Among teen and preteen girls, hair removal can be a sensitive and tricky subject to tackle, emotionally and physically. A typical question among readers with daughters is at what age should they be allowed to shave? But, several moms who may not want to go down that route wonder if waxing is a viable alternative.
"My middle daughter is 10, and wants to shave. I think she is too young to shave, but she [has] olive skin tone with dark hair . . . I've thought about Nair, but I know it can burn and [I] don't like the chemicals, so I'm thinking about waxing," Jennifer A. says, noting she waxes her own legs. "What do y'all think?"
Meanwhile, Tina D. says her 11-year-old daughter asked about removing her armpit hair because she swims a lot. "Is she too young for waxing?" Tina asks.
If you're also evaluating your daughter's hair removal options, here are six points readers say to consider about waxing
1. Is She Feeling Self-Conscious?
Generally, if you're wondering whether to let your daughter get waxed, it depends on why she wants and/or needs it, says Esther R. Readers agree that the main reason to allow your daughter to get waxed is because she's feeling self-conscious about her body. "If it's clear that she has huge caterpillars over her eyes and may be mistaken for a teenage boy, I think you just need to relax and guide her to take care of the issue," Esther says.
Kristin R. agrees, saying she initially set a minimum age requirement of 16 before her daughters could wax or shave. "This was working fine for my older daughter; she never had an issue with it," she says. "However my younger girl had quite thick, dark hair on her legs, and she was getting teased about it at school. It got to the point where she didn't want to go to school, and was in tears about the teasing. She was 12 at the time. So I had to make a decision: what was going to be more harmful to her in the long run — waxing/shaving her legs or having her education disrupted and her confidence hurt by the teasing? When I looked at it that way, it was no longer an issue for me."
Similarly, Debbie N. at first thought she was "jumping too quick" when she took her 10-year-old daughter for an eyebrow wax. "But my daughter had been asking and was very concerned about her 'unibrow,'" Debbie says. "I took her and they straightened and evened them up and waxed just a little. My daughter was thrilled and was very happy."
2. Waxing Can Hurt
If you are serious about waxing, then readers forewarn that the procedure can be painful. For that reason, Christina M. says she thinks waxing is a bad idea, and instead suggests moms buy their daughters an electric razor. "Depending on how sensitive your daughter's skin is, it can hurt her or even give her burns."
Krista E. says, "I echo the other ladies — an electric razor is a good, gentle start if she wants to get rid of hair. I would discourage waxing until she's older. Their skin is sensitive, and sometimes careless aestheticians have burned clients."
On the other hand, other moms say waxing is not that bad. Kelly tries to put it in perspective: "Getting cut by the razor hurts a lot more than the pulling of the wax strips [in my opinion] . . . honestly I cut myself every time I try to shave my friggin' legs."
Another mom who calls herself "Evie's mom" says waxing is "much less painful and time-consuming than plucking." So if her daughter really wanted to wax and clearly had a unibrow or mustache, she would consider taking her to get it done. "I would hope that it is something she would put off until high school or never care to do it at all, but if she really wants it, then I don't see a problem."
In fact, Joanne C. said her kids have watched her wax her legs at home a few times and asked about it. So when her 8-year-old daughter wanted to experiment for fun, she waxed a small patch on her daughter's legs and "at the time [she] said it didn't hurt much." As a result, Joanne says, "If/when my daughter asks, I will let her get her legs waxed."
3. It Can Be Costly
Another factor to consider when deciding whether you want to let your daughter wax is the maintenance costs for repeat sessions, readers say. "Once you start waxing, it will be another expense added to the budget," says Sara G., who says she'd allow her daughter to wax once she's past the eighth grade if she brings it up.
Becky F. agrees that the cost of waxing regularly could be a prohibitive factor. "I don't think I'd want to pay salon prices for my 10-year-old to get it done regularly," she says.
4. It Minimizes Hair Growth
On the plus side, however, several moms say waxing is advantageous because it reduces hair growth over time. "I have a daughter that waxes her lower legs and her underarms," and started doing so when she was 12 years old, says Danielle W. "I don't have a lot of money but I do it for one reason — her future. She comes from a hairy family background, so it is a fact she will need to do something. Shaving only makes things worse over time. You have to do it more often and the hair gets thicker, darker, and more coarse."
Similarly, Katrina P. says her daughter has a lot of body hair, so when she turned 12 she asked if she could do something about it. "I suggested waxing as it would help reduce the hair growth eventually and make it thinner and less noticeable. I explained shaving may be quick, but the growth comes back quickly and thicker," she says. Katrina says her daughter tried waxing kits from the drugstore, but eventually decided to go to a professional bi-monthly to save on cost and keep it tidy."
5. You Can Bond Over a "Girls' Day"
As an added bonus to waxing, several moms say going to the salon for the sessions can be good mother-daughter bonding times. Debbie says her 15-year-old daughter had her first eyebrow and upper-lip wax when she was 12. "She knows that I get waxed every few weeks, so when she asked, I made an appointment for both of us," she says. "I'm a working mom with long hours, and I don't get a lot of time with my girls . . . I have to say we had such a fun experience and we still go together every few weeks," she says. "Today my daughter keeps herself neat and clean, she's confident about her appearance, and every couple of months I get a 'girls day' with her. Overall, it's a win-win!"
Shirley J. agrees, who said her daughter had her eyebrows waxed starting at age 12. "She had the threading done once and stated it was too painful," she says. "Now at age 14, we have mommy and daughter beauty day and wax together every three to four weeks."
6. Give Your Daughter Options
Ultimately, when determining whether your daughter should wax, moms should talk to them about the reasons for doing it, what it feels like, as well as all of the hair removal options, readers say. There are good and bad points to shaving, waxing, or using other hair removal methods, Katrina P. says. "Offering a choice of sensible options will hopefully help your child make good choices."