At what age should girls start shaving their legs?

Girl shaving legs.
Most girls begin shaving in middle school. See more pictures of personal hygiene practices.
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Shaving: Whether it's legs or a moustache, the youth of every generation can't wait to do it. There really isn't a specific age at which girls should start shaving their legs [source: WebMD]. It's one of those tough questions that parents have to answer on an individual basis. Some girls may show an interest in shaving their legs as early as the fourth or fifth grade, but most girls don't begin shaving until they reach middle school [source: Peters].

Some parenting experts suggest that you try to reach a compromise with your daughter based on the average age that girls in your child's school or neighborhood begin shaving, your personal values, and the age when you first started shaving [source: Peters]. And most parenting groups agree that as long as your daughter is old enough to not hurt herself, you should let her shave her legs [source: Direnfeld].


For some girls, shaving their legs is less about growing up and more about issues of self-esteem [source: Direnfeld]. When girls reach puberty, the increase in hormones causes darker hair to grow on the legs, under the arms and in the pubic area, which can make girls self-conscious about their body hair [source: WebMD]. If your daughter has a lot of dark hair on her legs, shaving them may boost her self-esteem. But if you're uncomfortable with your daughter shaving, try sitting down and talking with her about it. You might be able to reach a compromise, and in the meantime, you can suggest that she wear pants or tights to cover her leg hair [source: Direnfeld].

When you decide to let your daughter shave her legs, teach her how to shave and make sure she knows how to shave safely. Inform her that once she starts shaving she'll have to do it every few days to maintain it and that in the beginning, she'll probably end up with a few nicks and cuts [source: Peters]. Also, let your daughter be fully involved in the process of choosing a razor that's right for her [source: Direnfeld].

For more information on when girls should begin shaving their legs, see the links on the following page.


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Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Direnfeld, Gary. "Despairing girl, nine, wants to shave her legs." The Hamilton Spectator. Oct. 6, 2008. (accessed 08/26/2009)
  • Peters, Ruth A. Ph.D. "When is it appropriate for your kids to…?" MSNBC. June 7, 2006. (accessed 08/26/2009)
  • WebMD. "Shaving Tips for Teen Girls." Feb. 8, 2009. (accessed 08/26/2009)