29 answers

Shaving Legs/ Plucking Eyebrows

I have an 11 year old daughter who wants to pluck her eyebrows and i think need to shave her legs

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If she is very hairy, then yes, she should shave her legs. As for the eyebrows... that's a tough one. Since it's not terribly expensive to wax eyebrows, why not take her to a good brow person and have them shaped? And then she can pluck them as needed from there. I'd just warn her on the dangers of over-plucking - better to go a little more toward the Brooke Shields look than to have to draw on her eyebrows, right?!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter Nairs her legs...ITs a kit wiht a cool sponge-type things that just rubs the hair off. She only has to maintain her legs every week or so. As far as her eyebrows, I actually use a shaping razor. They come 3 - 5 ina pack and have along handles. She doenst feel it at all, which is a plus for her! We just shape and trim as needed. She is 11 but started a few months ago, as it was apparent it was time! Good luck...

Dear C.,

I don't know when the right age to pluck eyebrows or shave legs really is, but I have a 14 year old that has done neither of those things.

She does want to wear make up. However, she doesn't take care of her acne on her face on a daily basis, and until she does, she's not wearing any make up except lip gloss.

S.

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Hi C.

I don't think it's such a big deal about her shaving her legs BUT I don't think women in general should pluck their brows too much (especially when younger) since there is a chance they may not grow back.. If she has a unibrow, then perhaps plucking those hairs in the middle, but otherwise, I wouldn't let her do it too much. As women get older, I think really thin (over-plucked) brows make a person look older...not to mention as your daughter gets older her taste may change, she may want think brows now, but later on... she may want them a little fuller and it could turn out she can't because she over-plucked when young... hold off if you can... that's my advice...... and to this day. my sister who overplucked , well let's just say it ain't a pretty sight...

3 moms found this helpful

I think it's okay to let her get started. However, I would also impress on her the maintenance required on a daily basis. It's not as glamorous as she thinks:) I teach 5th grade and image is very important at this age. She may be getting pressure from friends or even boys. It's embarrassing for the girls to be the only one with hairy legs and eybrows. If she's asking...there's a reason.

1 mom found this helpful

If she is very hairy, then yes, she should shave her legs. As for the eyebrows... that's a tough one. Since it's not terribly expensive to wax eyebrows, why not take her to a good brow person and have them shaped? And then she can pluck them as needed from there. I'd just warn her on the dangers of over-plucking - better to go a little more toward the Brooke Shields look than to have to draw on her eyebrows, right?!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C., I also have an 11 y/o daughter that just recently started to shave her legs. So far, she's done it like 3 times when she spends the week with me. I bought her Veet and it comes with a little thing that has the same shape of a razor but its plastic. Up to now she likes shaving her legs. I kept putting it off to let her do it cause I also thought she was too young but I asked the moms on this site and got some really good feedback. Like there are other bigger battles to argue over than that of shaving legs and that I should be glad she is asking for permission and not doing it behind my back, etc. About her eyebrows, if they are really hairy then you should take her to a professional unless you know how to do it then you can do it yourself. But if she's getting teased about her eyebrows then yes definitely go for it. Just be glad she is asking for your permission and not doing it behind your back. Well, good luck on this one of many adventures with your girl. I had fun showing my girl how to shave. Take care.

1 mom found this helpful

The way I see it is this... If your seeing her legs and she is quite hairy then you may want to have her shave her legs. (With supervision and guidance from you) Especially if she is truly aware of her body in that way. Is her hair dark or light? That maybe your next question to ask yourself. As for her eye brows, unless she has a uni brow then I would have her wait at least until she is 15. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

This is so hard! She's still your baby!

At her age, my mom wouldn't let me shave my legs either, and I was supposed to wait until I was 15, too :O) After becoming a parent, it really does sound like the a good age for it, BUT..... it's not. Girls bodies are developing at this age, and that includes getting hairy legs.

