Piggy Back on Leg Shaving

Updated on September 15, 2015
J.G. asks from Chicago, IL
13 answers

My 7 year old started asking me to shave her legs for over a year ago. She hates all the hair on them.

I didn't even think of shaving my legs until a girl in bible school mentioned it to me in 5th grade. I had it in my mind that I'd let my daughter shave her legs when she was in double digits, or at 9, but she again asked me yesterday to shave her legs.

Do i just let her? I hate for her to grow up so quickly.

What can I do next?

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

If she's old enough to be aware of it, she's old enough to be self conscious about it. This is one of those small easy things you can tackle that allows her to feel good about herself (letting her do it).
What's the big deal?

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

My answer falls back to... if it is something that is truly bothering her, she is asking for your permission and guidance about it, and she is self conscious about it... Do it.

I agree that 7 seems young and so does 8 but I believe if it is something that she is self conscious about ( you can tell be her behavior, dress, etc) then allow it.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I grew up with older sisters and saw early on that hair was bad. They plucked, waxed, shaved, .. so I asked my mom if I should get rid of mine too. My mom told me that when I had hair under my arms, she would get me all set up - that was a sign that it was time to think about it. Until then hair was totally normal, healthy and belonged on kids.

I think I was more confused about it than actually wanting it off - so it was the right response. It was kind of comforting.

If your daughter is serious, show her what's involved and how often, and let her feel your stubble and see if she can live with that. I remember once I started shaving I wondered why on earth I had wanted to.

Trust your mom instinct on this. I agree, I wouldn't want to either but you have to balance that with how much this bothers her.

Good luck :)

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K.F.

answers from Salinas on

I'm with TF in that it's important to determine why she wants to start shaving. If it's because she has lots of hair and is uncomfortable & feeling self conscious I'd help her learn to do it.

If she just wants to be "grown up" or act like a big girl then you need to talk to her about that. Find out what's driving her desire and make your decision based on that. Seven is young to start the routine (burden!) of shaving.

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D..

answers from Miami on

It's not about growing up. It's about doing what makes her feel better about herself.

My mother's grandmother never had to use deoderant. She never shaved her legs. My mom was 17 years old and her grandmother wouldn't let her shave her legs OR use deoderant. She hadn't done it, why should her granddaughter? Never mind that her leg hairs were long and dark and that she had great big stains under the arms of her dresses...

That's the same kind of thinking you're using here, deciding that when your daughter is in double digits or 9, THEN you would let her do it, when after all, you didn't until you were in 5th grade.

Your daughter isn't you.

Let her do it. Don't foist your own experience onto her.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

it does seem young. i didn't have enough hair to shave until i was in my tweens (or early teens?)
but if she's old enough to ask, she's old enough to start. i'd certainly have some discussions on societal norms and how we let them influence how we view our own bodies. it bugs me that we find hair on women so taboo. remember all the kerfuffle over poor old julia roberts and armpit hair?
and yet i shave mine.
so i'd discuss, and if she's still wanting it, i'd let her. it's not like preventing her from shaving will slow down how quickly she grows up.
khairete
S.

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C.W.

answers from Clarksville on

let her use NAIR.
I am also very self conscious because I am really blessed with excessive hair on my arms and legs. I use Nair and have for several years.
That way you won't have to worry about her cutting herself. That doesn't mean she is grown, just might feel better about herself.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

If it's bothering her it's not a big deal. If she did shave her legs would you even notice? If she just went and did it?

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't really see what shaving has to do with "growing up" unless a girl is specifically trying to look/act "older."
Is she sensitive/picky in other ways, like her clothing, how her food touches, etc? Because if that's the case it's probably more of a sensory thing.

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M.R.

answers from Washington DC on

Does she have heavy or dark hair that's really obvious? If your child does have really noticeable hair and she is truly self-conscious, yes, think about hair removal, but first see if this is really about the hair or about someone saying something unnecessary and putting it on her radar way too early.

Do you know if this is a topic among her friends? Does she do something like dance or swim team or soccer where her legs show and possibly someone there said something? I would want to know why she "hates all the hair" and why it is even on her radar at only seven.

It really shouldn't be a concern to her (barring real issues with lots of noticeable hair)--unless someone somewhere has said something, or she sees media that emphasize appearances or include ads about women's shaving. You might need to find out why she is bringing this up. Is it really about the hair she has or is it about her hearing or seeing something, or being talked to about it by other kids? If the latter -- stick to your guns on not shaving. She has no idea how much she'll hate the feel of stubble even worse, or how much work it is to keep it up. Of course if you tell her that she won't believe a word, but still, don't cave.

The "growing up too fast" aspect may have less to do with her actually needing to shave than with her being told things by other kids. Possibly she has friends with older siblings who now shave so the girls talk about it.

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G.S.

answers from New York on

I allowed my 11 year old to start shaving this past summer but that was because of the amount of hair she has. Unfortunately she takes after her father with the body hair (she's got the unibrow going too so we just started getting that waxed as well). It's all a matter of preference, but from what my older daughter told me, who didn't have to begin shaving until she was upwards around 13 or 14, my youngest daughter began confiding in her that the children at school were making fun of her. Best of luck to you.

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C.S.

answers from St. Louis on

As mentioned in the other post, my 9 year old has mentioned it too. My only problem is the upkeep and taking the time to take care of things. I suspect she will notice it and shave it some times and sometimes she wont.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I would let her if she were my daughter. What could it possibly hurt?

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