Shaving Legs & Under Arms
Berkeley Parents Network >
Beauty & Fitness >
Shaving Legs & Under Arms
My 11-year-old daughter has started to grow armpit hair and no longer
wants to wear anything sleeveless because she is embarrassed. She has
talked to me about shaving, but is very nervous about cutting
herself. How have others dealt with shaving armpits for the first
time? Her legs are not an issue at this time. I am considering an
electric razor at first so she will be pretty much guaranteed to not
cut herself for the time being. I'm not convinced she will be able to
handle a regular razor with comfort due to her extreme nervousness
about it all. If you do recommend a regular razor, which would you
my little girl is growing up!
My daughter started with and stayed w/the Gillette 3-bladed Venus. I
even looked it up and it gets the best rating on one consumers' site
for a women's razor (while also stating that most women preferred a
My daughter likes it because she has never cut herself w/it. Just our
I forgot to mention that these blades are very expensive, but seem to
last longer than the cheap, generic brands.
I had the same issue with my older one. I started her off with a
depilatory cream first, so I could get rid of the hair, but not have
her deal with the razor. In a few months, she had worked up courage to
try the razor, and I helped her with it the first few times. Soon she
had begin doing it on her own.
Now my younger one went straight to razors, as she had seen her older
sister go through the entire process.
Also, I would suggest she do it once or twice week, or as needed
initially, so that she does not suffer too much from ingrown hair.
Also, make sure to use a good shaving gel to smoothen the skin.
Good luck! It is hard to make the transition from childhood to
You may want to look into a product called Veet - you pick it up at
any Walgreens or CVS. It's a creme hair remover, so your daughter
won't have to worry about using a razor. You leave it on for 8
minutes, then use a plastic tool (shaped like a razor w/out the
blade) to wipe off the hair. It works pretty well.
It's been a number of years now, but we bought a little purple
electric razor that can be used in the shower. I think it was by
Panasonic. definitely shaves close enough for underarms, and is easy
to use and convenient since it is wet/dry.
We just encountered the same issue with our 12 year old -
It was something we really struggled with for several months, spoke
with her about honestly and helped to give her a lot of information so
that she could make an informed decision about whether or not she
wanted to start doing this. She did decide she wanted to shave her
armpits and I would suggest jumping in the shower together - showing
her how to do it on yourself and then doing it for her the first
time. If it feels weird to be nude you can always wear a bathing
My now 14 y/o has more of a problem with leg hair, no armpit hair that
worries her. But I'm totally into waxing. Specially for armpits,
eyebrows and upper lip hair since the new hair grows softer, the skin
remains smooth and ''hairless'' will last her longer. It hurts a bit
but she loves the results. Try to introduce her to waxing. If you can
do it for her, and she accepts your intervention, it can be a great
girl thing for you to share with her. If you don't know how to do it,
you may be better off trying to see how a professional does it and
learn from that...My daughter and I have ''beauty time'' when we wax
whatever needs waxing... I do it for both of us...
Best of luck
Mach III is a great razor, very responsive. My girls have never cut
themselves with it. Much better than the woman's version, Venus.
Visit the Safe Cosmetics Campaign website to evaluate the safety of
personal care products you might use (such as hair removal creams).
They rank products based on whether they contain potentially toxic
Sorry to be responding late to this and hope you see the message. My
daughter (now 11) had really hairy legs and pits as she approached her
10th birthday. We bought an electric women's razor and she uses it all
the time. It might not be as close of a shave as a regular razor, but
it is pretty darned good and very easy for her to use. No worries
about cuts or nicks either. We got her the Panasonic Close Curves
Wet/Dry shaver. Drugstore.com has a very good selection of electric
razors. Do not get her anything called an epilator. Those pull the
hairs out and are painful to use.
I need help from other women out there who are very light-
skinned and who have thick, dark leg hair. Here's my problem.
I usually shave, but I have to wait until the hair has grown
out enough (about a week) in order to avoid lots of razor
slices and nicks (this is because, I think, the hairs haven't
completely grown thruogh the skin?) So, shaving is what I do
once/week, but I hate it. Also, I can't wear
shorts/skirts/bathing suit on days 4-7 because my hair is so
dark & thick. (Or if I must get into shorts, etc., I go
through the scary process of shaving too early and putting up
with lots of nicks)
I've tried waxing a few times and it's nice because it lasts
longer. Problem? You have to go 4-6 weeks between waxings -
again, my thick, dark hair is all over by then and I can't wear
shorts/skirts while I'm waiting for the next one.
Should I bleach my hair - seems like a huge pain since I'd have
to do it so often. Besides, my hair is so thick it would
probably still be quite obvious.