I would teach her how to shave them properly :o) You want her to keep coming to you first, so after further-thought, let her :O)

At her age, I went behind my mom's back and shaved my legs. My mom was moritifed! So was I! I had never done anything without my mom knowing before. The weather is turning and it's almost time for shorts, so it's on her mind more than ever.

Now the eyebrows..................for whatever reason, I feel TOTALLY against the eyebrow plucking. I also have brows that need constant "attention" since her age, but it's just a whole different responsibility, and it's on her face, so it will need constant attention!

I think 15 is a good age for plucking :O) That's when make up starts, and it all goes together.

You will be a wonderful mom if you say "yes" to shaving her legs :O)

~N.

Hi C.,
I think it's totally appropriate to let her shave her legs now. In fact, I'm just about to do a little lesson on body care and self esteem to the 10-12 year old girls at our church. I started shaving my own legs (without permission...oh boy was that earth shattering for my mom! But I think that's a good time to start. Girls can really get hairy legs very early on, and it affects their self-esteem if they see themselves as almost neanderthol looking compared to other girls. I'm with the other ladies on the eyebrow plucking. Would you believe I'm 40 now and just started plucking my eyebrows a couple of years ago. I just never felt the need. BUT as gravity has taken it's toll, my eyebrows began to look like they were on my eyelids and it was time to do something! You might just want to make sure she understands once she starts doing these things, she'll never be able to stop for the rest of her life. I think eyebrow plucking should be reserved for unibrows (which are a real blow to their self image). There's no reason to push them into adulthood any faster than you absolutely have to. Let them be girls as long as you can. It's time you'll never get back. God bless!

Dear C.,
I waited way too long with my oldest daughter. It took 3 times to get her shaved the first time because she was so hairy. Don't wait. Plucking, well once she tries it, she may decide to wait, since it hurts.
Stac

I think the right age is probably when it starts to become a problem, and it sounds like that's now. My parents were hippies so they banned leg and underarm shaving. I was so embarassed going to school hairy, and it really affected my self-esteem. Eleven years is such a sensitive time for developing confidence, I would let her start.

I have an 11 yr. old daughter as well. She hasn't asked about plucking, although she really needs too. But she has been asking for the past two years about shaving her legs. I said when she was 12 , then we would talk about it. On occasion she brings it up again, but I told her 12.

As for the plucking, I would wait. I'm sure at least one time of doing it she won't want to do it again. In my opinion unless you have a unibrow you don't really need to pluck a lot of people have shapely bushy eyebrows which look just fine.

Good Luck!

My daughter Nairs her legs...ITs a kit wiht a cool sponge-type things that just rubs the hair off. She only has to maintain her legs every week or so. As far as her eyebrows, I actually use a shaping razor. They come 3 - 5 ina pack and have along handles. She doenst feel it at all, which is a plus for her! We just shape and trim as needed. She is 11 but started a few months ago, as it was apparent it was time! Good luck...

I would shave her legs for her the first couple of times and show her the correct way to pluck. I would let her do it. You don't know if kids at school are teasing her. Both of my girls started shaving at 11. Plucking I let them when they started asking.

Dear C.,

I don't know when the right age to pluck eyebrows or shave legs really is, but I have a 14 year old that has done neither of those things.

She does want to wear make up. However, she doesn't take care of her acne on her face on a daily basis, and until she does, she's not wearing any make up except lip gloss.

S.

If her legs are really noticeable, then do something about it (other kids won't hold back on voicing their opinions). What we did with our daughter was start her off with waxing. The hair comes back slowly and silky (not spiky), and eventually it comes back sparser and sparser...so much better than weilding a razor at this age. Eyebrows? How about at least waiting for middle school? Best of luck.

Hi C.,

I have a friend who just went through this with her 12 year old. Her daughter asked about it and then did it without supervision. So, she took her to get a facial and have her eyebrows done professionally as a Mother/Daughter day out.

