Fire Shaving




About: Working wireless-ly.


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

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

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

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

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

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.



    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest

    395 Discussions


    Reply 8 months ago

    Move the fire away from face if it gets too hot. Hair singes from just the heat, the flame doesn't even have to tough


    8 months ago on Step 2

    I first heard of this in 1995 as a method women used to "shave legs" before razors were invented. Originally it was with a candle. As I do not use this technique on my legs, I have used this technique for unwanted little, light, fluffy hairs atop the upper lip for over 14 years. never heard of it as fire shaving before. I found useful tips to be: always look up because heat rises and your eyelashes will singe fast. A Bic works good. I like to Splash the area with water first. I also use my tongue to push the skin forword to get a more precise heat Direction. I have found the hair does stay away longer than any other techniques, and have not noticed it coming back any thicker. After years of practice, I also now use this for unwanted nose hairs.. and it does take practice. Just wipe out with a wet cloth when you're done and don't forget a shower because you smell like burnt hair.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Did it permanantly removed your hair by burning it?


    1 year ago

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


    2 years ago

    Ha ha this instructables has the most comments ever.


    2 years ago

    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?


    2 years ago

    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.


    5 years ago

    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.

    1 reply
    Big Projects122717

    Reply 3 years ago

    i have no idea how this could be remotly lazy


    3 years ago

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


    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?

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    4 years ago on Step 4

    Classic dude, you're a hoot!