Shaving (ohàrenta) is the removal of body hair by cutting it with a razor. A secular work from ancient India, the Kàma Såtra, recommends that men trim their beards and moustaches every four days and shave their pubic area and armpits every ten days. The Buddha required monks to shave their heads and faces, and nuns to shave their heads every two months or before the hair is two finger-breadths long. The main reason for this was to arouse the vanity that is often connected with hair, and perhaps also for reasons of hygiene. Those with no hair cannot get and thus do not have to kill head lice. Nuns were allowd to shave their armpits and pubic hair, which apparently all respectable women did at the time (Vin.IV,260).

            One of the eight basic requisites of monks and nuns is a razor (khura) and they were also allowed to have a case to put it in, a whet stone for sharpening it and a type of gum to prevent it from rusting (Vin.II,134). The brahmins used to disparage Buddhist monks by calling them `shaven menial ascetics'(muõóakà samaõakà ibbhà, D.I,90).