Girls, are you starting to see hair in places you’ve never seen it before? Now that you are hitting puberty, you have an increase in hormones (androgens) which causes darker hair to appear on your legs, under your arms and around your pubic area. In American culture, many girls begin shaving hairs on the legs and armpits at this time. Here are some shaving tips just for girls.
When to start shaving
There is no set time for girls to start shaving. You can start shaving when you feel you have enough hair on your legs and/or armpits to get rid of it. Talk to a few women in your family, maybe your mom, an older sister who has already started shaving, your favorite aunt, or someone else you trust. Ask them if you’re ready to start shaving. If you are, they can teach you how to get started – safely.
What razor to use for shaving
To start shaving, you need to find a safe, effective, and easy-to-use razor. Ask your father, mother, or older brother to take you to a discount store or drug store.
You will find two popular types of razors: electric and manual. An electric razor can come with a cord or in a rechargeable, cordless design. A disposable razor or safety razor can have multiple blades stacked on top of each other. It can give you a very close shave.
Here are some details about each type of razor:
- Electric razors. Electric razors are convenient. But many models don’t shave as close as disposable razors. If you want to opt for an electric razor, choose one that will suit your skin. Some razors are specifically designed for teenage girls. Some electric shavers also dispense moisturizers. Be aware that even if you use an electric razor, it can still irritate the skin. Take the time to find the one that’s right for you.
- Disposable or safety razors. If you opt for a disposable or safety razor, you can also buy shaving cream or shaving gel. These help lubricate the skin and reduce the risk of nicks and cuts. There are many to choose from. Some even contain moisturizers to keep your skin from drying out. Avoid creams or gels that contain alcohol which could irritate the skin. The foam acts as a buffer on the skin, so the richer the foam, the less chance you have of cutting yourself. Regular bar soap or liquid shower soap will also work.
How to avoid cuts while shaving
Here are some safety tips for teenage girls who shave with disposable razors:
- Shave in a hot shower or in a bathtub. The water hydrates and softens the skin, making it easier to shave without getting a nick.
- Spray your skin with warm water (or soak it) for a few minutes before you shave. Then generously apply a lubricant such as shaving cream or bar soap. Let the cream or gel soften your skin for five minutes before you start shaving.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth, for example down the leg since leg hair grows down. Otherwise, you can get razor burn if your skin is sensitive.
- While it’s common to go in the direction of the underarm hair, most girls prefer to shave their legs and bikini area upwards, as this allows for a closer shave. Be careful.
- Do not rush. It is important to shave slowly and gently. Let the razor blade do the work. Do not press too hard with the razor. If you rush, you risk cutting your skin.
- Change razors frequently. A dull blade can irritate your skin and cause rashes or infections. You can also cut your skin more easily with a dull blade. Also, do not share razors with others.
- Take extra care around the knee and ankle. Due to their shape, it is very easy to cut out these areas.
- Ask your mother or father to get you an antiseptic haemostatic pencil. How to use: Dip the white pencil in water, then apply it to nicks or cuts to immediately stop bleeding.
- After washing thoroughly with soap and water, follow your shave with moisturizing lotion or cream. This will help prevent the skin from drying out.
Don’t believe shaving myths
Despite what you may have heard, shaving does not regrow thicker hair.. It’s a popular myth. Shaving only removes the hairs on the surface of the skin. The sharp edge caused by shaving hair creates the rough “stubble” you may feel on your legs or armpits.
You’ll probably find that unless you have really thick hair, you won’t have to shave every day when you start shaving. Some girls with lighter complexions only shave every few days or once a week. As you age, your hair will begin to grow faster and you may need to shave more often.
What to do with bikini and pubic area
Use your discretion to make the right choice for your bikini and pubic areas. Preferences vary between girls and women and across cultures.
You can buy chemical epilators (depilatories), which are applied directly to the skin and then wiped off a few minutes later. Be careful though! Remember that these epilators are not necessarily safe to use around the vulva, vaginal area, or bikini line. Also, some people are allergic to chemicals. Always test a small area of skin before using them, even if you use them on your legs or underarms. Sensitive skin can become irritated with this hair removal option.
Other hair removal options in the bikini area and elsewhere include shaving, waxing, electrolysis, and laser hair removal. There are also electric and rechargeable shavers specifically designed for women’s bikini area.
When to consult a professional for hair removal
You can go to a professional for waxing, which involves applying a layer of warm wax to the places where you want to wax. When the technician removes the wax, the trapped hairs are pulled out. Some teens find waxing to be less painful than “tweezing” hair from unwanted areas; others think waxing hurts.
With electrolysis, a technician inserts a thin needle into the hair follicle and applies an electric current. Although electrolysis can remove hair permanently, many teens find it uncomfortable because it irritates the skin. Laser therapy is another method of hair removal in small areas, such as the bikini area. This type of hair removal is expensive and can cause scarring. Both of these methods require multiple sessions to permanently end hair growth.