Teen Girls: Shaving & Waxing
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Teen Girls: Shaving & Waxing
I was just wondering if you allowed your preteen to have her underarms waxed.
Is it safe? How do you go about checking that an establishment is clean and
safe? Is it true that the hair doesn't grow as quickly, and that it gradually
gets thinner? I shave her underarms, but she always has a five-o-clock shadow
and she hates it.
I'm an 'older' mom of a preteen. The current obsession with hair removal is
mystifying to me - Brazilian wax, upper lip waxing, eyebrow threading. I don't
know if underarm waxing is the norm now.
My daughter is almost 13. In my experience they are just beginning to shave their legs,
but not their underarms. And I've never heard of kids these ages waxing. And preteen I
assume is younger? That seems VERY young for any of this. I wouldn't give her the message
that this makes sense by spending money, time, and pain on the issue. Help her deal with
Why is she so concerned with this I wonder. Perhaps it's worth exploring further. I
wouldn't personally worry about safety at a waxing establishment, but I would be
concerned at this level of gendered self consciousness at such a young age.
Contact Mali at Malimor Spa just off upper Solano Ave (across from Pharmaca). She
recently did my 12 year old daughter's first leg wax and made it a very kind,
unthreatening experience. I can speak from starting waxing in 5th grade and now being in
my 50's. It makes the hair regrow softer and much more sparsely than shaving. I also
tried Nair/Neet, but the waxing is longer lasting. Depending on regrowth, you go about
every 6 weeks or so.
I am an Esthetician in Lafayette and I do lots of waxing. I have waxed quite a few
pre-teens and teens over the years and armpit waxing is very quick and easy. If this is
an issue that is bothering your daughter, this is something that can really help. The
waxing process makes the hair grow back finer and softer. Eventually less hair will grow
That seems extreme for a pre-teen. Buy her some razors and teach her how to shave her
own armpits. There's no reason you need to be doing it for her. Waxing is expensive and
can be painful...start with razors and when she's old enough to pay for her own wax
treatments (college?) let her decide if she wants to go that route.
Mom of 13 yr. old.
I'm sure armpit waxing is quite safe (after all you're not breaking the skin). I never
did my pits but I do wax my legs and bikini regularly. The hair definately grows back
finer and more slowly over time. Also you don't have to deal with itchy stubble or razor
burn. The first few times are a bit uncomfortable but then it gets much easier and almost
painless. European Wax Center in El Cerrito Plaza is nice. I think there are coupons on
their web site.
Smooth and loving it
Shouldn't your daughter shave herself ?
This question actually puts me on a 'side' I'm not familiar with - in general I
feel quite strongly about discouraging both the constant obsession with being
grown up and with young girls' appearances. However: I am also of the belief
that despite my strong views on these matters, every child (with their unique
maturity level) and every situation must be taken individually.
I would not ever just present a preteen with this option. If, however, a preteen
girl were to have more than a passing interest, but a determined focus on it, I
would discuss it. If her reasons seem appropriate (rather than trying to 'fix'
herself, seeing it as merely another form of self-care or pampering), I would
agree to it - with some sort of clause.
Either she would need to help pay or receive it as a gift, so she understands
that this is 'pampering', rather than a 'necessary' routine. Seeing as she is
still preteen, she may try it once, cry, and never want to do it again - and
that's fine! Taking the curiosity and mystery out of it is half the allure, and
putting it on a pedestal as something that's ''forbidden'' or is ''too old for
her'' could have more negative implications than simply letting it go.
In terms of what we let kids, especially our girls, do to 'be pretty,' I think
everything is relative. Anyone who floated the idea of having their 12-year-old
daughter undergo plastic surgery would be berated and begged to refrain
(rightfully in my opinion!) Yet it has become 100% the norm for preteens to get
braces for purely cosmetic or aesthetic reasons, to the point that we don't even
think about it anymore, despite the price and physical discomfort.
