Introduction: Fire Shaving

Picture of Fire Shaving


I am 19, and with my family gene history, that means that I am just starting to hit puberty ...

More accurately, it means I am at the point where I have just enough facial hair for it to be a pain in my ass, but not enough for me to do anything cool with (I look forward to the day when I can be moustachioed like Dali). The slow uneven growth rate of the hair, if left unchecked, will result in a fuzzy chin made up of a variety of hair lengths. The juxtaposition of hairs less than a centimeter in length with hairs over two inches in length makes for a really creepy look.

I have played with fire enough to know that it is a great way of removing hair, so I figured doing it intentionally for once might be a good change of pace, which is why I've started Fire Shaving.

I have no problem with shaving like a normal person, there are many things I do like a normal person. It is just sometimes I want a quick way to eradicate all the little hairs on my face without all the ceremonious procedures of a regular shaving.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The great thing about fire shaving is that it only really requires one piece of equipment - a lighter.

A butane lighter is highly recommended. It is a much cleaner burn than a wick (zippo) lighter, and the size of the flame is easier to control (make sure the lighter has a flame size adjust).

If you want to be sure that you do not burn any unintended hair, then I also suggest something like painters tape or a baseball hat to block off the extra hair.

Step 2: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

Fire shaving can be used on all the same areas as regular shaving. Faces, legs, and manscape are all fair game for fire shaving, and while the exact prep work and procedure may change slightly for the different areas, the basic technique is the same.

Start off by modifying the lighter to give around a 2" flame. A flame of this length is large enough to burn off a good area of hair at once, while still being easy to control.

Tape off any hair that you do not removed. I mostly just taped off my sideburns.

(Please excuse the myspace-esque photos. I was going to crop out the camera, but figured it would be easier to apologize once instead of editing a handful of pictures)

Step 3: Procedure

Picture of Procedure

In close proximity to flame, hair will burn / crinkle up / disappear much quicker than the heat receptors in the skin will register the warmth. With practice, shaving with fire should never result in the skin getting more than slightly warm.

(Note to the anal-retentives out there: I realize that this whole process is technically not "shaving", but I am calling it that for simplicity purposes)

This procedure is pretty much the same regardless of what part of your body you are removing hair from.

Ignite the lighter. With the 2" flame the lighter should be held about 1" from the skin. With the flame aimed directly at the skin, quickly move the lighter around the hairy area. You should hear a crackling as the hair burns and shrivels up, and smell the nasty stench of burning hair.

If your skin feels to hot to be comfortable then you are holding the flame in the same place for too long. If the hair is not burning then you are not holding the flame in the same place long enough. There is a very small window where the hair will burn but the skin will not, and achieving that balance takes practice.

Tips for facial hair only:

- The chin is the easiest area to "shave" since the lighter can be held vertically, and all of the flame will be focused directly at the hair intended to be removed.

- Sideburns are harder because they require the lighter to be held at a range of different angles. Care must also be taken so no unintended "top of the head" hair gets burnt.

- The mustache region is the hardest. The nose must be pinched closed so no nostril hair gets burnt. The upper lip area is also one of the most heat-sensitive parts of the body, so be very careful about how long the flame is kept on it.

Occasionally wipe the burnt hairs off with a damp paper towel.

Step 4: Afterburn

Picture of Afterburn

At this point the "shaved" part of your body most likely smells like a burnt down barber shop, so it is probably in your best interest to bath, or at least cover it up with something more potent smelling.

What I recommend: Take a nice long shower, scrubbing the "shaved" area throughly. After the shower rub the area down with some nice soothing aloe.

What I did: Bought a bottle of lighter fluid and splashed it on my face (a la aftershave) just for the hell of it.

Below: Enjoy my various facial expressions

Step 5: Don't Burn Your Eyelashes

Picture of Don't Burn Your Eyelashes

It was probably while I was torching my upper lip that I moved the flame a bit too high and singed the tips of my eyelashes. Unless you feel like "shaving" blind, there is not much you can do about covering your eyelashes or eyebrows, so just be extra careful when the flame is near them.