As for shaving her legs, I would get some good shave gel and show her how. The more instruction, the less there will be blood.

D.

I think once the legs get to looking monkey-ish it's time to shave or Nair them. Let her pluck her eyebrows if they look bad or if she only has 1 all the way across like I did at that age. :) If may hurt so much she'll not be so keen to do it again soon.
I went to a private school that required the girls to wear skirts - even for PE. SO, my mom let me start shaving at 11 because the baby fine hair had changed to thick dark hair and the armpuit hair had grown in - thanks to my dad's DNA! I think I grew up fairly normal - no drugs, tattoos or wierd piercings and I never joined a cult. ;)

I took my daughter to get her eyebrows waxed when she was 11. And I let her shave too. It's embarrassing to be the only one with hairy legs and a uni-brow. The waxing was minimal because she is young. She still has full brows but now they are cleaned up and she has two of them.

Ditto the other ladies.

Leg hair- depends on situation
Eyebrows- leave it alone... maybe a little in the middle, but remind her that fashions come and go and many times darker brows are "in". Don't just follow today's trends.

My mother-in-law had to have hers tattooed in because of the 60s thin brow look... it just doesn't look right. Sorry Mom. :-P

Personally, I consider it more "grooming" and I think you should let her do it. This is the age girls start to do this type of grooming, and if she is asking to pluck her eyebrows, then she may be feeling self-conscious about it. Worry when she starts wearing short skirts and tight shirts- I think that is where you should draw the line! Good luck!

I don't really think there's a right or wrong age. Everyone develops differently. My advise would be to let her shave her legs. I think that plucking her eyebrows could wait. If it were my daughter, as soon as that were something that made her feel self-conscience, I would let her. Good luck!

I know this will sound rediculous for an 11 year-old, but please hear me out. Take your daughter to a professional for her first eyebrow shaping. I needed to deal w/ eyebrows and shaving at a young age myself. Shaping eyebrows is too difficult for an 11 year-old. A pro can at least give her a shape to maintian. Another option is Anastasia eyebrow stencils (they have them at Nordtrom in SF, and I'm sure you can find them online). You can help her choose the right shape and then fill in the hairs that should stay with powder. Then she can more easily see which ones to pluck. With shaving, let her shave and show her how. Otherwise she might do what I did at her age -- sneak someone else's razor and cut herself by accident. I think that the right age for these things depends on how when a child starts getting lots of hair and whether it bothers her. No one seems to ask when a boy should start shaving. When he grows hair on his face he shaves. When a girl's legs get really hairy, she should be able to shave if she wants to. -- the opinion of a (formerly) hairy-legged, caterpiller-eyebrowed girl.

Dear C.,
I personally think 11 is too young for either of those things. That's just my opinion.
I was at a friend's house and she talked me into letting her shave my legs even though we both knew my mom was against it. I was 12 and before she could finish one leg I was already crying too much for her to shave anymore. I wasn't worried so much about getting in trouble, but I felt like I let my mom down by defying her. The other mom called my mom and told her I was upset and they would be bringing me home. My mom was really great about it though and after they left, she said, "Come on, silly, let's go in the bathroom and I'll help you. You can't go around with one shaved leg." My shaving days were over for a while, however, by my own choice. It just wasn't as thrilling as I'd somehow expected. That said, I'm blonde and not very hairy. I can go months without shaving my legs and you can't even tell. The shaving thing isn't really that big of a deal, but I wonder if your daughter wants to do it because of excessive hair or just because everyone else is doing it. I succumbed to peer pressure and regretted it.
As far as plucking, if your daughter is truly in need of having her brows "cleaned up" a bit, take her to a professional. Waxing requires less upkeep. By all means, put your foot down and forbid her from doing it herself. She is 11 and it breaks my heart when I see beautiful young girls who have destroyed their eyebrows. The younger you start removing the brow hairs, the less likely they will ever grow back. You can wear pants to cover your legs, but you can't go around with a bag on your head once you've destroyed your eyebrows.