Any ideas that I haven't tried and that don't cost a fortune?
And sorry, though I've done it before in my college days, I am
definitely no longer willing to let the hair on my legs be. I
have succumbed to some of our society's sad, unnatural beauty
expectations! (and some people other than me would probably be
horrified by my leg hair that rivals most men)
Thanks for your help!
Hairy in Berkeley
I had the same problem. If you can swing it financially run to a laser hair removal clinic.
I put my treatments on a credit card because I was so desperate to stop the ingrown
hair/shaving myself raw cycle. The treatments really, really reduced the amount of leg hair
that I have to deal with. Now, there are some blonde hairs that grow in but no more bumps or
scary hairs. The treatment works best on light skin with dark hairs.
Alernatively, you could be really persistent with exfoliating your legs every other day and
shaving on the odd days. TYou could try glycolic acid lotion and see if that helps to
dissolve some of the skin over the ingrown hairs.
Have you tried an electric shaver? I use the ''trimmer'' edge of one - it doesn't get your
legs perfectly smooth to the touch, but it looks fine for wearing shorts & skirts, and
avoids nicks and ingrown hairs. Hates razors
you might try electrolosis, but i've heard it's a bit painful at first. alternatively, you
can use those hair removal creams, but they have pretty scary chemicals in them. i think
waxing is your best bet, because over time the hair follicles weaken and the hair grows back
more slowly, and less coarse. it may be 6-9 months before you see a difference. so, maybe
you have to suffer through one more summer and then get regular waxings over the fall and
winter to see if it works. make sure to see a good esthetician.
hairy there too.
You need to do laser hair removal. You sound like the ideal candidate (light skin and dark
hair). Do it...it will change your life...trust me. I shopped around and ended up at The
Laser Center of Marin in Corte Madera (www.marinlaser.com).
It's not cheap, but it is a long-term answer that is well worth it. Beth
I have the same problem, and the only solution for me has been high-end men's electric
shavers. They won't shave quite as close as a razor, and it takes several passes to get all
the hairs, but they are gentle enough to use every day. I currently use the Panasonic
ES8092 Pro-Curve Pivot Action shaver, and love it. It has a micro-screen covering over the
blades, and a pop-up trimmer on the back that is great for the bikini line. It's worth the
investment . . . finally I can wear capris and tank tops more than once a week in the
summer. If you are really motivated, light skin & dark hair makes you a good candidate for
laser hair removal, too. Hate to Wait
I know you said you don't want anything costly, but to me the best solution is getting
laser. It will take a year to be completely hairless & you will be burned a little (just for
a short time) but it's worth it. If you start now, then next summer you'll be bald in
I feel your pain! I am in the same situation, very light skin (irish/german ancestry) and
very dark brown hair and lots of it on my legs all the way from my ankles to my hips. I can
only shave once every week or two because I get lots of red bumps and break outs after I
shave. Last year I did 3 sessions of laser hair removal on my upper legs and bikini area
and there has been much less regrowth. But it is very expensive. I don't have any easy or
inexpensive solutions. Laser seems the best if you can afford it. I went to Dr. Brokowski
because I was nervous about an inexperienced practioner causing more problems. I was happy
with her care and plan on going back hopefully next year when I have more expendable $$.
For this year at the beach I usually wear swim shorts instead of an actual bathing suit so I
don't have to deal with the bikini area and sometimes just go out there with some stubble
and most days I avoid wearing shorts and wear pants. I have noticed, however, as I am now
experiencing peri-menopausal phase of life, that there is a slight decrease in the amount of
hair on my lower legs. A small victory, but at least it's something. I don't get it. My
mom is very fair and you can hardly see the hair on her legs. My dad has dark hair, but
never had much hair at all on his legs. Where did this come from?
a little less hairy
I have lots of dark hair on my legs, and the only thing I've found that works is basically
shaving every day. I had electrolysis on the bikini area, which is coarse and would
otherwise cause lots of problems. Also, I definitely shave carefully with a sharp razor, and
in the opposite direction that the hair grows (eg sideways on the bikini area). you
shouldn't really be getting lots of nicks. Oh, unless you're also getting goosebumps in the
shower. I have to close the door and window and let the steam build up, because if I get a
little chill I end up shaving off goosebumps. You might try different women's razors till
you find one that works, and you might try either making sure you've got lots of soap later
or use a good shaving cream. And don't ever shave dry. That irritates my skin
What works for me is to use a high quality electric razor 2 or 3 times a week. It only takes
about 5 minutes, it's pretty much painless and, visually, you can't see hair. It doesn't,
however, eliminate stubbly *feeling* legs, so you'd still probably like to shave as you
normally do for smoothness. The key is to use the electric razor in a circular motion (if
you have a razor w/ the pivoting heads, there are electric razor's made for leg shaving, but
I've found them less effective) and to keep the skin taut in the area you are shaving.
