitted to have a beard, it's that a brother who has a beard would not be used in a position of responsibility such as elder or ministerial servant.

The elders and ministerial servants are looked to for direction and to set an example in the congregation. Our work is very scrutinized by those outside our organization. I

n western countries in particular, a few years ago beards were often confused with a segment of society that reflected rebellion, namely the "hippy" movement of the 60's and 70's. It was felt that we should not in any way resemble those that reflected an attitude like this, or the drug culture that went along with it. We have to separate ourselves from that, and to have a beard a few years ago could be confusing, especially to an older generation of people at that time that were especially repulsed at the conduct of those of the younger generation. Even though we are some 30 or 40 years removed from that situation that existed during the late 60's and early 70's, it has been proven by experts that some people on some subconscious level do not trust a man with a beard.

The underlying message that some get from a beard is that if you have one, you have something to hide, as if you are hiding behind the beard. I have even heard that idea expressed in sales courses that I have taken for secular activities. Beards are discouraged by some sales trainers because of the subconscious message that some people receive from a person with a beard, and some feel that a person without a beard generally speaking has a more professional appearance than a person who does. So, even though the reasons for not wearing a beard may have changed somewhat, the practice of not having a beard itself still has merits. Jehovah's Witnesses do not want to give any cause for stumbling others, either inside the congregation or outside the congregation. So, we generally do not wear beards. This may be different in some countries where social circumstances are different, just like in some countries the manner of dress is also different.

We do not want there to be any reason for anyone to feel uncomfortable around us, especially before we have even had a chance to speak a word to them yet, and a beard can send the wrong subconscious message to someone.

Additional Input
  • We have a reputation to uphold with Jehovah and we want to keep that good standing. So having a long beard wouldn't be respectful to him or the people we are trying to give a witness to.
  • The first president C.T. Russell of the watchtower did have a long beard !
Real answer:Disclaimer:This is not intended to detract from the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses, as through my personal study of the Scriptures, the doctrine is the closest to that of the Bible of any denomination. It is merely to give an honest answer to a straight-forward question, rather than make excuses or deny reality. After all, Jesus said we would probably suffer - and might even die - for Christian beliefs and all they're asking is that you shave.

The first answer is partially correct, in that male Jehovah's Witnesses my wear beards without suffering more than a stern talking-to and withdrawal of opportunity to carry any special position or responsibility in the congregation. However, if the real reason was proven current public perception, the same rules would probably apply to obesity, lack of fashion sense, or social ineptitude - all of which can make people very uncomfortable and unwilling to perceive someone as scholarly or to be taken seriously.

In the 1950s, in the the USA, beards were widely unpopular among the general public and most men who wore one were immediately perceived as beatniks (and later, hippies). In that American, Cold War climate, a young man who didn't sport a military-esque brush cut and bare chin was out-of-hand labeled a communist or homosexual. This attitude permeated even into the upper echelon of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, to the point where articles were printed denying even Jesus wore a beard, while on earth. The men currently on the Governing Body have an average age of 75. This would have made them teenagers at the time this perception existed and they are probably, simply (like most old people) not quick - or even willing - to change their minds.

Paul, the apostle, said something similar in 1Cor 11:14 about long hair being a dishonor to a man. Obviously, this needs to be taken in some kind of social context, as God told Samson's mother never to cut his hair. Absalom is referred to as "flawless" and "handsome" with his hair that he allowed to grow until the weight of it became too unwieldy. Also, the Nazirite priests were not to cut their hair as long as they served in the temple. Obviously Paul's words were intended for his militant Roman contemporaries. That society started the cropped military haircut and clean-shaven face to keep lice to a minimum and avoid giving an enemy something to grab, in a skirmish.

User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago

yes they are allowed to wear facial hair. However it is frowned upon on the basis the it can look dirty or unkept. Also, since Jehovah witnesses preach door to door, you want to look your best, have the householder be able to clearly see your face and most importantly be a good representation for Gods orginization

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago

Type your answer here... Where as many are looking for answers regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and their bible based beliefs, the best place to find such answers is by visiting their website @

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago

There are no bible principles or laws laid down by Jehovah's Witnesses about beards. A man is entitled to grow his facial hair, providing that his standards of grooming reflect the fact that he is one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Men with beards can become Ministerial Servants and Elders, and can have responsibilities within the organisation. It is a matter of personal choice.

That said, there is some prejudice towards facial hair following a counsel issued in the 60s & 70s. At this time beards were associated with the hippy movement, and people from all walks of society (not just Witnesses) went clean shaven to avoid being associated with this group of people. The prejudice lingers still in those that remember those times, but one must just remember that we are all imperfect.

Because there are still many in the congregations who remember this counsel, men with beards are generally not used on assembly and convention programmes, lest some in the audience should become mentally pre-occupied with the personal preference of the speaker rather than the important message he is delivering.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

10y ago

Good question. To answer this will not require The Bible... er... that is, the reasons for not wearing beards is bible based, but the bible doesn't directly say, thou shall not wear beards.

Jehovah's witnesses try and make themselves as most presentable as possible. Now-a-days, a clean shave is considered presentable. In some countries, Jehovah's witnesses even dress differently.

So your question is, why cant they wear beards? Because a clean shave reflects well groom personalities. A person who grooms themselves well can have a better, positive perception from general public.

This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: Can Jehovah's witnesses wear facial hair?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Do Jehovahs witnesses men wear long sleeve shirts?

Jehovah's Witnesses have no rule to how long their sleeves are so long as they are modest.

What are Jehovahs Witnesses clothing?

We dont wear baggy clothes nor do we wear tight things as well. Jehovah's Witnesses are only encouraged to be modest in their dress and grooming. (1Timothy 2:9; Titus 2:3-5)

Why do you have to wear a facial mask in cooking?

So hair from your beard or head does not get in others' food.

Religions that allow you to keep long hair?

............................................................ yes there are certain religions, i think one of them is jehovahs witness and there is another i just forgot what it is called. they have to have really long hair and can only wear long skirts.

What might a shy man might wear to hide his face?

Hat Glasses Scarf Facial Hair hood

What is something spies often wear to disguise their identity?

Sunglasses Mask Wig Facial Hair Trench Coat

What is the best way to disguise oneself?

Some ways one can disguise themselves is my altering their hair color, changing hairstyles, and growing or shaving facial hair. Or they can wear wigs. One can also wear sunglasses and hats.

Do Jehovah Witnesses wear crusifixes?

No. Jehovah's Witnesses do not wear crosses which they view as symbols of pagan worship.

What can you do if you can grow plenty of facial hair but it doesn't come in around your lips or chin?

This could be due to your genetics. Sometimes people with native American blood cannot grow facial hair, or it grows in patches.I suggest you either shave it or wear it proudly, you just might start a new trend!

Do Jehovah witnesses wear head scarves?

Jehovah's Witnesses have no objection to head scarves, or hats, or baseball caps. We can even wear wigs.

Do jehovah's witnesses wear makeup?

Yes, our women folk wear makeup.

Are military personnel in the US allowed to wear facial hair?

Yes, you are allowed to have only a mustache so long as it is neatly trimmed(hair length cannot exceed 1/2 inch) and it does not extend beyond the corners of the mouth.