The tween years are full of ups, downs and major body changes. New body odors, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, growth spurts and, last but not least, body hair, can all be expected. Talking to your child about when and how to start shaving will vary for every child, but it’s important to learn some tips and talking points when it comes to tweens and shaving so you can help them navigate through the hairy details.
First and foremost, it is important to remind your child that growing body hair is normal, and there is no written rule that says you have to shave it. If your child is confident in their body, don’t make them think that body hair is “bad” or “ugly.” Approach the topic while keeping body positivity and hygiene in mind, not aesthetics.
Girls can start growing leg, arm and armpit hair as early as 8 or 9 years old during the onset of puberty, but it’s important to remember that there is no perfect age for girls to start shaving. Some girls grow dark, thick hair that could make them self conscious, while other girls may grow light, thin hair that they don’t mind. If your daughter comes to you with questions or concerns about body hair, it may be time to talk to them about shaving.
Boys enter puberty later than girls, usually between the ages of 13 and 18, according to health.clevelandclinic.org. Some young men might not develop facial hair until the end stages of puberty, around 15-17 years old. If your son starts to notice thicker peach fuzz or new hair growth on their face, it may be time to introduce them to shaving. For young men, it’s important to remember that everyone is unique and some people will grow more facial hair than others. And, some men barely grow any facial hair at all! Regardless, instill in your son that the amount of facial hair that a young man has does not determine their health, masculinity, worth or status.
Some tweens may feel pressure from peers to start shaving early, or they may even experience shame or embarrassment if they feel like they “aren’t as grown-up” as other tweens. If this is the case, remind your tween that there is no timeline for the changing body and everyone is different. Encourage them to love their body for what it is and to not feel lesser because they aren’t ready to start shaving yet. Keep an open line of communication between you and your tween so that when they are ready, you can
SHAVING TIPS FOR EVERYONE:
- Replace your razors every month to avoid dulling blades and potential bacteria build up on your razor.
- Oftentimes, men’s razors are sharper with more blades, making them more effective for both men and women. Skip the “women’s” razors and go for the men’s razors for better quality.
- Shaving on dry skin can lead to cuts and razor burn. Try shaving in the shower with a shaving gel or lotion to help your skin retain moisture and stay smoother for longer.
- For facial hair, shaving right after you get out of the shower can prevent cuts and razor burn.
- Exfoliate the skin before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs.