When to Start Shaving?

Updated on July 11, 2011
T.J. asks from Mount Laurel, NJ
15 answers

My daughter will be 12 in October. She has blond hair on her legs and because of her tan the hair seems to really show. When should she start shaving? Does she have to shave the top and bottom of the leg? What about under the arm?

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So What Happened?

Ladies-thanks for all the great advice - Last night before her shower I showed her how to shave under her arms -I had her stand in font of the mirror in the bathroom and I shaved one side and then I let her do the other She was so excited to see the difference - we are going to wai t on the legs - she asked for a little more time!

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answers from Baton Rouge on

The time for her to start shaving is when SHE decides she wants to. She doesn't HAVE to shave anywhere she doesn't want to.
If she isn't concerned about her body hair, don't bring it up.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I'd let her decide. If she's uncomfortable with her leg hair, let her shave it.
Take your cues from her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I let my daughter start shaving when she requested it which was around 11.

The main thing I thought about was.......if she notices and if she feels self conscious about it then it is time.

My daughter shaves her entire leg and more. It is a personal preference.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My oldest turned 13 in Feb & just started shaving last summer. I told her to just shave from her knees down for as long as she can get away w/it and her underarms still aren't too bad but she shaves them here and there. (I think more so to just shave them). I started her out w/the Veet shaving kit, the razor that wasn't really the razor & the hair removal foam but she has been doing pretty well w/a normal razor for a few months now. Good luck, the fun has just begun ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

if she wants to shave by all means let her i started shaving under my arms and my legs when i became embaressed by it and felt like i needed to,



answers from Bloomington on

If she's not worried about it, I wouldn't be. Really not the best age to encourage her to be self conscious.

If shaving is the desired outcome, I've actually taken to using battery powered electric shavers. It doesn't get all the hair, but it makes my legs look a lot less furry.

Shaving under her arms, if she's wearing tank tops all the time and has dark hair there. I'd encourage her to actually shave there (if she's worried about it). She's old enough to see people around her with shaved legs etc. and she's old enough to think she needs help in that department.



answers from New York on

My daughter matured early - she started shaving her legs around 8 years old. I helped her at first but now she's 11 and she's been doing it herself for some time now. She shaves her whole leg but I've only ever shaved from the knee down. She is honestly much more hairy than I am. she also shaves her underarms. i also get her lip waxed along with the space between her eyebrows. She has pretty dark hair in both places, although it's getting a little more fine as time goes on. I get her waxed at least 2X per moth and it costs about $15 each time - ugh!!!! let your daughter shave her legs and under arms.


answers from Boston on

I think this is a judgment call based on how much your daughter cares about the hair. Personally, I think underarm hair increases the odor problem - I realize that's not the same view in all cultures, but it's mine. On the legs, usually the hair is more noticeable on the lower leg. I don't think she has to shave all of her leg - isn't it more common to shave from just above the knee to the ankle?

Depending on your preferences, you could consider a depilatory-type cream that she puts on the legs and waits about 5 minutes, then removes in the shower with either a razor-like tool (with no blade) or a sponge with a rough edge. These last longer and there is no risk of razor nicks, but I think it takes longer and it requires some scrubbing to get the cream and the hair off. There are a lot of new razors too, and with a good moisturizing shave cream, a 12 year old who is patient and careful should be able to do a decent job. If she's going to do it, then you should teach her the techniques to avoid cuts.

I think it is most important to figure out what SHE wants. If she is self-conscious, all her friends are doing it, if she has other signs of body maturation (breasts, periods), and so on, then it's probably time. If she is oblivious and only you are noticing it, then I think she can wait.



answers from Philadelphia on

I would say let her shave the bottoms of her legs. I would not shave the tops if they do not look that hairy. I would also say wait under the arms unless it really shows. I would may be try some nair and see if it works before you shave. I started shaving my legs when i was eleven because I was on the swimteam.. Good luck


answers from St. Louis on

I think shes old enough. And a big yes to shaving under the arms if she has hair there.

I dont often shave my thighs, I never really did because there is no hair there for some reason. Maybe just have her shave the bottoms for now so it doesnt prompt more hair growth on her upper legs.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, T.:

Is she concerned about her hair?
If not, don't worry about it.

Just a thought.



answers from Denver on

Thanks for asking this question - I am in the same boat with my 12 year old. I plan to just have a conversation with her about it and take cues from her. Good luck to you (and me)!


answers from Norfolk on

Once you start, you kind of have to keep it up, and stubble can be really annoying (and shaving regularly becomes a pain in the neck chore).
Underarm and deodorant is one thing - the legs are a whole lot of area.
I use to like how the blond hairs were fairly invisible against a tan.
When she wants to get into it, then she'll be more willing to keep it up.
If she's not interested yet, let it go for awhile.
I didn't shave legs till I was 16, and we were all self-conscious about shaving a strip of skin off the ankles (this was before safety razors).



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter started being self-concious about her body hair at around this age, mainly because she has dark hair and is slightly hirsuite. I started her with an electric razor, since I felt there was a smaller chance of her nicking herself.

At 18, she's tired of shaving, and also has problems with getting ingrown follicles in her armpits and other places that become infected and painful. Her dermatologist recommended laser hair removal as a permanent solution, but it would be outrageously expensive. BUT, there are now a couple of FDA approved home laser hair removal products available. The cost is high ($200 - $500), but this is equivalent to the cost of having hair removed from only one problem area by the dermatologist. When I asked the dermatologist about these devices, she said she would obviously prefer it if my DD came to the office for treatment, but that the home devices do work -- they just might require a few extra treatments. You have to make sure you have the right skin type to use the device (it won't work for dark-skinned people).

If you're interested, you can check out triabeauty.com, http://www.silkn.com/, and https://www.my-no-no.com/. My daughter researched all three and decided to get the one from Tria Beauty since it appeared to have the best ratings for reliable hair removal and is also the most cost effective (it doesn't require purchasing replacement lights). The no-no hair product is more for dark-skinned people (it's a thermal device, rather than a laser device). Also, my daughter saved up to buy the product for herself.



answers from Philadelphia on

It's going to vary from girl to girl. I'd say for sure for the under arms as soon as it starts coming in as that will affect any odor. Less hair, less odor. The legs are different. I would say as long as it's not bothering her and she's not getting teased about it stay off shaving on the legs as long as possible, unless she's getting hair at the bikini area, which I've known a girl here and there who started early getting noticeable hair there and that is embarrassing. But once she starts it only gets thicker and becomes a pain, as you already know. I think thick blonde hair on the legs doesn't look half as bad a thick dark half on the legs. And she's young yet so stay it off as long as you can on the legs. Under arms, go for it!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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