The puberty experience is unique to each girl, with youngsters reaching various milestones at different ages. With the appearance of underarm hair, you can be sure big changes are beginning and physical maturity is not far away. Knowing the timing and sequence of physical changes will enable you to support your daughter through puberty.
The onset of puberty can begin anywhere between ages 8 and 13, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation 1. Physical maturation generally occurs in a sequence, and the entire process could take up to six years. Generally, underarm hair appears about two years after pubic hair appears, Palo Alto says.
First Hair Arrives
Hair Growth During Puberty
Initially, underarm hair will appear soft and fine, but over time, the texture and weight of the underarm hair will become thicker and coarser. Hair color under the arms may match the hair color on a girl’s head and body or it could be darker or lighter, according to the PBSKids website. A difference in color may seem strange, but this can be completely normal.
And Then It Goes
At some point, your daughter will likely want to remove underarm hair due to societal norms. When you feel your daughter is ready to shave her underarm hair, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ HealthyChildren website recommends hair removal by electric razor only, for safety. During the first few times your daughter shaves, supervise and share in the process to provide help and support. You might demonstrate how you shave your own armpits, if you feel comfortable doing so.
- At some point, your daughter will likely want to remove underarm hair due to societal norms.
- You might demonstrate how you shave your own armpits, if you feel comfortable doing so.
Before Her Time
Menopause & Underarm Hair
Occasionally, a girl might experience precocious puberty, which involves an early onset of physical maturation 5. Precocious puberty involves onset of physical changes before age 7 or 8 for girls, according to the KidsHealth website 5. If you see underarm hair growing or other signs of puberty and your daughter is younger than age 7, consult your child’s pediatrician for guidance. Your child may need evaluation and treatment from an endocrinologist to stop or reverse the physical growth. Long-term effects of precocious puberty can create both physical and emotional problems 5. A child might reach adulthood not growing to full adult height because of the early maturity. Emotionally, a child may also suffer because of embarrassment and social struggles.
Hair Growth During Puberty
Menopause & Underarm Hair
Tips on Growing Underarm Hair
What Is the Normal Age to Start to Shave?
Female Body Development During Puberty
What Would Cause Hair to Grow Unequally?
Why Does Hair Grow So Fast During Pregnancy?
Can Low-Carb Diets Cause Hair Loss?
How to Tell Whether Your Hair Is Growing Back
How to Tell if Hair is Growing Back
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Puberty -- Changes for Females
- PBS Kids: Puberty: From Bare to Hair
- HealthyChildren.org: What's Happening to my Body?
- Go Girl!: Raising Healthy, Confident and Successful Girls Through Sports; Hannah Storm and Mark Jenkins
- KidsHealth: Precocious Puberty
- Kaplowitz P, Bloch C. Evaluation and referral of children with signs of early puberty. Pediatrics. 2016;137(1). doi:10.1542/peds.2015-3732
- Biro FM, Greenspan LC, Galvez MP. Puberty in girls of the 21st century. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2012;25(5):289-94. doi:10.1016/j.jpag.2012.05.009
- Yoo JH. Effects of early menarche on physical and psychosocial health problems in adolescent girls and adult women. Korean J Pediatr. 2016 Sep;59(9):355-361. doi:10.3345/kjp.2016.59.9.355
- Bodicoat DH, Schoemaker MJ, Jones ME, et al. Timing of pubertal stages and breast cancer risk: the Breakthrough Generations Study. Breast Cancer Res. 2014;16(1):R18. doi:10.1186/bcr3613
- Kim EY. Long-term effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs in girls with central precocious puberty. Korean J Pediatr. 2015 Jan;58(1):1-7. doi:10.3345/kjp.2015.58.1.1
- Wojniusz S, Callens N, Sütterlin S, et al. Cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial functioning of girls treated with pharmacological puberty blockage for idiopathic central precocious puberty. Front Psychol. 2016;7:1053. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01053
- Schoelwer M, Eugster EA. Treatment of peripheral precocious puberty. Endocr Dev. 2016;29:230-9. doi:10.1159/000438895
- Franzini IA, Yamamoto FM, Bolfi F, Antonini SR, Nunes-nogueira VS. GnRH analog is ineffective in increasing adult height in girls with puberty onset after 7 years of age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Endocrinol. 2018;179(6):381-390. doi:10.1530/EJE-18-0473
- Olson-kennedy J, Chan YM, Garofalo R, et al. Impact of early medical treatment for transgender youth: protocol for the longitudinal, observational trans youth care study JMIR Res Protoc. 2019;8(7):e14434. doi:10.2196/14434
- Yoon JW, Park HA, Lee J, Kim JH. The influence of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists on anthropometric change in girls with central precocious puberty. Korean J Pediatr. 2017;60(12):395-402. doi:10.3345/kjp.2017.60.12.395
- Pienkowski C, Tauber M. Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist Treatment in Sexual Precocity. Endocr Dev. 2016;29:214-29. doi: 10.1159/000438893.
- Thornton P, Silverman LA, Geffner ME, Neely EK, Gould E, Danoff TM. Review of outcomes after cessation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist treatment of girls with precocious puberty. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2014 Mar;11(3):306-17.
- Fuqua JS. Treatment and outcomes of precocious puberty: an update. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jun;98(6):2198-207. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-1024.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.