The tips are singed and curly, and have a tendency of sticking to each other like velcro when I blink.


napierjohn (author)2017-08-09

Common sense says that it would be faster to first apply the aftershave then fire shave.

Amaries (author)2017-04-11

Ha ha this instructables has the most comments ever.

alessio.baroncelli.5 (author)2017-03-24


NathantheGray (author)2016-12-12

I think the only reason this instructable got views is because of how crazy/awesome this is!!! I need to meme this, "This is how we do it in America" lol.
Happy, um, shaving?

FlyPot (author)2016-10-07

Hmmm, I guess it all comes down to which you'd rather have next to your jugular... a sharp blade or a hot flame. In a WORSE case scenario - the flame could catch your hair on fire or burn your skin resulting in months of medical trauma and a disfigured future, whereas the blade could prove to be instantly fatal. Geeze, hard call. Lol! Glad I'm a girl.

Jaxton Maez (author)2013-09-09

No hard feelings, but that seems dumb and lazy. Next time you "shave" you're face is going to burn with that lighter fluid. Just saying.

Big Projects (author)Jaxton Maez2016-01-05

i have no idea how this could be remotly lazy

KarenM62 (author)2015-12-31

That's the thing about this site, anybody can post anything!

WilliamPastor (author)2011-11-29

I dislike that so many people are posting comments about how "this will kill the follicle and cause permanent hair loss" and "can cause infertility if you use it on your coinpurse" and also, somebody made a comment about him being on drugs. In another country (I think in the middle east) this is the way everyone shaves. It is a normal thing to do in some places so dont be rude. Do you even realize how strange some american customes are?


mwicksey (author)2011-09-21

although i forgot to mention. the butane as after shave is a little bit immature, id go with aloe or something to sooth the skin if its left with a burning feeling. and when i do try this ill go with 2 burns then ill use my razor.

Chief2091 (author)mwicksey2012-05-30

It's not butane as aftershave, how has no one caught this yet? Butane evaporates entirely too quickly, that's lighter fuel commonly used for Zippos.

That. Thank you.^

Edbed (author)2015-06-01


snub160 (author)2015-01-22

Classic dude, you're a hoot!

igotbored (author)2014-11-25

why lighter flued??

WilliamW5 (author)2014-10-11

I do this only for the hairs around my adam's apple. I have a few hairs that reach a couple centimeters long that are way too risky to shave (once I sliced a patch of skin the size of a dime off my adam's apple) so I just burn them down with a lighter.

aclevidence (author)2014-08-03

I think I am going to stick with my straight razor....

Jagenx (author)2014-05-28

Gone is the day where comments on an instructable weren't posted by trolls and where attacking a creative individual for building an instructable wasn't tolerated. The odd individual can get very rude at times. Nice instructable my friend! Just today I got a barbers Turkish hot shave and haircut and when they were finishing off the trimmings the lad pulled out a screwdriver, shoved a cotton ball on the end, fired some hairspray at the setup and lit it up. He proceeded to dab without touching my scared looking face, he used it to get the ear hairs and soft hairs the blade didn't get. He was saying it was a common thing to shave like this in turkey without the blade. I asked was it dangerous, he said leaving your house in the morning is dangerous, but you apply common sense to your day....

vanizorc (author)2013-10-27

Is it a good idea to try this on pubic hair?

sublore (author)2013-09-17

Hilarious comment thread!!! This kid is soooooo goofy

poofrabbit (author)2012-11-30

I was very entertained reading your instructable, thanks! I hope you are planning to enter it into the redneck contest, because I think you might do well (this is very original!)  Loved all the facial expressions and keep those eye lashes! :)

nemoskull (author)2012-11-30

ooookaaay, this seem pretty stupid. but,
i think its a great idea. i have shaved with electric, safty and straight razors. this i gotta try. think of it: no razor burn! i shave in a hurry, so i usualy end up leaving out the door with blood dripping on to stuff. i just kinda got use to the pain, so it leaves a mess.\
FYI, hair will not burn right away, it usualy kinda 'melts' first, so this is not *quite* as dangerous as it seems.

