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What age should kids start shaving their legs? My daughter is 8, almost 9 and she says the kids make fun of her for having hairy legs. She does have thick hair but it is blonde and hardly noticeable. I just think 8 or 9 even is too young. Please let me know if you agree or disagree. Btw, her dad (ex-husband) thinks I should just let her do it.
Sun. Oct 21, 6:30pm
I'm currently 17 and went through the same issue...only my hair is black..and very noticable...plus I went to catholic school..so skirts were unavoidable.
Please, please, PLEASE don't put your child through the same thing I went through (I wasn't allowed until I was 13...the last year of catholic school). If it really is so light and unnoticable, suggest that she waxes and even make it a "mother daughter" type thing and suggest that she only does up to and including the knee (no thigh),
Also, because I know this is usually a major issue with parents regarding shaving, make it clear (in a non lecturing way) that this doesn't mean she gets to wear shorter skirts lol
Then, let her go wax every so often. If she finds it too painful, try Nair or Veet...much easier and you dont have to wait as long.
As for shaving, tell her that it WILL probably come back thicker and prickly, and if she doesn't believe you show her this post and tell her I'm 17 and I'm not lieing. Nair makes it come back soft and takes a lot longer. So does waxing.
:] Good luck!
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 6:51 PM
My friend let her older daughter start in 3rd grade (approx 8 yrs old) because she had dark hair on her legs. Now her younger daughter (currently 8) and my 8 yr old both want to shave now. I just said no because the hair isn't noticable. However, if your daughter's is dark and/or thick, you may want to let her. My biggest concern would be cutting herself. What's holding you back?
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 6:54 PM
my suggestion if she must do it to avoid harassment from other kids is to use veet, it's a dipilatory but it comes with a razor type scraper to scrape the hair off once it's dissolved. no cuts, no more being made fun of.
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 7:01 PM
I guess I just don't want her growing up too fast. Also I think she needs to learn to stand up to peer pressure. Kids make fun of eachother for so many different things. Its like if she doesn't have the $130 nike shoes she will be made fun of, luckily I have the money but do I want her to "need" to do everything her friends do? I just don't know if this is something I should take a hard stand on or just let her do it. I have other friends with kids her age and they say "no way".
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 7:47 PM
6.51 poster back
Ideas: Let her shave, but do say no to other things...like "Mom..can I get my nose pierced?...a second hole? etc, etc"
As for the expensive clothes, do what my friend's parents did (she's VERY rich..but she's grown up and you'd never know by talking to her). When it comes to about August, take her "school shopping", and in moderation, by her some nice school clothes..nice jeans, Abercombie polos, cute tops, a winter jacket, sneakers etc. Then, until next August, she's on her own clothing wise. She'll get to enjoy the fact that her parents can afford her things, without becoming snobby about it and thinking "mommy will always provide". Encourage her to save up her allowance/christmas money if she wants anything in the intermim.
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 8:08 PM
Linked below is a nearly identical thread with over 60 responses.
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 10:22 PM
OP - I'm so bummed! I have a 4 year old - to think she may want to start shaving in just a few years really bums me out. I was in 6th grade before it even occurred to me and that only happened when I noticed my best friend had shaved.
It is an interesting question, though, b/c it really makes you think. Even though I think 'no way!' I wonder - is it really a big deal? Just b/c I was in 6th grade before I did it, does that mean she has to wait that long? At least with the clothes, shoes, etc., there is the issue of money, whether you can afford it or not. Just b/c one can afford it doesn't mean there's no reason to say 'no.' I just don't know! I don't want her growing up too fast either - to me it goes along with the question of is it okay for girls to wear thongs?! There's nothing inherently wrong with them (besides being insanely uncomfortable, IMO!), but there's no WAY I'd let me elementary or even middle school child wear them.
And 10:22 - I like this thread better! And there's a big difference between 8 and 11.
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 10:59 PM
thank you 10:59, I did actually look at that other thread and I think my situation is much different. I think I would even be okay with her shaving at 10-11 but barely 9 is something else. For now, I have told her that its getting cold and she is going to be wearing pants anyway, so we can talk about the issue again in the spring/summer of next year. She seems to understand and be okay with this. If it continues to be an issue I think I will get her a dipilatory. It seems easier and less risk of hurting herself.
Monday, October 22, 2007, 9:15 AM
I'm now 21 and haha I didn't do any sort of hair removal until maybe I was 15 or 16? I would go to PE with shorts and had hairy legs and hoped no one noticed. I guess since my mom doesn't shave (she doesn't need to) I didn't ask about or know about hair removal even tho many girls in my middle school class started to shave. I personally think 9 years old is too you. Also, I didn't fit in, didn't have the cool clothes, the cool hairstyle, etc., was definitely made fun of for all sorts of things but in a way I think it was a blessing b/c it's made me more motivated to get some where in my life and have compassion for others. Now I see girls who fit in in middle/high school who are pregnant and many of the others are yes in college but seem more interested in partying and impressing others than their careers.