Most importantly, if you do decide to allow this, look into it ahead of time and
find a place you feel comfortable with that has the right vibe. (I.e., not a
place that's going to be pushing make-up into her lap or appears to double as an
No matter what you decide, try to keep the conversation and your concerns open
with your daughter. Resolving this particular issue is obviously not an end but
a beginning to these kind of questions, and now is a great time to set the tone.
You want her to be able to come to you, rather than ill-informed peers or
fashion/media influence when she has questions, concerns, or insecurities about
her body as it changes in puberty. Make it clear to her, whether or not you
decide the waxing is okay, that you care about how she feels about herself and
that it matters more to you why she wants something than what she wants.
I would not allow the waxing. I would make her watch that gross youtube video of
someone lancing a giant boil under a woman's arm. Then, bolster that, with odor
eliminating benifits of shaving and explain that stubble feels thicker than new
growth, but in fact, is not.
Try to keep her low maintenance!
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.
My daughter is just beginning to enter puberty and getting the
slightest amount of pubic hair. She is insistant that she wants
to shave it off. I've been telling her that the hair growth is
normal, etc. but she still wants to shave it. I'm really not
sure what stand to take on this. After all, it really is just
societal norms that have women shaving their pits, but not as
much their other areas - bikini waxing aside. I'm tempted to let
her do it, but feel a little uneasy about it. Any ideas or past
Let her do it. It'll be SOOOOOO itchy growing back that she'll
probably never want to do it again (either that or she'll shave
all the time, but that's the chance you'd be taking).
mother of boys
I don't know how you might convince her but she'd certainly
regret shaving. It will make the hairs grow back as prickly
bristles and could make the area itchy. And that's not to mention
the possibility of ingrown hairs which are unsightly and hurt. If
it's really bothering her that much I would recommend a brazilian
wax job instead (although the woman administering it might look
at you both like you're crazy). At least your daughter will
continue to be comfortable after the redness and irritation
subside. Honestly, though, I hope you can talk her out of it
altogether. A little unwanted hair is part of growing up. She
should take a little pride in this event instead.
As a female pediatrician, I see that shaving all the pubic hair
has become the norm for most teenage girls and even some boys(!)
As this has become more common, I have seen with it a lot more
ingrown hairs and resultant infections. Because pubic hairs
are curly, as they grow back after shaving, sometimes they grow
inward causing these problems. This often then leads to pain,
need for antibiotics, and trips to the doctor which can be very
embarrassing for teens at this age. I try to tell my patients
that pubic hair is there for a reason, and encourage them to
leave it alone, or just shave the bikini line. Besides, at
this age no-one is going to see it (hopefully!) Good luck!
Can't believe they start this young!
I wouldn't worry about it. I did the same thing when I was
that age. It didn't have anything to do with popular culture,
I just thought it was weird to suddenly have those hairs there
and kinda wanted to look like I had always looked. I was a
little worried about growing up too, but I got over that. I
never talked to my Mom about it, I just did it. There were
also quite a few other girls my age that did the same thing,
although I didn't realize it when I started doing it. This was
before I knew anything about pubic hair grooming or associated
it with sexuality. I don't know if I would even bring it up
with her. I would think of it as perfectly normal and just let
it go and let her shave it if it makes her feel better. Maybe
explain to her that it is completely normal for women to have
hair there, that it's a part of growing up, and that it's not
unnatural or gross. In fact, you might nonchalantly point out
that it will probably be more uncomfortable when it starts to
grow back. Just like having your period, it may seem like an
inconvenience, but you get used to it. Maybe just encourage
her that it is okay for it to be there and that all women
eventually get used to it. I don't know how your daughter is,
but I think if my Mom had made a big deal out of it, I would
have felt very awkward and just done it in private. Your
daughter will end up figuring out her own sexual identity
anyway and it sounds like she has a good example to follow. If
it makes her feel better about an uncomfortable time like
puberty, why not?
