Shaving Tips for Tweens and Teens

young girl shaving legs with razor

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There's really no right or wrong age for kids to begin shaving. It all depends on when their body changes and their interest level. For instance, some girls start puberty as young as age 8 or 9, while boys start puberty a little later.

When girls go through puberty, they develop body odor and breast buds as well as hair growth in the pubic and underarm areas. The hair on their legs also will get thicker and darker. For boys, they develop facial hair and body hair as well as experience a change in voice. Consequently, both boys and girls may have an interest in shaving at some point. Here are some things to consider if your child has asked about shaving.

Is Your Child Ready to Shave?

If your tween has experienced hair growth, you can ask if they're interested in learning how to shave. If they have already approached you about shaving, they may be self-conscious about their hair growth or worried that they might be teased for not shaving.

Many tweens and teens want to shave, and there are no health reasons for them to wait. It's reasonable to allow them to shave when they think they're ready to do so.

On the other hand, some tweens and teens will not be interested in shaving at all, and that is fine. In fact, it is becoming more socially acceptable for young people not to shave if they don't want to. If your tween feels this way, don't force them to shave or try to talk them into it. Shaving is a personal decision and not a developmental milestone.

Keep in mind, once kids start shaving, the texture of the shaved hair will change. Consequently, it will grow back coarser and possibly even darker. As a result, it's extremely important that if your tween starts shaving, that they are committed to continuing the practice. Or, at the very least, they need to be comfortable with the fact that, if they change their mind, the hair regrowth will be different from when they started.

Shaving Techniques and Tips

Keep in mind that shaving can cause some anxiety for young people. For instance, your kids may worry about cutting themselves or be concerned that they're not shaving properly. They also may be upset that they even have hair, especially if they went through puberty early.

For this reason, it's important to be patient and listen to your tween or teen's concerns. You also should go over a few safety tips before they begin to shave and assure them that it's not difficult to learn how to shave. Here are some things to consider teaching them.

  • Begin with a single-blade razor: Double-blade razors will get a closer shave, but single blades are less likely to cause cuts. As a result, single blades are best for beginners and should be used until they build their confidence and coordination.
  • Prepare the skin: Wet the skin thoroughly, and use a gel foam or a shaving lotion to soften the hair and prepare the skin for shaving. Use an unscented lotion or one developed for sensitive skin to prevent skin irritation. Avoid using soap while shaving, as it can be drying and irritate the skin.
  • Show them how: Demonstrate how to properly hold a razor and direct it against the growth of the hair for a better shave, reminding them not to press hard. Also, encourage them to be patient and go slow. Rushing through the process could result in cuts or razor burn.
  • Rinse razors when finished. Then wipe the razors dry. By rinsing and drying the razors, your teen will be keeping the blades clean and prevent rust or debris buildup.
  • Avoid moisturizing immediately after shaving: Lotion can irritate delicate tween skin and even cause breakouts. Wait a few hours before applying a moisturizer to an area that has been shaved.
  • Discard disposable razors after four or five uses: Dull blades may nick the skin and can be dangerous. Although your teen may be apprehensive about sharp blades, they are much more likely to cut themselves with a dull blade.
  • Refrain from sharing: Remind your teen that it is not safe to share razors with others. Doing so can lead to infections and the spread of other illnesses.

Some kids find that shaving is easier (and safer) if they begin with an electric or battery-operated razor. These devices don't get as close of a shave, but they're easy to use and won't nick the skin. If your child is particularly nervous, you may want to start with one of these devices.

A Word From Verywell

When it comes to shaving, it is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. If your tween or teen is not interested in shaving, don't force the issue. It is really up to them when they begin shaving, if at all. If your tween or teen decides that they want to shave, remember that they may be timid at first, but if you walk them through the steps, they will feel more comfortable.

By Jennifer O'Donnell
Jennifer O'Donnell holds a BA in English and has training in specific areas regarding tweens, covering parenting for over 8 years.