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Dark haired ladies, I need your advice

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

My dds, especially my 14 y/o, may be going a bit overboard with hair removal, but rather than argue with her about what hair should be shaved, I'm trying to come up with a means of letting her remove hair that does not involve daily shaving and using 2+ disposable razors/week.  For background, dh is southern Italian and my girls have his dark hair.  I am reddish-blond and my shaving is limited to maybe once/week shaving my legs up to my knees in the summer and under my arms every day or two year round.  The hair on my body, while present, is very light and you cannot see it even if I don't shave my legs for a few weeks in the winter unless you're right atop my legs looking closely.

 

Point being, I can't relate nor know what is or is not reasonable in terms of hair removal for very dark haired people who are uncomfortable with the hair.  Dd12 wound up with my very light skin that freckles and her dark hair shows up even more than her sister's.  You can see the peach fuzz on her back to the point that it is obvious.  Dd14 had taken to shaving her stomach (!) even though she has the more olive toned skin and, IMO, it isn't as obvious.  To her, it is an issue, though, and I can't understand.

 

Dh is the one who brought this up initially b/c he thinks that we're spending too much money on razor blades, that they aren't using them long enough (dd14 says that they are so dull as to not work by the time she throws them out), and that we're harming the environment with throwing out this much plastic. He emptied their bathroom trash which had eight or nine disposable razors in it the other day.

 

We cannot afford to do professional waxings or electrolysis, so I'm looking at a few at home options:

 

An Eplilator like this: http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod3250087 (expensive up front, but maybe cheaper in the long run than the number of razors they are going through)

 

At home waxing

 

An electric razor

 

Anything else anyone can think of?

 

I believe that the electric razors don't shave as close so that may not be the best option, but I also don't want to risk them injuring themselves with something like the no-no at home electrolysis thing they keep asking for (plus I've seen some iffy reviews of that device online and it is very expensive).

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 24

Is there a particular reason you are using disposable razors versus the ones with just the replaceable blade?  They would probably last much longer than the disposables.  Also perhaps using a shaving cream would help her get a closer smoother shave without wearing down the blade so much (actually, I'm not really sure how she could be shaving enough to go through so many blades, so maybe a quick review of shaving techniques would help too-i.e. not going over the same spot multiple times, which the shave cream should help with) I have really sensitive skin and my daughter does too, so shaving that many times would cause a terrible rash and wouldnl't be an option for me and probably won't be for my dd. 

 

Re: waxing, I believe you have to let the hair grow to a certain length before you can really wax it, which might be a deterrent to her if she is realliy self-conscious about it. 

 

I have seen infomercials for some sort of "sugaring" system that removes hair, but I haven't tried it.  I do think something like Nair or the like would be a better option for her stomach and back, where she probably doesn't want to deal with stubble all the time, though I wouldn't like to use all those chemicals at all. 

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 24
Hmm. I have dark hair and very light colored skin. (I am from Greece)
I save my legs once per week maybe during winter, every other day during summer time. I do my underarms every other day during winter and every day during summer because I sweat otherwise.
Those are the common places that I save. Hair on the tummy sometimes shows a hormonal problem (that can settle or not during teenage years) and I wouldn't touch it, I would talk to the GP and ask about that as If its a hormonal think it can be ameliorated.
Oh and once per semester maybe I wax ed my mustache area (when I was a teenager it settled down at around 20 years old I think)

As about razors I used and still use a razor per 2-3 weeks and I have quite thick and hoarse hair as most of Mediterranean origin girls. So I don't understand how they need a razor every other day. Fair enough it's not as effective as the first day but it still does the work fine.
During university years I used an epilator electric machine that hurts like hell the first coupes of times but after that is fast and efficient.
Eventually after I had the baby I went back to the razor as its faster...
post #4 of 24
Sorry for that my autocorrect like to save instead of shave it looks like lol
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

To answer a few questions.  Dd has very little hair on her belly or other places.  She is just going overboard IMHO.  She has a little peach fuzz like I do, it is just dark hair unlike the white-blond peach fuzz that I have.  She is insistent on being as hairless as a cue ball, so she's going a bit crazy with hair removal.  Her friends who are Italian, Mexican, and African-American are all apparently shaving everything from their toes to their bellies to their forearms, so maybe this group of girls is all going rather overboard in this area.  I've drawn the line on arm shaving and told them both that they absolutely cannot shave off all of the hair on their arms.  They also have no more hair on their arms than I do, it is just a lot darker than mine.