Absolutely not. Not because of any social norms, but if she
starts to shave it now, her pubic hair will grow back darker,
thicker and more course, i.e. leg hair. I would continue
conversations about how it is natural and all humans have pubic
hair. One stance I have taken on several occasions is ''You can
do it when you are 18.'' Where as they don't realize that you
won't be checking everyday, but at this age it seems to work
when you just tell them it is non-negotiable and end the
conversation. If she tries to bring it up again, remind her
this is not something on the negotiation table and change the
conversation. She will thank you for it years down the road!
I'm thinking that this is about more than the hair growth. Maybe your
uncomfortable with having a more mature body and all that comes with it. I
remember feeling this way. I was very self-conscious and terrified mostly
developing ahead of my peers. I would encourage you to do lots of
listening and not
assume you know what your daughter may be feeling. I was afraid of
myself and my mother by talking about my fears. I wish she had probed a
to find out what my real issues were. Sometimes its easier to focus on the
because its hard, especially for a child, to find the words to talk about
feeling and fears. They don't even have the vocabulary. Good luck to you
Yeee-OWCH!!! You're right about not wanting your daughter to
shave herself down there! It'll HURT afterwards, plus she'll feel
all itchy & get a rash when the hair grows back & she gets yucky
razor stubble. And she's definitely too young for a ''Brazilian
wax'' (double-yeee-owch!) But since your daughter feels so
embarrassed about it, please do consider buying her a depilatory
designed for the ''bikini area,'' show her how to use it safely, &
stay with her for the whole process so she doesn't accidentally
get lotion on her more tender parts. Otherwise she might get
desperate & do something crazy like Nair or borrowing dad's
razor. The depilatory will give smooth results & keep the hair
from growing back all rough & stubbly. Administering the
depilatory every week or two is so much danged work that she'll
probably get tired of it on her own & stop doing it as she
becomes more comfortable with her body's changes. I imagine this
situation must feel utterly alarming for you, but I do think this
sort of self-consciousness is totally normal.
I agree with the posters who say to let your daughter shave.
It's her body, it's not permanent and it will make her feel
better. If she were in another culture, the hair removal would
be automatic. It would be waxed or ''sugared'' off.
More liberal than I thought
When I was your daughter's age I shaved my own pubic hair - I
must have found my mom's razor somewhere. I recall that when it
grew back in, it was pretty itchy and annoying. You might use
this as an added argument against doing it...(P.S. reading your
post makes me realize that no one was really helping me deal with
this stuff as a kid. I'm impressed that your daughter is open to
talking with you about it instead of just sneaking off to do it!)
wasn't going to reply, but the other replys were so very
negative about this that I thought it would be helpful for you
to hear something from the otherside.
First of all, it is great that your daughter is asking your
input on this decision. She could have just gone ahead and done
it. Since she did ask your opinion, I think you shoudl tell her
what you think about it, but try not to do it with a lot of
judgement as you dont' want to set up a situation where she
won't come back and ask other questions if she suspects your
opinion is contrary to her own leaning.
I think that shaving the pubic area has a lot of stigma
attached to it. Bikini line aside. I think this is due to
comfort/discomfort with the assumptions about sex that go along
with presence or lack of pubic hair. Your feelings, and hers
are valid. You are her parent and this is one of those times
that you get to share your values.
I have shaved or waxed my pubic area at various times and
honestly, it isn't that big a deal. In neither case did the
hair grow back either thicker or finer. In neither case was it
more or less prickly. In neither case did I experience in grown
hairs or shaving nicks. The biggest difference is that when you
shave you have to do it more frequently, and at first there can
be more irritation (red bumps) both of which were easily delt
with through the application of hydrocortizone. Personally,
compared with dealing with the stray bits of wax, I'd rather
shave. (Not to mention the price!) And to be honest... cleaning
up when menstruating is a snap when there is no hair to get in
no hair down there
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