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Hairy Arms

(25 Posts)
Tasa Sun 01-Jun-03 22:39:10

My 7 year-old daughter has very hairy arms - dark hair which she absolutley hates and is being teased abiut at school. Can anyone give me advice here about any form of action I could take? I've tried telling her she could have far worse problems etc but she's so self-conscious about it that she won't take her cardigan off when she's at PE ot it's a hot day? Should I just shave them?

janh Sun 01-Jun-03 22:52:37

Nooo - don't shave them - then she'd get dark stubble!

Could you try that bleach for facial hair? I think it's quite gentle so shouldn't hurt her skin.

Ghosty Sun 01-Jun-03 23:08:36

Tasa ... please don't shave them ... it would make things ten times worse ....
I agree with janh ... the bleach for facial hair ... Should do the trick ...

Bossanova Sun 01-Jun-03 23:40:43

I don't know if you are considering waxing but I know that the woman who developed Nads originally did it for her young daughter who had the same problem as your daughter. It washes off with water as it is sugar based. It might be worth a try as it is less painful than normal waxing. I agree about not shaving. Hope you find a solution.

Britabroad Mon 02-Jun-03 06:36:28

Kids are cruel and love to find any tease that one takes to heart. If it was not her arms it would be something else. I am very hairy and have a daughter who at 5 is hairy too. Shaving is a diaster and makes things worse, the only thing that makes it better is a tan.NHS pay for holiday !!!
As for your daughter perhaps teach her some answers to the teases so hopefully they will get fed up as they have no effect.
Try " yeh you should see me on a full moon!"
I think some kids just love to tease, my friend a model who got an honours degree was teased at school.

I thnk children will get teased and we must help them have strategies to deal with it.

outofpractice Mon 02-Jun-03 10:14:24

Tasa, I don't know what race your daughter is, but it is a fact that different races have different types of hair and hair distribution. The hairless female ideal is just not achievable by all women, unless they waste vast amounts of their lives grooming themselves and feeling inadequate. Remember that if you start shaving or waxing this hair, the soft baby hair "laguno" will never return and it will grow back in a more irregular and conspicuous way. This is why I leave my own hairy arms. Your daughter will shaving or waxing her arms for the rest of her life if you start now. If you bleach it, you will be sending her a (wrong) message that her hairy arms are something that she has to change if she wants to be accepted. Have you tried talking to her about the hair which women have on their bodies, ie we all have hair, and don't necessarily have to shave all of it off, and that men still fancy us despite this hair? I have had a lot of strange conversations with my son, about why I wax my legs, but in the back of my mind is that I want him to understand and accept that real women do have hairy legs and that it is not a secret that naturally my legs, etc are hairy. I think that at the moment the fashion is for hairlessness more than it usually is. I keep seeing full body waxes advertised on, which seems so weird to me, unless you want to be a in a blue movie. Do you think her dad might talk to her and tell her how pretty he thinks she is, and that all women have a bit of body hair because we are mammals, and that as a man he knows that and accepts it?

Tasa Wed 04-Jun-03 14:26:34

Thanks for the advice. What is Nads? I've never heard of it. We're white so it's not because she's got dark skin, she's actually really pale skinned which makes these black hair stand out even more. I'll give the bleach a try.

eidsvold Wed 04-Jun-03 19:17:30

Nads is brilliant and bossanova is right. People rave about it in Australia and I did see something on some shopping channel here about it being introduced. The best thing it is all natural. The strips can be reused and so it takes ages to use one of the tubs. My sil swears by it...

Bleach would be too strong for her.

eidsvold Wed 04-Jun-03 19:21:00


Lollypop Wed 04-Jun-03 21:48:51

I use Jolen on my arms, I would do a test first though asw it tingles a bit. I got teased about the dark hair on my legs when I was at junior school so took one of my dad's old razors and had a go. It made a really bad mess of my legs. A little bit of bleach has to be better than that.

XAusted Wed 04-Jun-03 22:01:12

I would leave her arms alone until she's older. Concentrate on improving her self image instead. Also, speak to the staff at school about the teasing. They need to know and should act on it. I'm hairy too and dd (6) takes after me but I hope it will be a few years before we have to take action!

Britabroad Wed 04-Jun-03 23:44:06

Well said Xhausted.
Please leave her alone, you are giving her the message that she is "hairy" which is not good for her self image.
As I have said I am hairy but it has never been an issue for me, dont make it an issue for your daughter.

tigermoth Thu 05-Jun-03 07:41:00

Tasa, when I was your duaghter's age I began to hate my hairy arms too, though have to admit it wasn't till was 10 or so that I got really self conscious. Children tend to grow up quicker now, don't they?

I was very pale skinned and had unusually dark hairs on my arms. I didn't come to terms with them till I was in my late teens, and spent years bleaching them, shaving them, but mostly covering them up. I was a determined cardigan-wearer just like your dd. Even when I did bleach or shave I was still very self conscious. My arms now had lots of *bleached* hair or stubble or nicks from shaving. So still not like the other children's arms.

I don't know what I'd advise on the bleach or shaving front. There are far more products around now. If you go for shaving as I did from time to time, I can reassure you that my arm hair never grew back thicker afterwards. And as I've got older and had children my arms seem less hairy - hormal changes perhaps? or do I not care as much?