Monday, October 22, 2007, 11:12 AM
Girls are in a hurry to grow up. I remember when I was around 9 or 10 or so, I wanted to shave my legs, I wanted to wear a bra, all of that! But for quite awhile, I was too embarassed to ask. And, really didn't need either. Just be happy that your little girl is open enough to come to you, and be sure that you don't make her feel bad about asking. That way, she'll know that she can come to you about other things in the future.
Monday, October 22, 2007, 1:42 PM
I started to shave me legs when I was 10 yrs old. I think it's not really a big deal. Let her shave her legs.
Monday, October 22, 2007, 2:01 PM
The only 'issue' being discussed here is age - not whether hair removal is good or bad. I wax my brows, but it doesn't mean I'm going to let my 2nd grader do the same. Nor am I going to let her color her hair like me, wear makeup, or put on fake nails. There's nothing wrong with any of those things, but I don't feel the need to rush young girls into more mature grooming habits.
Monday, October 22, 2007, 11:47 PM
I teach 9 and 10 year olds. I think they are too young to shave. They are still children. They should be playing, trying new sports, and learning. Shaving is a womanly thing, something for a young girl going through puberty maybe, 11-12. Teach your daughter to love her body the way it is, to stand up to peer pressure and how to respond to teasing.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 1:08 AM
This is a little off-topic, but I noticed a bunch of suggestions to use Veet. I used the veet depilatory cream once and had a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE reaction!!! It was just aweful and lasted for months. I went online after that and found that a lot of people had the same reaction. So whatever you decide, I would just suggest that you be careful if you decide to use a depliatory cream.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 6:37 PM
Yes, I had the same reaction with Veet. It is actually recommended you do a patch test.. but since I am generally impatient... I do not follow instructions hehe
Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 6:39 PM
We expect that
We are modern parents and shave ourselves, we also expect from our children that they are clean and well groomed and that they remove all body hair, not just legs, but underarms and pubic hair.
And that from the first hair on. Everyone is a little different, some start early, some have dark hair and strong, and some lighter blond. For children, the peer-pressure on the most important and strongest. I agree to remove hair from the beginning!
Our daughter, now 16, has started to shave with 11 and waxes today, our son, 14, shaves since last year.
What other families are like us?
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 5:28 AM
Syvie - did I read you correctly?
You expect your children to remove all body hair, including their pubic hair?
I won't make any further comment until I'm sure that I did or didn't misunderstand you.
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 6:35 AM
Kids can be awful to each other and being made fun or picked on for something like that can be pretty traumatizing. I still remember when I realized everyone else was shaving and I hadnt started yet. I say let her do it.
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 11:18 AM
It's a slippery slope. Kids can be cruel about virtually anything - we can't shield kids from all kid cruelty. Kids can call you out if you don't wear the right clothes, for some physical flaw, for being the 'only one' who doesn't drink, do drugs, or have sex...where does it end? Shaving is relatively harmless, but it's another step toward being more grown up than they actually are at 8 and 9 years old. Just b/c the other kids are doing it, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best choice for a child and be the litmus test for parental decision making.
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 11:45 AM
I read back through that other thread, and I think it DOES speak to this one. While some people value hair removal for "hygiene" (it's not any more hygenic than simply washing regularly) or for the sake of conformity in the U.S., others clearly regard it as raising one's sexual capital.
So when a parent asks, "Is my daughter too young for this," it is really a question about whether this inappropriately sexualizes a young girl.
IMO, younger and younger children _are_ inappropriately sexualized, and are encouraged in this by the marketing of teen-queen entertainers to kids with single-digit ages. Yes, when I was 13 (in 1980) there was peer pressure to shave. Among 9-year-olds it NEVER came up as a subject, and there were plenty of "hairy" girls.
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 11:46 AM
I have 2 daughters. The older started shaving at 11, right when 6th grade started because the hair started to get dark and other girls were doing it. (Same exact story with me, way back when.) My 9 year old was asking me to shave for a while, but the hair is all blonde, so I've said no. She accepts that she has to wait until the hair darkens like her sister. However, if she was getting teased, I probably would have handled it differently. Girls are so so nasty to each other at that age (and beyond) and I don't think they have the maturity or life experience to "deal with it". If she has to wear skirts as part of a uniform and kids are teasing her about her hairy legs, I think you should let her remove the hair safely.
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 11:50 AM
Shaving is part of sexualizing your daughter - don't any of you remember the boys rubbing your legs to see if they were smooth or not, at that age? this, along with wearing thongs, midriff exposing shirts, short shorts, getting bellies pierced, wearing makeup, coloring hair, all add up to sexualization. Individually each seems somewhat innocuous. When you make your decision about what to allow your daughter to do and when, at least do it with eyes open. And don't forget - each step forward you can't take back.
To the posters who are concerned about the teasing, do you recommend we make over our daughters in any way to avoid teasing? Think where that could lead to. Teasing is very hard but shouldn't be remedied by conformance - don't teach your daughter that lesson or you will regret it when they are older.
