It was the summer I turned 13.
It was on the cold concrete floor of our camp bunk.
A rust-bottom container of men's shaving cream was passed around, followed by a flimsy pink razor.
"Come on, Ali. Everyone else is doing it." By everyone else, my camp friends really meant the girls from Los Angeles and it was true. They all had silky smooth legs with nary a hint of past shaving nicks, meaning only one thing—they had been doing this for a while. I wanted to immediately cover the blond hair on my legs with my basketball shorts. "Go on! Just try it! It's totally the cool thing to do!"
Hello, peer pressure.
I did it, of course, even though the blond hair on my legs had never really occured to me until it was pointed out. And, naturally, I nicked the hell out of my left knee and my right ankle. By the end of the summer, of course, I was a pro, able to shave both legs in under two minutes with no shaving cream at all. I was so excited to go home with my silky legs and my new skill. After all, I went to camp that summer a little girl; I came home a woman.
My daughter just turned 11. There are important moments that I know are coming. Her bat-mitzvah, her period, her first kiss. And, well, the first time she shaves her legs. I can feel it in the air; it's on the horizon. There are a few girls in her class who already shave, and there are a few who wax their eyebrows.
But she is not ready.
I am not ready.
We are not ready.
But then, of course, the question remains. How do I know when she is ready? How do I know when I am ready?
Luckily, the folks at Venus know an awful lot about this. To help navigate this pivotal phase, they've answered some common questions that moms like me have on how best to talk to their daughters about shaving.
How do I know if my daughter is ready to shave?
There is no right age to begin, but keep in mind that pre-teens today are starting puberty earlier than in previous generations. Giving your daughter all the info early about how to shave will help her decide when she’s ready.
How do I talk to my daughter about shaving?
Look for signs: Does she talk about shaving? Is she self conscious about the hair on her legs? Are her friends doing it? Then offer her shaving tips in a supportive, positive way to make her journey to shaving easier. Don’t forget to remember what it was like when you were her age. What were your questions? What would you have wanted to hear from your mom?
How do I teach my daughter how to shave?
Let your daughter watch you shave or shave with her. Go slowly, showing her how to angle the razor around each curve for a close shave. Venus has introduced a new Venus Embrace razor for first-time shavers, which includes a shave tips guide to help answer all your daughter’s questions on the steps to a great shave, including how to reduce nicks and cuts and how often to change the blade. The razor’s protective ribbon of moisture will give first-time shavers the confidence for a smooth and comfortable shave.
It’s best to use a shave gel like Satin Care’s new Passionista Fruit shave gel to help the razor to glide easily over the skin and help prevent nicks and cuts. This will give your daughter a worry-free shaving experience and the confidence of soft and smooth legs. Ask her afterwards what worked and what didn’t to create an open, supportive dialogue.
Can I share my razor with my daughter?
It’s not recommended to share your razor with your daughter because it’s not hygienic and the blade will wear out sooner.
Does my daughter need to shave every day?
Young girls may need to shave less often than adults because their hair is fine and slow to grow back. Twice a week may be sufficient or not depending on regrowth, says Dr. Rolanda Johnson Wilkerson, P&G Beauty Senior Scientist. Talk to your daughter to help her find a routine that works for her.
How do I help her handle peer pressure to shave?
Remind your daughter that it’s her body and her choice on when to start shaving. Let her know that when she’s ready, you will help her get started.
Or you can do what I'm probably going to do, which is send her to camp and hope there are lots of girl from Los Angeles.
Just kidding, obviously.
What about you? Do you think there's a right time to start shaving? How will you know when it is?
Because the folks at Venus know how important moms are, they invite you to recognize your mom by sharing an award for her on your Facebook timeline. Show her just how much she is appreciated.