KROKKENOSTER (author)2012-10-29

I had to start using Philips shavers @ age 15 and had to use a hair clipper in cases when the Philips had no batteries I am now some years older and still I will only look at guys doing this as some harlequins practicing a party trick
REAL BEARD LIKE BARBED WIRE!!!!!!!!!!! Man I am in danger loosing this "daring" sort of game! Even before the game starts. Tough guys! They chrome their fighting chains to keep the fight sterile and clean When lost in a forest they use rattlesnakes to tie up their trousers!!

the.rollie (author)2011-07-16

this ladies and gentlemen is why drugs are bad... and then lighter fluid "aftershave" really?.... what has the world come too
its called get a rasor. you can even get a 12 pack at a dollar store

jrabon (author)the.rollie2011-08-12

Then maybe you should have read what this tutorial is about then instead of being a prick.

imrobot (author)jrabon2011-12-22

you, jrabon, are awesome. Thank you for fighting the trolls.

mwicksey (author)2011-09-21

Now thats what i call thinking outside the box :) i just thought of the same thing i may try it later on. People may say we are out of our minds or crazy but i personally think it is a creative alternative approach to shaving. so all of you who think its dumb it isnt its actually very smart as long as you are careful :)

SoapBubble (author)2008-06-01

You really think a video game is more productive? I have nothing against video games but the last word I'd use to describe them is 'productive'.

jrabon (author)SoapBubble2011-08-12

Truthfully, it depends on how you look at them. Video games increase hand to eye coordination and some, such as the Portal series, even make you use reasoning techniques to figure out the puzzles in the game. Not to mention, some video games are like books just A LOT more interactive.

hey im Italian to and im 12 got my first real bit of a mustach.

electrosam (author)2011-06-20

Are you insane ?
I shall gift you a shaving kit but please stop this insanity.

jrabon (author)electrosam2011-08-12

It's actually not insanity. In some places around the world, you can actually go to a barber shop and get this done professionally. Seen it on Ripley's Believe It Or Not I believe.

cotton (author)2008-06-01

lol why put gas on your face

Tetranitrate (author)cotton2008-06-02

Because I live in the good ol' US of A, where we like to flaunt our unnecessary fuel consumption.

*dies laughing* That is the absolute best response you could have given. Bravo. XD Meanwhile, I'm all for quicker ways to get rid of unwanted hair, but I'm not sure I have the nerve to try this on my legs.

9.6 Volts (author)HamatoKameko2010-04-14

what about your man-scape?

jrabon (author)9.6 Volts2011-08-12

been there, rocked that. YEAHH FTW

Roanan (author)Tetranitrate2008-07-02

haha, you've just made my day x)

sideways (author)Tetranitrate2008-06-02


puffyfluff (author)sideways2008-06-08

*snicker snicker* you missed a spot...I'll get it (take lighter, ignite lighter fluid, run away)

YummyPancakes (author)cotton2008-06-03

high speed shaving

bustedit (author)2008-06-04

If the object was to save time, I think it was defeated by suggesting a shower afterward. Splash some warm water on your face and just run a damn razor over the baby fuzz. ...but yes, original idea.

jrabon (author)bustedit2011-08-12

Not only is it FAIRLY original, they also do this in some countries and maybe even some places in America as a "shaving" technique. XD

apples!!!!! (author)2011-08-07

*uses lighter fluid as aftershave*
"Oh, I missed a bit on my chin! Better get it so I don't look silly."

yousouf (author)2011-07-31

You are correct

colorex (author)2011-07-07

WOW! You're awesome!

zeldafan (author)2011-06-10

Dude are you out of your frekin mind, only im stupid enough to do this

HughGRection (author)2011-01-12

This reminded me of this one time last year at school where one of my friends got cheese stuck in my hair so for some odd reason my first instinct was to try burning it out. I guess I forgot that cheese melts and gets really hot, and is hard to get out, and smells horrible, and makes you a pariah.

mettaurlover (author)2010-10-13

Done this, works great. Only problem is that I don't register heat properly on most of my skin. Thankfully, I don't burn easily-molten paracord is a minor annoyance to me and leaves no burns.

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