Sunday, February 22, 2009, 5:41 PM
5:41...sigh...and just when I thought I was all alone on this one :) Couldn't agree more.
Sunday, February 22, 2009, 6:01 PM
I have a vivid memory of sitting on the dock with a friend the summer I was 12. It was very embarrassing when he asked why I didn't shave my legs like his sisters did. I have dark hair, and I promptly went home and shaved using my dad's scary double edged razor and carved a couple of bad spots on my ankles - I have the scars to this day. I thought for years it would have been nice to have a mom to show me how to do it safely before feeling the peer pressure to try it by myself. But as pp's have noted, this opens up a can of worms. When raising my children I picked my fights, and let friends pick some of my kid's fights. Like when my 12 year old daughter wanted to wear make up and the neighbor was encouraging her and I was resisting. I can still remember the whole flock of young girls with blue eyeshadow - too funny to look back on those pictures now and see the girls all cringe. But the point is that my daughter felt like she belonged at a time in her life when peers are everything. Good or bad, that's the way it seems to be. Now I'm just rambling...what I'm trying to say is, really talk to your child and make sure you are listening. Then try hard to make her understand your values and what is important to you. Maybe this is a good time for her to recognize you aren't going to let her jump off the bridge just because everyone else is doing it. But maybe it's a good time to recognize her individual needs. You are her mom, you are the one close enough to make this decision - follow your heart. If she sees you have an honest conviction and aren't just saying no without reason, maybe you will luck out and she will honour your wishes. lol, wait until she wants the tatoo...and does she have a phone yet? Each generation gets tougher....
Sunday, February 22, 2009, 6:43 PM
I'm a mom of daughters, so I understand the need to protect them and have them fit in. But maybe I'm hard hearted, because I tend to fall on the "whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger" philosophy. Yes, teasing is hurtful and cruel, but every mother should hope that they've raised their daughter to be confident and strong minded enough to withstand what is going to be a consistent part of life. People can be mean and that's that. My best friend told a boy that I liked when we were 15 that she thought I had fat legs (and I weighed 95 lbs---she was jealous but I digress). I cried about it all night and figured she was my friend, so it must have been true. My mom handled it perfectly...she stood me in the mirror and told me I was beautiful and strong and had a better heart than someone like that "friend". What would it have done if she had told me "Well, maybe you should work out and trim your legs down?" That would have devastated me to think that in some way, my mom agreed with her!!! Of course, that comment bugged me for years, but looking back I'm glad I didn't buy into that person's anger and cruelty, which I think is what we allow our daughters to do when we allow things so they won't be teased. Instead of allowing her to shave and avoid the teasing, why not encourage her to stand up to these girls and tell them to shut their pieholes? Nothing gives a bully more power than thinking they've beaten you. And always consider the message you're sending....fix what the bully is picking on and it will be all better. Do you want that same mentality when those same girls in a few short years are needling her about sex, alcohol, or drugs?
Monday, February 23, 2009, 2:52 PM
2:52 ...I'm so glad to hear there are other parents with a similar mindset! We are out there...I'm encouraged :)
Monday, February 23, 2009, 3:23 PM
Thanks pp! I see the culture of mean girls every day in my classroom and as a parent, I have a choice. I can encourage her to be a joiner and be like them, or I can encourage her to be a leader of her own for all the right reasons. My child doesn't need $150 Nikes or clothes from AE or Aero to be liked, and if the day comes that she wants those things, well there's always a bathroom in the house that needs cleaning. Here's the brush, start earning.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 10:05 AM
10:05am - amen sister! Can we hang out?! I feel so alone sometimes with my 'old school' ways! lol.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 11:02 AM
6:43 here to 2:52 - Well said! I applaud your strength; you have lucky girls.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 11:09 AM
I just read an earlier post where someone suggested this 8 almost 9 year old girl WAX her legs. I can almost guarantee that if an 8 year old gets waxed, she'll choose the hairy legs over it next time. I'm a grown woman and waxing is at the least, very uncomfortable. Can you imagine what a child would think? YIKES.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 11:28 AM
im 12 and i currently go to cleeve school year 8 and i can tell you that i ahve black hair and today i shaved for the first time just 5 mins ago.my mostache was very noticeable and it make me feel well, not able to fufil my full potntial so i tryed stealing my brothers electric shaver (he is 22) and i found it very hard and painful so if your child thinks they need to shave then teach them and help them.EPICIALLY IF U THINK THEY NEED TO OR THEY HAVE BLACK HAIR
Monday, March 29, 2010, 6:40 PM
WHAT SHOULD I DO
i have a 10 year old daughter the back of her legs have no hair at all an her thighs have blonde hair but from the knee down its like a dark brown jungle i want to use nair but is it good for her? I dont know if nair is ok for ages 8 to 12 but my daughter will never wear skirts or shorts that i get her SHOULD I USE NAIR???????!!!!!!!!!
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