Mum of daughters advice please!(37 Posts)
This isn't strictly an AIBU, but posting for traffic as I need some mum advice and although I may get flamed, I reckon at the same time I might get some useful and honest responses!
I am the mum of a (just turned 8 year old). Just to give you an idea of her colouring and not to drip feed (it's relevant, I think) she is medium skinned, light brown hair and tans easily (despite lots of sun cream before anyone gets side tracked and gives me grief about that!). She has always had quite hairy legs and the hair seems fine but is dark brown. I've never been particularly concerned about it as all children are a bit hairy and I figured her colouring just made it slightly more noticeable (only slightly). I've never mentioned it. She has however mentioned it a few times over the past year or so, made a couple of comments about her hairs. Never anything to suggest it bothered her, more of a body exploration thing, if you see what I mean. However this morning she asked me how she got rid of the hair on her legs as she didn't like them. I told her it was fine and perfectly normal but she was clearly bothered about them. My daughter is strong and independent for her age and knowing her as I do, would only mention something if it truly bothered her. She does a lot of sport and often has her legs out, plus with the weather, is wearing dresses and short socks a lot. I don't think there is any issue at school with comments or anything like that, so her asking about this because she's being bullied isn't a consideration at all. She isn't going through early puberty (we checked as she started growing hair down below around age 6/7 and had a few spots on her cheeks that the GP said was childhood acne but not puberty). I guess my question is, has anyone had to deal with this? I absolutely do not want her to start shaving and in an ideal world would prefer her to leave body hair removal alone until she was at least early teens. But I also want her to be body confident and if having hairy legs makes her feel self conscious then I would be prepared to help her do something about it. For reference my parents were rubbish about stuff and I was the last girl to be allowed to get her ears pierced, wear a bra (despite being a very early developer) shave my legs (had to do it in secret) so I'm fully aware of how it feels to be self conscious and how it negatively it can impact on your confidence long term. I like to minimise the chances of my daughter ever feeling like that if possible (I know it'll happen as she gets older, but I want to lessen the impact IYSWIM). Has anyone got any suggestions? My considerations (and they're only considerations at this time) would be hair removal cream (which brand, how quickly does it grow back? What would regrowth be like), possibly waxing (according to internet waxing is big in USA for 8 year olds and above??!!) but how much would that hurt (I have it now and then but I have crazy high pain threshold so doesn't bother me), or possibly sugaring / those sandpapery type mitts that rub hair off? Because of my own self esteem / confidence, I've always been careful to promote a healthy body image to her and that she (and only she) choses what to do with own body (if you like leg/armpit hair then go for it!!! Personal choice is best!). Has anyway got any insight / experience/ suggestions please? Please don't flame me for considering this, I was slightly horrified about her being so young, but at the end of the day, her being confident in herself outweighs anything.
My girls are a bit older and blonde like me, but we are all very hairy. (Weird, right?) We have been sugaring and love it. You can look up recipes on YouTube. I wouldn’t let her make the mixture herself as it’s far too hot initially, but it’s literally sugar, lemon juice and water. Cheap, everywhere and easy! Hair is pulled off with the direction of the hair, not against it, like waxing and there is less pain and less irritation!!!
Sugaring sounds like a good idea. I might try it for myself.
You sound like are totally approaching it the right way, OP. We do have to strike the balance between 'happy the way you are' and taking seriously image things that may be making them happy and clearly you are supporting her self esteem and to be herself, but not trying to brush off her concerns.
I think @justilou1 's idea above sounds good, keeping it fun and not extreme. I had a 9yo DD and in your situation I think I would go with that kind of approach.
My daughters are both light haired, but extremely hirsute, and both had asked to shave their legs and arms by 8yo. I got them each an electric shaver to try out and it was enough to make the hair much less noticeable without hurting themselves.
Neither were concerned about their underarms, though. It's like seeing Bob Ross every time one of them raises an arm 😁
Agree with Justilou - sugaring works well - as does ‘Veet’ the hair removing cream. It’s easy, quick and pain free..,very effective too.
One tip - do it over the weekend just so you have plenty of time and don’t rush it.
Hope she enjoys her lovely smooth legs
Think my dd1 started borrowing my razor around 8/9 for her legs. I got her a lady shave.
My dd was very hairy at a young age and I taught her how to shave her legs at 7 or 8. I had to help the first dozen times, but she was fine on her own after that. I come from a long line of hairy women and I started shaving around 9 or 10. PLEASE do not have your dd waxing or anything else painful at that age. Also, skin can be very delicate at that age so probably not a great idea to do a hair removal cream...if you do make sure to test it carefully first. Then when dd was 12 I paid for her to have lasering done on her legs.
wow, 8 yr old seems very young, I know i was about 14/15 before i even thought about anything like that, just saying because I'm surprised.