Anyway when I was younger no amount of reassurance from adults helped me get over my hairy arms, though it was nice to hear them trying. I wasn't stupid - I could see I was the only girl in the class to have so many hairs on my arms. It was a fact. I couldn't be talked out of it.

I always chose clothes to hide my arms. It was really important I had some cover. I could then choose to reveal my arms if I wanted to. The best thing my mother did for me was to buy me the cardigans and long sleeved things that I wanted, and then let me wear them when I wanted to, without commenting on it, even if the temperature was in the 80s.

So IME, let your dd wear her cardigan for PE if the school allows it. Don't make a big thing of it. When you are both shopping for clothes, let her buy long sleeved things - even take her on a special shopping trip to do this. With all the different fabrics and fashions around, she's bound to find some nice hot weather stuff. Don't mention her arms, just let her get what she wants.


XAusted Thu 05-Jun-03 13:23:08

Just a quick thought - hairy arms look better with a bit of colour from the sun so baring them can be beneficial.

Tasa Thu 05-Jun-03 13:46:22

Tigermoth, thanks for your thoughts on this. The thing is I'm determined she's not going to spend years loathing her arms and covering them up when there must be some way of getting rid of the hair or bleaching it or whatever. I know that otherwise she'll spend years being miserable only to reach an age wqhen she'll just shave them or bleach them herself and has gone through all that time feeling miserable about them needlessly. I've shaved my legs/ waxed my legs but have never felt that they've got hairier. It's not that she has any kind of low self-esteem, far from it, she simply knows that her arms are far hairier than anyone else's in her class, others tease her about them and she's self-conscious about them. I've found nads on the website but I'm just not sure about waxing for a 7 year old in terms of how painful it will be. I'll give it a try. Thanks for suggestions.

Bugsy Thu 05-Jun-03 15:06:55

Tasa, as a person with strange hair myself I really sympathize with your daughter. For some freakish reason I have very long hairs on my arms and legs. Not particularly thick or dark but oddly long. I felt very self conscious about them as soon as I reached senior school (10 yrs old) and shaved my legs immediately. Used to bleach the hairs on my arms as didn't know what else to do and have been waxing both arms and legs for years now.
I would recommend having a big chat with your daughter and explaining the hair removal /treatment options. If she is old enough to feel self conscious then she is old enough to consider removal options IMO. I think that bleaching with a mild facial bleach is probably the most gentle option.
Big hug from a fellow hairy.

tigermoth Thu 05-Jun-03 19:00:37

tasa, I hope it all works out. Agree with bugsy that you need to have a long chat with your daughter and discuss the options. My mum did this with me, but in the 1960's there were fewer hair removal options I think. I chose to do a little of everything - bleach, shave and cover up, depending on how I felt at the time. It was so important for me to realise I had the final say and that my mother supported me and didn't make a fuss about it.

I was a shy teenager btw, so that probably made me more self conscious that average about my arms.

Just another thought - is electrosis a possiblity later on? Is it worth finding out about this?

aloha Thu 05-Jun-03 20:19:31

I also sometimes think that changing a feature can sometimes be a better option than trying to learn to love it. A remember a schoolfriend had a nose job at 16 (rich parents!) and it totally transformed her personality from introverted to extroverted overnight. She might have learned to love it in the end, but in the meantime she was utterly miserable.

Lollypop Thu 05-Jun-03 20:39:57

Have to say that my mum talking to me would not have changed my'self image' and I would still have hacked at my legs. Now I just have scars and marks from ingrown hairs due to the epilatlor, if only hair was fashionable!

aloha Thu 05-Jun-03 20:48:50

I remember the epilator - I think all remain stocks went to Saddam Hussein as part of his WMD stash, which the troops can't find because they don't recognise them. Incredibly painful as I recall.

ames Thu 05-Jun-03 21:27:17

Just wanted to add that shaving wont make the hairs grow back thicker or faster but it will make them feel more course because it cuts them off at angle at the skins surface and as we all now it only lasts a few days. Waxing would give a more long lasting effect but the hair does have to grow back about half a centimetre before you wax again or it wont grab the hairs. Or perhaps a hair removal cream such as immac which disolves the hairs.

Bossanova Fri 06-Jun-03 01:33:39

Going back to Nads though, it does seem to work on fairly short hair and each time the hair grows back a bit more sparse. I only tried it because I knew that if I put it on and then chickened out it would all wash off, unlike wax.

bloss Fri 06-Jun-03 07:46:30

Message withdrawn

tigermoth Fri 06-Jun-03 08:16:49

This thread keep bringing back memeories for me. I used to use immac and bleach on my arms when I was aged 12 to 15 I suppose. The creams used to make my skin a red and irritated though, however carefully I followed the instructions. Not severely but enough to hurt and be noticeable. I'm sure the formula has got much better over the years, but young 7 year old skin is much more sensitive than an adult's skin and these creams are for adults aren't they? I have to say I would be really hesitant about using immac or bleach on my son's arms (he's 9). Still if you do a small skin test first, I suppose you'll find out if it's OK.

thistlebefab Wed 09-Dec-15 16:27:25

Bumping this for a friend whose daughter has exactly the same problem, does anyone have any current thoughts or solutions on this?

She's not being bullied about it, but is very self-conscious about the length of dark hair on her arms (about 1" long in places). She is dark haired with a typically Scottish complexion, i.e. pale.


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