What to tell my daughters...?

I would like some advice for what to tell my daughters to do as they get older…

I am a single father, and I have been widowed for 4 years, so I cannot just refer this to their mother…

I remove almost all my body hair, and suspect that my girls will have at least hairy lower legs… I can already see their eyebrows creeping toward each other…

Anyway, my eldest is 10 years, going on 16… I have been pretty protective of her, but there are older girls at her school who are shaving their legs, and I can see the day will be inevitable when she asks me if she can do the same… esp. when boys start to become more important. We live in a hot climate, so jeans all year around is not an option…

What would any of you do given a second chance…? I figure that most females start shaving first, and then the braver or busier ones decide to wax… Would you go straight to electrolysis? - I know it is the most permanent solution, and you might as well get it over and done with early on in life…

Please, this is not urgent, but I want to have the best solution or a range of opinions to consider when this topic comes up between my daughters and I… the youngest one is only 7, so I have a few years on that one… It is the 10 year old that will be asking me sooner than I expect…

Thanks in advance…


I’d say to probably not even think about something permanent until she’s at least 18–not because I think anybody’d change their minds about such a thing, but because if you do it at 14 or something, there’s a fair chance that there are still enough hormonal changes going on that more will grow in, causing more of a problem.

Laser might also be more practical, in terms of it taking less time, and being less painful. But, still, mid-adolescence would probably not be the best time for it. Perhaps on the face, like with the eyebrows, but don’t worry about legs and such until later. Presuming they’ve got decent skin for laser, anyway.

Start with shaving, definitely. But, for god’s sake, not with a Daisy razor and a bar of soap. (Even now with the new razors that’re a lot safer, I’m still completely ineffectual with one because I’m so afraid of cutting myself. In my teens, I was band-aid-girl.) Buy her one of the ones with the replaceable blades, and some good shaving cream. The Gilette Venus probably would be the best choice; the Schick Silk Effects Plus isn’t half-bad, either.

As they both get older, let them know that there are other options available, and see what they want. Shaving may be fine with them; some people don’t mind it.

Thanks for the reply… I wasn’t going to shuffle them off to be ‘done’ at an early age… just wanting other people’s experiences… I know I can explain to them there are other options… You are right about the unsettled hormones… I am dreading that side of having teenage girls… or my son being a teenager for that matter… LOL

Thanks again…


Medically speaking, there is no reason not to do electrolysis as soon as there is enough hair that she wants to have it removed. As a matter of fact, removing it as it comes out would really be easier for everyone, as it would spread out the expense, while still giving her full clearances from the beginning.

I don’t think that there will ever be a time when hairy legs will be a popular fashion statement for young women in this country. Having a dad willing to go permanent from the beginning would probably make them feel that they have the best dad in the world, and give them a warm feeling of having one up on the other girls still shaving
The only thing that I would caution you on is the younger the person having the treatment, the higher the possibility of sensitivity to treatment. If your practitioner has a computerized machine and is good with settings, this should not be a problem. The hairs are thin, and have never been waxed. Actually, hair removal later in life is harder because other than shaving, everything women do to remove hair actually causes that hair to become thicker deeper rooted, and more plentiful.

Bottom line, doing it young would give full clearance with shorter appointments, while having the always bare look, and saving the skin from the ravages of shaving, waxing and so forth. I would discuss it with them, and let it be their choice to do it. I just don’t know the girl who would not want to do it (especially with daddy’s money :smile: ).

Being ‘virgin’ hair, would it be best to shave once, and then the electrolysis technician would actually be able to see the actively growing ones? and not try to clear the whole area, including the dormant ones?

Thanks for your usual concise and informative advice James…

I don’t want them to become ‘slaves to the blade’ if it can be helped…


[ January 30, 2003, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: IHH ]

On legs, I would just clear them all. Your practitioner may have another preference, check with her on that point. The reason I would prefer not to have them shave their legs on this one is that unlike so many other areas of the body, the legs don’t have all that much hair per square inch anyway. I have seen grown women with 20 hairs per square inch on their legs. I am used to clearing men’s faces that number 500 hairs per square inch. I would be confident to be able to clear your girl’s legs in a relatively short time. The area from the ankles to the knees would go in the first appointment. Most girls find that to be an acceptable start. Anything above the knees is for swimwear most of the time anyway. I have also noticed a tendancy in some women to have fewer hairs per square inch above the knees as well.

If you did have them shave two or three days before the appointment, the electrologist would be able to treat all anagen hairs first, and then either pluck the rest, or treat them thereby setting them up to grow back thinner and weaker if not cleared by the treatment anyway.
If you want to save money, this is the way to go, I just would not worry about it, because the way I do things, it would not make much of a difference on this area.

Bottom line, talk it over with the person who actually will be doing the work. Having someone who knows, and offers all 3 modalities will give you a good shot at getting good treatment that will also be comfortable to your girls as well.

And thank you for your kind words. It helps to know that one is well thought of when doing volunteer work. After all, I could be watching “Pro Wrestling” right now! :grin:

At that age? The impulse is not necessarily ‘to have smooth, beautiful legs’. The impulse is to shave, because every other girl you know is shaving her legs, and you want to be like every other girl you know. If they have friends who’re doing the same thing at the same time, that’s one thing, but when I first started shaving, neither I nor most of the other girls I knew who were doing it even really needed to. It was just what you did because you were supposed to do that.

