Grooming and your adolescent daughter
Around puberty, many girls start getting more interested in grooming. They want to get rid of the excess hair and start using deodorants and fragrances, essentially they want to start doing what their peers are doing. There can be a lot of pressure amongst teen girls about who's shaving their legs, using make up and the type of deodorant they're using. The question for most mums is, when is the best time to start encouraging or allowing this type of grooming?
With the arrival of puberty comes the arrival of hair – in the armpits, on the genitals and thicker hair on the arms and legs. A lot of young girls will find this quite strange and even embarrassing. When this hair arrives, your daughter may want to start shaving or waxing. While there is no physical reason she can't start hair removal, you may want to remind her though that once she starts it's generally a routine that we keep for many years to come. She may not be ready for the responsibility of it. Remind her that it isn't necessary to start shaving or waxing and just because 'everyone else is doing it', she doesn't have to feel pressured. If she would like to start hair removal, you can explain to her what the options are, such as shaving, waxing, depilatories or plucking. You can also point out the pros and cons for each, to help her decide what the best choice for her is.
With the fashion for extreme hair removal 'down there' in full swing - especially in the form of Brazillian waxing, your daughter may be left wondering why women have hair there at all. Pubic hair does actually serve a purpose, both as a barrier to protect the vagina from bacteria, and as an aid to help with ventilation so you don’t get to hot or sticky.
Deodorants and antiperspirants
When your daughter reaches puberty the glands under her arms will start to become more active and she will probably need to start using an antiperspirants or deodorant. She will also need to be vigilant about her hygiene and showering each day.There are many brands of antiperspirants and spray aimed at teens on the market (I'm sure many of us remember locker rooms reeking of Impulse), but it's not necessary to use one of these. Any antiperspirant will be fine. Remind her to use each morning and after showering.
Your daughter probably has many of her adult teeth now, so dental hygiene is a priority. Ensure that she brushes morning and night and flosses regularly too. Dental health is especially important for children of this age as they may need to start wearing braces or a plate. Make sure your daughter is confident in looking after her teeth.
While many girls have their ears pierced at a much younger age, there may be a lot of pressure for those girls who do not. If your daughter wants to get her ears pierced, remind her and inform of the responsibilty of looking after piercings, such as keeping them clean and disinfecting and turning each day. A lot of young girls are so influenced by fashion that they will rashly go into getting a piercing without thinking it through. Many may want to get their ears, nose or even navel pierced without much thought. It important to discuss what is involved in piercing, such as possible scarring or infections.
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