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Would you allow your 11 year old daughter to shave her legs (or any other hair removal system?)?

(46 Posts)
Wills Wed 15-Jun-11 21:18:50

My 11 year old daughter has very dark hairs on her arms and legs. Whilst I knew that eventually this would cause her issue I never in a million years thought it would happen before she'd even left Junior school. She wont wear shorts and religiously dresses in long trousers EVERY day and today I finally got her to admit why. It appears that the darkness of her leg hairs is causing other children to laugh at her. She burst into tears and begged me to let her shave her legs. I'm really horrified and don't know what to do. I'm really not happy with her shaving her legs or any other type of hair removal because I think this will only make the situation worse, equally however I think that her not being happy to wear shorts for the next 7 years is acceptable either. Have you had this issue and if so what did you do? For the record I don't really suffer from dark hair on my legs - but my husband is rather ermmmm hairy and very olive skinned as is she (leading to an amazing tan which she will no doubt love later on in life!).

onepieceofcremeegg Wed 15-Jun-11 21:25:12

I remember being slightly older than this, 12/13 I think and hating hair under my arms in particular.
realistically you won't be able to control her for the next 7 years.
She will shortly be in secondary school? realistically most/some of her friends will be removing hair within a year or two.
Personally I would be pleased that she had felt able to confide in me. I would discuss suitable hair removal options and help/support her.
Imo shaving/other types of hair removal doesn't make the situation worse. Sure it grows back, and will be a bit stubbly, but that doesn't mean it is "worse"
It's possibly irrelevant that you don't have excess leg hair; just because you don't doesn't mean that her dark hair shouldn't be an issue for her.

colditz Wed 15-Jun-11 21:28:51

let her shave her legs. It will make no difference to the situation other than removing something that is embarrassing her.

OpusProSerenus Wed 15-Jun-11 21:30:45

Despite being quite fair my DD and all her friends began obsessing over body hair in Year 6. Some were allowed to shave, etc which put even more pressure on the others.

Now they are all at uni and still obsess and depilate constantly (and in areas we would never have dreamed of!) It seems to be a big thing nowadays

FreakoidOrganisoid Wed 15-Jun-11 21:31:31

Yes I would.

My mum didn't let me and I was horribly bullied for how hairy I was and it affects my body confidence even now.

nailak Wed 15-Jun-11 21:35:04

i was 11 when i started shavin, had to use my dads razor and do it secretly, only one day when wwe were shoppin and tryin on clothes my mum noticed.

so much easier if you just take her to et waxed.

girliefriend Wed 15-Jun-11 21:35:30

If it is making her miserable then yes I would <although would secretly feel really sad that my dd was growing up so fast sad >

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 15-Jun-11 21:36:32

Yes. My 11 year old daughter has always been very hairy and has been asking for months when she could shave her arms and legs. Last week, I let her shave her legs with my Ladyshave because she is going on camp next week and I daresay in close proximity to other girls, she will feel happier in herself, not having to be self-conscious about her hairy legs. I drew the line at her arms though - I don't see hairy arms as unattractive on a woman so don't see the need to shave them, but if she wants to later in life, I guess that is her decision.

The way I look at it: at her age, I had hairy legs and probably wasn't even aware of them. But dd is aware of her hairiness and wants to shave, so why not let her get on with it? I wouldn't let her use a razor blade or get them waxed though.

LadyPeterWimsey Wed 15-Jun-11 21:39:28

It's a shock when it happens earlier than you expected - to both of you. For me the issue is not hair itself but how to handle a daughter becoming a woman. But she will get rid of the hair one day very soon, and I wouldn't make that a big issue between you. I remember being horribly embarrassed by teasing at school when my mother would not let me shave - all it said to me was that she didn't want me to grow up; but my body was growing up on its own - just not to her timetable.

mrsfollowill Wed 15-Jun-11 21:39:50

Poor DD - I was the same at her age! I nicked my Dad's razor and shaved my leg/underarms myself. Made quite a mess of the first time too. It also made a huge mess of Dad's face when he shaved using the same razor! At that age I found it very embarrassing blush. Please help her. I moved onto hair removal cream pretty quickly and got good results (legs not underarms). Waxing is probably the best way to go nowadays. Hope you get this sorted and she feels better about things soon.

FairyArmadillo Wed 15-Jun-11 21:40:03

Please let her shave her legs. I had dark hair and hairy legs and my mother wouldn't allow me to shave until I was 14. It's such a self conscious age, especially for girls. I was very aware of my hairy legs and was mortified when other people noticed.

