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Robust facial hair detection and segmentation is a highly valued soft biometric attribute for carrying out forensic facial analysis. In this paper, we propose a novel and fully automatic system, called SparCLeS, for beard/moustache detection and segmentation in challenging facial images. SparCLeS uses the multiscale self-quotient (MSQ) algorithm to preprocess facial images and deal with illumination variation. Histogram of oriented gradients (HOG) features are extracted from the preprocessed images and a dynamic sparse classifier is built using these features to classify a facial region as either containing skin or facial hair. A level set based approach, which makes use of the advantages of both global and local information, is then used to segment the regions of a face containing facial hair. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed system in detecting and segmenting facial hair regions in images drawn from three databases, i.e., the NIST Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge (MBGC) still face database, the NIST Color Facial Recognition Technology FERET database, and the Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) database.