 

We are using disposable razors b/c dh can get them inexpensively at Sam's Club.  I have thought about going the more traditional razor route where you just pop on new blades.  At least that would save on the amount of plastic we're throwing out.

 

Right now dd14 is in a bit of an oppositional teen stage where any suggestions we have meet total deafness.  I'm not sure if I'd get very far in trying to re-teach her how to shave, so I'm not broaching that as my first line of dealing with this.  I, apparently, cannot understand at all b/c I am so much lighter (at least in her opinion!).

post #6 of 24
Ugh, I feel ya. I have the same complexion as your DD, very light skin with freckles and dark hair... I have so much peach fuzz on my back, you can see the whorl of it. I don't shave anymore as I don't adhere to "male standards of beauty" and people are in awe of how hairy I am, but it was something I fought for a long time. My DDs are both blonde and not so hairy, but both started shaving around 6th grade even though they didn't "need" to. The pressure is quite high. I think this wears off after a while... I am a face painter by trade, though, and I do a lot of events where adult women want a "tattoo" design on their arm and have noticed the rate of arm shaving among Hispanic and African American women to be pretty high... Maybe it's a cultural thing? I am 1/8th Hispanic and my arms are pretty hairy, so maybe that's the reason, I don't know.

Anyway, DD 15 was burning through disposable razors like crazy because she insisted on shaving every day (even though she doesn't need it, same with all the makeup she wears, I think it's just a phase), so we got her a Venus for a Christmas stocking stuffer and haven't had to replace the blades yet. I always liked the Mach 3 when I shaved, just don't store razors blade down on the side of the tub, that gunks them up and they don't work as well (another thing I remind the girls about to keep the razors going longer). As hairy as I am, I could make a Mach 3 blade last 2-3 months. Waxing is a pain, your hair has to be at least 1/4" and it's hard to get large areas effectively... I waxed my moustache (or "upper lip" as the salon always corrected me, lol, I don't care, it's a moustache, ok) for a while but it means growing it out and then going around with redness for a couple of days, not really worth it IMO. The electric razors don't get close enough, but if they insist on shaving peach fuzz, it might be a good option as peach fuzz growing back gets really itchy when you use a razor.
post #7 of 24

I'm in awe of women that don't need to shave daily. I don't think it has much to do with hair color as much as hair growth. I shave daily and have since I was 10 years old (you read that right) because I am very hairy and had underarm hair you could braid by that age. I shave my legs, arms, stomach, and underarms. There was a time I stopped to "stick it to the man" but I hated it- hated how it felt against my skin, hated how it retained smell, hated how it looked. I use to get so much crap from the adults in my life for shaving "too much" (whatever that means). I am of mixed heritage and my mom is white and very fair all around as is her side of the family and they just felt I was "overdoing it". Here's the thing, though- I'm not them. I'd suggest not going down the route of measuring what your daughter is doing based on your own experiences because you have two different bodies and mindsets. My point is your daughter isn't going overboard; she's dong fine for herself because she is working on herself, not on you. And I only say this because it hurt how my family would always offer those types of "loving" but condescending remarks about my body hair (they did the same about my tight curls and dry skin but that's a whole other vent). You're already a million times better than my mom, though, as you are here asking for advice to help her be her. I wish my mom would have done that in any matter with me. 

 

I recommend the Venus. The refills are ridiculously priced but they last a while. She'll probably go through one head a week or every other week which means one 4 pack will last a month to a month 1/2 and will run you about $20. Personally I am trying out the epilator. I haven't gotten it yet but I am hoping it is as awesome as everyone swears it is. I'm not sure I would have used it as a teen as I know it is painful but you know your daughter's temperment far better than I. I have tried all sorts of waxing but I have very sensitive skin and always manage to break out, even with the hypoallergenic stuff. 

