Last week, U.K.-based news outlet Metro reported on a controversy surrounding bikini waxes being offered to girls as young as nine (I repeat: NINE), and whether that constituted child abuse. According to the report, “Just one in 25 salons refused to carry out the procedure on a child.” Crazy, right? Well, guess what: There are no official regulations in the U.S. for the age someone has to be to get a wax, either.
“We set our own guidelines,” says Noemi Grupenmager, founder of Uni-K Wax Center in New York City. “We have seen a growing number of girls between the ages of nine and 17 coming in for waxes.” OK, but to me there’s a huge difference between a nine-year-old getting a wax and a 17-year-old getting a wax—especially of the bikini variety. Grupenmager says that parental consent is required for clients under the age of 18 at Uni-K, but not all salons necessarily abide by that same rule.
Jessica Anwalt Johnson, a waxing expert and brand ambassador for Completely Bare in New York City, points to the idea that girls are going through puberty at an “increasingly early age” as the reason for the uptick in teen and preteen waxing requests. “I personally think it’s perfectly acceptable for girls to start waxing their brows, lips, legs, and basic bikini area around the age of 14,” she says. According to Johnson, most of the young teens she sees requesting bikini waxes are on swim or gymnastics teams or are about to head off to summer camp.
When it comes to more invasive waxing services, Johnson has a clear age cutoff: “I believe it’s totally unacceptable to perform a Brazilian wax on anyone under the age of 18,” she says.
What age do you think is too young to get a bikini wax?
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