You can wear shorts every day if you want!!
Yes, I have often joked that I am so hairy that Bigfoot was seen taking footage of me.
Seriously, I used to be really proud of the fact that I refused to shave my legs, but
something about becoming a mom makes one less inclined to subject oneself to public
ridicule. My solution: I shave with a standard razor about twice a month, and use an
electric razor about every other day.
True, the electric razor does not get legs very smooth, but visually they look like they are
I'm in the same boat and have gone through all the treatments you mentioned. Also tried an
epilator, but it was not too successful around the bikini area, and was quite time-consuming
on my legs.
I've recently been curious about Nair. But I remember from my teens that it was not to be
used around the bikini area... I belong to a swim club and I never see nicks or razor burn
or hairy bikini areas on my fellow female members.
WHAT'S THEIR SECRET?
I too have thick, dark leg hair and pale skin. If I want to keep my legs presentable I
shave them every couple of days, and I don't experience nicks and cuts. Maybe you need to
get a better razor, change the blades more often, and use more shaving cream or gel. Also
just practice your shaving technique--it shouldn't be such a painful experience!
Wishing you happy legs--
Another Hirsute Gal
What\222s the best way to shave my legs - razor, wax,
I am in my 40s and have shaved my legs very infrequently -- I
have little leg hair, I didn\222t want to become a slave to the
razor, until now I have worked at jobs where unshaved legs were
not unusual and, most of all, I object to the cultural message
that leg hair on a woman is unacceptable. Well, that\222s
changed - I still resent the expectation that I will shave but I
now have a job that has an unwritten dress code and I am
therefore self-conscious about my leg hair. So, I will cave to
the norm and shave. I want to know what\222s the most effective
way to remove leg hair, one that will not take up too much of my
time, cause me undue pain, or cost too much. I still don't
understand why women put up with standards of beauty that are so
burdensome! Thanks for listening.
If you are just doing it for appearances, or are blessed w/
having so little hair that it doesn't otherwise bother you, just
shave!! All the other options are time consuming & expensive,
and although some believe fervently in the waxing option, the
electrologists will tell you that it makes future options more
limited (e.g., if you wax your bikini area, it will take more
electrolysis to get rid of the hair because it changes the
follicles). I hate my own leg hair, but have gotten the shaving
down to a couple of minutes in the shower every other day. no
Those new razors work pretty well. Venus for women. Also try
hair conditioner instead of shaving cream. Also a bath first
softens the hair up.
almost nick free
I'm a very hairy woman who doesn't believe anyone should
have to remove their hair for a job. I let it all grow out at
times, and it's quite a sight. But mostly I prefer to remove it
(from legs, feet, toes, fingers, hands. parts of my arms,
nipples, chin, and other places too.)
I have tough hair and sensitive skin. Waxing gives me a
rash and chemical cremes burn my skin. I can't afford laser
hair removal or electrolysis at the moment. Shaving works
really well for me though. I actually enjoy shaving, but it took
me awhile to figure out the best way. If you have very little
hair on your legs, shaving should be pretty easy once you
get the hang of it, and you shouldn't have to do it all that
To avoid ingrown hairs, get some of those scrubbing gloves
you can put on in the shower, and scrub your legs before
shaving, and every couple of days. The gloves feel really
good. You can get them at most drugstores or at whole
foods. Also a body lotion with alpha-hydroxy acid does the
same thing. Both make your skin feel soft and smooth.
While shaving, make sure you are warm, so you don't get
any goose bumps. Goose bumps will catch on the razor
and give you a rash.
I shave without shaving cream, under water in the bathtup.
Or I use a soap for sensitive skin, without perfume. For the
easiest shave, use soap or shaving cream. To avoid skin
irritation, unscented soap or cream is best. When you are
first getting used to shaving, the tub is best for going slow
and seeing what you are doing. Once you get used to it, you
might be able to do a good, quick job of it in the shower.
After shaving, rinse really well and use an unscented lotion
for sensitive skin, or no lotion at all. Good, cheap after-
shave lotions are: 1. Water with a little vinegar in it. 2. Water
with an aspirin dissolved in it.
If you are grossed out by hair in the tub, have a bowl of
super-hot water next to the tub and rinse the razor in that.
Rinse after each stroke. Then dump the hairy water down
The Gilette triple-blade razor is great, much better than
others I've tried. Definitely notice when the blade is dull, and
use a new one. It makes a big difference.
this page was last updated: Sep 26, 2010
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network