My two beautiful daughters, 17 and 16, are confident, capable and perfect in my eyes and so it is always with surprise that I am reminded in conversations with them, other teens and parents about how sensitive and fragile the subject of their physical appearance. As most couples do, my wife and I respond in very different ways, the subject of waxing came to me after the initial sensitivities had already been dealt with, so I am sharing this third hand, but the discussions seemed to be helpful and I hope that they may help you in making your own decisions.
My girls both decided to wax, something they elected to do, on their own and with several warnings from my wife and I. Personally I have been waxing for some time, and I wax everything from navel down, so I speak from personal experience in receiving this treatment. My wife waxes only her legs ONLY!
How do they feel?
My second eldest daughter brought the issue up and spoke up about how she was feeling about her leg hair. An upcoming pool party had provided the natural fire to give her the courage to at least speak about her feeling ashamed of her hair. Thank goodness she did because the minute she had we found out that our eldest daughter felt even worse and had started shaving secretly 6 months earlier. Try asking how they feel about their body image before even deciding if it is something that needs attention.
Lets be clear it MIGHT hurt a little less AFTER you have been doing it for a while. While you can do a number of things to help reduce the pain there is no benefit in pretending it is not sore.... it is... it stings. Now we took a different tack because, I have been waxing and don't feel a lot of pain but my wife waxes with reluctance and feels every hair. We decided our best option was to show them. We had them sit in on our own lower leg wax sessions. They saw our respective expressions, and they also had a chance to ask questions for themselves. Our eldest revealed the ingrown hairs from shaving were as painful and more importantly for her, unsightly.
It costs money!
When you start waxing you need to keep waxing especially for the first 3 to 6 months to see real benefits and this is a financial commitment. In my personal experience with my girls the sooner they settled down the actual treatment went quicker and gave me the spark for wax by hour rather than by area.
It reduces hair growth
Once the various hairs have all been removed at least once the replacing hair is weaker than the previous. This takes time, at least 3 visits before you may start to see a reduction in growth. The reason is simple. Each hair follicle contains 3 hairs, lets call them the adult, the hair you can see, the teen, if you look really closely you will see a second almost see through hair and a new born which is inside the follicle. Upon removing the adult, the teen immediately goes into growth mode to replace it, and the cycle keeps repeating.
If you look at someone who regularly crosses their legs you may see some bald patches where the legs rub against each other. This is what can happen if a regular wax schedule is committed to and the hairs are consistently removed, eventually you will see less aggressive growth and over time even little or no hair.
Its time together
Finding the parent and child bonding time is always a challenge in our busy schedules these days, and we had the pleasure of going as a family so we had a little bonding time. Making a brief visit after school at the studio for only 30 mins and having a 3/4 leg done can also be a small moment which is far more significant in your child's life than in yours.
Your teens choice
Whether you choose to wax or not, have the conversation be open to hear what they have to say at the very least. I certainly had pangs of losing my daughters early that they were going to be old before their time, but quite the opposite has happened. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' decision only the one you have agreed to. Offering to be open is possibly the best option.
Waxing, shaving or laser are all personal choices we as adults have in our own right, perhaps it can be one of the first you, with your child, hand over to them.