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Body hair removal for 11yo daughter

(40 Posts)
Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:07:50

A minefield I'm not equipped for at all. My 11 year old daughter has been developing (physically) very rapidly over the past year. She hasn't started her periods yet although I'm sure thats not far away since I was 11 when I started. She's wearing a starter bra, has very defined hips and waist and quite a lot of pubic hair (although hardly anything underarms yet). Luckily she's comfortable talking to me about her body changes and she has mentioned a few times that she hates her pubic hair and wants to remove it. I've reassured her that its perfectly natural and not to worry about it. But I'm 45 and NOT of the generation who is horrified by body hair and goes to all manner of lengths to remove all of it. I do shave my legs and underarms but as far as my bikini line goes, I'll do a tidy-up trim to make sure nothing pokes out but THATS IT. I am well aware that these standards don't apply to today's teenagers and young women. I feel so clueless. At what age is it appropriate to remove body hair? And by what methods? Any advice would be gratefully received. I hate that she's beginning to worry about these things when I never gave it a second thought at her age (or my current age). But I don't want to dismiss her anxiety just because I don't worry about it. How do you deal with it? She is so young still.

SecretSpy Mon 18-Jan-16 12:12:12

Christ at 16/17 11 it would never have occurred to me to remove or tidy that area.

If she insists I'd steer her towards one of those bikini trimmer things rather than anything drastic, ideal for a bit of a tidy for swimming etc.

Orangeanddemons Mon 18-Jan-16 12:12:28

I would work on encouraging her to accept it. She's 11. I'm of the generation that didn't remove pubic hair, and she needs to accept that it's normal. How time consuming will be the upkeep of a hairless fanjo on an 11 year old?

AnyFucker Mon 18-Jan-16 12:15:52

I would not be facilitating an 11yo to remove their pubic hair

Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:19:02

Thanks SecretSpy and Orangeandemons. She's not insisting, and is easily pliable, so I will continue to reassure her that she doesn't need to do anything. Thanks, thats what I wanted to hear. I would never let her remove all hair at this age — yes can you imagine the faff? Was just curious as to what age girls start to 'trim' really. Thank you.

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 12:22:56

Where has she got the idea she has to remover her pubic hair?

My dd is 10 but starting getting underarm and pubic hair 2 years ago. It hasn't even occurred to her that she needs to remove any hair. Is this a secondary school thing? Why do 11 year olds even know what others do with their own pubic hair?

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 12:24:27

Out of interest (not aimed at you specifically OP) but if parents start discussing trimming of pubic hair with daughters, do they do the same with sons?

Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:25:01

Baressentials, she's still at junior school. I can only imagine she's been talking with her friends about it.

NoTimeLikeSnowTime Mon 18-Jan-16 12:27:27

Are talking inside bikini line or outside bikini line? Tbh if she is developing hair outside of her bikini line I would definitely help her remove it because swimming/changing for gym/sleepovers etc are going to be pretty awkward for her otherwise, especially if she's way ahead of her peers. I came up with a series of Heath Robinson ways of sorting out my bikini line when I was v.young, and ended up with massive ingrowing hair issues.

Can she use a Lumea or similar? Something that will ultimately reduce the hair long-term would presumably be ideal. Obviously a salon bikini wax is massively inappropriate.

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 12:29:05

Eek really? My dd is year 6 too, pubic hair is definitely not discussed amongst her friends (lots of other stuff is but not this)

Though in the summer I did have a few acquaintences comment that my dd was wearing a vest top and had hairy arm pits. Wtf? Maybe it is the dc of those kind of parents who have brought up the subject?

enderwoman Mon 18-Jan-16 12:30:51

If she has swimming at school I would help her trim stray hairs in her bikini area and remove underarm hair if she wanted but I wouldn't encourage any further.
I have a 12 year old at secondary and nobody sees her out of her knickers. On sleepovers they use the toilet or use sleeping bags to change without showing anything.

enderwoman Mon 18-Jan-16 12:32:46

bareessentials My teen son's trunks and underwear cover that area so pubic hair is not an issue. He has a little chest hair and is very proud of it. grin

Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:33:11

To be honest we may be way off track with this. She could very well be expressing fright at what is happening to her body, and wanting to 'get rid' of her public hair may just be her way of wanting to turn back the clock or at least slow it down, rather than resorting to actual hair removal. She is still at junior school and does appear to be one of the first amongst her friends to be developing like this. She also does a lot of ballet so spends a lot of time in a leotard. I think she may be worried about hair being visible.

