Aunt Vadge: my daughter wants to shave her bikini line but I’m scared for her safety

To whom it may concern,

My daughter aged 11 is starting to grow pubic hair and she hates it. A couple days ago my sister found her using a razor blade to get rid of the hair. I have decided to get a professional to do the hair removal because I fear she might accidentally cut sensitive areas of her vagina.

I have told my daughter that it is normal that girls get hair down there, but she insists that the hair goes. So I am asking as a father, did I make the right decision?

Age: 26

Dear Dad,

I remember when I started growing pubic hair, and the first thing I did was shave it all off, as often as I could, in private with my father’s razor. I’m from a family of four girls, so my father would constantly be bellowing “who’s been using my razor!”. All of our pubes and armpit hair stuck in it… He was not a fan, but his razor was so much nicer to use than our crappy one-blade disposables we bought in bulk because they were cheap.

Nobody stopped me, and I definitely cut myself a bunch, but that was part of my learning how to shave. Just how boys are taught how to shave – and cut themselves a lot – so do girls.

You don’t need to worry about her. She’ll figure it out. She can’t do too much damage to her vulva or vagina, and she’ll soon learn what works and what doesn’t. My advice would be to just let her at it. Buy her good quality razors, provide her with shaving cream or gel, and teach her how to shave!

It might be awkward, but you, as a man, have experience in this arena, and can actually provide some sage wisdom on shaving. Perhaps start by teaching her how to shave her legs and armpits (if she wants to – use a theory lesson and a practical lesson if she wants it), and leave the crotch to her to figure out. It could get a little weird, teaching your daughter how to shave her bikini line specifically! Legs and armpits are safe zones.

She’ll probably experiment with shaving her arms too, and all of this is fine. It’s her body, and she can do what she wishes with it. Your best move is to help her to do things like shaving safely, not to take it out of her control. She’ll never learn how to shave if someone else waxes her!

Your daughter will change her styles a thousand times – piercing body parts, tattoos, dying her hair, shaving different parts of her body, wearing different kinds of clothes. All are part of her figuring out what she likes and what she doesn’t like. It’s wonderful!

You’re doing great, and you have not made a wrong or right decision. You’ve just made a call in caring for your daughter, and that’s lovely. Your daughter’s body is now, however, out of your control, so teaching her safe ways to go about the various things she will encounter – drugs, lovers, jobs, shaving – is now part of the job description.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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