My daughter sounds exactly like yours OP, very dark leg hair.
We've had on and off issues with this over the years, she's the only girl in her class who's leg hair stands out so much and there have been comments I've done all I can to support her with body positivity, I even stopped shaving my own legs so as not to seem a hypocrite! This didn't really have the desired effect though as my leg hair is very thin and not really noticeable!
It all reached a head last week when it was hot and she was point blank refusing to wear shorts but wouldn't say why and eventually she opened up about how self conscious it is making her to be the only girl she knows with such visible, dark leg hair.
So I helped her to shave her legs and underarms that day and she's so happy about it! She's ten and a half. I waited as long as I could with it I think. I hated the thought of her being so self conscious. We had a long chat about how body hair is natural and there's nothing wrong with having it grow out but if it's really affecting how she feels there's nothing wrong with removing it either. She watched some videos from Haarnum Kaur (the lady with a beard) about body positivity and gets it, but I think it's a bit much to expect a ten year old to make a stand and just be brave around other children over this sort of thing. It's the other kids and their stupid comments that is the problem.
So don't feel bad if you decide to do hair removal, if it makes her feel more confident then why not.
My kid is 13 and shaves her legs. She always had lots of hair as well.
My opinion (FWIW) is that when to start shaving is up to the individual. I probably started shaving a little later than my kid did, but that's when she wanted to start.
If I was your DD's mum, I would remove the hair too. I think it's unusual to reach early teens and not to remove hair - I bet there will be other girls doing the same.
My dd had to start plucking her eyebrows at 9. I think it's unusual to reach early teens and not to remove hair and if it's child-led then it's not too early imo.
One of my DD's has dark hair, was into her teens before it was too much of an issue, but once she was conscious about it we bought her a decent electric razor. which she got on well with.
She did try Veet, but it irritated her and caused what looked like a slight burn on her legs so didn't try again. She is sensitive to a lot of products though.
She's late teens now and has gone onto wet shaving as gets a closer shave.
I do think that girls these days have got so much pressure to look a certain way, anything we can do as parents to feel a bit more body confident has got to be a good thing.
I think I would let her shave them
why prolong the inevitable
I remember being 11 and refusing to wear a dress because of my leg hair. Started shaving that day.
If it’s upsetting her I don’t see any harm in trying a few different hair removal methods (obviously one at a time!)
My DDs got my dark skin & hair and are hairier than me At the first sign of feeling uncomfortable about it, I talked to them and we agreed what's best to use. The eldest was 10-11 and she was upset about her upper lip hair, so I took her to a beautician and sorted it. They shaved, used Veet, gone to the beautician...whatever they felt was comfortable at that particular moment
I wasn't allowed to do it when I wanted and I suffered because of it, so I wouldn't have left them go through same for something so easy to sort out
I would remove for her. Either hair removal cream but ideally maybe those buffing pads. When she's older she can deal with the more "painful" but longer lasting options.
I was also the last to be allowed to do things so would have been grateful to have a mum who understood
I think an electric shaver seems the best option, no chemicals, easy to use and pain free. I don't think she will be too bothered if her legs are not completely smooth at her age, just that they don't look hairy. Good luck.
You're all fantastic! Thank you! I thought Id get shot downwith her being so young! I've called a few beauticians to see what they think but they won't even consider waxing or lasering until she's 16/18. I'm going to do a little test patch with veet sensitive and consider the sugaring! She was soooo pleased when I picked her up from school and told her!
My dd's are 14 and 13, one is pale and blonde and veets her legs and underarms (when she can be bothered) other dd is more darker skinned (from her father I think) and is hairier which is more noticeable. I think she has used veet just once.
You sound like a lovely mum.
I let my dd use hair removal cream at around this age - to be honest it only needed once and then she was happy for ages. It didn’t grow back that quick. I just explained that its a womans choice whether she keeps or removes it and talked her through the methods. She used cream again when older, then moved onto razors.
I first used veet on my DD just before she turned 9. Shes 11 now and shaves them when she wants to. She also shaves her armpit. My mum never let me get rid of my dark leg hair until I was 15 and I hated her for it
When my youngest had very fine but dark leg hairs I got her these, worked a treat. Like sandpaper but very fine - no way she could hurt herself and she could use unsupervised.
I have sensitive skin and it is the only thing that doesn't irritate.
My DD has dark hair and her legs were quite hairy, at about the age of 9/10 she became quite self conscious.
I let her use 'nair' hair removal cream (she only did it very infrequently as the hairs didn't grow back very rapidly. When she was about 12 she started using a razor.
She really appreciated my support, she has a friend with the same problem but her mum refused to let her tackle it (they are 14 now and still has thick dark hairy legs) this girl is miserable and self conscious and my DD often comments that's how she would've felt if I hadn't allowed her.
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