When your daughter is ready to start shaving, you may have conflicted feelings and a LOT of questions. Here’s what you need to know before you dive into this new dimension of parenting your tween or teen daughter!
When is the right time to start shaving?
There is no right age; it varies from girl to girl. Like with any intense grooming regimen (plucking eyebrows, coloring your hair, etc.) once you start shaving, it takes work to maintain, so keep this in mind and don’t rush the onset of shaving. Most girls start shaving around middle school, so around 11-13 years old is typical. Some girls want to start shaving much earlier, particularly if they have darker or coarser body hair. Often there could be social pressure behind this, or someone has made a comment about their body hair and they develop some embarrassment or anxiety around it. You have to consider your daughter’s maturity, social pressures, and her self-image in making this decision. It’s a fine line to walk, because you don’t want your daughter to think she has to change her appearance to please others, but you also want her to be comfortable and confident with herself, and that might mean she needs to be able to remove unwanted body hair. You also may feel that removing body hair isn’t necessary, and it’s totally okay to express this to your daughter. But ultimately it is her decision, and her feelings about the topic matter more than any other factor. When she’s ready is for her to decide, and if she isn’t interested, then that’s her decision too. It’s your job to teach and support her, and show her the ropes if needed.
We are ready to start…what next?
After you are sure your daughter is making her choice for the right reasons, and you feel you are comfortable with it, now you need to figure out what supplies you need. It is suggested that beginners start with a single bladed razor, which doesn’t provide as smooth a shave, but does minimize the risk of nicks and cuts. Another option is a razor with a built in moisture bar that helps create a protective layer of lather. Shaving foam is also helpful for new shavers so they can clearly see where they have already shaved.
In this day and age, there is a kit or subscription for almost everything, and shaving supplies are no exception. Here are some of the best options for new shavers:
- Shick Intuition First Time Shavers Pack, $19.99 plus shipping, comes with one Intuition razor handle and four blade refills.
- Billie Smooth Operator Gift Set, $35.00 shipping included, comes with one razor handle and four blade refills, shave cream, and Dry Bye body lotion
- Venus Starter Kit, $7 for initial kit with one razor handle, two blade refills, travel-sized shave gel, and a shower hook; $18 for four blade refills shipped to you every 1, 2, or 3 months (subscription determined by you).
And our ABSOLUTE favorite:
- All Girl Shave Club’s Shine Girl First Shave Box, $39.99 plus shipping, comes with a razor handle, four blade refills, a razor holder, whipped shave butter, Glow! Sugar scrub, Nourish body lotion, glitter tote bag, guide book, and color-in box to store supplies in. This company is also cruelty-free, paraben-free, and has no added dyes or colors.
We have supplies- now what?
Now you have to teach your daughter the techniques and tips you’ve learned for shaving. Show her how the razor works, and especially how to be careful with the sharp part- never sliding it across skin or touching the blades with her fingers, for example. You may find it’s easiest to throw on a swimsuit, climb in the bathtub, and show her yourself how to navigate tricky parts like knees and above ankles. Be sure you go over these basics: prepare the skin with warm water (a bath is ideal for this when they’re still getting used to shaving) and some kind of foam or gel, avoid soap because it can dry out the skin, direct the razor against the growth of the hair, press firmly but not too hard, go slowly to prevent razor burn, rinse and dry the razor after use, and don’t share razors. Lotion can actually irritate skin post-shave, so encourage her to wait a few hours before moisturizing her legs. Razors should also be discarded after four to six uses, as dull blades can cause nicks and cuts- razor subscription services can be a real help in remembering to replace your blade!
She doesn’t want to shave!
If your daughter hasn’t brought up shaving, you don’t have to bring it up either. If she is afraid, you can offer as much support and time as needed. She may want you to help the first time, or be nearby in case she needs you. If she has made a choice not to remove body hair, even if this isn’t something you agree with, showing your daughter that you are in her corner is most important. There is no medical necessity for shaving. If your daughter has had a bad experience with shaving, or isn’t ready for a razor but still wants to remove hair, then you can explore sugaring, waxing, depilatories, or an epilator (depending on where the hair is). Just keep in mind that teens often have sensitive skin, or acne, and you’ll always need to test a small area first with any new product.
Finally, think of how to make this transition special and stress-free. Most of us were probably handed a disposable razor and told “good luck!” in the eighties and nineties. You can involve your daughter in picking out the supplies, buying a fancy scrub or lotion, or have ice cream together in your PJs afterward. No matter how it goes or what she decides, just try to enjoy her company and help her out!
What are your tips or favorite products for beginners?