Getting your daughter to shave her legs is not an automatic task to think of when going over your mental list of things to do to get her ready for high school. Many girls may have shaved their legs long before this point, but I’m one of those mom’s who has a daughter that could care less about her hairy legs so I had to take it upon myself to let her know it was time. Either way, at some point in their lives, every girl must shave her legs for the first time.
Shaving is something I do as a mindless act in the shower, so in gearing up for my tutorial I started thinking more about what I was doing. That was a mistake! Taking the act out of a second nature thing and over thinking it caused me to get razor burn a few times from pressing too hard as I was trying to get a feel for the amount of pressure to tell her to use, and from either going too fast or too slow.
I eventually decided to just Google it, but all that brought up for me to read was sponsored advice from shaving companies saying that the best way to teach your daughter to shave her legs for the first time is to use their razor and shaving gel. Needless to say I abandoned all of that and eventually figured out some strategies of my own. I wanted to share them with all of you who are just like me and needed the advice I couldn’t find.
1. Do not make a big deal of this; for your sake and hers.
Keeping this as matter of fact as possible will save you from emotional trauma. I think some people might like to make a celebration out of this right of passage, but for me I think it stinks that from now on she will have to shave her legs every day for the rest of her life (except in Winter when we all get a little lazy!). Her showers will now be longer and she will now be self-conscious about her legs and if you can see any stubble, or if they feel soft enough, not to mention any razor nicks. Keep it simple and it will instead become a very normal part of her life. As an aside, I learned this lesson when I made a big deal with my son about going out to pick his very own deodorant because it was time. He sobbed about it for hours! Very loudly too!
2. Begin by shaving with an electric razor.
The hairs on an unshaved leg are pretty long, so going at it with a regular razor will take forever as it will get clogged up with hair. We just used my husband’s razor that he has for his hair. My daughter was a little worried that it was going to hurt so I did a few passes on my own leg first to show her it was ok.
3. Proceed to the shower for the real shave.
The electric razor doesn’t leave the leg perfectly smooth, but it makes for a perfect transition to the real thing. Perhaps if you have a proper electric shaver made for legs and not haircuts you would be left with a smooth leg and then you could just leave it at that and proceed to this step the next time. I had her wash up in the shower so her skin would be nice and soft. I handed her the shaving cream and let her have fun loading her first leg up with it. After years of shaving, I just use hair conditioner, but with the shaving cream it adds a better protection, an element of fun and it helps her keep track of where she has shaved as she moves around her leg.
4. Be prepared to shave for her.
I passed my daughter the razor and told her what to do. She asked me to do the first leg for her. I admit, I got really nervous inside after my previous botched attempts at thinking about the amount of pressure to use on my own self. I just took a deep breath, said a little prayer and Voila! it all came so naturally.
5. Teach her to moisturize.
I gave her a big bottle of cream and told her the importance of using it as soon as she got out of the shower to avoid getting a dry-irritated leg feeling.
6. Follow Up.
Quietly take a peek at her legs the next couple of days. If she hasn’t shaved them again and it’s obvious she needs to, just provide a gentle reminder in the same vain as teaching her how to do it in the first place.
Before you know it, shaving will just be a little added task to her routine. For me, I’m gearing up to tackle her eyebrows next!