Especially these days with the fancy razors and about three million different scents of shaving cream. It’s like getting a bra because you want one, even when you’re several years away from actually needing one. Rationality doesn’t necessarily factor in.

When comparing shaving, which is as much ritual as necessity or more, to a procedure which can, in fact, be painful if permanent… it’s not so cut-and-dry as it sounds.

Now, within a few years, that starts to shift. But, again, don’t go making decisions for them just because it sounds easier to you. It may sound like a terrific idea, but it isn’t, necessarily.

Corvaith, I understand where you are coming from… I am not going to dictate to them what they do… I just want to have an idea of the options and what they may be able to do, and how to do it properly… I know the shaving is easy and cheap, and that is how many people start out… and often are happy enough with it… but If I can show them the other options, then they have choices… I wax my body, the kids know about that, they understand what it entails… though not the "ripping out’ experience… LOL

We have already been through the “first bra” experience… when I was at school 25 years ago, girls didn’t start growing until 13 or so… or maybe it’s just my memory of them… after all, at 13, boys were still not bothering to look at girls…LOL

Anyway, this is what I want, varied opinions and experiences… you can never have too much information about a subject…


[ January 31, 2003, 09:46 PM: Message edited by: IHH ]

Wow, David! What a great father you must be. I too am a hirsuite woman and so is my step-daughter. Years ago, we didn’t talk about these things. They just weren’t out in the open, unfortuanately, my step daughter shaved her arms when she was 15 and feels the need to continue well into her thirties. I think this was a terrible mistake, if she had only asked us. I think your thinking ahead will only help your daughters.
Luckily for me, I have a good attitude about my situation (someone always has a worse problem). And now, going into my 50’s I think I will once again try electrology. I have a wonderful husband who has never seemed to notice any of my bodily hair in the past 24 years.
Good luck in raising your family! I wish you well.


Like most things to do with my kids, I am trying to help them to not make the same mistakes that I did, by sharing any knowledge or experiences with them… If I have the knowledge gained from places like this, and can make considered decisions or help them to see what their options are, then I am giving them a head start, rather then them stumbling with leg shaving at 14, waxing at 17, etc…

I wish I had ‘proper’ parents to help and guide me when I was younger, not necessarily about body hair, but about a lot of things… I am only trying to not repeat the same patterns of parental indifference with my kids… whether it is hair removal option, or career choices…

Good luck in your own endeavours…



As a 21 year old female, I would just advise you to wait until they feel the need to ask you about shaving. Shaving, unlike first bra’s or periods, is a relatively easy topic to bring up, and I would be afraid that if you brought it up first, you might subconsciously be giving them the message that not removing the hair isn’t okay. I started shaving my legs in 6th grade, and although I knew girls who did it in fifth, I personally decided I would rather wait.

When they do bring it up, I would simply tell them the options that they have available, and let them know that whatever they decided is up to them. I agree that most young girls actually prefer shavng because it’s what all the other girls do–bonding over shaving woes in the girl’s locker room may be more important to them than actually removing the hair. Once again, just let them know that it is their decision, and they are free to change their minds at any time. As a 6th grader, I don’t think I would be willing to go through the pain of the hair removal methods that I use now.

I think the most important issue is to be informative and supportive, but let them make their own decisions about what to do. I’m sure you know this, but above all NEVER make any comments, jokingly or otherwise, about their hair or a need to remove it, or any other puberty issues. Pubescent girls are very sensitive about these things. I still remember exactly the day my father made a joke about me stuffing my bra. This was in the seventh grade, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Finally, it seems as though from your concern you already have a good relationship with your daughters. Keep it up!

I am very much a wait until they ask type when it comes to that sort of things… They have commented, but I think it is not important enough for them or their peer group yet, but I was just trying to be armed when it does come up more often and they are looking for solutions. I tell them I wax, they know that, but I don’t judge them for anything… it’s hard to explain, but I am comfortable with the situation, and they seem to be as well.

Once again, thanks for your reply.


Hi, I just wanted to say that I’m 23 and I first started shaving in junior high. Truely, I would leave it up to your daughter to decide when she is ready to shave. If I were you I would not tell her when she should start shaving. It should be up to her. To go permanent, I would say when she’s about 17 or 18 if she decides she wants to wax, by all means let her. I wx and it can be painful but when you get the hang of it,it’s really not that bad. If your thinking electrolysis or laser, really look into. Don’t jump the gun. Look for places that are certified, reccomended by a professional. The last thing you want is your daughter to be scared of the experience or to have a horror story for others. Always remember, never let her feel ashamed or embarresed w/ what she has or what she is going through. There are plenty of women out there including myself who are or have gone through worse.

I have spoken about this subject to my eldest, and she is not that worried… more worried about her curly baby hair horns… Once she goes into high school, then she will be subject to more pressure to conform, or to be part of the gang… I know some girls are getting more pressure from their mothers than I would ever dream of putting on my daughter… I will know when she is serious, but for now, she knows her options, but has not taken that leap into commitment to doing it… I don’t want her to grow up, but I know she will…

Thanks for all your input… it’s hard being dad and mum all the time… LOL