A study has been published in the prestigious “Ohr Yisroel” journal which reviews and analyzes the halachic issues involved in management of a rolled-up beard on Shabbos.
To view and/or download this study, which was written by Rabbi Moshe Wiener, author of sefer Hadras Ponim Zokon, please click here (for a bilingual edition).
Following is an English language synopsis of the study:
The Halachic Implications of Managing a Rolled-Up Beard on Shabbos [Note: See Hadras Panim Zokon (Vol. 2, Ch. 12, Appendix 1) for a discussion and sources on whether rolling up the beard in general is a commendable practice or not.].
Managing a rolled-up beard on Shabbos involves various concerns, as enumerated below:
Braiding hair on Shabbos is forbidden due to the melachah of boneh. However, Poskim conclude that this does not apply to rolling up a beard on Shabbos, and one may even fasten it in place with a pin or rubber band.
B. Uprooting hairs:
If the hairs of the beard fall out when it is rolled up during the week, it may not be rolled up on Shabbos, as this will involve a psik reishei, an inevitable transgression of a melachah. Accordingly, when handling a beard or hair on Shabbos, one must do so gently and slowly, so that hairs will not certainly fall out. Indeed, many Gedolei Yisroel emphasized the severity of this issue, and some would refrain from touching their beard and pei’os altogether the entire Shabbos. If the hairs of the beard fall out even when it is handled gently, one may halachically not handle it at all on Shabbos.
One may not squeeze out water or other fluids from the beard or hair. Accordingly, when handling a beard on Shabbos, one must take care to avoid sechitah. (It should be noted that there is no halachic need to unroll the beard before immersing in the mikvah, and indeed one should refrain from doing so to avoid sechitah.)
D. Carrying in a reshus harabim:
Certain Poskim are of the opinion that one may not walk outdoors (if there is no eiruv) if his beard is fastened with a pin or rubber band. Others maintain that it is permitted, and yet others state that while the custom is to be lenient, it is better to act stringently. However, it should be noted that even according to the lenient opinions, one should not insert more pins than necessary, and one should certainly remove any pins that are completely superfluous.