As preteen girls enter puberty, they may begin to sprout hair in areas they would rather not, and this hair often causes self-esteem issues. But removing the hair doesn't have to be a painful process. Several different hair-removal methods are effective and can help your preteen get back her confidence. If you are uncomfortable with having your child remove unwanted hair, make sure you listen to her concerns before coming to a decision. All of these hair-removal techniques are safe for preteens when done under the supervision and guidance of an adult.
Shaving is probably the most widely used and recognized method of removing unwanted body hair, using either an electric razor or a blade razor. When using a blade razor, it is best to do so in the shower or bath because pores are open and the water softens the skin. Using a shaving cream or lotion for lubrication and pulling the skin taut enables you to get as close to the skin surface as possible. Take care around knees, ankles and shins to avoid cutting or nicking yourself with the blade. To avoid the chance of cuts and nicks, have your preteen use an electric razor. While electric razors do not provide as close of a shave as blade razors, they are a great tool to help a beginner become comfortable with the process of shaving.
For fast and easy hair removal, consider depilatory creams for your preteen. These creams dissolve the hair at the surface and allow you to wash or wipe away the hair. They are best used on legs, underarms and bikini areas, though special care is needed when applying the cream around genitals. If you have sensitive skin, do a test spot on your upper leg to ensure you won't have an allergic reaction. Specially formulated depilatory creams are available for the face and chin as well.
Plucking is an effective way to remove hair from the chin and eyebrow area, but it is painful. Consider having your eyebrows shaped by a professional first and then using tweezers to keep them clean and shaped. Applying a hot towel over the eyebrow prior to tweezing can minimize some of the pain.
Waxing is one of the longer-lasting hair-removal options. It is best to have your arms, legs, bikini area or eyebrows waxed by a professional to minimize the pain and chance of ingrown hairs and bruising. Waxing removes the hair at the roots and may result in finer, lighter hair regrowth.
While bleaching does not remove hair from the body, it does lighten the offending hair to make it less noticeable. Bleaching involves the use of chemicals that lighten the hair, so it may not be successful on darker skin complexions because the hair may actually be more noticeable when bleached. Bleaching creams should never be used on the genitals or pubic hair. Test an area of skin to determine if there is a reaction before beginning. Bleaching should only be done with the supervision of an adult.
Laser hair removal and electrolysis are also options for hair removal. While these methods are meant to be permanent, and are generally safe for a preteen, additional treatments may be necessary as your child goes through puberty. Both of these methods involve treating hair growth at the follicle and can involve some pain and discomfort. Due to the high costs -- and the chance that the hair may return during puberty -- permanent hair removal may not be the best option for a preteen.
Hair growth is normal in preteens as they enter puberty. However, coarse, dark and hard-to-remove hair around the chin and face in preteen girls may indicate a medical condition and should be evaluated by a doctor.
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images