Wills Wed 15-Jun-11 21:41:24

OK, so the general consensus is go for it. The reason my not being dark haired was purely to highlight this wasn't an issue I had to go through and therefore really don't have the experience to fall back on. BUT I agree that she's off to senior school soon and the situation will only get worse.

Rather than shave/wax is there not a hair lightening process? DD1 is NOT good with pain (i.e. waxing) and nor is she very careful and I could foresee lots of blood if let loose with a razor.

Polgara2 Wed 15-Jun-11 21:42:08

Yes my dd2 is in y6 and has just this last month shaved her legs for the first time. She is dark and had very noticably hairy legs. She had been getting teased by the boys in her class quite a bit sad so I let showed her how to use a ladyshave type of thing. The sheer joy and relief on her face when she saw her hair free legs made any misgivings i had go away!

Polgara2 Wed 15-Jun-11 21:42:55

Sorry x posted but no blood with a battery razor here!

expatinscotland Wed 15-Jun-11 21:43:24

Let her do it! Get her an electric shaver or take her to get waxed.

I have olive skin and am very hairy and it's really hard for fair people with fair hair or not much body hair to understand.

Wills Wed 15-Jun-11 21:43:43

LadyPeterw - wow, what an eloquant way of putting it. My fourth child (dd3) is only 18months but looks to be going the same way and I hope it'll all be old hat by the time she gets there.

expatinscotland Wed 15-Jun-11 21:44:51

No, there's no lightening system for large areas of the body that's really going to work if you have a lot of dark hair.

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 15-Jun-11 21:45:10

Assuming you don't have a ladyshave, does your dh/p have an electric shaver? I used to use my dad's (unbeknownst to him) and then dh's (until he bought me my ladyshave!) No risk of cutting, no pain, pretty effective on legs anyway (I don't personally find mine works well underarms though it is supposed to).

diggingintheribs Wed 15-Jun-11 21:47:43

Waxing definitely

I was in exactly your daughters position and my Mum insisted on waxing - it made such a difference - I now have huge bald patches on my legs (ok - still not attractive but a hell of a lot better than monkey legs!!) and the hairs are definitely finer.

Also, it stopped hurting after very few goes. Whenever I go for a waxed they are always amazed that i don't even flinch!!

jennylindinha Wed 15-Jun-11 21:48:39

Ahhh, poor thing! DSD is 12 and she is really hairy. bless her. Last summer she had her legs waxed (she had spoken to us and her mum about it and her mum took her to a salon to get it done). She was really pleased with the results even though it was a bit painful. I think waxing is better than shaving as it doesn't grow back stubbly or as quickly. She's had it done a couple of times but it really isn't that quick to grow back and she's not too bothered except in summer.

Jaspants Wed 15-Jun-11 21:52:52

Yes let her. I'm pale with really dark thick body hair, it is horrible. DD is only 7 but already has noticable dark hair on her legs, so I can well imagine having to go through this soon.

chocolateyclur Wed 15-Jun-11 21:56:21

A hundred times yes.

At 12 I BEGGED my mum to let me and she refused. I got bullied to the point where I thought I had no choice, nicked her razor, and having no understanding of shaving dry shaved with a very, very old blade. The rash and sores I got were awful.

HSMM Wed 15-Jun-11 22:02:54

Several of my DD's friends were shaving in yr6. She has very fine fair hair, but I caught her experimenting with my shaver after PE one day on yr7, so I talked to her about different hair removal methods and what she wanted to try. I also advised her about not shaving between her eyebrows, which she denied, while peering out from the stubble grin. She knows where the tweezers are now and sometimes the rest of her eyebrows look a bit odd, so she is obviously doing a general thinning out attempt. (NB: legs have been done once this term)

exoticfruits Wed 15-Jun-11 22:05:03

I would go with it-if you don't let her she will probably do it anyway and not very well.

hellymelly Wed 15-Jun-11 22:08:51

I remember lots of girls shaving at 11/12.I didn't bother until much older,around 15? Partly because I hit puberty really late and so didn't ahve much body hair at all.Didn't have any underarm hair until I was 17. I would feel a pang that she is so young,but to get an average some girls will be early some late. Hairy legs are fine but if she hates them then she should be able to shave,and maybe later if she gets hairier you could get her one of those permanent removal machines,cheaper than years of waxing and less painful.

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