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 12:36:55

Enderwoman - if your ds asked to shave his underarm hair what would you think?

I feel strange about this. I know children (especially those who go through puberty early - my dd started her periods at 8) feel peer pressure but by the same token I don't think they should feel pressured to remove their body hair, but nor would I want them to be picked on if they didn't. Tying myself in knots! Just thankful it hasn't even occurred to my 10 year old that she "ought" to remove any hair smile

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 12:40:30

Mam Actually I think you are probably right, that is what is more likely to be happening. When my dd started her periods she was so young. There was a lot of angst and upset from her about "bleeding that I can't stop mum" (even though we had talked about it many times in the lead up to her getting her first period)

Sorry that my first thought was to be angry and pissed off about young girls feeling they need to remove body hair due to peer pressure.

MackerelOfFact Mon 18-Jan-16 12:42:09

It sounds like she wants to reverse puberty more than she's trying to follow any pubic hair fashions. sad

She might be content with just a tidy-up outside the bikini line to save her modesty in the changing rooms. Or maybe she finds it uncomfortable and itchy, in which case removing it will be pretty much the worst thing she can do unless she commits to removing it every couple of weeks for the rest of her life.

Provided she understands it's normal to have it, and uses a safe and age-appropriate method of removal, I think it's entirely up to her what she chooses to do with her body hair really - just as it's her decision whether she wears a bra or deodorant.

Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:43:01

Baressentials thats exactly how I feel. I don't want her to feel any pressure at all to remove body hair, but at the same time I don't want to dismiss her feelings or make it a subject for her to be picked on about when she's older. I don't have older daughters so going through this for the first time in the 21st century and wanted to gauge opinion. Very glad you all seem to feel the same way about it as me. Very reassuring to continue dealing with it as I have been.

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 12:45:55

It is bloody hard isn't it Mam!

Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:50:09

Mostly its been easy Baressentials, because she is the sweetest and easiest child and has managed to sail through the first 11 years, but god this puberty lark is a minefield, and I know its only going to get trickier. Especially with secondary school in September!

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 12:55:00

Yep same here. DD still struggles with her periods at school. The pms is horrendous (our cycles are now almost identical) and Secondary school will add a whole other level I think already stocking up on gin and chocolate ready for September

Lurkedforever1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:56:39

I think the right age is when you want to, whether that be 11 or never. Dd is 12, and I think of body hair the same as the hair on her head, it's up to her within reason. So same as I wouldn't let her peroxide her head hair, I wouldn't let her have a Brazilian. And the reason for any choice is that it has to be because she wants to.

She's used hair removal cream on her legs since she asked about 2 years ago, when she started puberty and got lots of thick black hair she didn't like the appearance of. Now 12 her pubic hair is sparse and still growing inside of her bikini line, but when it grows outside, she can use cream on that too if she tells me she wants to. Or if it gets thick and long she can trim it. Not my body, not my decision.

I'd allow your dd to do the same if she wished. But if she wanted to get rid of it all, at puberty I'd want to make sure it wasn't down to a fear of growing up.

Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:58:15

Ha. I've always had horrendous periods. I am praying for the menopause before dd starts her periods. My husband will leave home if he has to live with both our mood swings. And I wouldn't blame him! So sorry your daughter has had to deal with this from age 8. Cruel!

Mamto1 Mon 18-Jan-16 13:05:33

Yes I'll let her trim-only, as and when its needed, IF she really wants to. I don't think we're there yet. Next time she brings up the subject I'll feel a lot more confident in advising her. Thanks everyone.

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 13:06:21

Ha ha I wouldn't blame him! My ds (16) dreads it when I say I am tired due to first day of my period because he knows dd will be following swiftly behind me. On the plus side it is the only week of the month he cuts her some slack and is really kind to her so he can do it the bugger

Baressentials Mon 18-Jan-16 13:07:21

OP you sound lovely and open with your dd. I think that is the most important thing. flowers

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