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  We're going to give a try with an epilator for dd14 during the winter when she's willing to let her leg hair grow long enough to pull it out.  She has a much higher pain tolerance than dd12, for whom this may not work.

 

For those of you who mention the Venus razors, are they so sharp as to present a hazard where they may inadvertently cut themselves badly?  I still have a scar on the back of my ankle from shaving off a slice of my ankle skin when I was new to shaving as a teen!  The more traditional razors (non-disposable) are my back up if this epilator version doesn't work out. 

post #9 of 24
No, these new razors have little fibers to keep the blades down unlike the old school variety (I had many friends who shaved off chunks of skin :/). You would have to try pretty hard to hurt yourself with a Venus.
post #10 of 24

I use a Gilette Sensor razor and hardly EVER buy blades. An Italian friend taught me long ago that if you rub the blades on denim fabric parallel to the blades it re-sharpens them! 

post #11 of 24

I shave every couple of days... maybe once a week in winter and I have darker hair with pale skin. When I was younger I would not have gone as long between shaving as I do now so I kind of get the desire to remove noticeable hair frequently.

 

I use disposable razors but they each last a few weeks. I use one razor for my underarms and a separate one for my legs. I make sure they are both well rinsed out after each use.

 

My dd doesn't shave but based on her use of other hygiene/grooming items she would believe she needed a new razor after one use. I would just tell your dds how many razors you are willing to provide them with each week and they can go longer without shaving or buy additional razors with their own money.

 

Maybe your dd can use an electric razor for touch ups during the week and the regular razors once a week.

Maybe she could try waxing, or lightening/bleaching the hair on her stomach instead of shaving everything.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post

Thanks.  We're going to give a try with an epilator for dd14 during the winter when she's willing to let her leg hair grow long enough to pull it out.  She has a much higher pain tolerance than dd12, for whom this may not work.

 

For those of you who mention the Venus razors, are they so sharp as to present a hazard where they may inadvertently cut themselves badly?  I still have a scar on the back of my ankle from shaving off a slice of my ankle skin when I was new to shaving as a teen!  The more traditional razors (non-disposable) are my back up if this epilator version doesn't work out. 

 

I can only hope that the product has been improved upon since the early 90s, but that epilator thing hurt like hell back then and my legs were red and splotchy for a long time.  It hurt so bad that first time, that I couldn't even go back for round two.  Not only that, but it seemed to only grab like half the hair.  Man, my legs hurt at the thought.  While I didn't have the highest pain tolerance, it certainly didn't seem to be the lowest either.

 

I like the Venus razor, I also like the competitor (Lady Gilette or something like that).  In my experience these "nicer" razors do last a LOT longer than the cheapo disposables.  I have compared them.  I am more like the OP in that I don't need to shave much, but the disposables really didn't last long at all (even for me).  

 

Amy

post #13 of 24

Oh lord! I remember my sister and I going through this phase-- we are south asian. It was hilarious at the time-- I can remember waxing, shaving etc being a very social thing. I really, really think that it's a phase, just like nail polish and make up and she will calm down soon. As for your origional question, if I want to show my legs, I have to shave that day. for everything besides legs, I use veet. I really don't like chemicals, but it's a solution that lasts, that's painless, and reasonably affordable. Veet is the least caustic of all the depilatories that I've tried.  
 

post #14 of 24
Definitely get a razor with disposable blades, they last tons longer and Sam's should have at least one brand so you can still get them cheap. I'd also recommend shaving cream (not gel) as I find that it lasts longer, is usually cheaper and gets me a closer shave. As for shaving, I know it is much more fashionable to be more clean shaven nowadays than when I was a kid, so that really doesn't surprise me that they seem a bit overboard on it. And I'm one with light hair, but I do have to shave everyday if I want my hair to not show in sunlight, so maybe their hair just grows pretty fast like mine? Or maybe they don't like the stubble feeling? Also, my sister who has dark hair was always more careful about shaving so it does make a big difference if they have dark hair vs. light as I could get away with not shaving sometimes, where my sister never could.
post #15 of 24

I always had trouble shaving my legs, I'm quite klutzy and seemed to always nick myself even when I used the razors with guard wires. Then one day I borrowed my husbands electric shaver, its amazing! The guy's really nice ones are definitely worth the investment. Works great on my legs and I never nick myself. The razor is the type with the three circular heads on it. Hope this helps! I'm going get my daughter one when she starts shaving so she doesn't get nicked up like I did.

post #16 of 24
Oh, I was your daughter as a teen! Please, don't set limits on how much hair she can remove. I would urge a switch to at-home waxing (I use the strips you warm between your hands). There's nothing worse than feeling like a hairy beast at that age, and I had a dark haired mom to help me out- if she had been blonde and told me I was overdoing it, fireworks!

