When to shave a girl? The word to the doctor

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When to shave a girl? The word to the doctor

Wrong assumption to address the topic is to ask yourself this question: "When is it time to start hair removal?". There hair removal in girls it is an activity around which many meanings revolve: as mothers we can interpret it as a "rite of passage" in which our little one becomes big and a little more woman; or it can represent a practice like any other to reach an ideal of beauty in which the prevailing image of pre-adolescent girls foresees smooth legs, clean face, armpits and hairless arms.

These considerations leave little space, however, for medical issue. Instead, in fact, to book an appointment in a beauty center, it would be worthwhile to understand when and how hair removal is allowed at a young age or rather if it even represents the indicator of a disorder of other origin. We talk about it with Dr. Michele Cardone, Doctor-Surgeon Specialist in Dermatology and Trichology in Santagostino.

In this article

  • Since when is it recommended to shave a girl?
  • Hair removal products for girls, the main differences
  • Parts of the body: when to shave them in a little girl?
  • Hair removal in girls: the importance of medical advice

Since when is it recommended to shave a girl?

Since when is it recommended to shave a girl?

"On the subject it is possible to hear different opinions and indications", said the dermatologist. "There are no precise guidelines or guidelines on the subject and there are several factors to consider when answering the parent who asks the question of when it is right to start with hair removal. The need generally arises between the ages of 12 and 14 with the puberty: the body changes and with it the appearance of hair. It should be noted, however, that in the prepubertal age the hair is not "definitive" in quantity, quality and disposition: over time it will tend to change. This premise is important to suggest that you shouldn't start before this stage of growth. The images proposed by the media and social networks can unfortunately lead to wanting to speed up the times, but it is it is essential to carry out a dermatological visit to understand the extent of the "problem" which can sometimes hide more complex clinical cases ".

Laser hair removal: things to know

What to know before starting laser hair removal?

"Before starting a laser hair removal treatment, the most relevant factors to evaluate are the following:

  • the areas concerned.
  • the general clinical picture
  • the hormonal balance
  • taking photosensitizing drugs
  • the type, diameter and color of the hair
  • the skin phototype
  • the gender of the person (female or male)

You can therefore proceed to the treatment safely only after a specialist dermatological visit ".

Read also: Permanent hair removal: the techniques that eliminate unwanted hair

Hair removal products for girls, the main differences

"The alternatives for practicing hair removal are mainly 4: waxing, shaving, depilatory creams and treatments with lasers or light sources. The latter procedure should be carried out over the 14 years and not without first a specialist dermatological check on moles which, given the tendency to increase in adolescence, with this practice could be "burned" together with the hair: the laser in fact reads the color of the melanin, but cannot distinguish if it is a mole or a hair.

For the other methods:


"Until age or clinical conditions allow the use of laser technologies, the classic razor is one practical, economical and safe solution. On the other hand, especially if used also against the direction of hair growth, it can favor its incarnation with consequences such as:

  • folliculitis
  • the formation of cysts
  • irritation and infections.

The suggestion is therefore to carry out a hair removal according to the direction of hair growth, thus maintaining a minimum length that prevents the aforementioned negative consequences. In fact, several girls encounter the problem of folliculitis / retention cysts and the consequent small scars, especially in the inguinal and axillary region ".

Depilatory cream

"The depilatory creams are made with chemicals based on calcium hydroxide and thioglycolic acid, components that they can cause irritation. These products dissolve the molecular structures present in the hair, but can also damage the skin. These are still acids that can cause irritation, especially on delicate skin such as those of adolescents ".


"I would not recommend waxing before menarche. It is a procedure that can be painful and should certainly be performed by expert hands, especially in critical areas such as groin or axillary areas, avoiding do-it-yourself. The risk is always to give rise to to ingrown hairs and the consequences already mentioned ".

Creams based on eflornithine

"These are products aimed at slowing down the growth of hair: they are not recommended in children and their effectiveness can also prove unsatisfactory". 

Read also: Menarca, the first menstruation in girls

Parts of the body: when to shave them in a little girl?

And as for the other parts of the body, when to shave them in a little girl?

"The answer can be given only after a thorough dermatological examination in order to customize the most appropriate treatment based on the characteristics of the little patient ".

"A valid recommendation when the child has a hair that can be considered thick is to undergo a dermatological examination to exclude any pathologies of which the hair can be an alarm bell: hormonal dysfunctions, neoplasms or genetic syndromes are some examples".

"If we talk about facial hair of a little girl, the appearance and distribution of the hair can impose medical investigations - explains Dr. Cardone -: the visit is a must before any treatment if the hair is noticeable and in areas not suited to the patient's sex ".

Read also: Skin allergies, diagnosis, therapy and prevention

Hair removal in girls: the importance of medical advice

"Frame it from a medical point of view the cause and extent of the hair in pediatric age it is important for several reasons - concludes the expert -: first of all, the specialist can reduce the question in the face of any anxieties or concerns about the amount of hair at a given age. In fact, it should be remembered that phototype and ethnicity are factors that partly determine the type and distribution of the hair.

Furthermore, the specialist can observe whether the increase in body hair is associated with complex situations such as polycystic ovary syndrome. In this situation, the increase in hair is accompanied by alterations in other parts of the body as well (eg acne, irregular cycles and obesity).

Without medical advice there is the risk of intervening on a symptom, without treating and knowing any pathology underlying the problem. Aesthetic centers cannot provide this framing activity ".

The interviewee

The interviewee is Dr. Michele Cardone, Physician-Surgeon, Specialist in Dermatology and Trichology in Santagostino.

  • skin care
  • depilatory cream
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