Shaving Tips for Preteen Girls

What's the Right Age for Girls to Start Shaving?

young girl shaving legs with razor
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There's really no right or wrong age for a girl to begin shaving, it all depends on when her body begins to change. Some girls enter puberty as young as age 8 or 9, while others won't begin to experience major body changes until they're 13 or older. Here's what you should know when it's time for your daughter to begin shaving. 

Is Your Daughter Ready to Shave?

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.

The whole reason behind shaving is to make a girl feel good about herself. If your daughter has experienced hair growth, it might be time to consider showing her how to shave. If she's already approached you about shaving, she may be self-conscious about her hair growth or worried that she might be teased for not shaving.

For other girls, shaving can be postponed for a year or two. If your daughter's hair growth is minimal or isn't noticeable because it's a light color, she might be able to avoid shaving for a little while longer. But many girls 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 girls will not be interested in shaving at all. It is becoming more socially acceptable for women of any age to not shave if they don't want to. Your daughter may feel this way and there's no reason to force her to shave against her will.

However, it is a good idea to share with her that some people may have negative views of a woman's unshaven legs. Explaining this to her is not meant to dissuade her, but can prepare her for any comments she may receive.

Shaving Techniques and Tips

Shaving is a rite of passage for many girls, though it can also cause some anxiety. You daughter may worry about cutting herself or be concerned that she's not shaving properly. Be sure to share a few shaving safety tips with her before she begins to shave. Here are some things she needs to know.

  • Use a gel foam or a shaving lotion to soften the hair and prepare the skin for shaving. It's a good idea to use a lotion that has a minimum amount of perfume in order to prevent skin irritation.
  • Avoid using soap while shaving, as it can be drying and irritate the skin.
  • Begin with a single blade razor. Double blade razors will get a closer shave, but single blades are less likely to cause cuts. These are best for beginners and should be used until she builds up her confidence and coordination.
  • Demonstrate how to hold a razor properly and direct it against the growth of the hair for a better shave. For legs, it is best to begin at the ankles and work your way up. For armpits, she will want to begin by shaving up. But, she also may need to shave in all directions to get all the hair.
  • Rinse razors when finished and wipe them dry. This will keep the blades clean.
  • Discard disposable razors after four or five uses. Dull blades may nick the skin and can be dangerous. She may be afraid of sharp blades, but she is much more likely to cut herself with a dull blade.
  • Avoid moisturizing immediately after shaving. Lotion can irritate the skin and cause problems (sometimes even pain) to delicate tween skin. Wait a few hours before applying a skin lotion to an area that's been shaved.
  • Remind her that it is not safe to share razors with others. Doing so can lead to infections.

You daughter may also find that shaving is easier (and safer) if she begins 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.

A Word From Verywell

For many girls, learning how to shave is an important milestone in their teen years. Keep in mind that she may be timid, but if you take some time to walk her through the steps, she will feel more comfortable over time.

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