My daughter started at 12 -- I wanted it to be 13 but since I don't shower with her I really couldn't stop her. I don't know when she started plucking her eyebrows, probably close to the same time. My main concern was that she didn't overpluck them, 'cause that can look cheesy.

Some battles are not worth having. Early shaving will not necessarily lead to early other things. Let her do it.

I allowed my daughter to pluck between her eyebrows but only enough to get rid of the unabrow look. And after much discussion we agreed to put off leg shaving until she started her period. But I beleive I let her do that sooner but only by a month or 2 as it turned out. It seemed better to me to spread out those rights of passage, but with the summer coming soon you might want to check out her under arms.

It shouldn't really have anything to do with age, it should be about whether it needs to be done. If her eyebrows need to be plucked, then they need to be plucked age has nothing to do with it. Same goes for her legs. If you are uncomfortable with her using a razor then use Veet or Nair. And the eyebrows maybe getting them waxed is the better way to go since it lasts longer and will give her the proper shape.

Hi C.,
It's interesting to me that all of the group here seems to be ok for the leg shaving... and yet what she really wants to do is pluck the eyebrows. Does she have the mono-brow? If so, definitely let her do that!

It might be fun to look at the movie stars from the "olden days", comparing the Greta Garbo look and the Brook Shields look. She can see that the ideas of beauty have shifted a lot through the years. Eyebrows frame the face and make such a big difference, having it done professionally for the first time would go a long way towards her having an idea of the balance that should be there. It's true about over-plucking, so she needs to know that as well.

I guess my final point is that you want to go with her on this journey of womanhood, and if you celebrate things together, and listen to what is important to her heart she will want you with her instead of hiding.

I was an early bloomer (started my period at 9, and was growing hair at about 10) so I can relate to this issue. My mom didn't want me to feel self concious, but was worried about the safety of a razor, so she let me Nair my legs for about a year and a half, until she felt better about me shaving. I felt that it was a fair compromise. As far as tweezing eyebrows, PLEASE do not let her start without some professional guidance. As a cosmetologist, I saw plenty of grown women who really messed up their brows by taking too much, or taking the wrong hair out. Please take her to a salon that does waxing/tweezing for the first couple times to show her what to do, and give her a guide to follow. Its really not that expensive, and definatly worth it if you want your little girl to keep looking like herself. Good luck.

Hi,
i just went thru this with my daughter who is now 13. She wanted to start shaving at 10,cause one of her friends was shaving, but the friend also had darker hair& alot more of it. Our daughter is blonde but I noticed at about 10 she REALLY got hairy. So we discussed it. I told her that IF she started to shave now she would need to EVERYDAY for the rest of her life. The same for plucking. I explained that once you start the hair will be a little darker & more of it. She did start to pluck her eyebrows. She said she was looking like a unabrow...LOL I didn't think so but it wasn't hard to let her. She did wait another year and a half before shaving her legs. Last summer when it was time to put on a bathing suit she said she didn't want to be called a gorilla, so I said "go ahead"....she told me just the other day that I was right & she wished she had tried to wait longer.Now she has to do it all the time!!
So be open with your daughter....tell her all those things she probably doesn't want to hear but need to be said, just be honest. Let her decide, it will be something she will have to deal with for the rest of her life, just like her period......dont be in too much of a hurry to become a young lady, it will happen even if you don;t want it to.....Good Luck

Show your daughter how to care for her body. Her body is individual to herself. Parents who put age limits on the maturity needs of the children are not considering their own bodies needs, but tend to think socially what should my child do. Forget social pressure or opinion. If your daughter has hair legs and armpits, show her how to shave safely, maybe do it with her, like a girls night together.
Girls lack confidence. They need supportive approval. Make it a great thing...shaving and personal body care. Celebrate her growing up. Ask your hair dresser to show her how to pluck if you don't know how.
MAke it great!

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