Hair on stomach- it CAN signal a hormone imbalance, or it can be normal for darker people.
post #17 of 24

Yeah, I went through this phase in my teens.  I've always felt like I'm pretty hairy, though I objectively know that there are many women hairier than me.  I remember being SOOOOOO self-conscious about hair on the small of my back.  My best friends told me there was nothing there but peach fuzz, but it still embarrassed me so much that I would remove it with Nair.  And yeah, if I was wearing shorts I shaved every day.  But I did eventually grow out of this....now I can't even see any hair on the small of my back, I think it was all in my head.  I've now gone long periods without shaving anything.

 

Waxing seems like a good option and may even appeal to them since it does away with the stubble problem, which was the most frustrating for me as someone with pretty thick and dark body hair.  What if you and Dad just bought a certain number of razors a month and told them that was all they got, they had to either find their own money to buy more or manage their razor use better?  I'll second what the other folks say, razors like the Venus seem to stay sharp and last a lot longer.

 

But don't worry too much....this will probably be something that drives you crazy about them through their college years, but in my own experience the over-zealous hair removal seems to eventually get old for most of us and we move on from it in our early 20s once we start caring a little less about what others think.

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

Is there a particular reason you are using disposable razors versus the ones with just the replaceable blade?

 

Oh, yeah, from the ones I've used, the disposable razors are surprisingly crappy. (I normally use Gillette Mach 3 razors. From my understanding, the Venus blades are the exact same product, just with girly marketing.) I didn't expect there to be a difference, but they must be made out of a different kind of metal or something. They get dull fast and rust really easily. Each "head" for the Gillette products lasts me a couple weeks, whereas I'm lucky to get three uses out of each of the disposables. 

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie8681 View Post

Hair on stomach- it CAN signal a hormone imbalance, or it can be normal for darker people.

Dd14, the one who really is burning through most of the razors, really has no body hair whatsoever except on her arms and legs and, what she does have, is no thicker than mine, just darker.  Maybe it grows faster; I don't know.  

 

I mentioned the stomach earlier as an example of her desire to not have a single hair anywhere on her entire body except for her head.  I, for example, probably have a few light blonde hairs somewhere on my back and stomach.  Dd is the same, but her hair is not blonde.  She does not have heavy or thick hair on her body, face, stomach, or even arms or legs.  She has a random piece of peach fuzz here and there.  She wants none.  

 

It seems to be something with her and her friends.  They are all shaving every square inch of their bodies, save for their heads and, presumably, their private areas.  I really don't think that any of these girls are unusually hairy nor have any indication of hormonal imbalances such as weight gain, hair on the face, etc.

 

*I stress this b/c she really does not have hormonal issues or major hair.*

 

We did get her an epilator and, combined with shaving to grab the few pieces it missed or to remove hair when it isn't long enough to be grabbed by the epilator, she is doing fairly okay right now.

post #20 of 24

I have pale skin and dark hair as well, I also have to shave daily if I don't want the hair to be visible. My mother who has darker head hair than me, has much lighter and softer body/leg hair. The hair on my legs especially below the knees is super coarse and I was intensely bullied between 5th and 10th/11th grade for my choice to not shave it very often. So I can imagine that there is a huge amount of stress to shave more more more.

 

I use a mach 3 blade and just wanted to back up the opinions that the replaceable heads last much longer. I also have sensitive skin and got rashes/burns from disposable razors even good quality ones which was part of the reason I didn't shave as a kid. My mom only bought disposable razors and they hurt my skin to use. A whole new world of not misery opened up to me when I bought my first mach 3. whoo so that's my little piece. so good to see that you guys are finding an option that works for you :)

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